Moose Meet Madness
Just back from the most awesome moose “ever!” with buggy Carnage the order of the day, Gav and I are practicing for the next Big Kite Powered Buggy Adventure, one that with providence and a little good fortune will rival the Sahara crossing and the more recent speed record success. As part of our 6 P’s (Prior Perpetration Prevents P— Poor Performance) due diligence in another man’s language, we are testing the metal of our gear to and beyond its limits, and Moose Land is arguably one of the best places in the world, with every kind of transition available in every conceivable shape or form, and with the Moose turning on the wind from all and every direction this year we were able to destroy most of the gear we brought with us including removing tyres from the rims on landing and having to reseat beads with limited resources, always a challenge (thanks Perrin and Mad Mike for the help).
Along with all of the ground engaging gear Gav and I have been discussing over the previous months what we are looking for as far as our engines to power this adventure, two words keep coming to mind after the Sahara adventure and that is Bullet and Proof, i.e. indestructible, reliable, vast wind range, faultless/effortless ground handling , and even more important on this adventure, pack ability and weight, because this time we are unsupported and will be far from civilisation in a vast country for a prolonged period . In other words I am looking for a an ultra-light super tough handkerchief that will pull 150Kg up a hill in 5 knots, obviously they haven’t made that kite “yet” but being on the lookout for something along those lines, and being of the adventure design persuasion, that there are no bad ideas and all things should be considered, I had to take seriously Gav’s suggestion we try out Depower kites, Hmmmm I had to really think about that one, as I am a dyed in the wool, one eyed Power Kite person, of the Flat Foil kind, I like Power with a bit of Mongrel in it ( I have a significant Weight advantage over Gavin hear) but money where your mouth is time and out the bag and on the harness came some crispy new Summits from Ozone (at the Moose for Demo) well a long story short, 3 days later I looked up from the testing work, with two small piles of tired, bent, snapped and macerated metal and I am still flying the same kite (Sorry other Moose folk didnt mean to hog it) well a quick call to Matt while we are packing up our toys, to ask if we could take them home please, on the pretence of “so we can practice some more, continuity etc bla bla bla” and a more serious discussion of “Would you consider sponsoring us” some Power foils that have an off switch for our next adventure and could we have them in a Blue ultra light fabric Please? The good news is we got a Yes answer to those questions and un intentionally killed two stones with one bird “as the saying goes” at the Moose this year, all things considered a productive and fruitful time in the dunes once again. Along with all the serious stuff we did get introduced to and drank the whole bottle of a not too bad European drink brand named Bum (Czech rum made from potatoes), wore safety crocks talked a load of nonsense and fare welled our good Friend Charlie, scattering his ashes on to the wind, from a kite, as was his wish. Oh the adventure we are planning “Mad Way Mongolia”, It looks like we will be taking 3 kites each they will be Depower foils 2 Summits and a Frenzy each, specially rigged Gav style for some serious back country bugging.
DEPOWER FOILS REVIEW
I recently attended the annual “Moose Meet” kite buggy event near Auckland, I was a good chance to test out the new range of Ozone depower foils in the endless huge sand dunes behind Muriwai beach. Craig Hansen and myself were using the event to test a few ideas for a upcoming kite buggy expedition.
Before long we found ourselves on the new Ozone Summits.
With Craig on the 12 and me on the 10 we found ourselves evenly matched due my 30kg weight advantage. With light bar pressure and no stalling or overflying we could ride effortlessly in difficult terrain for 10 hours a day with one hand on the bar and no need to be constantly watching the kite, this will be very important on a 30+ day trip.
We did a comparison with a big fixed bridle foil on handles and the 12 summit expecting the fixed bridle kite to have more low end and better upwind, after swapping kites and buggy’s a few times we found the usability and windrange of the summit more than outweighed the small advantage the other kite has on some tacks.
I was very impressed with the turning speed of the summits, especially in the larger sizes.
The lift and hangtime that depower foils are renowned for has not been sacrificed in the new range, Even the surprisingly powerful 8m summit had no trouble lifting me and a big heavy buggy a meter off the ground.
I love the new colours and chunky graphics, the kites are easily recognised from a long way off.
The new summits and frenzys are very smooth looking kites, there is no wrinkles anywhere in the skins and the trailing edge looks thin and clean like a race kite.