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the kite bag
Explorer (High Flyers)
Opt. wind range:
90 x 80cm
Nylon 60g. 6 panel
3 point. polyester
6mm carbon/glass hybrid
5 to 20mph
Provided (twisted polyester on handles)
The Explorer has an extreme shape. A very high aspect ratio sail with a very short spine.
The sail itself is somewhat smaller than the frame. The quality of sewing was fairly good
but the single fold, double stitch method leaves bare edges on the back of the sail. Nose,
t-joint and spine areas are all Dacron-reinforced. The sailcloth itself felt stretchy and
detracted from the look of the kite. The fittings, made for High Flyers were of better
than average quality. The bridle is lengthy. Standoffs have a simple end cap fixing into
the sail which leaves a point sticking out on the back of the sail. There are aluminium
rings for the attachment points. It has a leech line but no trick line.
The explorer was not that stable in straight line flight and required nursing around the
sky with great care. It was very sensitive to any sudden hand movement and would not turn
sharply. Large round turns were easy and tighter spins were very fast and well within the
wing4ip although the kite did exhibit lots of oversteer. The kite was very sensitive at
the edges of the wind window.
It was a difficult kite to stop and in light wind it would stop and sink down the window:
in higher wind the kite's speed made keeping it stable difficult and too strong a hand
movement sent it over backwards. The axel was very fast and the kite did not want to
regain forward flight after this move: a half axel was possible but only with the utmost
care. The Explorer refused to flat spin or turtle. The kite's real forte was the flic
flac. The short spine length made the kite easy to spin. and this it did over and over.
The long bridle combined with lack of trick line and the standoff fitting meant that the
Explorer was prone to line wraps.
The Explorer is by no means an
easy kite to fly. It is a very tough customer with a strong frame, but it is very unstable
and does not forgive any error from the pilot. It's real plus point was that it would be
immediately accessible for a beginner.
Limited wind range