Freestyle (Eolo Sport)
An Hispanic-American dancer
Dodd Gross was out presenting a range of his new designs at the latest Dieppe festival. The range comprises three kits: The First Step for beginners, the Freestyle and the Precision. We have now been able to take the Freestyle out for a spin, in its top of the range version of Icarex and G-Force UL
The quality of workmanship and finish is very good, the kite is double reverse stitched and very clean. The leading edge connector is APA, the upper spreader connectors are held by clips. The lower spreader connectors are not wedged, but the APA connectors don't slide in flight.
The height of the spreaders can be varied thanks to a large cutout from the leading edge sleeving, and as such more or less depth can be given to the kite in order to modify its flight characteristic The trick line is tensioned at the level of the stand-off, allowing it to adopt the shape of the trailing edge.
The frame uses 6mm carbon for the leading edges, upper spreader and the spine; the lower spreaders are in G-Force UL Avia for a stiffer kite with better response.
The Freestyle has a lower, wider shape. The central cross-connector is set low enough and, added to a depth of 27cm at the level of the stand-off, Dodd brings the basics of a good freestyler into play.
The bridle is turbo, but the upper bridle is linked to the bridle that goes to the central cross-connector, enabling good tension to be maintained in both these bridles when in acfion.
The kite could only be tested in 2 to 8mph winds and the above characteristics would get better with a little more obvious wind, while keeping this general character.
It has a large ability to fly in light winds, such as 2mph. By moving the bridle up a little (about 5mm), it is capable of carrying out all the tricks. On the other hand the climb to the top of the wind window would be a little laborious, but it is easily flown as long as its speed is maintained.
Ease, accessibility, sound and efficient are the principle qualifications of the Freestyle. The established flier will be able to turn out the whole enchilada (pancake, 540, take-off fade, cascade
After half an hour of acclimatisation the average flier, will find that the Freestyle is very easy for learning the basic manoeuvres (axel, half-axel, cascade ...).The axel is not absolutely flat. The take up is very frank allowing figures to be linked, enabling a very consistent cascade, for example.
The line must be well slack so that the nose does not get hung up in a540 flat spin. As a general rule, the kite don't not often get hung up in the lines, and even if it happens you can easily get out of it, and it rights itself in all positions, whether on its back or its belly.
|This review was
Kite Passion Magazine - Apr/May 99
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