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Freestyle (Eolo Sport)

An Hispanic-American dancer

Freestyle (Eolo Sport)

Specifications
Model
Make
Dimensions
Weight
Frame
Sail
Bridle
Wind Range
Rec. Lines
Price
Freestyle
Eolo Sport
230 x 83 cm
-
6mm G Force UL carbon
31g Icarex
Active Turbo
2 to 18 mph
100 to 1501b, 75 to 125ft
Around 80

 

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

 

Design/Construction
The kite is supplied in a black nylon bag with 3 panels: a transparent one reveals the instructions, one in ripstop sports the name, and one in gauze lets sand escape. The detailed manual touches on Dodd's background, as well as the rudiments of precision and freestyle flying, a' la Dodd Gross method. A more specific multilingual leaflet about the kite explains the active bridle, setting of the leech line, etc.

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.

Flight Test
The Freestyle responds quickly, it doesn't jerk suddenly when you take up the slack again, and has good stability in straight trajectories. The angles are clean, but it still has a tendency to move when coming out of an angle, in the same way that it lacks a little stability after a stop and the turns are not really tight.

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.

 

Conclusion
Yet again Dodd has proved that his talents as designer, by making freestyle accessible to all. Established pilots will immediately feel like freestyle kings, and beginners will get there after their initial flights and basic figures and progress rapidly. However the Freestyle lacks a little bit of character and enters a market that is already rich in models of similar qualities But the Freestyle has a major thing going for it: its quality to price ratio.

 

Good Points Bad Points
Performance
Quality/price ratio
Full instructions
Colour choice
Lacks a little character

 

Verdict  
Accessibility
Reliability
Design
Quality/Price Ratio
Performance
Packaging
3/5
3/5
4/5
4/5
4/5
3/5

 

Kite Passion Magazine

This review was taken from
Kite Passion Magazine - Apr/May 99

 

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first lesson

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