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Illusion (Prism Designs)

Prism Illusion

Specifications  
Name:
Make:
Skill level:
Dimensions:
Wing span:
Frame :
Sail:
Sail area:
Weight:
Leading edge :
Nose :
Stand-offs :
Bridle :
Opt. wind range :
Rec. lines :
Illusion
Prism Designs
Intermediate to advanced
215 x 117 cm
84"
Tapered G-Force UL/Avia Sport
10 panels/Icarex P31; 7 panels/Mylar scrim
1.0 sq m
9.4 oz
Dacron
Webbing
3 mm carbon, adjustable
Turbo; sleeved Dyneema (knotless)
6 to 10 mph
80 to 150 ft. 100 to 200 lbs.

Prism have always made highly innovative and remarkable looking kites which are resolutely different to the competition From the Radian with its elegant, elongated wings, through the more compact Ion and Macro Ion to the aggressive looking Eclipses.

With the Illusion, Prism are keeping to their policy of researching new shapes for ever better performance.

A closed up nose angle, very short tail, highly cambered and pointed wingtips give this kite an original attraction. A little like a cross between a Spin Off, a Tracer, a Jam Session but . . . a la Prism. The build quality is beyond reproach. The flat, zigzag seams are beautiful; the finish and image overall are exceptional. There are reinforcements judiciously placed between the Mylar and Icarex P31 to avoid any problems with tearing. All these details make you think that the sail of the Illusion will last a lot longer than your average kite. The hardware is top level, with APA connectors on the leading edge (standard now days on kites of this quality) and well thought out, custom made parts like the T joint which holds the bridle. The angle of incidence can be adjusted instantly by simply moving a knot.

When flying, the Illusion reveals itself to be as different as it looks. You have to familiarise yourself with the bridle and stand-off positioning; then get used to the way you need to fly the kite and adjust your hand controls accordingly. Having said this, this kite is probably the easiest for a beginner to achieve a basic axel with.

The Illusion also offers the valuable option of the "dead launch" from the belly down position - where you can easily end up if you overdo the control inputs. I found two ways of getting it to cascade, either to leave the kite a moment to recover between each half axel, or you have to "pop" hard. At first we opted for the lower bridle position. That's when things really began to get interesting. The Illusion finds tricks around the bottom of the window very easy, like pancakes (on its front or back) and yo yo's. This aptitude may be explained by the curved shape of the kite

in general and in particular the depth of curve in the leading edges. Multiple axels are also smooth and easy to achieve, doubles and sometimes triples are possible given plenty of line slack. Multiple flat spins were also achievable for the more skilled pilots and, given lighter winds, the Illusion proves itself to be a freestyle kite of no mean potential. Some are already saying that this kite might introduce a new style of flying... Moving on to more basic flying qualities: just about everything other than tricks.

A very tight sail such as this one requires an extremely stiff frame (G-Force UL throughout) and makes the kite fast and very reactive to wind variations. Absolutely everything that hits the kite is transmitted directly to your hands and when the wind starts to get up, you certainly know about it. This stiffness also makes stops and stalls difficult to hold. On the other hand, snap landings - even from a dive -were no problem. I would be lying if I said that the Illusion was a precision kite. In all the time I flew it, I never got it to perform a really convincing set of angles; square cuts were beyond me.

The Illusion is a kite for the more radical flyer which will do everything known to the freestyler and then some. A classical precision kite it is not, but those looking to fly the tricks of the third millennium will no doubt appreciate its high-tech look and performance. It might be one that the earthbound have difficulty understanding.

Good Points

Build quality
Trickability
High-tech

Bad Points

Precision

 

Kite Passion Magazine

This review was taken from
Kite Passion Magazine - May / June 1997

 

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