Posted 14 April 2012 - 12:32 PM
BUILD QUALITY - I don't know thing 1 about sewing or fabric; however all the stitches seem "compete" and unbroken, and they don't lie outside of any of the seams. No dangling bits of thread anywhere. All spars were smooth and even.
WIND - I'd say Revolution's claims of "3-25" mph are accurate; but for proper enjoyment, I've heard everyone else say start at 7-12mph, and I agree. The leading edge (LE) bends mostly convex to the pilot below 7mph, and this gives me a feeling like I'm trying to balance the kite on a beach ball while trying to float it around. Its possible, but tricky and not-quite predictable flight. Once it catches enough wind, around 7 mph, the sail begins to stretch around the vertical spars, the LE begins to bend away from the pilot, and control and precision are a go.
Now, above 14 mph..... I think I actually prayed the other day around 16 mph. I'm 5'9 175 lbs. and at 16 mph and above I was sliding down the grass field I fly at when I locked in the power. Use at your own risk above 14 mph!!
PERFORMACE - Best to go make a sandwich before you start this, 'cause I got a lot to say.
*side note - I never used the stock leaders that come with this kite's handles, setup from the factory. I immediately switched these out for knotted leaders like the B-Series handles use. But I tested through most knots/setups available to me thoroughly*
The SW takes some getting used to. Where the 1.5 size Revs feel like the left and right halves of the kite work with each other, and support each other, the SW gives me a definite feeling that there are 2 independent wings. This is very noticeable in a blazing fast Dive...Stop. The first time I tried one, from the top of the window, I inverted the kite, quickly pulled the handles past my hips, and..... the SW slowly traveled at a diagonal angle down and left. ???? I found that I was not pulling with both arms evenly - I was pulling the air out of the right half of the sail! Once I got the hang of pulling with both arms, evenly through my movements, I found it to fly more like I had originally expected it to. The SW does not appreciate flailing!! Dramatic arm movements just disrupt the air across the sail to the point where control is lost, especially in forward flight.
Side slides - on the SW, they should be called "side slips". To really get this sucker moving laterally and quickly, you have to let the air out of the trailing wing (which you can do by over-pulling the leading wing or giving the trailing wing slack - interesting). When I do this, it goes screaming fast laterally, but with loss of control in all manner - not sure I like that. When I keep the sail fully pressurized and try for a side slide, in around 8 mph wind, the SW travels laterally slower than my 1.5 size Revs.
Reverse flight - Reverse flight on the SW is actually easier than forward flight, for me at least! When traveling in reverse I can't seem to over-pull on one wing over the other at all! The quicker and faster I try for reverse flight, the quicker and faster the SW does it - it doesn't "flip a wing" like the 1.5 size Revs will if you are too hard on the handles! When the wind started to pick up, above 11 mph, trying to fly in reverse for long periods tired out my wrists and forearms and quickly, but that's to be expected.
Otherwise, this Rev has characteristics befitting most Revolution kites - forward, reverse, lateral control, and speed control through all manners/directions of flight. But none of these characteristics are strong enough to help fly precision compulsory-type patters - if you plan to do so, it will require some time and effort far above and beyond what the 1.5 platform requires to trace some decent figures in the sky.
*side note here - something about the way this Rev handles makes for easier Cartwheels/Traveling Bicylces!*
NOISE - Fantastic!! Oddly enough, I was never a big fan of the "buzzing" noise from the trailing edge of my dualie trick kites (yeah yeah leechline). But this noise... Its got a higher frequency to it, when it starts up, so it doesn't sound so much like the cartoonish farting of a dualie. Also...... As the wind speed increases, more harmonics of the original sound are heard, making this kite sound like a swarm of angry insects. This sound increases in pitch and volume as the wind speed goes up as well - its sublime!!! I actually didn't even turn the iPod on the last 2 times I've flown it, just to listen to it cut through the air. Every time the wind gusted, the sound kicked up BIGTIME and all eyes at the park were on my Shockwave!!
I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS TO - Anyone who is proficient with flying a Rev kite, and liked the pull their smaller dual line foil kites used to give them Anyone who just wants to buzz a Rev around with no set pattern, carving up the sky like a maniac! Anyone who like the pull of a foil will like this one when the winds pick up! Anyone who wants the attention of everyone at the park!! I love the handling on this kite considering the speeds it flies at!! If you want to practice precision compulsories in a militaristic style, this kite might be for you as it will take all the time and effort you can give it!
I'm thrilled to own this kite! I will be practicing with it forever, I don't see mastery over it in the near future. This appeals to me, along with the amazing speed and sound of it flying!!
Posted 14 April 2012 - 08:10 PM
I don't fly to be free, I fly because I am.
Posted 21 April 2012 - 07:21 AM
Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:53 PM
I hope the review helps anyone interested in purchasing one.
I've put in quite a bit more time on the SW since reviewing it, and I don't have anything to change about the review so far. I really love this kite! I think the speed series could continue to evolve though. Maybe the Blast came out of the need to have the speed series handle more like the 1.5s, but I don't want to step up to that large of a sail, not when flying Rev kites anyways.
Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:28 PM
Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:24 AM
With Revs you have to plan 1 or 2 kites ahead!
I don't fly to be free, I fly because I am.
Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:49 PM
I must admit, I never tried the Supersonic; on the Rev forum, many have said that it is a little less tricky than the Shockwave. I ultimately decided on the Shockwave because of the sail panel layout
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