Size tested: 14.5m
Weight as tested: 2.75kg
Test conditions: 6-10kts wind, flat water
Location: Portland Harbour
Board setup: Pocket foil board paired with the Core SLC foil set up with the 1000 wing and 92cm mast.
TL;DR: The ultimate lightwind freeride kite!
I’m just going to say it, I really like this kite. Ocean Rodeo promised some pretty spectacular things with their new ALUULA material and I am very happy to say that they delivered.. and then some.
Ocean Rodeo partnered with ALUULA Composites to make a special, ultra light and super strong material to replace the Dacron normally used for the leading edge and struts of the kite. It makes their kites lighter, stiffer and more durable than the competition according to Ocean Rodeo.
And it works!! The 14.5m Flite 3 strut kite tipped the scales at 2.75kg, which to give some context, is the same weight as the super light 12m single strut Core Xlite2. I really prefer the stability and responsiveness of 3 strut kites compared to single strut, but in the air I was blown away. You could be forgiven in mistaking this kite for the 12m not the 14.5m with its responsiveness and turning speed. Super fast loops and consistent, predictable power delivery are staples of this kite. And the mad thing, it does this in 6kts!!
The super stiff ALUULA airframe also comes into action during relaunches. There were a couple of times when I thought I might be swimming home but this kite had my back. Incredibly, it relaunched fine in about 7kts of wind speed and also dried noticeably quickly when back in the sky.
I mostly used this kite for foiling with a relatively fast SAB freerace foil initially and then a fun Core SLC foil for the second session (Core SLC review coming soon...). The predicable lift and rapid looping gave bounds of confidence when working on my transitions and foot switches. Even at speeds of over 20kts the kite kept up just fine and crucially with minimal overflying on crashes. Around 90% of the time just drifting gracefully back into the wind window.
It is difficult to compare anything to this kite without feeling like you are pitting an unfair match. It’s as light and more responsive than a single strut kite 2 or more metres smaller, has the best relaunch of any kite and generates silky smooth power in 8kts as you might expect of a top of the range 10m in 20kts. All without giving that train-like feeling that you get with big and noticeably heavy LEI kites. For freeriders this kite really does shine!!
That being said, the detachable valve on the speed inflate system is rather annoying. The system is great, but if they had tied it on better I’d feel much better about not loosing it. Also, the kite does now feel a bit let down by the rather heavy Pilot bar when comparing to the crazy light Core Sensor 3 Pro Foil bar. Ocean Rodeo please make a super light bar to pair with your super light kites?!
If you live somewhere where you get light summer breezes like we do in Portland, this will be your favourite kite. It’s expensive yes, but it will get you out shredding when most people are still on the beach. The Flite shape is a great take on the modern 3 strut freeride kite and the ALUULA airframe steals the show for lightness, responsiveness and relaunch. For the lightwind warrior, this should be your weapon of choice!
See you on the water.
Bio: Former Olympic class windsurfer switched over to the dark side. Love a dancing session on the foil and a sendy boost. Big fan of new gear and development in the sport.
Dims: 183cm, 80kgs