And just to momentarily divert attention away from Tim, Chris and the SuperFly, here is a further review of the Magnet, another 'cutting edge' freestyle kite.
David has very kindly sent over his personal Magnet to the UK so that it could be trialled by Mike Fogg, Yan Spooner and myself.
The comments below should be read in conjunction with Carlo's excellent review and are the observations of a much less skilled flyer.Flight Characteristics
The first and most important thing to say is that this is one FUN kite.
It’s certainly different from my other kites and it took a few flights to tune into it.
One thing that’s for sure: the Magnet’s capabilities far exceed mine.
It has a huge wind range going from 4 mph up to whatever wind you can manage to trick in (and Mike and I had it out in winds gusting to at least 20 mph).
It has a light presence on the lines, providing sufficient feedback in low winds and without excessive pull on the lines at the top end of the wind range.
I had no problem doing all the tricks in my repertoire, although some needed a bit more tuning into the timing than others. Details below:
- Axels – Small inputs required.
- HAs and Cascades – Nose goes high very quickly so doesn't need any slack in the flare. Almost a continual ‘roll’ inputs from one hand to the other to lift it out. Stunning when you get the timing right.
- Tazes – Because the nose goes high very quickly, it doesn't need any real slack before the pull for the rotation. Happiest almost flat when it almost spins round on itself.
- 540s – No issues, but not as flat as some.
- Slots and Multislots – Slightly timing critical, but very reliable once I’d sorted out the timing.
- Single pop yoyo – Pitches forward nice and easily. Rotation fairly quick.
- Snap Lazies & Multilazies- Easy snaps into a nice deep turtle. Timing for the multi easy as well. Really like the way it does these.
- Flic-flacs – Manageable, but need to pull back early to avoid the dead spot in the flare.
- JLs – JLs like a dream. Very easy and rises in height very quickly when you get the timing right.
- BSs and BS Cascades – Reasonably easy. Small kite, so rotates easily.
Insanes – Really easy to catch
- Crazy Copters and Wap-do-Waps – Not tricks I can do, but the pitchiness of the Magnet means it would only be a matter of time before I crack them.
- Combos – transitions fairly nicely from one trick to the next. Managed a Cascade to Taz combo, which is the first time I've managed that combination on any kite.
David developed the kite for his own use as the sort of kite he wanted to fly and to develop his own understanding of kite design.
Although he is happy to make the odd kite for friends, he is not setting up to be a commercial kite manufacturer and some of the construction details reflect this. (Please note that I only have Benson and JoE kites in my bag at the moment, so my expectations may be unreasonably high here.
- The stitching is excellent – nice and straight
- Bisonyl nose and US wear patch – should prove bullet proof
- The framing is the well proven P200 LE / 5PT Black Diamond lower spreader combination – more than adequately responsive for a kite of this size and very resilient to any bangs and crashes.
The not so good:
- The stand off reinforcement is Dacron rather than mylar. Is this a problem? Certainly not for now and I’ve no idea whether it would be later on in the kite’s life. Only making the comment as it is different from all the other kites I’ve owned.
- The sail attachment to the spine is by a simple loop of bridle line. A simple and cost effective solution, but does it result in the lines getting caught on the spine more than with a velcro tail? Not sure.
- On our first flight in very gusty 10-20mph conditions, both Mike Fogg and I had the lines catch under the Dacron reinforcement at the spine. This seemed like a major issue at the time, but the problem all but disappeared when flying in better conditions and having got more accustomed to the kite.
- The addition of a mylar reinforcement along the spine would provide additional protection against general wear and tear and help prevent sail damage from a spine failure.
- Leach protection. There is no additional dacron or cordura to protect against excessive wear of the leach when doing roll ups or JLs. The addition of such protection would in my view significantly extend the life of the sail.
The Magnet is definitely a fun kite. It does have a tendency to do unexpected things if you get the inputs wrong. However, it behaves very predictably when the inputs are right. You just needs a couple sessions to start feeling you are in control of it, rather than the other way around!
The most fun I've had flying a kite in a long, long while.
Definitely a thumbs up from me.