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Kitehouse "Cosmic TC XS" Review by Bryan Beasley 
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2003 7:43 pm
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Location: Vihtavuori, Finland
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I had enough funds from my recent sell off to get one of these babies too:-

Image

It is essentially a scaled down (I wonder if it's x0.909 a la SkyMax), heavily framed Cosmic TC Ghost with a few bits of colour. It shares the same funky sail material and even has the same lightweight LE tunnel material which, given that it sports Aerostuff Gold S lower spreaders, seems an odd match up. A super light sail and build combined with a hard-as-nails frame - curious.

Image
Now these LE cutouts look a bit suspect to me on an SUL like the Ghost. On a standard weight kite intended to be hammered about madly... they look misguided.

Image
And while it's an exceptionally trivial point, for a kite commanding a £260 price tag I don't expect to see any building faults like a misapplied stick on reinforcement beneath a yoyo stopper.

Image
Considerably less trivial is the sail tension. The sail is drum tight everywhere but at the inner standoffs the sail practically screams. I really don't like the look of these in terms of longevity. I've taken a close look and, frankly, the sail looks stretched already with the inboard straight seams looking distorted even when the kite is disassembled. It's been a long time since I've worried about putting a kite together and taking it apart (probably the Prism Illusion was the last) but this concerns me.

Now as far as I'm concerned the money this kite cost was spent several years ago and on other kites so I take a moderately relaxed view on this at the moment. If I had had to reach into my own pocket and pull out new funds then I'd be far less sanguine.

But let's give it a a whirl anyway....

Bryan has described it as "quite simply brilliant" and if you're in the mood, he's spot on. That mood might be more easily entered if you've recently necked a Red Bull or three. This is one fast kite. You can provoke (or demand) multiple rotations in any plane with a single input. The only kite that exceeds it in pull forward yoyos is the parallel universe Element.

That said if you do wish to move it to another place in the sky from where it is you're better off Backspinning it over there anyway. As delivered it had heroic oversteer, bordering on the design fault. I've ended up with the bridle set as wide as it can go and it'll still spin within its own wingspan. This is a trick kite; so trick it and stop faffing about with "figures".

As some other people have noted it might well have been better fitted with Rollbars as it yoyos insanely well. The stoppers do work fine but the extra security that 'bars would have offered might have been welcome.

So who is this kite for ? What is it meant to be ?

Frankly... I dunno. The choice of materials is truly surreal. I simply cannot see these beasts reaching a ripe old age. They beg to be flown in a way that is almost certainly going to damage them. It's a bloody entertaining ride, I just don't expect it to be an especially long one. The same kite with an Icarex sail and some beefed up (not slimmed down) reinforcement makes a lot more sense to me.

That said I enjoy the kite so much that I am going to try to keep it airworthy as long as I can. A difficult kite not to enjoy the experience of but ownership might come with a heartache or two.

Mike.


Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:29 am
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Zippy8 wrote:
It shares the same funky sail material and even has the same lightweight LE tunnel material which, given that it sports Aerostuff Gold S lower spreaders, seems an odd match up. A super light sail and build combined with a hard-as-nails frame - curious.

Now these LE cutouts look a bit suspect to me on an SUL like the Ghost. On a standard weight kite intended to be hammered about madly... they look misguided.


All the KiteHouse kites share the same LE tunnel material and cutout design, from SUL to Vent, with no ill effect.

Zippy8 wrote:
Considerably less trivial is the sail tension. The sail is drum tight everywhere but at the inner standoffs the sail practically screams.


Have you played around with leech line tension, it could probably be rectified by a bit of adjustment.

Thanks for the review :D


Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:49 am
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Craig wrote:
All the KiteHouse kites share the same LE tunnel material and cutout design, from SUL to Vent, with no ill effect.

Not The Sin though ? :-k These are my first Cosmics and I've only had mere moments on other people's but I'll admit to being well surprised by this.

Quote:
Have you played around with leech line tension, it could probably be rectified by a bit of adjustment.

I've slackened everything off that I could :-) I think when I get home I'm going to angle the inner standoffs a smidge (maybe later shave them even) but I don't see this helping all of the sail. The outer section from the LE to the outer standoff is pretty tight too. I'm just not convinced the Ghost material is especially well suited to this sort of treatment but I intend to find out :-D It is a hell of a kite.

Edit: oh yes. As for the dreaded Cosmic Flic Flac Dead Spot... it's there but easy to simply ignore. Just roll the kite past it each time. It's probably quicker, looks cool and certainly easier to do.

But as for holding it in a Fade :evil:

Mike.


Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:20 am
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I think I can alleviate two of your worries, based on the condition of my well used ghost.
1. LE cutouts. No problem here at all. They look as good as new. I did have to feed a bit of super glue under the reinforcing patches on the LE, but that's no big deal.
2. Sail material. Mine is meanwhile not sooo white, but it's still crisp, and not damaged at all.

So (I hear no one ask) what is worn? Well, The points of the black stand-off reinforcements are no longer flat against the sail, but sticking up and looking quite battered, as is the mylar in this area. The mylar has a hard time being rolled up, as the stand-offs hold it at 90 deg to where it would be if they weren't there.
The tip end of the LE cover was a bit fluffy, but since I trimmed the fluffy bits off, they haven't got any worse.
The knotty bits of the bridle are starting to annoy. When I run out of space to walk backwards, and the kite tumbles to the ground, the lines often get snagged by the knots. (I suppose I could land the thing in a controlled manner before I run out of field, ..... but I don't)

Stuart

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Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:06 pm
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The LE cut outs look very similar to those on My Sin.

Since the LE tunnel is Icarex (I think :?), I wasn't happy with leaving the LE tensioned the whole time. Since it's a right royal PITA to retension the sail each time I flew, i invested in some HQ nocks (a la DS or Talon). Unforunately the existing tension line was a little too thin for the nock and pulled through the first time I flew in any wind. Unfortnately the slit ends do not provide much tear resistance and the result was an extended slit in one side of the sail. Now repaired with a drop or two of CA and some self adhesive dacron as reinforcement over the top to protect it from any similar eventualities.

I'd actully thought this was a cost savng measure on the Sin, but it also seems to have been applied on the Cosmic.

I know my damage was partally self inflicted, but slitting the LE like this is not the most resilient design feature. I'm with Mike on this one.


Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:09 pm
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Is the yoyo stopper the same position left and right on the kite? Is it to protect where the lines would naturally sit on the LE if not right in the stopper, or is there another fault?

Had my first flight of a cosmic std on Sunday, certainly a change from what i'm used to.

Thanks for the review and good quality pics.

Jon


Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:16 pm
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jaydub wrote:
The LE cut outs look very similar to those on My Sin.

The cutout is but I'm pretty sure (or at least as sure as I can be from this distance) that mine has dacron LEs.

Quote:
slitting the LE like this is not the most resilient design feature.

It might well be that it's fine but it doesn't look it to me. It might also be that it's fine in general use but likely to fail under other conditions, such as when an LE spar breaks. I really dunno, I can only go with how it looks to me and it looks like a weak spot.

seales wrote:
Is the yoyo stopper the same position left and right on the kite? Is it to protect where the lines would naturally sit on the LE if not right in the stopper, or is there another fault?

The stoppers are correctly placed, just not the stick-on reinforcement on one side. As I said, it's hardly a deal breaker but these are the things that differentiate the good from the best.

Mike.


Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:06 am
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Zippy8 wrote:
jaydub wrote:
The LE cut outs look very similar to those on My Sin.

The cutout is but I'm pretty sure (or at least as sure as I can be from this distance) that mine has dacron LEs.

Just checked my Sin out. The LE is definitely ripstop, but with a much smaller square pattern than the sail. Perhaps they changed on later models.


Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:48 am
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jaydub wrote:
Just checked my Sin out. The LE is definitely ripstop, but with a much smaller square pattern than the sail.

All I have to go on from here is:-
a) memory
b) very large close up picture

I still say mine's dacron :P

Mike.


Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:09 am
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Well yours definately is.


Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:29 am
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Mike's is the early cheap and nasty version that used dacron, they've been using ripstop for a while now, the ripstop ones fly better as well :wink:


Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:19 pm
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Zippy8 wrote:
b) very large close up picture


OOhh! Kevlar reinforced carbon LE, haven't seen that since the Darma you sold to Vee

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Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:55 pm
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Craig wrote:
Mike's is the early cheap and nasty version that used dacron....

Well I'll not be going back to that shop then.:P

Mike.


Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:31 am
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Zippy8 wrote:
Craig wrote:
Mike's is the early cheap and nasty version that used dacron....

Well I'll not be going back to that shop then.:P

Mike.

Well I do have a spare sail (only slightly mauled and somewhat hastily CA'd) if you wanted to test out the turbocharged ripstop LE version . :lol:


Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:24 am
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Zippy8 wrote:
...given that it sports Aerostuff Gold S lower spreaders, seems an odd match up. A super light sail and build combined with a hard-as-nails frame - curious.

Zippy8 wrote:
...Now these LE cutouts look a bit suspect to me on an SUL like the Ghost. On a standard weight kite intended to be hammered about madly... they look misguided.

Zippy8 wrote:
...And while it's an exceptionally trivial point, for a kite commanding a £260 price tag I don't expect to see any building faults like a misapplied stick on reinforcement beneath a yoyo stopper.

Zippy8 wrote:
...Considerably less trivial is the sail tension. The sail is drum tight everywhere but at the inner standoffs the sail practically screams. I really don't like the look of these in terms of longevity. I've taken a close look and, frankly, the sail looks stretched already with the inboard straight seams looking distorted even when the kite is disassembled. It's been a long time since I've worried about putting a kite together and taking it apart (probably the Prism Illusion was the last) but this concerns me.

Zippy8 wrote:
...As delivered it had heroic oversteer, bordering on the design fault. I've ended up with the bridle set as wide as it can go and it'll still spin within its own wingspan. This is a trick kite; so trick it and stop faffing about with "figures".

Zippy8 wrote:
...but ownership might come with a heartache or two.


Bloody hell, first you showed praise for a Prism Kite (the Zephyr), now you're being critical of a Kitehouse kite :shock:
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Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:30 am
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