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Goff/Benson SuperFly

Wed May 22, 2013 10:45 pm

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It's been around for possibly more than 18 months now, but this year has seen manufacture handed to Tim to get this kite out to the world. Nobody else has said anything so I thought I might.

Construction and Design
This kite is designed by Chris Goff and put together by Tim Benson. I'll not go on about it being a remarkable, laser-beam-clean kite, because the piccies on Tim's website speak for themselves. I'll mention that - despite the hard-core trailing-edge reinforcement - single-stand off kites will always provide a point-contact with the ground that inevitably wears. I like to keep vulnerable bits covered up: a little fabric-tape over the peaks on the back of the sail, and replace them as they wear. This might not be your style - it'll last well even if tape is heresy.

I think it is worth mentioning the spirit behind the SF. Chris's kites have always been minimal and elegant, which maybe refocusses the importance of the flyer, and that satisfying/complex/tricky flight is in the hands of the pilot. The panel layout of course tips a hat to an earlier generation, including classics like the Phantom, North-Shore Radical and Midi-Sandpiper. As many will know, Chris is paying homage not only to those designs but also the memories of kiting. Those memories are saluted and cherished in the SuperFly.

Flight
It's light on the lines, and it's sensitive to the wind. The feedback it gives you about the wind is extremely detailed: ie, if you are flying in shitty wind, it will go on and on and on about it. In the rare moment you might decide to fly it in too much wind, wah-pads are actually quite effective at giving a little smoothness, though speed and pull remain unchanged. I rarely fly in on-shore beach breezes, but I can imagine the SF is qualified to tell you "this is what smooth wind feels like". It turns and stalls like a Benson tricking kite: tightly and abruptly, with oversteer that can be dealt with. It is light, so goes low, you can have plenty of fun in 4mph on short lines.

The wide aspect ratio and wide bridle points make the SF a very agile kite, responsive to small inputs. Full axels are back, and flatspins from all sorts of angles make tricking fresh yet floaty. Best of all are the taz machines. The SF just hurls itself into them, keeping horizontal momentum and making the move - which can look laboured on many kites - very dynamic. An aim was for deep deep turtles, and it does so: all sorts of wrapped cyniques and multilazies are open to play with. This heavy turtle comes at a cost though, making snappy landings demand a perfect touch, or you end up floating in a turtle six inches above the ground instead (or at least, if there is a knack to not doing this, I don't know what it is yet (and nope, I never got to grips with aggressively landing the Cosmic with any consistency either...). Another thing about the deep turtle is the way that the kite grips the wind in this position - rising multilazies and the "Goff" (rising turtle - PAW has some good videos of this trick) can be done. However, until you are used to it, this can make the SF a little frightening if you catch a turtle wrong, especially in unpredictable wind since it has a habit of reversing powerfully at the ground at spar-breaking angles.

Is it easy to fly? My opinion is that it is, yes. I'm still on the learning curve but many tricks that might normally be fairly straight-forward require care. Multi-slots comes to mind, as do the sharp landings. It is a kite that likes to be left alone when spinning - if you are used to kites that respond best to slight line tension during tricks (ie bigger kites) you're going to have to remember to not touch the SF while lazying/backspinning etc. Put micro-tension on the lines, and the trick is often lost. Maybe this is just a bad habit of mine. Anyway, is it fun? Yes, definitely! It's all about combos and abrupt-yet-flowing tricks, as you might have guessed considering Chris designed it. It just forces precision and agility (with hands and feet, as ever) or the tricks look messy. But when they are clean, they are very very clean, and repeatable. This kite has demoted me from "sometimes really quite up there" (not my words) to "skilled amateur" - which I'm all up for. Chris and Tim say it's a "door opener", and I think they might be right - I wasn't doing double-ladders (1.5 of each JL rung), copter-backspins or taz-cascades with any kind of confidence before I flew the SuperFly. As Chris's new video shows (May '13), there are some never-seen-before shapes that this kite can throw (admittedly, in Chris's hands). That is about all I want to say about the tricks, everything I haven't mentioned is a given. Some might find its fade a little hard to hold, but I'm not sure that matters much - this kite is all about transitions not positions.

So, it's a kite that certainly rewards if you have the timing and agility to lay down some technical tricks. But, glancing at Chris's design record, I'd also say this is his first accessible kite. The Fury .85 (with Carl Robertshaw/KRD) had an attitude problem when it came to fractured-axels, couldn't lazy nicely and was too heavy. The Element is probably best-described as a curious retro-fusion experiment. The SuperFly however is not some jazzed out record you only "get" once you've played it a million times. It is on Tim's catalogue, where a kite really has to speak universal "kite-ish", not just "Goff-ish", to earn its place. It is a really good kite.

Thanks Chris and Tim.
-------------------------------------- Al --------------------------------------
 
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Re: Goff/Benson SuperFly

Thu May 23, 2013 1:06 am

Nice review.

Your explanation of its character reminds me of when the Psycho hit the shops. I saw some really great flying on that once people went through the new door
Kevin Sanders

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kareloh
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Re: Goff/Benson SuperFly

Thu May 23, 2013 7:13 am

Great review! Well written and a joy to read. For some strange reason there's no SF in Holland yet and i've only tested tested Chris' proto once. I've got a Magnet, which is different but fit's in the same category. If that wasn't in my bag i would certainly go for a Superfly, and it would be Teal like yours!
 
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Re: Goff/Benson SuperFly

Thu May 23, 2013 6:18 pm

Most excellent reviewage :thumbsup: but I still find myself not wanting one. Its apparent wind snobbiness wouldn't be much help over here, sadly, and I'd justvend up ticked off at a great kite.

Mike.
 
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Re: Goff/Benson SuperFly

Thu May 23, 2013 7:52 pm

Wonderful bite of kite-ish.

I am still chillin' on the xTS...but recently got a TNT.

It was Tim taking the Supa' into his stables that has me reeeeally wanting to give it a shot.

Thanks again!

obi
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"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." L daVinci
 
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Re: Goff/Benson SuperFly

Thu May 23, 2013 11:35 pm

Zippy8 wrote:
Most excellent reviewage :thumbsup: but I still find myself not wanting one. Its apparent wind snobbiness wouldn't be much help over here, sadly, and I'd justvend up ticked off at a great kite.

Mike.


I think, considering your Robertshaw collection, you owe it on yourself to fly this kite... and besides, it is the only spiritual successor you are going to find, but don't ask Tim to put a silly blue circle-y thing in the middle of it ;)
-------------------------------------- Al --------------------------------------
 
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Re: Goff/Benson SuperFly

Thu May 23, 2013 11:47 pm

ObijuanKenobe wrote:
I am still chillin' on the xTS...but recently got a TNT.


I've said it before - that xTS is fabulous, but just too demanding on wind conditions. I'm with you on the TNT, nice kite (even if the panel layout raises an eyebrow). Still, both the TNT and the SuperFly owe a modest debt to KiteHouse -the Cosmic TC nicely united turtle-y and comete-y tricks in one kite. But, the SF does it better (even when compared to the similar-sized CTC XS), and it can flicflac!!! Hooray!
-------------------------------------- Al --------------------------------------
 
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Re: Goff/Benson SuperFly

Fri May 24, 2013 6:08 am

I will agree with the Cosmic being a very important recent design for sure! I still have a custom std and the Ghost...because they are great kites! I am never sorry when I chose'em!

Now I am really wanting to try the SuperFly. I am not too scared of a deep turtle.

obi
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"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." L daVinci
 
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Re: Goff/Benson SuperFly

Fri May 24, 2013 6:25 am

Top review ... enjoyed reading that - thanks.

-Frazer
 
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Re: Goff/Benson SuperFly

Fri May 24, 2013 4:24 pm

Nice review , Thank you. =D> =D>

I've been flying my Goff SF a lot more these days since I'm testing a new bridle for it. I'm enjoying it now as it feels more controlled and predictable without losing any of its trick-abilities. I've been flying it in beach breeze so far and it's been good, need to test it in inland winds now.

If my current SF wears out, I'm sure I will get the Benson SF. :D
 
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Re: Goff/Benson SuperFly

Sat May 25, 2013 9:46 am

Nice review Al :D loving the SF more every time I fly it.
 
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Re: Goff/Benson SuperFly

Sat May 25, 2013 12:46 pm

Good on you for some honest feedback on what was becoming the uncommented on kite. Your description is pretty much spot on.

The SF is first deep turtle kite and the it's taken a bit of acclimatisation, but like Dave I'm loving it much more each time I fly it.

Two point landings haven't been much of an issue - just a quick wrist snap and not too much slack. Flapjacks are something else though (at least for me!). I've managed to do the odd nice one off a double rotation, but haven't mastered the single rotation one yet, other than to bounce the nose off the ground to get the tail down.

What I need is a bit more time when nice 5-8mph winds coincide with my free time. Both have been in short supply recently. :(
 
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Re: Goff/Benson SuperFly

Sat May 25, 2013 7:19 pm

Are all your SF on 3point bridle ?

Just asking. :-)

Ian. I
 
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Re: Goff/Benson SuperFly

Sat May 25, 2013 8:05 pm

@Ian Yes. Although I approve of tinkering if it is your thing, I'd be surprised if a bridle designed by such experienced flyers can be bettered. On the rare occasion I have tinkered I just end up back where I was to begin with, apart from I have wasted time making the kite worse for a few hours, and then worry that it isn't exactly how it was to begin with! I buy kites made by the best so I don't have to do that kind of stuff ;)

@jaydub - I'll keep at it for landings. For the FJ, try interrupting the backflip just as the kite is passing horizontal, rather than letting it fall into a deep turtle before the lazy-input.
-------------------------------------- Al --------------------------------------
 
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Re: Goff/Benson SuperFly

Sat May 25, 2013 11:51 pm

There is a reverse turbo :wink: