Part 2 of the Insync review:
Winds: Bumpy 8-12 mph
Humidity: Not bad
Altitude: The same as last time (what a shock)
Lineset: 100' x 150#
I flew the Insync this evening in higher winds. I'm just going to present the additional information.
The kite still makes wider turns than I like, maybe a 10 foot turning radius with a big pull. My corners looked pretty bad for precision. I flew a few other kites after and my corners looked much better. Maybe with practice I could get use to how this kite flys. Pull was relatively light as I still had the bridle set up from stock about 1". I tend to fly my kites very light.
The kite is noisy with a very low frequency flapping noise, but at a higher frequency sound (if that makes sense). It's like if you put your lips loosely on grandmas arm and blew hard(yes, it's a gross sound). The vibration actually transmitted into the straps and my hands. It was annoying. This was with the leech line tensioned a few inches. I don't know if tensioning it more would help, but then you would lose the speed control.
I did my normal tricks, although I had trouble getting the cascades to rotate as much as I would like (150° instead of 190°). I did get a couple of double axels. Yoyos are fairly easy. I couldn't get the kite to hold a fade in the bumpy winds--so much for the weird nose thingey. In addition, the nose being concave made cartwheels harder to start because the nose didn't want to catch on the grass as I backed up. Couldn't get a Taz Machine.
One very interesting trick difference: Slot Machine
I've never had this happen before. But on a slot machine, the Insync would rise 2 to 4 feet.
Every time. It looked really good and was very repeatable.
The kite tricks very well and can probably do all the advanced stuff I can't do (comete, Crazy Copter, etc), but I thought flying it was a chore without reward, whereas flying an NSR is a chore with a reward (for comparison).
So here is my Bell Curve from favorite to worst.
AcrobatX UL (special mention)
Silver Fox 2.3 (any of them)
Silver Fox 2.5 (any of them)
AcrobatX standard (the Brick™)
The original review appears below the line below.
Winds: Bumpy 3 to 6 mph
Humidity: Very High
Elevation: 2300 feet
Lines: 75' x 100#
Just for comparison, I flew my Opium easily in these winds after I flew the Insync. Granted the Opium costs a lot more. I added adjustment knots to the upper bridle leg and raised the tow point both 1 and 2 inches at different times to help the kite in this lower wind. The brochure says the wind range is 3-18 mph. Personally, I'd say 6 mph is a more realistic lower limit.
BUILD: Fairly nice build overall. The yoyo stoppers and a few of the spars are plugged for added strength. The bridle can be set to 3-point or short turbo. There are 3 sail standoff connectors to allow for the "precision" or "trick" standoffs which shape the sail differently. Theoretically, it looks like you could get about 60 different sail shapes by mixing and matching the connectors/standoffs. There is an adjustable leech line and tail weight. There is also a dihedral SLK piece on the top end of the spine which produces a kink along the leading edge at and near the nose. I was told it's supposed to help in a fade.
LOOKS: I like the bold graphics which come available in several colors. For some reason, I was reminded of the Killer Bee Drone by Ken McNeill. Probably those 2 panels up at the nose.
TURNING RADIUS: With the bridle set to "precision" and the longer standoffs in place, the kite had an estimated 30 foot turning radius. Granted the winds were low, but the radius was huge. In "trick" turbo bridle mode and the shorter standoffs, the turning radius improved to a horrible 25 foot turn.
DIHEDRAL NOSE THINGY: In the 3-6 mph warm, wet, winds, I couldn't get the kite to stay up in a fade position, so can't comment on the nose shape helping in a fade.
TRICKS: The kite pitched fairly easily and yoyos were there for the taking. Axels were fairly typical for a weighted kite. Cascades felt a bit awkward but looked fine. Backspins, 540s, JL type moves all were doable but still felt awkward. I was using my own lineset, not the included one.
PRECISION: The kite was fairly precise as far as flying a straight line, but turns were a burden and looked bad with that huge turning radius handicap.
STANDOFF POSITION: I would relabel the "precision" standoffs as "slightly less tricky".
I've seen the video of this kite and it sure looks competent. Certainly the pilot is much more accomplished than myself. So they either had better wind conditions (cooler, drier, lower altitude, higher speed) or maybe the bridle was set differently. I'm going to increase the turbo leg, which should move the tow point in and hopefully improve the turning radius and give the kite another go when the wind gods smile on me.
The Opium in comparison was flying and tricking easily and snapping corners at a good pace in the same wind. Of course, it's original sales price was triple and then some compared to the Insync.
So if you liked the AcrobatX but wished it had more adjustability and a much worse turning radius in low wind, this is your kite. If you like Bell Chiu's designs, save your money a little longer and buy the Soul, my favorite kite of his so far.