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Author Topic: 2011 Zephyr  (Read 4734 times)
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Ca Ike
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« on: April 07, 2011, 08:26 PM »

I just took delivery of a new 2011 Venom Zephyr and of course I had to take it out and assemble it right away.  I was surprised to find that not only the color schemes have been changed but there have been some subtle changes to the sail as well.  Here's my review so far.


Zephyr's by Ca Ike, on Flickr
Frame:
There have been no changes to the frame that I can tell. It still has P100 leading edges, 5mm pultruded upper spreader, 3pt lower spreaders and .110 solid carbon stand offs.

Sail:
The first change I noticed in the sail construction is the leading edge.  Gone is the soft dacron material in favor of a more robust rip stop material akin to heavy duty 1.5-2.0 ounce back pack nylon.  This should eliminate the issues some have had where the LE material creased and wore out from folding at the LE ferule and be easier to clean as well.

The second change is the Trailing edge tunnel.  This has been upgraded from the single fold, light weight, ripstop polyester material to a what appears to be a 3/4 ounce double fold rip stop polyester or nylon.  NOt only is it a bit thicker material, but the cut edge is no longer exposed. Having the cut edges folded in before sewing will eliminate the fraying common on the older models and the thicker material should stop the leech line blow outs as well.  This was probably the biggest complaint with the zephyr.

The tail, center T and standoff reinforcement patches have also been changed to a bit stiffer material.  On my old Zephyr the stand off reinforcement patches softened up a lot causing a bit of a bubble at the fittings.  This new material should keep the edge at the stand off fittings smoother.  The stand off fittings have also been changed from the capped type to the low profile screw type fittings and although I never heard of any line snag issues with the old fittings, this is still a nice change and makes for a cleaner looking edge.


Photo0163 by Ca Ike, on Flickr

The last change is in the bridle.  Measurements are pretty much identical to the old model but color coded leaders were added for what I assume is just ease of flying line matching for the novice pilots.

Photo0157 by Ca Ike, on Flickr


The bag:
THe new sleeve I have to say was a bit more than expected.  I assumed it would be similar to the E3 bag and in some ways it is. THey are both expandable to hold the kite with LE's assenbled but the zephyr sleeve is big enough to comfortably fit two kites either folded or extended

2011 Zephyr Case by Ca Ike, on Flickr

2011 Zephyr case(folded) by Ca Ike, on Flickr

I didn't notice any sail geometry changes but this was a well designed kite to begin with and I don't expect any change in flight characteristics.  THe changes that were made were much needed improvements to the durability in key areas of the sail.  I've seen these changes suggested many times and its nice to know that Prism still listens to the concerns and wants of its flyer base.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 08:57 PM by Ca Ike » Logged
Alfredo
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2011, 08:33 PM »

Thanks for your review and the pictures. I found it very informative and helpful. Out of the new colors, I think I like the "Orca" scheme the best. although the "Venom" looks tempting as well. Tongue
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Ca Ike
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2011, 09:07 PM »

I just figured the venom goes along with my citrus so it was a good choice Tongue  Now if the 25+ winds and rain would stop so fly it...... Angry  Now on to the task of turning my old Zeph into a vent Tongue
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JimB
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2011, 09:12 PM »

Good to know. Thanks for the info on the updated sail re-enforcements.
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Alfredo
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2011, 05:13 AM »

I just figured the venom goes along with my citrus so it was a good choice Tongue  Now if the 25+ winds and rain would stop so fly it...... Angry  Now on to the task of turning my old Zeph into a vent Tongue
If you turn your Z into a Vent, PLEASE post pictures... Huh A lot of Prism fans would love to see that. Smiley
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Hadge
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2011, 08:42 AM »

  Now on to the task of turning my old Zeph into a vent Tongue


If you do, remember you may need to upgrade the leading edges with something a bit stronger.  Looking at the main picture you might be able to replace one of the centre panels with mesh and then fit detatchable covers to make a variable vent!....though it's probably easier just to make holes like I did with the HQ Jive.


Vented Jive



Variable Mid Vented Soul (covers removed)
« Last Edit: April 08, 2011, 08:45 AM by Hadge » Logged

Age and cunning will always overcome youth and skill!

In the bag - HQ Shadow, Prism 4D, Flying Wings Soul Mid Vent, HQ Jive (1), Spiderkites Zodarion, 'Paw' modded HQ Maestro ll, HQ Delta Hawk.
Ca Ike
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2011, 10:30 AM »

Yea I'm looking at doing a mid vent type mod in either the center yellow panel or the grey panel coming from the tail making it similar to the Qpro venting.  Also a frame upgrade would be done as well to strengthen the LE's and LS.

I should note that my old model Z is an early run and some of these changes such as the TE tunnel might have been done  on later run old style Z's.
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Hadge
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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2011, 12:35 PM »

The yellow centre panels would probably be best. I didn't do the mid vent on the Soul but I did put the removeable covers on. I've use 1/4" strip of stick on velcro (fluffy side) stuck to the edge of the vent and made a nylon panel the same size as the removed section with the hook side of the velcro on the edge. This has only be a partly successful as there isn't enough sticky section to hold well and sometimes the velcro peels off when you take the covers off. If you do this from scratch you would be better using sew on velcro stitched on with the mesh.
Apart from that it works well.  With the covers on it flies more or less like the standard Soul. When the wind starts to get up remove the covers to gain about 3mph on the standard kite trickable upper limit. It has made it a very useful all round kite with a wide wind range. As always you cannot guarantee the final result so proceed at your own risk.

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Age and cunning will always overcome youth and skill!

In the bag - HQ Shadow, Prism 4D, Flying Wings Soul Mid Vent, HQ Jive (1), Spiderkites Zodarion, 'Paw' modded HQ Maestro ll, HQ Delta Hawk.
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