I received David Ruger’s Magnet proto in April of this year and flew it quite a lot in the weeks after. I liked it very much and asked David to build me a sail. I’ve had some nice sessions with my Magnet and decided it was time for a little review.
I thought it might be interesting to get some insights from David regarding the design goals and the development process for the kite:
- What type of kite is this ? Freestyle or competition oriented ? “The kite is definately freestyle-oriented. I wanted it small and tricky. With as much precision as possible though. “
- How many design iterations / prototypes did you go through ? “I built about 6 or 7 prototypes. First the all dark grey ones, then I came up with a sail design. When I thought it was done, I totally overworked it once again to make it how it flies today. I changed the graphic, the sail shape, the bridle and the frame.”
- What was the motivation for designing your own kite ? “It was something in between. First of all I wanted to explore ‘kite-science’. I was eager to find out how different shapes, bridles and frames influence the flight characteristics. But of course I wanted something special, too. Back when I started on christmas 2010, there were no SuperFly`s, Dynamites etc. Everyone wanted to fly bigger kites. I wanted to create something very aggressive without sacrificing too much precision.”
- What kites (if any) did you draw inspiration from ? “In the beginning, I studied different designs to get an idea of usual measurements and frame-options. There were many discussions with other kite-developers. But soon I found out that there are no certain rules and many things can be achieved in different ways so I just drew a sail-shape and started from scratch.”
- What wind range to you consider best for the Magnet ? “The kite flies well in very low wind conditions yet, it needs a really good feel for the line-tension. It’s got quite some momentum and you need to stop it every now and then. I consider 12-20 km/h as the best range. Personally I like higher winds, because you can really slap the kite into fast cometes, nice rolling-cascades and you can even taz it.”
First thing you’ll notice about the Magnet is the low aspect shape. This seems to be a trend in new kite designs. The spine is rather short and there’s a considerable amount of sail in the wings. The outer standoffs are longer compared to the inner standoffs, which gives the kite almost a single stand off shape (see back view). The nose is quite wide but pinches in when there’s no load in the in sail. The sail layout is simple but effective.
- Wingspan: 214 cm
- Heigth: 96 cm
- Lower Spreaders: Skyshark 5pt Black Diamond
- Upper Spreader: 5 mm Structil
- Leading Edge: Skyshark p200
- Standoffs: 3 mm Carbon
- Spine: Skyshark p200
- Tailweight: 18 grams
Sewing is very neatly done. All the required reinforcements are present. Instead of mylar, David uses dacron at the standoffs/back of sail. It shows trough the sailcloth and looks like a black panel. Maybe less nice when a light color is used. Dacron is probably stronger then mylar though.
The nose and rub patch are reinforced with bisonyl. Dacron was used at the center cross, both on the front and back of the kite. The spine is tensioned by a splitnock and cord instead of velcro, like Level One. The tail weight is glued in the splitnock and fits inside the spine. There are eyelets riveted in the tail and wingtips which is a nice detail. Instead of tensioning leech line at the wingtips i chose to use a piece of bungiecord at the center cross and attached the leech lines with a larkshead knot.
Kite has a nice ‘presence’ on the lines without pulling hard. Very precise in straight lines and corners and rather slow for it’s size. Small inputs are required. When the wind picks up there’s some more feedback yet the pull stays minimal. Bit noisy though, which i don’t mind at all. It’s at it’s best on lighter, longer lines. 35 meters is perfect.
Small inputs are also required for tricks. Half axels: short and soft input. Axels and double axels are very nice and all the way around. Axel to fade needs to be kept very short. I struggled with Slot Machines at first. A lot of wingwraps. Got them after a while and then multislots are there as well. 540’s easy but not too flat. Taz’s are great though. The first input to get it to flare is almost a slight tug. Second pop needs to be quick after that. Very controllable, nice! Also liked mutexes very much. Cometes need to be done carefully, but once you get the hang of it they look nice. Both ‘pointy’ and ‘rolling’.
The fade is quite stable and backspins (and backspin-cascades) are easy but need loads of slack to do them flat. Same goes for multilazies. A lot of slack on the non pulling hand. I like rolling suzans and inverses a lot. Nice and solid. Rolling cascades do not loose a lot of height which is nice as well. I only managed to do cynique’s with 2 rotations. Third seems to be harder for some reason. Insanes and Insane-left-right’s are nice. I learned to do rolling suzans from a lot of different positions with this kite. So much fun to combine with other rotations.
Yoyo’s are very fast. The frontflip is easy which makes CrazyCopters very doable. The back flip is deep without locking in but it does lift. Flicflac tend to over rotate but i managed to do some normal ones as well. Wap-do-waps are there.
The Magnet is a modern fast tricking kite with nice precision which feels a lot different compared to most kites in my bag. A lot of fun to fly and for some reason it allowed me to learn some new combo’s. If you’re looking for something different then this could be a excellent choice.