R-Sky “Krystal FX” Retrospective

So I took a break from my usual Cosmic TC flying and tried something a little different for this past trip to the beach, and first out of the bag was the Krystal FX, KFX, from R-Sky kites of France.

Design

The KFX maybe a few years old now but I’m here to tell you this kite is not in anyway dated when it comes to its style and performance. I think R-Sky consistently deliver the best looking sail layouts and this maybe as good as any they’ve done. There is just enough color to offset the monochrome, a classic. With its taller sail and reduced aspect ratio this is a kite which looks very different in the air from most modern designs, but you soon forget all about the shape …

Framing

This one is framed with 6mm leading edges and SkyShark P200 lower spreaders. R-Sky also offer version framed in Icone, which’d no doubt be stiffer. The standard version does feel a tad under-framed at times. I noticed wind tip shudder and could hear a slap! sound as the frame would snap back into shape during trick transitions in 8/10mph. This could well be due to my rough/sloppy inputs, but in those same conditions I was flying a similarly framed design with SkyShark Nitro lower spreaders and it felt (and sounded) noticeably stiffer/crisper. Not exactly a textbook scientific comparison I grant you given the other kite was a completely different shape/aspect ratio and all. Having spoken to a couple of fellas I think a beefier set of lower spreaders is all that’d be required to stiffen the frame up. Maybe I’ll try that next time I head to the beach. Here inland with the lighter winds the standard frame is more that sufficient.

Wind Range

Over the course of the weekend the KFX proved to have a very useful wind range. The winds at Wrightsville often follow this pattern, slight/low early in the morning and increasing throughout the day ending up at pretty honking by mid afternoon. So normally I’d be changing kites a couple of times to cope, comfortably, with the increasing wind/pull. However, I found that I was able to fly the KFX from 3/4 mph up through 13/14mph without excessive speed or pull by adjusting the bridle at the upper leading edge tow points.

Tricks

Within a couple of minutes of flying this kite you’ll recognize just what a trick monster you have at the end of the lines. I’ve read an awful lot of hyperbole over the years and about kites giving away tricks and the like, but I can say without any exaggeration this kite makes you look good and a lot of tricks are just stoopid easy. Its not just that the tricks are so readily available but that they look good. Cascades are nice and full, 9 o’clock, 3 o’clock. Insanes tumble down in nice tight rolls and are so cleanly exited, slot machines and 540′s can be fizzed around Gemini style or slow and floaty. Backspins, barrel rolls and backspin cascades no problem, in fact I even tried my luck at Duplex’s .. more practice required for those though. The turtle is not deep by modern standards but Jacob’s ladders and multi-lazies are no trouble and the only thing that gave me any issue (in my limited trick repetoire) was yo-yo based moves. It not as quick to rollup as must regular kites and so I had to make some adjustments but that stuff is all good too.

But enough of this, watch the master himself, Richard Debray, and see what I mean. Have you ever seen cooler looking Taz Machines ?

Construction

So its all good then ? Well, the finish can only be described as French. Rough cut outs, fraying materials, loose threads, end caps falling off these are issues I’ve had with several French kites now and from different makers. Okay so this kite is not new, then again its not had a hard life either. I can tidy these odds but for this sort of money should this really be necessary ? For the same 300 euros you could have Deep Space or Cosmic which are finished with more care and will age better as a result.

Conclusion

Don’t let the construction niggles put you off what is an outstanding design. I can’t see how anyone would be disappointed with a KFX with its well balanced tricking and precision performance you could easily compete with this design. I hear great things about the LW (UL) and WW (SUL) versions too and I look forward to the day I can give those a whirl :biggrin_wp:

-Frazer