SKD Kymo Standard review by Lars

44827960_2326336017395658_5497388685240303616_nSince Karel Oh and I fly together on a regular basis we discussed our likes and dislikes in kites quite a few times . I don’t like to work hard: big inputs, hard pull, tons of slack for yoyo’s. A kite needs to have ‘flow’ in my opinion.

Karel received a big box with kites from Gabor Nagy (Mugen Kites) that also included a Kymo by Swedish boutique kitemaker Jörgen from SkySportDesign (SKD). The name Kymo was derived from the Swedish word kymig (kymigt) which translates into something like “weird” or “mean”. Gabor was involved with testing and tuning the kite for SKD. Adrian Bickerstaffe did some final version testing as well. Karel made a video with the Kymo and he thought it would be a good idea that I would try it and write a review.

Specifications:

Wingspan: 218.5 cm
Height: 97 cm
Weight: 260 grams
Tailweight: 21 grams

Framing:

Upper spreader: 5mm carbon
Lower spreader: Skyshark 5PT Black Diamond
Spine: Skyshark P300
Upper LE: Skyshark P200
Lower LE: Skyshark 5PT

Build Quality

Looking at the Kymo up close it looks really well built. As expected it’s build with all the good stuff (APA connectors, Skyshark rods, Icarex PC31, dacron, and polyester webbing for the nose). The first thing that I noticed are the sailgrabbers. At the back of the trailing edge there are some shiny aluminium caps with hexagon screws to keep the (single) standoffs in place.

The Kymo is fitted with a reverse turbo bridle which is adjustable with a pigtail at the turbo leg/towpoint. I never adjusted this and just flew it stock. The lower legs are positioned very low on the lower leading edge, far below the lower spreader APA. The same goes for the inner leg which sits a few centimeters below the center cross.

The cutouts in the leading edge for the connectors are rounded off to prevent tearing and grommet style yoyo stoppers on the leading edge. The centre cross is made by R-Sky, the centre cross reinforcement  has dacron on the front and back of the sail for extra strength. Even the fatter big upper spreader patch has an extra piece of dacron at the back. The panels of the asymmetric sail design (original design by Adrian Bickerstaffe) are taped before they get their 3 step zigzag stitch.

A polyester webbing is used for the nose with a double layer down the centre. The spine seam has an extra allowance and is stitched with a straight stitch on the left and right side of the seam and mylar at the back. The bridle line is pretty thick but feels smooth and durable. A turbo bridle is used on the Kymo and the lower leg is fitted well below the lower spreader APA.

Tricks and general feeling

I usually like to fly SUL and UL kites that are on the edge of being overpowered in light to moderate winds. The Kymo is not really like that. It’s a bit heavy because of the beefy frame but is doesn’t feel like flying a brick. It needs small inputs and there’s not a lot of feedback in lighter winds. Tracking and carving isn’t something the Kymo is build for but it’s not the worst kite in that department. For it’s size it is relatively slow in flight. Now the fun part, tricks…

Starting with the basics like stalls and axel’s. It might not be fair to judge a radical freestyle kite on single tricks but I think it’s necessary.  For a stall you need some feedback, the Kymo stalls easily but they are difficult to hold for a long time, from the stall a full axel is very easy and a double axel even easier. All axel style tricks go pretty fast and need good slack management to prevent over rotating. In light winds (<12km/h) comete’s need a very light touch with zero slack from the opposite hand or you will lose it. 2 point landings and tipstabs are pretty hard on the kymo: it’s all in the slack management. If you give it to much space it will over rotate or backflip.

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One of my favorite tricks from the early days is the side slide. As expected the Kymo doesn’t give a lot of feedback so slides are harder to hold for a longer distance. The backflip is right at the sweetspot, you can lock it in with some delicate inputs but there is no backflip dead spot to be found. Lifters are there. Fractured axel to fade needs quick hands and if you drop the nose a little during the fade you will get punished immediately.

The flat spinning tricks like 540, slotmachine and tazmachine are big fun on the Kymo. They go fast but with ease, even when the wind starts to pick up a bit. Speaking of the wind, I liked the Kymo best with the wind speed around 15 – 20 km/h. There isn’t much pull and if you want to go mental with freestyle combinations this kite will handle it well. The speed of the comete is crazy fast if you can keep up. Radical freestyle is where the Kymo excels. Endless combinations. It doesn’t need pin point accuracy to get it rolling, flipping, wrapping or spinning from one trick to the other. My brain was having trouble to catch up with it sometimes. Crazycopter to wapdoowap cascade, roll up to slotmachine to multilazy: the Kymo can do it all. Even in 25 km/h wind you can keep going creatively; taz, rolling, fractured taz, wapdoowap… all in the power zone!

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Conclusion

SDK designed and built a fun and radical fast tricking freestyle kite that likes to be spanked around in moderate to strong winds. In light wind slack management is key. Since I have built a few kites myself I pay more attention to the construction and stitching of a kite. The Kymo is built like a tank with an eye for the small details, every stitch is spot on. Not your best choice when you are a rookie pilot but more experienced pilots can go as radical and get as creative as they like.

-Lars

 

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