Viper Sport Kites “Tantrum” Review

I’ve sort of being chasing one of these since I saw the Liberty Park video (with the sound off of course) and finally snagged one recently. This is off the back of only a few flights and mostly at the lower end of the wind range.

Firstly it is damn well built. Nice stitch work, some clever touches (plug in end nocks for reduced snags), SkyShark frameset (P200s and 5PTs), covered LEs – nothing to complain about, plenty to admire.


I’m a little bit confused about exactly what this kite is meant to be. Shawn Tinkham is an experienced competitor and, according to the “manual” that comes with the kite “the Tantrum was designed with the competitor in mind” but on the website “this is the one for just having fun” and “was designed, primarily, as a trick kite.” Soooo……

Anyhow….. in flight it does seem to cover both being a serious Competition-type kite and a technical Freestyle kite quite well. It’s not exactly a chuck-about-the-sky trickster though and cuts a nice Precision figure, if that’s your (retro) bag.

Overall dimensions are very similar to the Fury .85 (just to give you an idea) albeit with a pair of standoffs per side and seemingly carrying a bit more sail around the TE. One slight oddity in the kite is the mildly pinched nose – the LEs finish a bit before the spine so it looks a bit different but nothing major.

It comes with an adjustable weight set and I’ve found that this kite seems to be designed around the weights. With none in place it’s a bit bland and Yoyo-unfriendly. Basically you tweak the kite with the weight set (it runs from 5g to 55g ). Without weights the kite Backflips fast but describes a large loop that simply means it’s difficult to apply enough slack fast enough to get it to wrap up reliably (without overdoing the slack and missing the stoppers). Adding weight doesn’t really make it travel any faster in the wrap, just move in a tighter circle and so make the job easier. In the end I run as little weight as I can whilst maintaining a straightforward wrap-up.

There is a bit of a mismatch in inputs from tight to slack line. The Tantrum needs a fair bit of arm to steer it about the sky but tricks with a moderate flick. This makes it a bit tricky to integrate truly Full Spectrum Flying� smoothly. A bit of concentration helps though. It’s not a huge difference, just that there is some.

What do I really like ? I really like that I can put it into a steady Fade, hold it there, hold it some more, bit more….. bit more….. and then flick it immediately away into a Backspin. I’ve flown more than a few kites that make this a chore but this isn’t one of them.

I also really like its overall competence. It just does things. Lots of them. It’s a little eager to rotate (Susan or Backspin) but it hasn’t done anythng strange yet or demanded that I learn a new way to perform a trick.

Dislikes ? Nothing deal-breaking. The Yoyo-stoppers occasionally snag the bridle. You really do have to be prepared to setup the weight to make it work for you (I tried some other people’s setups and didn’t enjoy them so much).

Whether or not this kite offers me much I don’t have from other kites in my bag…. not sure about. It’s another really well rounded, nicely done kite. There’s quite a few of those around at the moment.


nylon sail seems to mean that the Tantrum isn’t very responsive right at the bottom end of its wind range. When it is just flying it’s very mushy and feels like it’s flying in syrup. Once on the move properly the sail material does seem to slow the kite. It feels a bit slower (it all respects) than its size/mass would indicate it ought to be but it’s still quite a speedy kite, trick-wise.

Precision is right there once you get used to biggish arm movements. It really sticks to a straight line nicely. It’d make a good Indi. Comp. kite I reckon.

Variable winds mean problems. The weight setup is very influential on how well the kite works. There is a right weight for a given wind it seems. If the wind is all over the place, the kite is only sometimes set up correcly and it gets a bit hit-and-miss. It’s not disastrous but it I just couldn’t get it to gel when other kites weren’t as badly affected.

It can settle comfortably into a Turtle and not be keen to come out easily. Usually you can just deepen it and rotate Susanly but you don’t always want to do that. Tough luck.

Still liking it plenty. Not without the occasional hiccup (uncovered sail/standoff fittings and some bridle/tail snags) but clearly well thought out and executed. It’s nothing earth-shattering or genre-defining but still of a very high standard.

Originally posted on Fractured Axel.