Photo by Kirby Pople
Mmmm… a new Talon, it’s been a while!
There are fans of what Jest of Eve does all over the world after the success of the Talon group of kites. Understandable, ‘cos they are sublime at the whirly, whizzy, wrappy stuff that makes freestyle kiting what it is.
OK, so this here is a new one. There’s already a STandarD weight version, an Ultra Light and a VenTeD to play with to cover most wind ranges. This new Super Ultra Light should let us carry on playing in the very calmest of conditions. There’s a whole load of really light kites around that will ‘fly’ in next to no wind, or even indoors with just a bit of footwork required to put some pressure on the sail and float around a bit. Some will even, with a bit of coaxing, spin and whirl and ‘freestyle’ generally. Sooo, let’s have a closer look at the SUL Talon and see what it can do.
Straight from the horse’s mouth:
“Normal sail panels, construction and stitching, normal nose and normal Dacron bit at the tail along with normal velcro part. The spine stitching protective Mylar has been replaced with white Icarex. The
trailing edge tapes are made from Icarex. The leading edges are also Icarex, but with normal UL-type wingtip construction (reinforcing plastic, dacron then ripstop tape all spliced onto the Icarex). Takes 2 hours to make a pair of them ! Joy.
The standoff reinforcement mylar has been greatly reduced. A small strip of ripstop tape where the standoffs are replaces the dacron. There are dacron squares inside the trailing edge to help with standoff hole beefing-up.
The leech line is also lightened (I question its relevance at all at these windspeeds), with a 5g velcro (removable) tail weight. After a lot of testing, the tail was deemed to be the best location for the weight. Yoyo stoppers replace the roll bars, and small cables ties are used.”
Leading Edge : P90 2-piece
Upper Spreader : 3mm carbon
Lower Spreader : 3PT
Standoffs : 2mm carbon
All ferrules : hollow
Fittings : T-APA small sockets
Bridle : 150lb flying line with normal bridle line tow points
OK, Mark makes an awesome kite. The construction is just about as good as it gets, the materials used and attention to detail is right up there, and the styling is sweet. There is always an option for custom colours throughout, which can lead to some ermmm… individual designs (just plain fugly in some instances;-) ) but for the most part, a Talon is a thing of beauty – this new model is no exception. Gorgeous.
Enough… let’s go play.
Really light wind flying has a style and technique of its own. Stuff doesn’t happen in a blinding flash of whirling icarex. By its nature, there is a slow and controlled grace to enjoy, and by the nature of the materials used to make the kites, smooth and patient inputs are required. The application of violence and aggression doesn’t work.
The Talon SUL has a really pleasing presence on the lines, there’s the most gentle of pull with a bit of wind, whilst the slightest of movement forward stalls the kite and allows some moves. Axels are slow and flat, 540’s and slots are tight and smooth with very little loss of height, and Taz’s are to die for. The fade is stable and solid and backspins are pretty flat with plenty of slack thrown – there’s a learning curve here though, ‘cos they’re a bit different in initiation to the other Talons in the series. The turtle is different too, it’s much deeper and more set than other talons, giving away some sweet lazies, multies and slow, clean cyniques. One more big difference comes in the form of the pitch. There are 1 pop yo-yo’s to get with a touch and release, and 2 pop wraps there from the turtle, but it’s not such a give away as the other Talons. This is more than made up for with the sweet spin moves though, so never a biggy.
OK, light wind flying is my favourite, and damn but this thing works. Slow, smooth and capable – nowt missing particularly and continued flow in calm conditions. I’m off with the faeries somewhere for a while. 😉 Sweet.
More details here: http://www.jestofevekites.com/talon_sul.htm