Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

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Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby Timothy Grossnickle » May 20th, 2013, 4:34 am

When the Rasta Colored kite arrived from Traig I knew wouldn't use it in Florida until next winter. Bought it mainly for a trip to the cold water and big swells with nephew Josh and am so glad I did. Waddell Creek feeds down into the cold windy Pacific 20 miles North of Santa Cruz and 80 miles south of San Francisco. Over the eons of time the creek has dug a canyon that runs for miles back into the dry hot hot sun drenched hills. Ths canyon a mecca for hikers and mountain bikers creates a natural wind tunnel not unlike famous Columbia River Gorge in Oregon in the NW USA. In the spring the 50 degree water cools the air on the prevailing NW breeze that gets sucked up the canyon. While the wind blows all summer the colder the water as in the spring creates the best wind. Many pro surfers come up to kite from Santa Cruz in the big winds and rollers on strapless surfboards. For me it surpasses the North Shore of Maui, the Gorge in Oregon, the Keys in Florida, Hatteras and the Texas Bend....legendary USA kiting spots all....

Last Friday my nephew and i drove down from San Frn wondering at the flat Pacific all the way down with nary a white cap in sight....till we came over the bluff and saw the waist high swells and wind driven sea at Waddell. Wanting to have plenty of power to get through the heavy shore break I rigged the Ch2 15 in winds in the low 20's only to have have the wind ramp up to 25/30. This left me riding carefully with the depower strap halfway in. Wishing I had rigge the new Ch2 12, I didn't want to make the longish walk back to the car, but none the less enjoyed a great session.

Today arrived at Waddell with a shoulder to head high swell, a tough shore break with the wind already blowing 26/30.....just the conditions I'd bought the Ch2 12 for. These conditions I would have normally rolled out my good ole modded V1 13.....my old favorite kite, but no more. The Ch2 12 has replaced the V1 13 as my new favorite. The Ch2 12 significantly faster than the V1 1 13 with in my estimation more grunt and pop. The Ch2 12 also considerably faster than its big brother the Ch2 15. Here I have to say I found the drop from the Ch2 15 to Ch2 10 too wide for me. Have used he Ch2 10 in winds gusting over 30 and it worked at the same time thinking it better to hold the Ch2 12 up to low 30 gusts, but have it also pull through the holes in a way that the Ch2 10 might not do. For me the few times a year the winds blow consistently 35 plus then I would use the Ch2 10. Writing this I realize riders weighing less than my 91 kg would use smaller kies. The same for riders on surfboards versus me on a TT using a seat harness.

In sum, am excited about the Ch2 12. Over seven or eight years of hard use the V1 13 skin has worn to the consistency of tissue paper and the zippers have begun to stick with some regularity. While I've splurged this you year on three new Ch2's, I feel its money well spent. The fly better than the best Arc's of old and with luck they will show the longevity of the venerable V1 13 which still flies fine...

Regards,
Tim
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby Timothy Grossnickle » May 20th, 2013, 9:32 am

My apologies for the double posting of message. Don't know how that happened. Perhaps the administrator can delete one...
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby kostas carter » May 21st, 2013, 9:27 pm

Hi Timothy,
I am new in arcs, coming from FS, always like the foils and their simplicity. Last summer having problems with a FS 8m, I decided and ordered a C2 6.5 for the days over 30knots.
By reading your posts as well as other also, I see that you deal with the C2 12 and even some others with the C2 15, in very strong winds, far more than the official PL site. How this can happen? When C2 12 is given up to 22-23 knots, how do you deal with early 30s? Do you mean miles? And if knots, then what is the rage of 10, 8 and 6.5m of C2?
It is really amazing...

Thanks and regards,
Kostas
Charger2 15, 10, 6.5
Elf Joker D8 11.3 Joker6 11, Joker5 15, 6.5, Joker4 8
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby Flyboy » May 21st, 2013, 11:47 pm

Hi Kostas,
I'm not an Arc expert, but I use an 8 meter vortex and 8 meter Synergy in super high wind. I never really measure wind speed, but I've never felt overpowered on them. Ive felt "powered up" but not overpowered. I also ride flysurfer's like you, but I have been over powered on my 8 meter Pulse 2. So when it's going off, I feel much more comfortable on the arcs. It's kinda funny with the arcs, they slowly get overpowered. It's hard to "find" the top end on them cause they handle so much wide wind speeds. I weigh 68 kg for reference.
I'll be very interested in your experience on your 6.5 as I've been thinking about getting a 6 meter arc also.
Thanks
Jim
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby Timothy Grossnickle » May 22nd, 2013, 3:10 am

Hi Kostas,

My wind measurements all in miles per hour. So you would have to reduce my wind measurements in post by dividing my MPH's by 1.15. Think some of the differences you mention between PLK ranges and my post relate to the difference between MPH and Knots. On Sunday when the wind meter was reading 26/28 MPH average and gusts to 33 MPH This equates to 23.5 Knots average and 29 Knots in gusts. Like you I read the PLK recommended max wind speed for Ch2 12 as 22.5 Knots.....not far from the average wind speed in knots I was riding in last Sunday. Therefore I would say the PLK wind speeds in Knots not far from reality assuming the represent average speeds which I think they do.

While I was riding at the high end of PLK's Ch2 windspeed range I'm sure you'll agree that body weight, board and harness type make a huge difference in relative kite size for riders. I'm heavy (205 lbs/92 kg) using a TT board and seat harness. This allows me to generally hold a bigger kite than lighter riders on more efficient surfboards wearing waist harnesses.

In sum, even though until your post I have never referred to the wind speed chart in Knots on the PLK web site, their chart at least for the Ch2 12 appears reasonably accurate..

Regards,
Tim
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby tungsten » August 28th, 2013, 9:12 am

Finally I got my sticky fingers on a CH2 12. Thank you Steinar for sending me one down for testing, all the way from Norway.

Since 2005 I've flown everything from Bomba to V to VII to SYN to CH1, and a number of 9-10m LEIs of all kinds I borrowed on the beach, with around 100 sessions per year, so this is my back ground.
12m is the size I use mostly, so this is the kite I can judge best. At our local spots I fly SYN12 when the peeps are on LEI 9-11m. It's called "9m wind".


I was really curious how this puppy would work, after reading all the positive comments on here. Took the kite out of the box and flew it as is, not changing anything at all (funny I should say that one day :D ). I stuck one of my old simple Zero4-style franken bars to it, 20m lines, and that's that.


CONSTRUCTION.
Now the first impression of the kite's making is excellent. There are reinforcements where ARCs used to break, it looks and feels very solid.


TESTING CONDITIONS.
8-10kn day gusting 12kn, peeps are on flat 15-17m LEIs and race boards. As I weigh in at 90kg, the CH12 is way too small for that day. But I want to see how the kite works, which a low wind day is brilliant for, so I launch it anyways. I even brought a fast surf board, not expecting I would be able to use it, but who knows.


STEERING.
Set up as always, kite launches easily and goes to zenith. Now the first thing that strikes me is the balance of this puppy. The kite is perfectly balanced. Steering input is light and immediately followed by the kite's reaction. It neither tends to pull upwards nor downwards - you fly this kite with one hand. Put it at 10 o'clock and it stays at 10 o'clock. Let it hover one foot over the ground and it stays there completely stable. Let go of the bar and it goes to zenith, grab the bar and sheet in slightly, and the kite is completely neutral.
Wow. This is better than the most balanced kite I ever achieved, which was my heavily modded SYN12 I am still quite fond of.


SPEED and SHEETING.
So I sent the kite around the wind window to see how it would react on sheeting. Very accurate. Very controlled. and very fast indeed. When sheeted out, the kite accelerates immediately - compared, a SYN takes half a stroke to reach final speed, whereas the CH2 12 just shoots off once you release the bar. VERY efficient kite.

Sheeting produces power at complete control. Feels like the accelerator of a well adjusted turbo diesel engine. I yanked at the bar to see what happens. Again no stalling, but a controlled power surge. I did some static jumps. In 8kn of wind. That is VERY promising.


TURNING and LOOPING.
Looping the kite is very accurate. Loop it with almost slack rear lines, and it follows a wide circle. Loop it sheeted in, and it follows a tight circle. There's hardly any stall in the loop (remember: we are in 8-10kn of wind), kite produces even amounts of power through the loop and comes out of the loop with speed.

The turning speed is just right. It turns a fair bit faster than SYN, and again, what strikes is the ease of turning. One hand on the bar is enough. You always know where the kite is and what it does, good feed back through the bar. But very smooth and easy.
Bar pressure is not as light as some LEIs where you virtually have no feed back through the bar. There is some resistance there, which I like.


LUFF RESISTANCE.
A good way to find out luff resistance is flying the kite low over the ground through the window at full speed, sheeted half way in, and let go of the bar just before the kite reaches the edge of the window. A badly balanced kite overflies, collapses, falls to the ground. Not this kite. Again, very balanced, slightly swerves upwards and returns to zenith. Brilliant. You love that feature when you blotch a strapless carve in the waves and get pulled over the edge with speed.


LOW END.
Now this was another big surprise. From all those tests on the beach I knew the kite is efficient and has some good power surge. So I took it on the water, see if I was able to just get up on the board - CH2 12, 90kg rider, 10kn gusting 12kn, no-volume-surf board, short lines. I did not expect to get going, but I wanted to see what happens.

I was indeed able to get up on the board and do a little down winder. Had to huck the kite around like a mad man, and at times when I did not keep the board speed up through a carve, it sank in. But I got up on the board thanks to the extra kite speed and grunt, and I stayed up thanks to the ability to throw the kite around real fast, reach board speed and generate apparent wind.

I was up and riding, which in these conditions would have been possible at best with a kite one or two sizes up. I would certainly not rig that way on a normal day, doesn't make sense. But it goes to show the efficiency of this kite. And it's a nice feature to get your arse out of a lull.


FIRST CONCLUSION.
No high wind tests yet, just on the back of the low wind tests: this is the kite Peter Lynn always wanted to build. Seriously. This kite ends my modding career. There is not one single thing I would change on this kite. OK, maybe put in sliders instead of the pulleys, as I have a pulleys-get-stuck-with-fine-sand-problem. But that's really all. This thing comes as close to a perfect ARC as I can imagine. Congratulations Pepijn and PL.

I'll keep you posted when the wind picks up and I can get some higher wind sessions. Summer is a bummer.

cheers, tungsten
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby Timothy Grossnickle » August 28th, 2013, 10:24 pm

Tungsten,

Thanks for the GREAT review which confirms my thoughts on this as the best Arc ever produced. So glad you finally got your hands on a Ch2 12. Looking forward to your high wind test reviews.

Best regards,
Tim
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby Mikey » August 30th, 2013, 7:45 am

Wollo,

great news but ou have one last task. get the CH1 flying like the CH2 for all of us stuck with them!

only then can you retire ;-)

Ciao,

Mike

Still have to glass the Walluna :-(
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby Timothy Grossnickle » August 30th, 2013, 12:18 pm

Mike,

Think you have assigned Wollo an impossible task. My Ch1 19 flew great for a season with the Tungsten's shoulder mods then it began to Taco.....always at the worst time..... Tried other mods and bridle fixes to no avail. The thing still doesn't work and the Ch1 15 never worked....even with all the mods....

Regards,
Tim
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby Cloudsfan » August 30th, 2013, 12:46 pm

Very nice report here Tungsten. Cheers.
I happen to have exactly the same way of testing the kite tendency to luff : fast acceleration across the window with bar sheeted in and trim fully in, and then fully release at the edge of the window. When I modify any strap or vpc or line lenght etc on my kit, that's the first thing I always do with my Chargers 1 and it tells a lot.
Otherwise Timothy, do you think there might be some relation to your Ch19 material becoming less air tight over time ? Porosity must certainly appear at some stage but I would have thought Chikara sturdier than that ?
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby Timothy Grossnickle » August 30th, 2013, 9:35 pm

Can't say what happened to the Ch1 15 and Ch1 19. Although I doubt if its the Chikara failing. To me the fabric doesn't look damaged. They both flew fine for a while with Tungsten's shoulder mods. Loved them both for one season. Then they began to collapse again. I added more mods to no avail....nearly drowning in the process when they collapsed far offshore. Thankfully Traig got VO to give me a good deal in light of my suffering for a Ch2 15. Realizing with the Ch2's VO had developed the breakthrough kite. Now my Ch1's sit unused in their bags. Am afraid to try and sell the the Ch1's for fear the buyer would injure themselves using them.
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby Cloudsfan » August 31st, 2013, 5:16 am

Fingers crossed on my side as I now have all my quiver made of Chargers 1... They've all been doing fine for now (I mean no damage or weird behavior apart from me screwing things occasionnaly) but your experience (and Ismo's as well...) has me wondering if I will not regret my choice one day. Have to say though that the 12 in particular (the size I'm using most often) seems to hold up against time quite well for now but perhaps the bigger sizes 15 and 19 are more sensitive.Wait & see I guess !

To keep on thread : Tungsten, now we're waiting for your views about the Ch2 in its sweet spot range (20-30 kts probably)
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby tungsten » September 2nd, 2013, 12:53 pm

Ha! Clouds, I am waiting too... for that wind... currently I spend my spare time building a ridiculously complicated board the missus asked me for - a SUP in traditional wooden rib and plank built, but with the little extra that you can split it in two halves. Heavy concave as well. There is not one single right angle on the whole board. Drives you insane. But it's for the missus...

:D
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby Cloudsfan » September 3rd, 2013, 7:16 am

Now that's what a call a project ! And dedication 8-)
Yet I'm sure where you live you won't have to wait long to get that wind on a day where the board's resin needs to harden for a while, tell your miss it's for her benefit and ours too :mrgreen:
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby MonkeyAir » September 3rd, 2013, 4:53 pm

What a great review. Thanks T.
Go back to this thread and read as it feels like reading exciting arc chat from back in the day. Look forward to hearing what you think in the bigger winds with the 12m C 2.
Good winds gang.
Traig
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby tungsten » September 6th, 2013, 8:32 pm

Good times ahead with CH2 Traig. Hope you have your truck full of them soon. Flying diapers is cool but not the same :D
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby tungsten » September 20th, 2013, 2:10 pm

So. Wind is back. Unfortunately not for me, as I broke my hand playing soccer with the kids, but it's nothing serious, I'll be back on in a week or two.

Nevertheless testing continued. I was quite keen to see the CH2 12 in the hands of a rather unexperienced rider: A Normal Family Guy.

The Normal Family Guy is in his 40s or thereabout, sportive, has a couple kids running around or kicked them out of the house already, and takes his riding a tad more relaxed. As of late you would see him on a strapless board, because the knees are done in with a solid 3 or 4 decades of abuse. He wants an easy-to-use kite which he can leave in the trunk of the car, rig fast, launch and land solo, with great safety, a fair bit of whack, but which is forgiving.

When I look around on our beach, at least 75% of the riders are Normal Family Guys. It's the biggest group of riders by far around here. But they seem to be ignored by the kite manufacturers, at least by their guys in the marketing department.

Most kites work well in certain ways, but most kites have an unnecessary amount of complication: bells and whistles instead of simplicity; unnecessary complication in the use of the kite - if you require a helper for launch & land, devices prone to fail in order to make it ready to fly, and parts that don't withstand the heat in a car / thorns and debris on the beach / general abuse.

The ease of use of an ARC goes a long way. ARCs had their down sides - they required more flying skill and turned slower. Now if a modern ARC would get rid of those down sides and work well in the hands of a Normal Family Guy, this would be quite a sales angle.

So. My kite buddy is such a guy. He rides SYNs and is just about to go into strapless. Kite control is so-so, doesn't drop it, but still doesn't make it look sweet and easy. His flying looks better on a LEI. 15kn day, bit of shore break, surf board, 90kg guy.

I gave him the CH2 12 and watched. Rigs it, launches it, goes for a twirl.

The first thing that's obvious is that this kite has a lot more grunt than the SYN12 he's used to ride. No low-wind-clinging-on-to-the-bar until board speed's up and the first line of beach break is passed - he's pretty much immediately up and riding, and does a little hop over the first line of waves (nothing exciting there, hip high, but hey).

The second thing that's obvious is that the kite has a fair amount of whack: the first gybe ends up with the kite in zenith and my buddy dangling from it :D Didn't expect this sort of lift. Three gybes later he's used to the power through the turn, turns the kite lower and sheets out after turning. I give him a little hint to point the board a bit downwind just before turning the kite, and it looks very very good already. Very controlled indeed. He did a great leap in his learning curve right there, due to the accurate control and balance, and extra grunt.

The third thing that's obvious is the extra amount of control and forgiveness. Even if you don't have the kite control completely dialed, the kite turns and pulls it off for you. It was just so nice, seeing my buddy ride his usual SYN12 a bit stiff and clinging to the bar, and all of a sudden on the Ch2 12, he looks like a seasoned ARC rider throwing the rag around with ease and to a great effect.

With the controlled kind of power, the gybes also became better and fluid all of a sudden. My bud was grinning ear to ear.

Unfortunately he confiscated the kite - "as you don't have any use for it with a broken hand I'll keep it" - see if I ever get it back again 8-)


tl;dr: the kite with the greatest ease and usability I've seen so far. Makes you look like you know what you're doing.


cheers, tungsten
Last edited by tungsten on September 21st, 2013, 11:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby Timothy Grossnickle » September 20th, 2013, 7:38 pm

T, Sorry to hear about your hand. Would expect with you on the beach as the "Sacrificial Lamb" the wind will blow hard there for many days in a row. Appreciated your review as your friend sounds a lot like me. My first trip on the Ch2 over a little roller in moderate winds also left me dangling from the bar when I was expecting a 1m chop hop. The Ch2 for me boosts better than any Arc so far with the control and stability the Ch1 lacked.

Regards,
Tim
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby Mikey » September 23rd, 2013, 3:45 pm

Family guy....Thanks me :-)

maybe i'm a bit better that your mate, Wollo, but all the bashed up bits )and absolute terror at the thought of a bladder is) dead acurate. Ho hum...have the Ch1-15 to make old before I could think about 2.

Funny I also have amate who traded the tubes for a Syn 15 and doing much better for it.

vainly waiting for wind :-(
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Re: Ch2 12......My New Favorite Kite

Postby Timothy Grossnickle » October 7th, 2013, 4:13 pm

Just back from another incredible session on Ch2 12. With the generally lighter winds on Lake Michigan in the summertime I haven't used it since the Spring at Waddell Creek the legendary Pacific wave spot North of Santa Cruz. Have to say the evolution of Arc's has hit its sweet spot with the Ch2 12. It produces great low end grunt for a relatively small kite....more than my dear old modded V1 13, but lots faster with the same or more stability. Rode it today in winds 25/30 mph in 3/5 foot rollers. Find the the boost from the Ch2 12 its most remarkable feature. Got easy lifts off the tops of rollers with chushy landings and none of the control problems I encountered with the Ch1's....

Regards,
Tim
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