2019 Buyer's Guide: CrazyFly | The Kiteboarder Magazine
CrazyFly has been a longstanding leader in the development of high-tech twin tip technology, as well as one of the few companies to build the bulk of their board and kite products within the European Union. This year CrazyFly has added the Hyper kite to its lineup and has also developed a full line of foilboard products that integrate CrazyFly’s longstanding expertise in state of the art carbon kiteboard construction.
THIS YEAR CRAZYFLY IS IMPLEMENTING A NEW WARRANTY PROGRAM. HOW IS THIS DIFFERENT FROM WHAT’S CURRENTLY OUT THERE AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE END-USER?
CrazyFly has upped the ante this year with an industry-first, three-year warranty that goes above and beyond warranties offered by other brands. Already there are a fraction of a percent of warranty cases each year and CrazyFly believes in their high-quality, durable, European-made boards and kites so they are offering not only coverage for three years, but also covering crashing your kite or board in the water while learning to progress. Qualification for the warranty is easy; all you have to do is register your 2019 kite or board online on their website within 30 days of the purchase and keep your receipt/proof of purchase on file to submit later in case of a claim. There are a few caveats to the coverage, like it doesn’t apply to school or rental kites, it applies only to the first owner, and it doesn’t cover regular wear and tear or contact with things other than water (i.e. rocks, trees, etc.). Overall it’s a bold move that shows CrazyFly’s commitment to its products and their customers.
GIVEN THAT YOU’VE UPPED THE ANTE ON WARRANTIES, WHAT CONSTRUCTION FEATURES WILL WE FIND IN THE KITES THAT ALLOW YOUR COMPANY TO GUARANTEE THE LONG TERM PERFORMANCE OF THE KITES?
CrazyFly has continued to push the envelope of kite design, starting with operating their own factory in Slovakia, but the devil is in the details. Many of the advancements made last year are still present and easy to see: Triplex ripstop sail material exclusive to CrazyFly has three ripstop yarns running in both directions as well as a triple coating to protect against the elements and offer the best strength to weight ratio. A sail tailored to reduce the number of panels saves weight and makes a more rigid and unified canopy for better in-flight response. Struts attach to the sail using parallel seams which helps the kite hold its shape better during flight than a single seam and also generate more power during the turn due to the extra rigidity. The stitching on the kite panels runs from start to finish without interruption so there are less needle holes to weaken the materials. Arptex, one of the most abrasion-resistant textiles, protects the high wear areas on the leading edge and strut tips.
The changes to the 2019 kites are not all that easy to spot. The Dacron construction was re-worked after endless lab and real-life testing and crashing deemed some of the internal reinforcements on the leading edge and struts unnecessary. The Arptex patches are also much bigger than last year to offer additional protection and abrasion resistance. Despite the changes to the Dacron and the additional Arptex, which are much heavier than sail cloth, the weight of the kite did not change at all.
WHAT CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE TO THE CRAZYFLY KITE LINEUP FOR THIS YEAR?
Brand new this year is the Hyper which is aimed at big air and high performance freeriders. It has 5 struts to provide a sturdy frame for this higher-aspect delta kite to help it keep its shape in flight. The high aspect design also increases hangtime and your jumps will be much floatier compared to a medium-aspect freeride kite so if you like to do any freestyle tricks in the air you’ll have plenty of time. It’s got great power on demand with low to medium pressure on the bar and good turning speed for a high aspect kite.
The Sculp received a big redesign last year and still maintains its place in the lineup as the most versatile model suitable for most riders and all around riding. It’s a kite that will last you from the beginner stages all the way through advanced with smooth transitions, and easy cruising with stability, consistency, predictable handling, easy relaunch, progressive power delivery, smooth flight, big jumps, and a great wind range. The flat delta shape has the advantages of the classic delta shape like easy relaunch and adds to it more angled wingtips for a more dynamic flying experience.
The Tango is kite a purpose-built for freestyle and kite loops with more pull, power, pop, and direct feeling for precise control. It is an open C-shape with shorter, more squared wingtips and medium bar pressure that turns quickly, has excellent upwind ability, and great boost with amazing hangtime.
CRAZYFLY HAS LONG BEEN KNOWN AS A LEADER IN TWIN TIP DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING, BUT THIS YEAR IT HAS INTRODUCED A LINE OF FOILS. WHAT ARE THE MAIN FEATURES OF THE LINE AND WHAT KIND OF RIDING ARE THE FOILS DIRECTED TOWARDS?
Carbon foils are a natural extension for CrazyFly, who has long been a master of carbon construction in their twin tips. As with the rest of the CrazyFly products, the foils are produced in Europe with the most advanced composite technology available today. In addition to advanced materials and construction, the foils are also designed with convenience for travel and storage in mind, with quick and easy assembly/disassembly.
The CrazyFly Master Foil is a high-performance freerace foil aimed at intermediate to advanced riders. The front wing is a high aspect wing created for low water resistance and high top speeds, superior stability, and incredible upwind drive. The Master front wing has a bit more arc and more square winglets on the rear wing, giving it stability at speed and when leaning the foil over for an aggressive upwind drive. The Master is made from the highest quality carbon prepreg and is more responsive and lighter than our freeride UP foil despite having a taller mast.
The CrazyFly Up Foil is an all-around foil aimed at intermediate to advanced freeriders. The larger front wing is shaped to provide lift at lower speeds than the Master for ease of use and smooth cruising. It also has great maneuverability, medium top speeds, and great stability. Riders looking to start jumping will appreciate the larger front wing since it will be easier to get back on foil after landing. The Up also has a less locked-in and more playful feeling than the Master due to slightly less arc in the front wing and shorter winglets on the rear wing.
New for 2019 is the Shorty foil with a shorter mast and larger front wing aimed at riding in shallower water, ease of use when learning, and riding in ultra-light winds. The lifty front wing and rear wing with more square winglets gives you the perfect combo of lift and drive for easy and stable riding. The lower-aspect front wing gives you lift at slower speeds but is still efficient to cruise at faster speeds.
In the foilboard department we have taken the short and wide approach for the traveler and easy waterstart. The F-Lite is a fullcarbon, feather-light, low-volume foil deck masterpiece. The Chill comes in two sizes and is constructed with a fiberglass layup and carbon fiber stringer to keep the board at a great price point while maintaining performance.
LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST FOR CRAZYFLY, WHAT ARE THE MAJOR CHANGES TO THE TWIN TIP LINEUP FOR 2019?
The Elite, with its gullwing double concave bottom shape that runs from tip to tip, helping it go upwind really well and also cuts through the chop easily, has a brand new layup that incorporates different layers of different types of carbon. Since CrazyFly is a master of carbon fiber, this board has a very comfortable medium flex that is not normally associated with full carbon construction. The board core is also newly designed with an Air Inside technology in which the wood core have been removed and there is literal air inside, saving just over a quarter of a pound from the 2017 Elite. This design feature both reduces the weight of the board and also improves the flex pattern.
Similar to the Elite, the full carbon construction Raptor LTD is now available in a Raptor LTD Neon model for improved visibility on the water. Both the LTD and LTD Neon share the same design with an ellipse double concave in the center of the board running between the feet which helps drive the board upwind and aids in softer, stickier landings and double V-shaping in the tips to give better grip when jumping. This board ticks all the boxes for what you would want in a twin tip: feather-light full carbon construction, dynamic feeling for high end freeride, ability to cut through chop with ease, step-cap deck for sharper edging, and Nano-Glide skin micro-channels on the bottom to provide more tracking, upwind, and resistance to scratches.
For 2019 the Raptor was freshly redesigned with a new shape and layup. The most noticeable change is the addition of the edge control track right-angle channel that runs along the heel and toeside edge of the board for better grip and upwind ability. Running along the center of the board is a more subtle V-shape mostly for some extra speed and out towards the tips are V-shaped channels for more grip when loading for jumps. A new type of fiberglass with a differently angled weave is used in the Raptor along with double carbon stringers to increase the torsional stiffness for increased pop while providing more longitudinal flex for softer landings. Returning from last year are the step-cap deck with thinner rails for more precise edging and the Nano-Glide skin on the bottom of the board with micro-channels for better tracking, upwind, and resistance to scratches.
This year we added the 2019 Slicer. In a nutshell it is a full-carbon version of the Cruiser LW, our most popular light wind board. The shape is new this year, improving the LW design with sharper squared tips for a little bit more surface area and step-cap technology to get that slightly sharper rail for better edging while keeping the center of the deck stiffer so the board keeps its flatter rocker under pressure. While the Cruiser LW retains its fiberglass layup and lower price point, the Slicer is a full carbon layup like the Raptor LTD and much lighter, saving nearly a pound and a half on the smaller 154 size compared to the Cruiser LW (which is not a heavy board to begin with).
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