3rd Gen Blade Fat Ladys are in!

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3rd Gen Blade Fat Ladys are in!

Postby BellinghamKite » Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:12 am

We just got our first shipment of 3rd Generation Blade 17m Fat Lady kites and they look fantastic. Email or call us for pricing on this great new kite! This is the perfect kite for these late summer light wind sessions in the PNW.
http://www.kitepaddlesurf.com/Blade-Fat-Lady-3rd-Generation-Lightwind-Kite-BladeFatlady3rdgen.htm

DESIGNER'S Q&A

What’s the difference between the 2nd and 3rd generation FL?

There are two main design changes. The first was configuring the bridle attachment further up on the leading edge, causing the kite to fly further to the edge of the window. This aids in upwind performance and also decreases the distance of the arc when jumping, which helps timing between apex of the kite and popping with the board.
The second design change was increasing the profile at the wingtips, making this area of the kite more powerful and thus more reactive to turning.

What makes the Fat Lady so unique in the low wind category?

There are many light wind kites on the market that are great at keeping you upwind, but this is far from the only feature designed on the Fat Lady. Quick turning is a must, in order to keep the kite lively and versatile. Big jumps goes without saying, as this is exactly what we expect out of any kite (excluding wave kites). If there’s light wind, you shouldn’t stop your progression. Even with the Fat Lady you can crash your kite on the water and easily relaunch due to the low AR!

Why is Ultra Thin LE so important?

This is a key design element that has been incorporated since the beginning. In general physics, air drag is like friction. If you are able to reduce it, then the kite is more “loose” and dynamic. This is exactly what we aimed to do and ultimately achieved it by dramatically reducing the diameter of the Leading Edge. Anytime you’re at the beach with the Fat Lady, lay it (carefully) on top of any other kite and compare the differences.

Happy kiting!


Bellingham Kite Paddle Surf
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Re: 3rd Gen Blade Fat Ladys are in!

Postby bgkiter » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:34 pm

Rode my FL v3 yesterday (sat) for the first time. Probably not the ideal conditions for a lightwind kite given that the steamboat sensor was hitting 22mph but having a brand new kite sitting in the bag for 10 days was enough of a wait.I had the 1st gen FL for 3 years and I loved the kite. Tried the v2 last year and although the kite had more power and pulled more from the center lines (less bar pressure) I felt that the v1 was doing its job fine in a combo with the 14m trigger that I also have.

So how is this new one? The turning speed is pretty close to FL v1, and the kite feels more nimble than the v2. Mind you I always flew the v1 with a 55cm bar while the v3 I flew with the 52cm setting on the Blade Unibar. The redesigned wing tip profile definitely delivers the goods. Even in light wind you will have the speed to redirect it forward after a boost. Bar pressure is medium-light, the kite lets you know where it is pretty well through the bar. Whenever I wiped out I didn't have to look to see where it was (flew it with the bade unibar). De-powering worked very well into the low 20s without any flutter or impact on steering ability.

Lift and glide are superb. Make sure you allow for plenty of space downwind since you will be counting in your head wondering when you would touch back down (unless you swiftly sheet out). The kite points upwind great (definitely further than the v1) and getting upwind was a breeze even at the top of kites wind range (riding a 135x41 TT). Going from the 14m trigger to the FL v3 I only had to make some marginal adjustments in timing to jump. I always had to be careful with the timing of redirecting the v1 for a smooth landing but the v3 felt natural and without any surprises.

Construction is excellent with top notch materials and clever stitching and reinforcements to deliver a stiff frame. There is some advanced engineering in the way the leading edge seam is closed to provide further rigidity to the skeleton. The color scheme is bright and noticeable in the sky.

I will add more to this post as I put the kite further through its paces.

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Re: 3rd Gen Blade Fat Ladys are in!

Postby bgkiter » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:37 am

Spent some more time on the FL v3 yesterday. The kite is QUICK, I mean possibly even quicker than the v1! Loops really well and the power is consistent as you loop. It also drifts very well (ended up slightly ahead of it on a couple of mini boosts) and it just floated back into position without falling out of the sky.

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Re: 3rd Gen Blade Fat Ladys are in!

Postby BellinghamKite » Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:58 am

We just got back from an 18 day trip down the west coast and the Fat Lady was the only kite that worked at several locations.

Alameda, San Diego, Belmont, Ventura, Manzanita, Jones Beach..... all produced Fat Lady sessions....with Sherman Island being the only spot where she didn't come out of the bag.

In Alameda, two guys came up to me and said they were doing back to back tests of the Core 17 and the OR Flite 17, and wanted to know if they could throw the Fat Lady 3 into the mix.

After getting these two guys out on all 3 kites in very light conditions, they concluded that the low end power was about the same on all of the three kites, but that the Fat Lady was the fastest turning, and because of that made it easiest to get going in the lightest of winds.

Later this week Marlys and I are planning on visiting Jetty Island and I'll probably bring a foil board too. With that combo I can ride in well under 10mph..... although I am not sure what the actual low limit is yet on that setup. I'll also be bringing a Nobile Magic Carpet to try out.

Almost unanimously the Fat Lady has been well received by the people that tried it. Lots of people also comment they really like the new graphics/colors.
http://www.kitepaddlesurf.com
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Re: 3rd Gen Blade Fat Ladys are in!

Postby Volklman » Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:16 am

I've had this kite out 3 days at Jetty and can't believe how great it is. The biggest difference between the v1 and the v3 is it's high end range. The v1 tended to pull hard downwind when when over powered, but not the v3. With a little depower I'm able to easily cut harder upwind without feeling like I'm dragging a truck, even down looping through transitions. Bar pressure is pretty light and the kite is fast for it's size. It does drift really well and that was a nice surprise too. I used to bring 2 kites to Jetty just in case the wind ramped up but honestly think the new Fat Lady can handle anything Jetty throws out. Everyone was out on 12 - 14's and I was fine on the 17. I weigh about 210 and ride a Mako.
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Re: 3rd Gen Blade Fat Ladys are in!

Postby julitor » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:59 pm

Anyone has had the chance to test it in the low end (~8kn)?
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Re: 3rd Gen Blade Fat Ladys are in!

Postby bgkiter » Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:07 am

Yesterday (8/17) was a perfect day to test the FL v3 lightwind capabilities in marginal conditions. I had an uninterrupted session between 3.30 and 6.30ish with highly variable wind. The wind closer to shore was probably in he 10-12mph range compared to the Steamboat Sensor reading. Here some stats, rode a regular 135x41 TT (SuperShinn), about 200lbs wet rider and the kite (for the first time) was set on the "preferred" steering knot, 24m lines (did not bother adding the extensions). It made for a consistent "mow the lawn" session with the occasional power ups enough for some backroll kiteloops in the butter up north.

Overall this kite continues to impress - it is like the Duracell bunny - keeps on going when other toys run out of juice :lol: :mrgreen:

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Re: 3rd Gen Blade Fat Ladys are in!

Postby BellinghamKite » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:44 am

In the Summer of 2011, Blade introduced the Fat Lady, which was the first time a 17m kite had ever been produced for the purpose of making lightwind kiting fun. Prior to this, big powerful kites existed, but they were all slow, or lacked a fun factor. I had been looking for the perfect lightwind kite for a while, and actually found Blade because of the Fat Lady. I had tried the Epic Infinity (15.5m) which I was very impressed with, but wanted something more powerful. Initially I thought that the Fat Lady was basically a larger Infinity, but as soon as I received my first Fat Lady I realized there was more to it than just a larger size. The Fat Lady had smaller diameter leading edge, and the struts were significantly smaller, event thought the kite was larger. In addition, the dacron that was used in the struts and leading edge (the heaviest part of the kite) was a newer lighter HPE dacron. When first testing this kite, I was impressed that it not only had more low end than the 15.5 Infinity, I couldn't perceive a difference in turning speed. The Fat Lady was fast, powerful, and most importantly FUN! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qu180fPa3Fw

After 18 months of the original Fat Lady, the Fat Lady 2 was released. (Please note the Fat Lady is on a 18 month release cycle.... not so much by years.... So the Fat Lady 1, was really a 2011/2012 kite, and the Fat Lady 2 was really a 2013/2014 kite). The Fat Lady 1 had built a reputation as a fast and fun kite, and people were eager to try the Fat Lady 2.

The changes from the Fat Lady 1 and 2 were pretty significant. First, the low end power of the Fat Lady 2 was increased. Back the back, I could ride the Fat Lady 2 in very light winds where the Fat Lady 1 wasn't quite enough. In addition the upwind ability and top end increased on the Fat Lady 2. You could ride the kite into more wind, and the kite would handle the gusts better without as much bar pressure. This meant people were riding the Fat Lady 2 into both higher and lower wind than the Fat Lady 1 was. The cost of this however was that the Fat Lady 2 was not quite as fast as the Fat Lady 1. This slightly slower turning speed was also due to the change from a 55cm bar to a 52cm Unibar. That being said, the Fat Lady 2 was the FASTEST TURNING and MOST POWERFUL kite in the Kiteboarders Lightwind kite test. http://www.thekiteboarder.com/2013/04/2 ... te-review/ Not only that, its easy relaunch was noted. The Fat Lady 2 was a real winner, and the only common request I heard was from Fat Lady 1 owners wishing the Fat Lady 2 turned as quick.

This June, the Fat Lady 3 was released. Besides a huge graphical update, to the untrained eye, the Fat Lady 3 structurally looks very similar to the Fat Lady 2. Its the subtle changes though that sometimes make the biggest differences in performance. With the Fat Lady 3, the bridle was changed and moved further forward on the kite. Additionally, the wingtip shape and canopy airfoil deepened so that now the Fat Lady 3 is not only the most powerful Fat Lady, but also turns like the Fat Lady 1 did. Because the bridle is now further forward, the Fat Lady 3 also goes upwind better, and jumps higher.

This summer I took my family on a trip along the west coast, and one of our stops was in Alameda where we used to live. Alameda is the "light wind" kiteboarding capitol of the Bay Are, and we knew the Fat Lady would be the right kite for the conditions. While there, two guys showed up with a Core 17m and an OR Flite 17m. In speaking with them, they mentioned they were trying to compare the two, and I offered to throw the Fat Lady 3 into the mix, which they eagerly accepted. The winds were a good test of the bottom end of the kites, and both riders came back and said that while all three kites had good low end power, the Fat Lady 3 was the fastest, which made that power more usable than the other kites. In other words, the Fat Lady 3 got them going easier because they could get more power strokes in. Both guys ended up ordering a Fat Lady 3 based on this test.

Lately I have been learning to ride a foil board, and combining the Fat Lady with a foil has allowed me to ride in conditions I never thought were possible. To be fair, you need enough wind to keep the kite in the air, and when you push the lower limits there will be times when the lulls are low enough kites just don't fly. In this pursuit of the absolute lowest of wind kite-foiling, it is important to have a kite that can relaunch in ridiculously light winds. I am happy to report that the Fat Lady doesn't disappoint in this arena. I have been able to relaunch this kite in winds that once relaunched aren't even enough to ride a foil board. While this doesn't help me foil-board in 5 mph of wind, it does help me body drag back to the beach instead of swimming in.

There are lots of choices out there for kites, but if you are looking for a lightwind kite that is really fun to ride, give the Fat Lady a look. I am not going to claim it has the low end of a 26m Flysurfer Psycho (yes... I had one of those for 6 months.... until I realized its wind range was 8mph to 9mph), or that it is going to win races like a race specific super high aspect kite, but I believe it is the best kite for most people looking to get out and actually ENJOY light wind sessions.
http://www.kitepaddlesurf.com
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