- Kite: 2015 Flysurfer Viron 2 DLX
- Size Range: 2.5,4,6,8m
- Target User: Novice-Expert
- Test/Demo Duration: 1 year
- Location: Northern New England
- Surface: Snow, Water
- Tester Skill: Beginner and Expert
- Winds: 3kts-40kts
About the Viron 2 DLX: The Viron 2 DLX is Flysurfer's entry level closed cell foil. Intended primarily as a beginner/instructional kite (a task which it excels at) with a top end factory wind rating of 40 kts for the 2.5m it is a phenomenal high wind kite as well. The design has been around for a little over half a decade and although the original in our opinion was not a great kite the current version is more refined, more lively and fun to fly while retaining the docile qualities that make it an ideal kite for novices or riders who want to fly something that won't get them into trouble in conditions that are outside their comfort zone. The Viron 2 DLX is confidence inspiring to say the least.
Set Up and Launch: Set up is pretty straight forward and not unlike other foil kites. The bridle system is extremely simple and doesn't have the same intimidation factor that other kites may have for riders who have not flown foils before. Initial launch can be somewhat tricky, especially in light winds as the kite is closed cell and effective flight is impossible until the kite builds internal air pressure. The DLX (light weight) material and the resulting reduced weight offers considerable benefit in the initial launch however. All the Viron 2's have only one intake yet in a steady wind, even light wind, it tends to inflate rapidly. On really cold days we found that it's a good idea to reach into the intake during set/pre-flight and open it up a bit as static cling will reduce the airflow and slow inflation. Unlike some other closed cells however, the Viron 2 intake is open and easily accessed.
Once in the air the uniqueness of the Viron 2 DLX become evident. It is an odd looking kite without a doubt with an unusual shape and bridle system. One would even say it is somewhat ugly but after using these kites for a while you come to appreciate that Flysurfer opted to follow function over aesthetics and have produced a kite that does as intended and does it well. The kite seems almost alive and in a short period of airtime you come to realize that these kites are clearly designed to instill a sense of security and confidence. Almost "cuddly" if there is such a thing in kite design. For trainer kites they are phenomenal. At Hardwater Kiting we discontinued fixed bridle (non-depower) trainer use 2 years ago. A move which some would say is wrong but one we think is prudent as it removes the confusion students experience when we shifted them from fixed bridles to depowers. Now, with a 2.5m depowerable kite we can train even the most novice riders on a depower with even greater safety than small fixed bridles ever offered and without any confusion as they transition to larger wings. This eliminates the time we often have to spend breaking the students of flight habits students developed while flying the old style trainers.
Resulting in better use of their lesson time and faster progression towards being a self sufficient snow kiter.
For advanced riders the Viron 2 DLX really shines. One of the few kites on the market that has a size that is rated to 40 kts on land this tells us that the kite is capable of so much more than just being a beginner friendly kite. Everyone knows how much we love the Ozone Access kites. They have proven to be some of the best high wind, gust handling kites we have ever had the pleasure of riding. The Viron 2 is right up there with the Access in terms of just being a dream to fly in the nastiest conditions you can imagine. In comparison you cannot go wrong with either kite depending on what you are looking for. The Viron 2 DLX is like a closed cell Access. It has slightly, SLIGHTLY less power than the Access in each size and slightly more depower. It's closed cell and can be used on water. However it does not go upwind as well as the Access and has a slower turn rate. If you want the absolute easiest and forgiving kite the Viron is the one to go for. The Access for a little more excitement without getting into freeride/style kites. The Viron 2 is a bit more forgiving than the Access and more forgiving of your mistakes at the cost of some "sportiness".
In 30 kts on firm snow with a 200lb rider the 4m Viron is fun although can be a little under powered especially as you try to head up wind. The 6m is a joy to ride and all of these kites will change the way you look at high wind days. This kite eats gusts for breakfast!
Safety Systems and Depower: The Viron 2 DLX safety systems are activated the same way as other kites in the Flysurfer line up. Pop the push away safety at the chicken loop however and unlike the FLS found on other kites the Viron has a small internal bridle system that compresses the kite while also putting all the tension on a single line attached to a small split at the kite's leading edge centered on the intake. This both kills the kite but also reduces its projected area. The kite lays dead. Similar to the safety found in the Ozones and similarly effective.
The Viron 2 is said to be built tougher than the Viron 1 yet it the Viron 2 is made of DLX fabric. Stitching looks excellent and the only noticeable wear we've experienced with our kites is the centerline. Which is essentially the same as the center line found on the Peak 1 which also showed wear somewhat quickly. This was mostly evident on the 2.5 and 4m sizes. the 6 and recently released 8m kites have the Infinity 3 bar which has a better eyelet which seems to wear the center line a bit less. Otherwise the kites themselves have shown very little wear while in use in our winter conditions.
Our only complaint, (and it's really specific to our use), is the color of the kites. The main body being black makes the Viron difficult to spot against the treeline. When someone is on the kite with it low in the window and more than a half mile out the kite becomes very hard to spot. In high winds with high haze we often keep an eye on each other by keeping tabs on other kites as the riders are usually obscured. Hard to see with the Viron. Otherwise it's a great, smooth and friendly kite.
If you'd like to come demo the new Flysurfer Viron 2 DLX or purchase one you can come visit us on the ice or purchase them here on the website.