Our Synthesis SE release has concluded as of December 5th, 2022 - we hope you've enjoyed participating in this special project! While we don't plan to produce any more of these handmade kites, the design work and features that went into them will find their way into regular production kites in the not-too-distant future. Sign up for our mailing list below and we'll keep you up to date as new kites become available.
We’ve been a small company since the very beginning and we love it that way. No outside investors pushing for unsustainable growth, no org charts or corporate nonsense - just a tight knit group of oddballs who love our special niche in the kite biz. It’s been a crazy ride, but 30 years later we’re still having fun, and thriving with the knowledge that many kites we built decades ago are still flying today.
We thought it’d be fun to celebrate this anniversary year, with a special project commemorating our long fascination with sport kite design.
During the pandemic we were able to put a fresh focus on development, taking advantage of the downtime to explore a bunch of ideas about materials, wing shapes, bridles and fittings that had been accumulating in sketchbooks over the years.
We first developed the Synthesis as a test platform for those ideas. It wasn’t intended for production as it’s much too expensive and labor intensive to build in volume.
But after many tweaks it evolved into a very cool kite and we just love flying it. This special machine is a real treat for any experienced flier. The glimmering transparent sail turns heads every flight, and the silky smooth control feel makes it hard to leave the beach when the sun goes down.
Then the idea popped up: Why not make a limited run to celebrate our 30th?
With demand at an all-time high and factory production at capacity we knew we couldn’t add a new, complicated kite to the mix. But our Seattle crew decided that if everyone chipped in some extra time we could make a few here in our development studio each month. We thought it’d be a fun way to share - and to celebrate - so the Synthesis project was born.
THANK YOU for the support and enthusiasm you’ve given us over the years - we look forward to flying with you for many more to come!
- Ultra low-stretch mylar laminate sail makes stalls and slides easy. Gleams like a cut gem in the sun.
- Angled leading edge combines benefits of both high and low aspect wings. Leading edge ferrules machined from extra strong 5052 structural aluminum provide 4 degrees of wingtip sweep, allowing the lower drag and increased lift of a curved leading edge without the added stress on the frame rods. Swept-back wingtips enhance dynamic twist for precise corners and tracking.
- High-cut keel adds precision tracking without increasing drag.
- Floating machined aluminum center-t prevents spine breakage in a crash and reduces keel drag for more lift in light winds. Allows for easy and precise bridle adjustment to match the size of your control inputs.
- Machined aluminum wingtip nocks make assembly a cinch and won’t shatter on hard ground.
- Dyneema leech line micro adjusts at the tail to control trailing edge flutter for smooth, silent flight.
- New leading edge elbow fittings make replacing rods a cinch and integrate into bridle loops for a clean finish.
- Vectran reinforced nose won’t punch or wear through from abrasion.
- SkyShark 3 and 5PT tapered carbon frame for proven performance and durability. Skyshark tubes are readily available from many sources if you ever need to replace a spar.
- Adjustable outer standoffs allow precise control over wing twist to optimize performance for different winds and your flying style.
- Hard shell storage tube with laser etched acrylic plaque and protective sleeve to keep your kite safe.
|Wingspan||83 in / 211 cm|
|Height||47.5 in / 120.6 cm|
|Weight||11 oz. / 312 g|
|Sail Area||1452 sq in / 10.1 sq ft. / .94 sq m.|
|Sail Loading||1.08 oz/sq. ft. / 331 grams/sq. m.|
|Wind Range||4-18 mph / 6.5-29 kph|
|Frame||Skyshark 3PT Leading edges, 5PT lower spreaders, P200 spine, 5.4 mm carbon upper spreader, 3 mm carbon standoffs|
|Sail Materials||.75 mil mylar laminate, .5 oz ripstop polyester|
|Bridle||Stitched 1.3 mm Dyneema core with polyester overbraid|
|Includes||Kite, hardshell case, full length drawstring sleeve|
|Does Not Include||Flying Lines, Printed Instructions (available online here)|
|Retail Price||$600 USD|
Every month or so we'll release a new batch of 5 kites, with a different color combination for each run. You won't know which color is coming next until it's announced, but here's a preview of the six color combinations we’ll be making:
Sport kites have come a long way in the decades since we first started flying. In the early days all you could do was steer around and do loops and spins. You couldn’t even re-launch from a landing without walking back over to the kite to prop it back up.
As flying skills evolved wing designs did too. Talented pilots developed kites that could perform a growing range of tricks, from axels to flat spins, crazy relaunches, back flips and fades.
Then came the era of “all tricks, all the time.” The next generation of trick combinations required specialized, high aspect wings - weighted to flip and roll in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately most of those kites didn’t feel great just carving around in the sky. Gone was that smooth, satisfying feeling of a wing with laser-sharp tracking that goes precisely where you direct it. If you hadn’t invested countless hours in your trick skills the “best” sport kites could be frustrating to fly.
We’ve been missing that silky smooth, razor-accurate control in our flying and thought it’d be fun to bring it back. The Synthesis’s moderate nose angle with aft-swept wingtips lets you carve up the sky with locked-in precision and throw in some graceful tricks when you’re in the mood. It’s not a yo-yo machine you'll be able to roll up 5 times with the tug of a line, but it loves to float through beautiful flat axels, endless fades, backspins, and effortless stalls when you feel the urge. It’ll even dead launch on a smooth surface (for those of you who remember what that is). This is a kite that feels as good in flight as it looks.
You might ask...
The Synthesis SE was a limited release project that ended December 5th, 2022. It is no longer possible to purchase one of these kites.
Each signed and numbered Synthesis SE will sell for $600 USD.
No. If your name is drawn and you purchase a Synthesis SE, your name will be removed from future drawings to give others a chance at owning one of these special kites.
Highly unlikely. We just don’t have the manpower in Seattle and it would prevent development of all the other fun products we’re working on for full scale production.
We sure are! But with our factory production at capacity and huge demand for kites worldwide we don’t know yet when we’ll be able to fit new products into production.
Nope - we just don’t have the manpower to add that to everything else we do. We love running Prism with a small team but it does limit how much we can do.
The fitting was inspired by jam cleats on racing sailboats. It lets you tune the length of the inner bridle legs to your flying style. To adjust just pull the release loop, slide the bridle through the fitting, and lock in a new setting. The soft connection between the T and the spine protects the spine from breakage in a crash.
Beyond the spectacular look in the sky, the mylar sail allows lower stretch than regular fabric, reducing drag and creating a thinner airfoil profile that’s easier to stall and hold in a float. The sail is a few grams heavier than a traditional fabric sail, but we’ve kept weight to a minimum in other areas so the all-up weight is still plenty light enough to perform in 3-4 mph winds.
We won’t be listing spare parts on the website, but contact us if you need something and we’ll do our best to take care of you. We’ll keep a few extra custom fittings around but won’t have them available in volume like our other replacement parts.
Unfortunately with such a limited run we won’t be able to replace your kite if it gets damaged for any reason. However there’s not much that can’t be repaired on a kite and we’ll do our best to help you out if the unthinkable happens.