- Technical Specs
- Tips & Resources
Guaranteed to thrill, the Synapse series is all about speed and agility. Perfect for beginners, the Synapse comes ready to fly and stuffs into a compact pouch to take with you anywhere. Their high-aspect wings steer like sports cars with fingertip accuracy but they’re stable and forgiving for new pilots. The all fabric design means no frame parts to damage and no assembly required. Choose from three sizes- the bigger you get, the more you’ll feel the power of the wind.
|Packaged Weight||0.6875 lbs|
|Packed Size||11 x 5 x 3 in|
|Size & Color|
Tips & Resources
Can you fly a Synapse with a tail?
You sure can. All our 2-line foils include loops on the trailing edge for attaching a tail. A long tube tail makes a spectacular show in the sky as it traces your path through loops, ground passes and figure eights. Tails require a bit more wind but help you fly in strong winds by slowing the kite down so you can keep up with it.
What’s the difference between the Snapshot and the Synapse?
The three Synapses replace the Snapshot 1.2, 1.4, and 1.9 for 2016. They’re similar in size but benefit from a more modern wing design for better performance and resistance to collapse. The graphics and packaging are fresh, bright and eye-catching, and all three sizes come with Equalizer wrist straps. The largest Synapse 200 compares to the Snapshot 1.9 for pull and the smallest pulls a little more than the Snapshot 1.4. The middle size, the 170, is a favorite with a nice mix of zippy speed and surprisingly strong pull when the wind comes up.
What’s the difference between the Tantrum and the Synapse?
The Tantrum is the next size range up from the Synapses. Both Tantrums are big enough to drag you down the beach on a breezy day. Tantrums include a control bar and safety leash instead of wrist straps. Because the Tantrums pull harder- a lot harder!- the padded control bar is more comfortable to hang onto as you go ripping down the beach in a blow. If things get out of hand, just let go and the safety leash will de-power the kite without letting it escape downwind.
The Tantrum wing is thinner with a finer, lower drag wing profile, making it faster in flight and quicker to accelerate than comparable-sized Synapses or Snapshots. The Synapse flies a little slower with excellent stability and resistance to collapse,
What size is right for me?
The 140 is the smallest and fits into a pocket to travel wherever your adventures take you. It takes a bit more wind to fly and doesn’t pull hard enough to drag you, but it’s fast and zippy as the breeze comes up and you’ll need your zen focus (or a cup of coffee) to keep up with it.
The 170 is a great all-around size, quick and responsive but with an exhilarating pull in strong winds that won’t quite pull you off your feet. Low stretch Dyneema flying lines (included) make it feel tighter and more responsive than the 140, which comes with polyester lines.
The 200 flies at a medium speed with a solid pull all the way across the wind window. In a good breeze this one will start to drag most people down the beach. Hang on!
What are the differences between framed and foil kites?
Foil kites are made from fabric only, with inflatable chambers that create a wing shape from air pressure in the air inlets as they fly. They are similar to paragliders and ram-air parachutes in their construction. Ram air foils are not as responsive and maneuverable as framed kites, but they are more forgiving, require no assembly, and have no rigid parts that could be damaged in a hard crash. While larger foils can pull incredibly hard in stronger winds, they can’t do the wide range of aerobatic tricks that a framed kite can. So they’re better suited for the fun of getting pulled around in stronger winds, or learning two-line basics with a forgiving wing that will put you in control as quickly as possible.
Framed sport kites have a fixed wing shaped by sailcloth stretched across a rigid fiberglass or carbon fiber frame. They are typically more responsive and capable of a wide variety of tricks once you learn basic control. Trick flying with framed kites gets addictive- with a good kite you can enjoy years of fun mastering more and more difficult tricks.
Can they lift me into the air?
Kites are not aircraft and they are not designed to safely pull you into the air. But in strong winds our larger foils can easily pull you over or drag you on your feet, a buggy, landboard, snowboard or skis.
What’s the difference between a control bar and wrist straps?
A control bar makes harder-pulling kites more comfortable to fly. The padded bar doesn’t dig into your wrists, and typically includes a safety leash that lets you let go of the bar to kill the power in the kite if you ever get overpowered. The bar limits the speed of turns somewhat, which makes control bars a little easier for learning basic control.
Our Padded Wrist Straps and Duos Straps allow tighter turns with fingertip control, but they can dig into your wrists if the kite pulls hard. Wrist straps do not have a safety leash so they’re best on lighter-pulling kites.
Can you re-launch a foil after a crash without a helper?
In many cases, yes. But foils are not as easy to re-launch without a helper as framed kites. They require a little more wind at ground level to lift up and re-inflate. We put extra work into our foil designs to help them re-inflate easily after a crash, and with a little practice you can tug a line to get wind under the sail, then re-launch.
Are soft foil kites easier for beginners?
In moderate winds around 8-12 mph a 2-line foil will take bigger control inputs and turn a little slower than a framed kite, so many pilots find them more forgiving while they learn the basics. And if you crash too hard there are no rigid parts to break or lose. The stronger pull of larger foils provides extra feedback down the lines, which also helps with control as you learn.
Framed kites take a bit longer to master, but they can do a much wider range of tricks, especially in lighter winds. The greater controllability and sports-car response of framed kites means you’ll never outgrow what a good kite can do.
What’s the easy way to keep bridles untangled?
Keep your line winder or control bar attached to the bridle at all times and keep it away from the bridle web when you fold up the sail. For a foil without lines attached, simply tie the bridle pigtails together with a loose square knot until you’re ready to attach lines.
What’s the difference between two and four line control?
Two line kites can turn right and left, make loops and spins, but they always fly forwards.
Four line kites let you control the angle of the wing to the wind (the angle of attack) with your control handles. This allows you to stop the kite, hover, or even fly backwards. A four line rig also allows you to control the power of the kite on the fly by changing its angle to the wind.
What’s the best trainer for kiteboarding?
We recommend the Tantrum or the Tensor. The Tantrum comes with a control bar and will teach you basic steering while you feel the power of the wind. The Tensor costs more, but it can teach you more with four-line control, enough power for a buggy or skis, and the ability to re-launch and fly backwards.
Can I buggy with a two line foil?
In strong winds and with a large Tantrum or Synapse you can certainly pull yourself on a buggy. But to maneuver with control and generate enough power for normal winds most people use a larger power foil with four-line control, like the Tensor.