The DIABLO v1 burst onto the scene last year, winning top races all year long and praise from everyone who flew it. For 2017, the DIABLO V2. goes even further, it is now the ultimate racing weapon. Check out the designer(s) story on the Diablo, what is new for the V2 and some first impressions from our team riders.
DESIGNED FOR PODIUMS
When F-One decided to start the foil kite program it was only because they were able to collaborate with a state of the art designer and factory from the paragliding industry: GIN GLIDERS PARAGLIDING is a leading brand of high end and competition paragliders. The DIABLO was designed by Gin SEOK SONG and then tested and developed by GIN test pilot Hans Bollinger, a former paragliding World Champion in collaboration with F-ONE kite designer Robert Graham. They used advanced design and manufacturing technologies that have been acquired through many years of producing paragliders. The collaboration between F-ONE and GIN GLIDERS was natural because both companies founders Gin Seok Song (GIN) and Raphael Salles (F-One) are driven by the same passion. Passion for their respective sport as well as for high end products and innovation.
The DIABLO was a success right from the first prototypes with F-One Racer Maxime Nocher winning an impressive series of 1st places. The performances were there, of course, but the entire team was also focused on the other features that the kite must also have:
Quality: the choice of the fabrics, the construction, and the high quality controls are direct descendants from high end paraglider production. The need for control is greater for foil kites because the body and bridles are more complicated and demand high precision
Stability and ease of use: our philosophy is not only to target high performance but also to have a kite that is easy to use for everyone
Bar feeling: for some riders, getting into foil kiting is a new experience, so we wanted to have a bar feeling as close as what they are used to having with inflatable kites
Handling and turning: the way the kite turns and the bar pressures during the turn are key positive aspects of the DIABLO
Look: because a high end product should also be beautiful the DIABLO has an incredibly majestic presence in the sky
For 2017, the DIABLO V.2. goes even further, it is now the ultimate racing weapon. The goal was to expand the wind range, raise the efficiency of the kite and to improve the upwind angle without losing any performances. Our designers achieved this by increasing the aspect ratio, as well as the number of cells. These developments all enabled to boost the kite’s speed, power generation and its angle in the wind window. It also creates a more accurate profile across the span of the kite, which further enhances lift, stability and performance.
The bridle has also been totally redesigned for 2017 to deal with the new higher aspect ratio. To reduce turbulent flow as the air leaves the profile of the kite some mini ribs have been added to the trailing edge, decreasing the drag and enhancing the airflow. The construction retains the lighter fabric on the underside of the kite, which was introduced last year. This method increases the responsiveness of the kite and also helps the DIABLO V.2. to outperform its rivals on the downwind legs of the racecourse.
The DIABLO V.2. is a finely tuned, turbocharged, thoroughbred version of its predecessor, taking an already winning formula and developing it even further. Featuring top of the range performances while remaining stable and responsive. The DIABLO V.2. is the very epitome of a racing wing and will take you straight to the top of the podium, just like it does for Maxime Nocher, Axel Mazella, Joey Pasquali and our nation team Riley Gibbs, Jon Modica and Seth Besse.
Each size has a different color
7m – green / yellow / orange
9m – lime / blue / orange
11m – blue / yellow/green
13m – blue / gold / red
15m – yellow / blue / lime
18m – grey / blue / lime
SIZES / BARS / LINES MATRIX
Size 7 m² 9 m² 11 m² 13m² 15 m² 18 m²
Bars 48 cm 48 cm 55 cm 55 cm 62 cm 62 cm
Lines 22 m 22 m 24 m 24 m 26 m 26 m
Low end/high end: The first thing you’ll notice is that the D2 15m has a much lighter material on the inside of the kite which I didn’t think made a big difference until I hit some 7-8knot lulls. The kite feels much “floatier” in these lighter winds and to me made it feel more predictable. Really nice feeling in not ideal conditions. The D2 is a higher aspect kite and feels like it generates much for lift which you can really notice in light winds. In my opinion it gives a better low end experience once you get it moving. I was really blown away with how much you can pull on the back lines without the kite stalling; which is a great feeling in the lighter conditions where the wind tends to stall kites easily.
Turning– Overall it turns similar in speed but the reaction time has improved (it turns without a delay). I did notice it doesn’t do as much of a pivot turn. This make sense (as I mentioned above) it doesn’t want to stall no matter how much you pull on the back lines. So it might take a little more finesse.
Upwind/downwind angle – Huge improvement here. Really felt like the kite would go further towards the edge of the window when I was riding upwind. Downwind I didn’t notice much difference but upwind has major improvements.
Launching/relaunch – Since it has more cells and it’s higher aspect, it does inflate slightly slower. The D1 was by far the fastest inflating kite on the market, so while the D2 does inflate slower, it’s still faster inflation then all the other race kites I’ve flown. Relaunch felt good but I only crashed it once.
Overall – it’s clear the Diablo 2 is a higher performing race kite. The Diablo v1 obvious has won it’s fair share of races, but it was a surprisingly easy kite to fly. The Diablo 2 is definitely faster and more powerful but definitely requires a bit more skill so I’m glad F-one is continuing to make the D1 in the 11m & 15m sizes.
Which kite is right for you? In my opinion, if you’re looking to be a competitive racer or if you’re looking for really extremely good light wind performance, then the Diablo 2 is the way to go. If you want to race a foil kite but can sacrifice the 5% difference in performance, then the Diablo1 is easier to fly and at a better price point.
Participating in this event was a last minute decision, yet I’m happy Jon Modica persuaded me to fly out to St. Pete Florida. Being a three day event over a weekend was a great opportunity to drop in and test my skills and gear against some of the top American racers. Friday being a training day, left Saturday and Sunday as race days. Through-out the event conditions varied from 3′ chop and gusts of 25 knots to a consistent 15 knots and flat water. The majority of the regatta I spent most of my time riding my brand new F-One Diablo V2 15m. The latest kites coming from F-One have yet again set a new precedent in versatility and performance. Riding through a range of conditions while staying on one kite can prove to be vital, which helped me to win 8 out of 9 races sailed. Although the kites are high aspect, they are quite user friendly. Although I’ve only had the new Diablo V2’s for only a week now, they give me the confidence to put myself in a tough/tactical positions while on the race course that could make or break the race for me. Competing in the St. Pete Fall Foil Regatta was a real treat for me. Hats off to race management and the organizers, I can’t wait to come back in the spring and race again on The Gulf Coast.
Aaron McLearnon – Owner of Elite Watersports in St Petersburg
What a epic session on my new #Fone 13m Diablo v2 – Winds got down to 7kts and even touched the water with it a couple times but still made it home super fast. Higher aspect then the Diablo V1. Definitely faster to the edge, more grunt on the gusts, super powerful surge to the edge of the window that pros will appreciate! Very noticeable that it just wants to go faster. I had it out in 15-18kts yesterday and 7-11 today Easy relaunch even after completely rolling into a ball on a down loop jibe in 8kts or so at that time. Not for the beginner but definitely for the rider that wants the best fine tuned racing machine right out of the bag.
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