Why I Used Flexfoil Blade IV in the Desert
Why use a Blade IV in the desert?
The simple answer is that there isn’t a better kite for traversing sand dunes.
Living in the UAE, I’m lucky to have an enormous playground plastered with sand dunes reaching in some cases several hundred feet above the desert floor and stretching for what seems an endless distance into the Empty Quarter.
With Flexi’s introduction of the Blade IV’s, I am able to take full advantage of this foil’s incredible performance
Wind in the dunes is frequently very choppy and stability is an important factor, which the Blade IV’s have. It’s not fun to drop a kite behind a dune when the temperatures are exceeding 50º C. I have had a few body shattering slogs up & down dunes in the past to set the kite up ready for a re-launch. It is fairly normal for me these days to sit in my buggy for 2 hours or more & never drop the Blade.
I use Flexi’s extreme lines (40 m), which have never let me down. They are light as well as long enough to allow me to keep the kite above the dunes where the wind is. I have tremendous confidence that they won’t snap when heading up a 60 degree slope with a 60 or 70 feet drop behind me.
An important feature for the desert buggier is the Blade’s famous lift characteristics, which surpasses any other kite for ripping up a dune. It doesn’t matter what the angle is, the Blades just pull effortlessly. I have to be careful on reaching the dune ridge that I don’t take off. I have had cases in the past where I have continued up whilst watching my buggy descend rapidly down into a sandy valley.
The larger Blades allow for nice floaty landings. It’s just a question of keeping one’s nerve when airborne. A quick flick of the handles to pull on the brake lines & I can switch the power off like a light switch & with a precision control to keep the Blade flying nicely without luffing or more importantly doing my flying act as just mentioned above.
Speed control, is the secret to successful dune buggying and the Blade IV makes it all so much easier. The dunes are not just straight up and down but a labyrinth of twisting ridges & valleys at all angles. I am constantly making decisions where to go. A wrong turn can put me over a ridge on to vicious sandstone rock formations.
We run dunes rather like a snowboarder going down a half pipe. The Blade IV allows me to turn the kite much later than other kites of the same size, which means I can get higher up a dune wall higher before turning the kite & buggy to come back down. Doing this is kite-buggying heaven especially this time of the year after the heavy rains, which has firmed up the sand.
Dune buggying is probably more of a niche sport and it almost seems that the Blade IV has been specially designed for my game of dune buggying.
Besides some other kite models, I currently own 10 Blades but my favourites are the 4.9m & 6.5m IV’s. These two kites react very fast & turn very quickly. The 6.5m which I call an intermediate sized kite turns like a small kite. Before you think that I’m just some kind of a Blade nut, then you just need to see what my buggying mates are using here. They all fly Blades with many of them now investing in Blade IV’s.