CRAZYFLY INFINITY 9M (2021)
INFINITY 9M 2021
WORDS BY: Jim Gaunt
TESTED BY: Jim and Rob Claisse
TESTER BIOS AND TEST PARAMETERS: Here
PUBLISHED: Summer 2021 print issue
TEST TEAM NOTES: Looking at the shape I had in my mind the Infinity would develop a lot of power and could be a handful in anything close to 20 knots. In fact, the unusual two-strut design and high-aspect shape really helps the Infinity manage what are comparatively strong winds for foiling. Although there is a little canopy ruffling through the faster down turns or rapid sheet-out movements, we have to say that the canopy tension is really good in this delta-bow platform and often much more solid than many single struts across the same varied conditions.
TRUE LIGHTWIND PERFORMANCE Our first session was actually very light, hovering around 12 knots. The Infinity, however, felt pretty stable overhead and, as our test sessions went on, we'd end up being really impressed by the design's broad range and ability to adapt and remain comfortable as conditions changed. The power generation through forward drive really lends itself to light wind board starts. It's particularly good when using the downloop method to start if the wind is really light, positioning the kite out to the back half of the window and then letting the kite do what it loves to do; drive forward through the window, resulting in a beautiful drive to bring you up onto the foil. If you can get this technique dialled, you'll rarely be scratching around for power. I can't see myself needing anything bigger than this nine metre for true 11 or 12 knot riding conditions and there's no back stall either.
STEERING Being a smallish bar, it's very easy to reach the float on the end and give a quick tug to influence the kite through a quick, useful spin at any time. Generally through average input at the bar, the turning arc isn't super tight, but it's very constant, predictable and smooth. Very light and easy to steer, the Infinity delivers a good mix of forward movement while also being stable drifting further back in the window, allowing you to correct your steering on the fly if you bear towards the kite before you've given it the command to turn. There's the forgiving nature of a low aspect design, while also delivering the clean forward upwind performance of a high aspect kite. TWO STRUT Flexifoil used a two strut set-up to great effect back in the day, the result being a kite with excellent power generation through the middle of the canopy and a very even, balanced feel overhead with the kite at the zenith. This too is true of the Infinity, with the added benefit of not suffering from the effects of tip flapping as can be the case with singe strut kites when they travel hard and fast through the window, or are heavily sheeted out during big gusts. While the Infinity is very easy to use in light winds, there is often a need to maintain some extra pressure on the back hand when you're riding along in very light wind. It could be to do with the fact that we've spent a lot of time on some very lightly constructed kites recently, or that having a strut weight focused in the tip area has a downward gravitational effect with the kite on its side. Either way, we can never deny CrazyFly kites are built for the use and abuse that average kiteboarders will put a kite through. Plus, despite this slight increase in back hand pressure at times in lighter airs, the low wind performance is excellent and the kite never wants to overfly and Hindenberg overhead or backstall, which is all important for those not used to pushing their boundaries in light winds. Twin-tip freeride performance in there thanks to the kite's range, but there's not a lot of lift overhead, which is why the Infinity is very approachable for foiling. On any kite you remove struts from, perfect relaunch can be compromised. In absence of a central supporting strut, if you're unlucky enough to have a lot of water wash over the leading edge when you crash the kite, it can take longer to then bring the kite round and onto its side for relaunch. If it's just a little water, which can happen in normal conditions that's no problem. The swept shape of the Infinity usually makes relaunching a breeze with a little tug on a back line.
SICK BAR The Sick bar remains unchanged and is finely crafted in Europe at CrazyFly’s own factory in Slovakia. Comfortable, yet sleek and simple it features a super light carbon core, the rubber centre line is smooth, the swivel above the chicken-loop operates easily and the chicken-loop is a good size for both unhooking and remaining hooked-in with an unobtrusive chicken finger. The trimming tab does dangle a bit when you have a lot of trim pulled on, but there’s a neat Velcro patch to be able to secure the end against the cleat.
“Whether you're riding in 12 knots or pushing towards 20 and making use of the very extensive throw, the Infinity gives a brilliant sense of control, whether you're new to foiling or not.”
SUMMARY: Whether you're riding in 12 knots or pushing towards 20 and making use of the very extensive throw, the Infinity gives a brilliant sense of control, whether you're new to foiling or not. Loads of sheeting power mixed with responsive handling and turns that never result in rough doses of power, no matter how hard you handle the kite. Very complete package, including comfortable and fully featured bar. KW LIKED:
Genuine 12 knot performance that's easy to achieve and feel good about your riding skills. The top end is also very manageable too... which results in excellent value from one kite. KW WOULD CHANGE: Advanced kiters who very aggressively handle their kites may prefer more bar pressure when spinning through a manoeuvre without eyeballs on the kite's location.
INFINITY BALANCE POINTS: Build quality: 8 Full package: 9 Low end: 8.5 Top end: 7.5 Steering speed: 6 Turning circle: 3.5 (if pulled hard) Bar pressure: 4 Water relaunch: 8 Drift: 8 Boost: DT Hang-time: DT Unhooked: DT Crossover: 4 Ease of use: 8 SIZES: 12, 10, 9, 7 and 5m
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