PTW Views

Tornado 3 v Apexx

Q If the world & the european champions went racing on T3’s, would they still be  as quick? or quicker?

The big question….I wonder!!!, and an interesting one.

I have an  opinion, and I am only talking as someone from outside the racing scene here, it  would be interesting to have say the top two pilots with the exact same riding  style and body weight using the same Kite and size, one in a T3 one in an Apexx to see the out come, my guess is the race would be fairly close, but there would  be a winner, the T3 and Apexx are two very different buggies in terms of materials used, weight distribution, and size….over the last few years buggies especially race buggies have changed and rightly so, they have evolved into what we see in a race today, long gone are the 40X40 swan necks, the filling the forks up with lead etc, nowadays a top race buggy needs to have every aspect right in order for a race pilot to consider parting with his cash , weight nowadays is still very important…BUT not the heavy sluggish buggies from the past, not the ones necessarily bang on the 60kg limit, there is a very fine balance now with weight and acceleration, a course is not about two marks on thebeach….there can be 6,7,8 or more marks, and after a few circuits the amount of marks greatly adds up, so acceleration from a mark is as important as is a heavier buggy on a long reach….certain buggies will be more suited to certain courses.

Another consideration, Be honest, if you were the best racing buggier in the world, what buggy would you choose, you would want the best tool for the job, The top 20 F1 racers for instance are all brilliant, but they would all like to be in the winning team every race, and if given the chance would be driving for Red Bull this season, no matter how loyal they are to their team, true racers want to win….coming second is not an option so they want and need the best equipment for the job.

Why not look over, say,  the last 3 years European Finals, (and I have zero knowledge of this) take the top ten from each year, look what buggies they were riding, that should give you an idea of what the best racers in Europe WANT under their kites, and should give you a good enough average, as far as I know it might not be either T3 or Apexx, perhaps someone can show us those figures, Remember a winner only wants the best gear to give him every possible chance to win, the rest is down to his own skills.

Perhaps, we are all talking this much too seriously, and simply throwing our hard earned money down the drain, what is it now, over £8000 for a set of Vapors £1000-£2000 for a decent race buggy…then there’s all the extras involved…..where’s the engine for god sake lol…..The point I am saying is no matter what name is on the buggy, no matter what kite
brand you are flying, if one racer is 11stone and another is 25stone…what the hell difference is a few kgs or a few mm’s in width or length going to make…..seriously what?, the answer is probably none.

You put the the greatest yachtsman in the world in any of his rivals yachts, he will still have the knowledge and skill set to do very well, he is the one with the experience to know when and when not to take a risk, when to start a perfect gybe or tack, when to grow the biggest balls in a dodgy situation in order to be the best.

I have never really got involved in the “mine is better than yours, or this one is better than that one” discussions….money talks…I have seen up close both the buggies involved in this discussion, I have the utmost respect for ANY buggy builder and especially for John aka Trikbitz who has single handidly brought affordable good race buggies to the masses in the UK and Ruud and Ozzy who I consider the Godfathers of buggy building, treat buggy building as a science and have sold world wide.

I have spent my money on an Apexx, and when a walk in my garage now, I don’t just see a buggy sat on my trailer, I see work or art, from the intricate details to the sexy curves of the side boards, a buggy that wins, and a buggy that some of the top European racers want, I also like it because…….it is different like the Dominator, and all other buggies in my opinion look…..just ordinary. I am a buggy builder, I am very proud of the buggies I have built, and extremely proud of the Dominators, a buggy that is so different from everything else out there and still works well. I also have to go out and earn my money like the rest of you, and I have chosen where to spend my money.  I am not being disloyal to myself or to Trikbitz, I don’t even race for god sake. I am just complimenting a fellow buggy builder in the greatest way.

Good question Al….the answer is out there…….cue X Files Music


Lets Talk About Speed and Upwind Performance….Again

Ok…so we know the fastest kite in the world recorded is the Vapor….but that mainly is because there are not many people mad enough to go out there in the extreme winds needed to break records… the data, is really quite limited if we think about.

I have long thought, depowerable kites are the way forward when it comes to speed, I even wrote about it a few years ago on my web site, mainly because you have much more control over the kite, for instance you can start off fully trimmed in, and as the speed builds up let more and more out, as the run comes to an end trim in again if needed…Fixed bridle in these
condition in my mind is much more dangerous, you only have to look at some of the footage at NABX 2010 when Arjen broke the record and the year before, to see him getting thrown around like a rag doll, and that before he even gets in the buggy.

I have recently made contact with a guy called Christopher Krug form the US (A PL Sponsored Snow Kiter)…he flys depower kites on snow and ice…..on skis…his top speed so far is 73.5mph, and he is very confident of breaking these great big kites can go quick…this has confirmed it for me, yeah we knew about the 50s and sometimes getting into the 60s…but this guy does it regularly.

The video below was taken a while ago…he is flying a Phantom, the wind I would guess is around late teens…just look at the upwind performance of this kite about half way through…he is almost going directly upwind, you can see this via the snow skating across the ice…..then after this look at the acceleration when he dials it in….I am amazed at this for such a large kite, just imagine the speeds obtainable on a 20-30mph day….of course space is his problem….its not like Ivanpah where you have mile upon mile to go at….anyway have a look at this

Here’s what he says about this video
I found some footage from a session last season on Lake Chocorua. I had mounted up an old pair of Salomon 1S skis with a new lifter and was testing them out just to see how they felt compared to my regular DH stuff.It turned out to be a damn good day for going fast inspit of the lack of room. I don’t know how fast I went that day because I didn’t bring my GPS and the goggle battery was dead from the day before. Oh well, it was a good day to be out.The thing I like about this footage is that you kinda get a sense of the speed as I approach the East shore and waive off. I could probably have gone a bit faster but with no snow on shore, glare ice and nothing between me and the trees and rocks you have to keep a margin for error.The kite is a 12m Peter Lynn Phantom 2 prototype. Damn I love that thing.At 1:27 I touched a wingtip, that’s why she went down. At 2:15 I hook a good gust and ripped as far as I could. I really like the footage after that of the kite riding the gust out semi at the edge of the window as I work my way back up the lake.Jim Cline was the other kiter on the 5m Frenzy.This was one of the nicest days I’ve seen on Chocorua. The wind was pretty much straight NW with little variation and pretty consistent gust factor. Usually that lake is a total
goat rodeo. =)”

and for off board footage at a different location

Ok…its not buggying, and I know depower kites have been used for years in a buggy, but now I think if we start using them in vengeance…at the right location, who knows what is possible

So What Makes the best Race Buggy….and Why?

So….I was reading the posts on KiteCrowd…and there was a new post…

So What make is the best buggy & Why ?

I watch the thread unfold for a few days, and enjoying every ones comments, but every one was avoiding answering the initial question…….WHY?, oh there were lots of good buggies being mentioned, but nobody was saying why they were good, so I had a think for a day or so and came back with this…

Personally if we are talking race buggies like the last few posts…I would choose an Apexx…..”why?” because Ruud has been building buggies for 21 years now, and top race buggies for 12 years, this guy is a perfectionist, as well as a very good welder, along side him designing is Ozzy who has the sharpest eye for detail, they are a perfect team imho. 

They take their time, they have spent many years researching, testing and developing the perfect buggy to race with…they have looked, they have listened, they have fine tuned, they are the leaders in their field, and all others follow. Ruud and Ozzy, live and breathe buggies, they know all the answers to all the question you could imagine concerning buggies.

Ruud was the first to develop the side rails with the extra bend so you can lock yourself under the rails…how many of those do you see around now copied, the fully adjustable rear axle, to ride the perfect height for different wheel set ups, the fine tuning of the swan neck angles….most if not all of these came from Ruud and Ozzy.  The Apexx buggy, with so many configurations, leaves all the other buggies out there looking rather “normal”…within the race scene who has everyone chosen to copy….answer the Apexx, yes you have to pay a premium
price for an Apexx, maybe double than you would a replica or look a like, but there is a reason for that, and that is the amount, of time, plates, the extras, the development and craftsmanship that goes into that premium buggy.

“But the replicas do look like an Apexx”…yes vaguely similar, they may do at first, there have been a few people copy the Dominator for instance, and at first glance you may well think it was one of mine, but I can tell instantly all the things that are wrong with it, and its the same principle with the Apexx copies, the difference between an original and a copy is like
night and day.

Seriously, you would not believe all the questions and measurements taken by XXtreme to have the buggy perfectly made for its owner, each buggy they make is unique, it is tailor made, to fit the pilot perfectly like a suit …..and….and this says it all, there are over 400 XXtreme buggies out there… many have you seen for sale….not one I bet…that answers everything really.

I sound like an XXtreme salesman….well I am not, I do not sell their buggies nor take any commissions, I am just giving an honest answer.

Freestlye, well Flexi have long been proven the weapon of choice, no arguing that one

Well that was an honest an answer I could possibly give…other people during the thread had said some of my buggies, so it must of seemed weird, when PTW is bigging up someone elses work…..well I went one step further than that, I actually put my money where my mouth is and bought one…and it arrived this week. I was lucky enough to have ridden Coolbreezes Apexx at NABX, and it was no secret that I thought his buggy in particular was my favorite in buggy camp, so I had already had a taster….I will say though, it went no faster than the Hero buggy I had taken there ha ha.

Anyway….there you have it, an honest answer backed up by hard cash out of my pocket.

Does this mean I will not make any more buggies..? Hell no

Does this mean all I will ride now will be an APEXX..? Hell no

Does it seem kinda strange you actually buying a buggy..? Oh yes….dead strange

Will I lose credibility as a buggy builder because I have bought from another stable….? I hope not

What do you want to get out of this..?…inspiration, ideas, and experience, riding an Apexx will only make me a better buggy builder. I have always said I will not compromise and copy someone else, although I have no problem builders copying me…I encourage it in fact, it is a compliment as far as I am concerned, but I will get ideas and put my own take on it.

Oh and by the way….the Apexx was a perfect fit….as good as if I had built it for myself


PTW’s views about “The most advanced production buggy on the Planet”

Read it all HERE