Jun 9, 2011
Author: SBC Kiteboard Test Team
The Screamer is the high-powered, big-boosting, high-altitude freestyle and freeride kite of the Epic C-kite line that includes the Renegade and Junior Pro lines. For 2011, the 14 metre has improved turning speed and reduced bar pressure with new improvements in frame construction and overall durability.
• Big boosting, big hangtime kite
• Good low-end power
• Easy water relaunch
On the Water
The Epic Screamer has good low-end power that is complemented by reactive steering input for its size and smooth drive across the window. In the right hands, the drive of this kite is augmented by some nice power generation through diving and edging it hard across the window. It’s a fun kite that the advanced rider can steer/fly aggressively. Fast pulling and consistent power through down loops let you carve with good drive and speed through transitions. It turns and reacts quickly and with the turning speed of a smaller sized kite. Good acceleration and aggressive power is felt through the gusts. These can be tamed by sheeting out the bar and edging hard. This kite likes to have consistent input from its rider and the rewards are big jumps, and long hangtime. The Screamer is also well rounded in its performance and can hold its own while unhooked to guarantee aggressive pop with some extra lift. Its water relaunch is excellent and one of the easier large kites to rotate and take flight with a pull of the steering line. The good forward pulling speed and low-end power will also represent the Screamer well on any race circuit.
Designed for intermediate to advanced riders that react to the formidable increase in power experienced when gusts drive this kite. Not as versatile for waves as some of the all-terrain SLEs of the test.
It’s a kite for advanced riders that want a big-boosting, high-powered freestyle kite that demands attention but rewards experience with huge boosting, and fast and aggressive handling. It caters to the rider that loves powered freestyle manoeuvres at high altitudes, and can also hold its own for the odd unhooked park session. The Epic Screamer is a high-performance kite.
Control Bar and Safety Systems
The Epic XTEND bar has smooth tapered EVA foam grip with longhorn style bar ends that can adjust the throw length of the bar by 10 cm when moved from the outside to the inside settings. There are bar floats and a safety flagging handle on the left outside steering line, which adds good secondary safety. The XTEND is stopper-ball equipped with a double-ball system that houses the mini-fifth line flagging system and the double-backed trim line. In a joint venture with Blade Kite, Epic has developed a push-away release system called the Swivel Dome. Made tough plastic and flexible materials, the dome at the top enables manual untwisting of the front lines after Kite Loops or rolls. There’s nothing overly flashy or overtly inspiring about XTEND, but all systems worked smoothly and without fail for the test rider sessions.