Would You Recommend Sensei Trainer Kites?

by Chris
(Minneapolis, MN)

My new HQ Rush 250 took a hard hit on a blustery day on the Oregon coast recently. The sand must have made a perfect "seal" with the leading edge on the hit because 5 of the 12 cell walls were blown out almost completely! The other 7 walls sustained damage as well. Needless to say, the damage was too significant to warrant a repair, so I am looking at buying another trainer kite. I have found used (rental) 2m and 3m Sensei kites online for $85 and $120 respectively. I would like to have as much (if not more) pull than my HQ Rush 250, so I'm wondering if these Sensei kites would be worth the money and if they are quality kites?

Comments for Would You Recommend Sensei Trainer Kites?

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Sep 03, 2009
I Personally Don't Like Them.
by: Glen - KiteboardingEvolution.com

Hi Chris,

Sorry to hear about your kite - that must have been one heck of a crash.

To be perfectly honest, I don't like the Sensei Trainer kite very much at all. To rank the ones that I have flown in terms of how fun they are to fly, the Sensei is in last place (out of the Ozone Imp, HQ Rush, Best Trainer, and the Sensei).

The reason that I don't like this kite is because of the way it flies. When I was testing the 2009 model, I found that whenever I parked the kite on the edge of the wind window, and then turned it towards the power zone (or quickly turned it away from the edge at all) it would fold on itself, loose it's shape, and fall to the ground in a mess. This didn't just happen once in a while, but was a consistent feature of the kite.

Because of this, I couldn't fly the kite as aggressively as I wanted, and had to mess around re-launching the kite much more often than necessary.

I compared the geometry of the Sensei to the kites that did not fold upon themselves in mid air, and the big difference between them is in the curvature of the kite itself. The Sensei's canopy is much more curved than any of the Best, HQ, or Ozone kites, and this is why I think the kite folds upon itself.

Because the canopy is curved, a portion of the top side of the kite (right above the wingtip) can be exposed directly to the wind if it is turned hard enough, and is far enough forward into the wind (i.e. on the edge of the wind window). As soon as wind blows on the top surface of any foil type wing (like a kite or parachute), it collapses and looses it's shape.

In the case of the Sensei, once it lost it's shape and folded upon itself, it lamely floated to the ground and I had to re-launch it. Once in a while it would re-open in mid air and I could fly it away, but this happened maybe 1 in 6 times.

Other than this problem, the kite flew fast and pulled hard. Unfortunately, the kite folding on itself was enough of an issue for me to never want to fly it (when I had access to all the HQ, Ozone, and Best kites) . Some of the other testers who flew the kites also noticed and commented on how the Sensei crumpled in mid air.

So, of all the kites that I tested, I hold HQ and Ozone in the highest regard, Best in second, and Sensei in last.

I hope this answers your question.

Feb 07, 2014
I second that
by: Aaron

I also had an HQ kite explode by running it into the ground like you said. I got a Sensei 3m for Christmas and I have had consistent problems with it collapsing on itself...even when flying it just standing still. It's even worse when trying to ride with it. My biggest problem is that it occasionally opens back up pointing downward right before hitting the ground. It then hits the ground hard with very little warning.

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