If the Union was a dog it would be a Shepherd. It listens unbeatable secure to your input and combines it with a incredible fast reaction. Interesting is the Airush invention of the Dyneema Load Frame. It is used again in the third version of the Union. Which means Airush is convinced it is the answer to its competitors triple and even quadruple wired canopy. Is this a strong answer? And will the Shepherd show its teeth when needed?
It is clear which gap Flysurfer wanted to fill in with the Stoke. From the outsider in the tube kite world, we would have expected a fresh and different angle for a mainstream tube kite. But it turns out to be a friendly, quite fast responding kite with an intuitive character, with little surprises. It has some nice features, like an adjustable bridle and a build in self launch system. And as a bonus it will get you higher in the air as you may expect. A beginner (or school) until a semi advanced kiter would be a good match for the Stoke. But we also have some remarks on some details of the Stoke.
Park and ride the Core XR5, just like a North Rebel. With impressive sweet long lasting jumps. The XR5, build according to Core’s high quality has a very firm, triple layered, kite cloth without any wrinkle what ever you do with it. But the XR5 is the opposite of a throw-around kite. Just as the Rebel or Ozone Edge you need to choose for this kite specifically to just go out cruise at impressive speed and make long floating jumps. Another acquaintance with the Rebel: It has exactly the same -quite high- price.
It will reward you sky wise and is a fraction sweeter as a Rebel. But it won’t challenge you to do anything outside of your comfort zone and it clearly isn’t made to go out on a directional for some slamming wave riding.
The name Prodigy might get your thoughts going towards the British extreme and hardcore dance and rock and roll performance, famous for its shocking Smack my Bitch up. The Ocean Rodeo Prodigy is quite the opposite. To stay in music terms it would rather be described by a mellow thé dansant get together. Reliable and stable, but not made to be thrown around. Perfect for kiters who need a tower of strength in their “fire starter” in to the kite sport, to keep it in The Prodigy terms.
The GTS has a pretty hardcore reputation. The German Core brand gradually gets more and more into the picture with short-line kite mega loop king Steven Akkersdijk and Joshau Emanuel being one of the major competitor in the Woo world wide leader board with a stunning 27.6m on the GTS4. To what extend can this C kite, with 3 struts and a high V-split, be getting the average kiter some more kicks out their sessions? Or is it just for a select amount of athletic dare devils that can really benefit from the GTS4?
It is the third innovative bar which has been released recently. The Cabrinha Fireball and the North Click bar are now joined by the Ocean Rodeo Stick Shift bar. Just like the North bar the power and depower control is adjusted on the back lines by turning a button at the right side of the bar. All three are refinements which results in cleaner systems with small, delicate benefits. Mind you the Ocean Rodeo and North bars also come with a significant price tag. Is it worth it and which one to choose?
Continue reading Ocean Rodeo Stick Shift bar
Kites are quite vulnerable. They get a lot of beating from the sand, sun and water and get worn out quite quickly. Generally kites are replaced sooner than for example boards. What if we could protect our kites a bit better and make them last longer? Or what if we could leave our kites protected on the beach in between two sessions without deflating and pack them? Or keep an extra kite on the beach in shifting winds to make sure you can quickly change to another size.
This is exactly why the Kiteshield has been invented. The kiteshield is a cover to put over your inflated kite on the beach to protect it from UV, sand and about everything you put your kite on. But does it really work when it is windy? Does it stay on the kite even in strong winds and are we able to get it on without too much hassle? We already got one of those Kite covers and tried it. The idea is great for some purposes, but the product needs some evident changes.
Although the North Click bar is our favorite bar so far, we did make an update on the damage on the front lines around the split point in March. Quite quickly North contacted us on this subject. We spoke with North again, a few months later after several of our readers including our self’s asked for an update on the matter. Basically they admit there is some wear out on one of the front lines around the split, but for the time being it will only be monitored.
Sometimes you see a kite and you think that one can be a good one for me. In other cases you think, nah that cannot be much for me. For the KSP Charger and the Phantom it was for both kites exactly the opposite of what we thought. The Charger, with 5 lines and 3 struts, is much more radical wake style than we ever thought and way above of our -and probably 90% of our readers- level. The two strutted Phantom however, is so much better than any other two strutted kite we have ever tried. It even beats a lot of other kites. And that for a price which is roughly 40% lower than most other kites.
The Roca, the follow up of the Kahoona, fits much better in the Best line up being less far away from the TS as the Kahoona used to be. For beginners till intermediate level it is a very good kite. Both the performance and quality are as a you may expect from an major brand. Good to have for a kite school and certainly for an average twin tip rider. But the users must like a low bar pressure and the soft, though very rapid power on-off kite. It can get a nervous feeling though, especially in gusty winds.