Review: Gaastra Spark 2015 8m

Gaastra Spark 8m
Gaastra Spark 8m

The 2015 Gaastra Spark is described as a crossover kite with superb low-end performance which should take you to the next level. It is not literally stated, but it seems the kite is intended for beginners, all though the Gaastra site states that the Spark is very popular with all riders.

The tested eight meter kite has five struts (three struts on 11m and above), the inflate is a classic wide -and quick- entrance to the perfect one-pump system and comes with the same four-line X2 bar as the freestyle oriented Pure which we tested (nine meter) at the same time with the Spark. The Spark is a bit cheaper (roughly 80 euro’s) than the Pure.

Test

We tested the Spark in steady 19 knots wind with some small waves up to 1,5 m. One thing immediately was clear; the promised low-end was certainly there. For example the eight meter Spark had more pull than the ten meter Best TS 2015 (which we also tested at the same time). The power is very clearly felt at the steering lines. In fact it was so powerful it reminded us a bot on the famous Slingshot Turbo Diesel from a couple of years ago. With one difference though; the Spark has a much smaller rotating circle and feels even a bit lively due to this. The power on the steering lines gives you a good feeling where the kite actually is, which really helps when you are a beginner. The down side of the huge amount of power on the steering lines is the intensive workout you get from riding with the Spark 2015.

2015-04-27 12.48.50
Steering lines should be set on the outer tip for less bar pressure

 

You don’t need to worry about its stability; this eight meter kite feels, and looks, very firm. This is probably due to its five struts, which is mostly only found on high-performance kites these days. Most similar kites as the Spark just have three, or even just 2 struts (like the Naish Ride).Flashy Bag Gaastra Spark 8m

Jumping is quite easy. The power to get to your jump is given over a long time when aiming for it. So timing for its perfect pull is not really an issue. Due to the high split point of its front lines in combination with the direct power on the steering lines it is a bit harder than usual to not over rotate the kite while jumping.

We couldn’t test the kite overpowered due to a lack of wind, but it seems the kite will stay in its shape no matter what. We wonder though how the kite would feel in (over)powered situation. De-powering is off course the logic step in such situations. We wonder if this de-power doesn’t affect the lively steering feeling too much in such (over)powered settings.Gaastra Spark 8m 2015

List price Gaastra Spark 2015 8m (kite only) Eur € 969,-

2015 X2 4 Line Kitebar Eur € 399,00

Reaction from Gaastra/Newsports Benelux (translated from Dutch);

We have made 5 struts in the smaller sizes, since they are used with stronger and thus more variable winds. We think the high-end of the Spark is also very good. We think mentioning anything on this high-end in the review is speculation. We are open for a re-test is necessary including that of the Pure 2015.

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Review: Gaastra Spark 2015 8m”

  1. Hi Friedrich,
    Welcome to this fantastic sport! 12m or any bigger probably is not going to help you much in those light winds. A good board (big one, a directional with big fins or a foil) and good technique of the rider is much more of influence!
    A bigger kite will also get slower in response which spoils a bit the fun feeling.
    So, yeah stay on the 11m!
    Dave
    We Test Kites.

  2. Hello,
    Thank you for your kite review. I also have had a few lessons on the atlanic coast of France last year and have bought a 11m spark, weighing only 56kg. I would like to ride it from 10 knots and above. Some other sites give me the impression I need a larger kite.
    What is your opinion? The answer to Roy (10m for 87kg) makes me think I made the good decision.
    I also have bought the 8m Pure for stronger winds.
    Friedrich

  3. Hi Roy,
    Thanks for your reaction.
    13m in Holland is a bit big in general (has nothing to do with the brand). We would say a 10m as a first kite would be more sensible. The chances you will be overpowered with a 13m is indeed an issue.
    Dave
    We Test Kites

  4. I’m doubting about buying a new 13msq spark 2015; have had 9lessons, ready to make the first few meters on my own; my weight is about 87kg; will I be overpowered soon?
    in Holland te wind is most of the times moderate.

  5. Hi Ian,
    No sorry we haven’t. We have tested the Bandit 9, Cash 2.1 reincarnation, Kite cleat, Drifter action cam, NP Tracker harness, Arush Livewire, F-one Acid 2016 and Trax.
    We have ready for testing 2 Best boards (Armada and Admiral).
    So sorry for the moment no GA gear. Dave

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