Former Best designer Peter Stewie is now in charge as the designer for Eleveight. His personal twist on the Best Roca, with a pulley on the back line, comes back on the PS Eleveight in the form of an elastic bridle. The PS, a true beginners kite, often stated on webshops as “Schools only” is -below 800 euro’s!- incredibly low priced. It isn’t the most advanced developed kite, but it is well build and comes from a brand which internationally jump started in 2017 since a lot of people see Eleveight as the follow up from Best. Which means selling it again won’t be such a problem. This may be quite important as you will grow out of this PS much sooner than do-it-all kites that are less focussed to beginners only, like a F-one Bandit.
Pick randomly a kiter on a twin tip and 90% chance he or she will love the Ozone Enduro v2. It’s like a Labrador. Quite impossible to hate. A very fit dog anyway. You can rely on it in any circumstance because It is stable, not too radical and not too boring with a good windrange including a clever way to tweak the kites behaviour. We almost could not find anything to complain about. Maybe the lack of changes compared to its previous model v1? Or the 25m lines that normally comes with it? Just make sure you order the bar with 23+2m extensions and almost everybody will be jealous about your lovely pet.Ozone Enduro V2
F-one has shuffled its kite line up slightly. Now that there is a proper freestyle C-kite born, the latest Bandit can ease down a bit and focus fully on the less extreme side of kiteboarding. It is more friendly, gives a better indication where your kite is and has a bit more bar pressure. And with -finally- a new, but questionable, wide inflate we discovered how much the 11th version of the Bandit has shifted towards a kite which is even better for a beginner than previous versions.
Will 2018 bring some game changing kites? We were lucky enough to get our hands on four 2018 A-brand kites. We tested the 9 meters of the F-one Bandit 11th version, the Ozone Enduro V2, the North Dice 2018 and the Slingshot RPM 2018. We put them on the menu of our test team on a sunny and -more important- windy place, with varying conditions.
The biggest compliment a kite can get is to be the bench mark for other kites. That is exactly what we have been told during many of our tests; “could you compare our kite to the Dice?”. For 2018 two minor changes in the kite results in a something we would’t expect for the Dice. Did some of the Evo aspects get under it’s new tripled skin? Definitely more hang time and your Woo score will go up if you come from previous versions of the Dice. But it is an bit of an unexpected development for a kite that used to give that quick, responsive but above all fun feeling. Continue reading North Dice 2018
A blunt and harsh question; Is the relation between Ronix boots and kiteboarding a problematic marriage? Bound to have a quick and dirty divorce? A statement mostly driven by one fact; lose of warranty of those very comfortable and stylish, but also pricey boots in this relationship.
It is a fact that kiteboarders on boots are abusing their material more than riders on straps. Particularly the boots suffer a lot. Many of them break down much, much quicker compared to straps. But the Ronix ones seem to beat other brands in the boots category. It isn’t easy to estimate how long it takes before the first issues occur. But a couple of our readers showed us that break down as quick as within 6 months is not rare.
That Ronix aren’t the strongest boots out there is not really hot news. See some wording on this topic on kitesista. Most (first) issues are related to the laces (breakage within weeks). Followed by the connection of the laces to the boots (usually within months).
When going back to a store with broken gear it usually means the distributor will judge on the warranty. No different for Ronix’s products. And without much exceptions we hear a very abrupt and short answer popping up from them when they hear you used them while kiteboarding; “no warranty”.
We had several readers asking us if this is true, so we chased down a kiteboard pro’s who got sponsored by Ronix. And of course we had, or rather tried, to have a chat about the warranty issues with Ronix.
An quick and honest reaction came from Marc Jacobs, a pro kiter formerly sponsored by Ronix. Wait. Did we say sponsored by Ronix, a kiteboarding pro. Really?? Marc explains: “Kiteboarding is s big market for Ronix boots now but they have never be interested in sponsoring kiters but I see why dealers help us out as it helps sales in there area of the rider.
So we put him up with our main question about the warranty. He was quite straight in his answer “They properly stop warranty for kiters because we ride and salt water and not fresh and damage them much more”.
We also contacted Ronix (USA); surprisingly (or not?) they reacted differently to a potential customer from someone seeking warranty.
When we asked about warranty on their boots we got a short but clear answer; The warranty is the same if you’re kiteboarding or Wakeboarding. Completely the opposite from what we have been told before. That is why we contact several other suppliers and they contacted the distributors which contacted Ronix (again).
And now the answer was more to what we expected, although the answer still has a evasive taste to it; Generally speaking our boots were designed for wakeboarding. Either behind the boot or at a cable park. There are a couple factors that come with kiteboarding that void the coverage. Most kiteboarding is done in salt water which decreases the life expectances of a boot. Also the amount of force the boot takes compared to wakeboarding can be more and therefore harder on the boot.
Wake up call?
So at the moment you either know a very handy shoemaker, lie about the use when going for a warranty claim or have the financial capability to take your -quite likely- quick loss on Ronix boots. And kiteboarding shops; please warn the users before selling?! Of course we rather see that due to this message Ronix will change its warranty policy and label some (or all) of its boots to be suited for kiteboarding.
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.