All posts by Dave

North Dice 2018

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

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Ronix and Kiteboarding; an expensive relationship?

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).

Shops

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.

Marc Jacobs

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”.

Ronix 

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.

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Airush Union V3 9m

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?

Airush Union V3
Airush Union V3

Continue reading Airush Union V3 9m

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Flysurfer Stoke 9m

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.

Flysurfer Stoke
Flysurfer Stoke

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Core XR5 9m

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.

Core XR5
Core XR5

Continue reading Core XR5 9m

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Ocean Rodeo Prodigy (V) 9.5m

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.

Continue reading Ocean Rodeo Prodigy (V) 9.5m

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Core GTS4 9m

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?

Core GTS4 9m
Core GTS4 9m

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Ocean Rodeo Stick Shift bar

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?

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KiteShield, a cover to protect your kite

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.


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Update II on North Click bar (front lines damage)

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.

Damage after 8 months
Wear out after 8 months

Continue reading Update II on North Click bar (front lines damage)

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