The 4-lines Gaastra Pure 9m 2015 has 3 struts, a bridle with no pulley’s nor any battens and a high split point of it’s front lines. The very colourful green-yellow bag comes with numerous -functional- pockets and includes a huge size indication. The bag certainly does get the attention on the beach. The inflate is a classic wide -and quick- entrance to the perfect one-pump system, including a unique protection padding. The X2 bar is a bit thicker than most other bars but looks very slick at a first glance, including the lines.
Though when looking a bit closer to the bar, there is an issue: although there is a safety ring, it doesn’t fit over the chickenloop. The manual of the Pure suggests for suicide mode to connect both the chickenloop and the safety to the leach. Our North safety leach however did not fit. A bigger leash connection would fit, but it would certainly compromise the safety, since the end of Gaastra’s X2 chickenloop is wider at the end. The chance a leach connection will be stuck to the chickenloop when using the safety system is very real. So a safe suicide mode is not possible. This is a bit strange for a kite branded as A freestylers dream weapon.*
Dutch Gaastra supplier Newsports, provider of the test kites has read our review and had a reaction to this issue (see below review).
Gaastra’s website is very clear at the aims of the Pure; It is dedicated to freestyle competition with most direct c-kite character, optimized kite-loop performance. The kite indeed has a sort of C-shaped look to it, but for a freestyle kite the split point of the front lines is quite high. This normally ends up with a fast turning kite. Something the opposite freestyle kiters need.
The Naish Ride is on the market for a couple of years now. In the slick product video the “All-Around Freeride” Ride is mostly ridden by good looking girls and young kids (with a voice over from a guy who probably is trained to talk people in to sleep). This video and the many details on the website of Naish suggest that the Ride is intended for users who demand a reliable, steady, easy to use and not too powerful kite.
After our first test of the Woo we were left with some questions; we found a good relation between 2 Woo’s on one board, but it wasn’t perfect. After a interview by Skype with the people behind Woo Sports in the States, it became clear we had a possible firmware difference between the two Woo’s we used in the first test, which could be the reason of the 15% differences. Apparently a few devices of early 2015 have a firmware that is different from the others.
We did a second test and used 2 devices which had the same firmware and put them close to each other and made sure both batteries were fully loaded. We tested them with 9m (2015 North Dice on a Ride Clash 1.38 with boots) kite in a steady 24 knots of wind with waves up to 2,5 meters. As described before in part one of the test, the device has a difficult task. The Woo uses “just” a motion sensor. Any idea what that is? Think of it as being in the back of a car blind folded while you need to guess the speed of the car by feeling the force of somebody using the breaks.
It is just for sale for a few months. The Woo Sports is a small waterproof device which measures and records automatically the height and air time of your jumps. You may see it as something similar as some people (men?) do with their cars; show off how good looking their bling-bling car is on a sunny boulevard with plenty people to watch. One huge difference though between a good looking car and a Woo; A good looking car needs money, a supreme height on the Woo leader board demands some athletic skills.
The Woo should be mounted to you board, turned on and when finished kiting you read the results from your iPhone with the Woo App. Then the big comparing game is on; in the Woo app you will find leaderboards (World/Europe/Asia etc) including one for you and your followers/friends. Ranked either in height or air time.
Main question of this review; how accurate is the Woo? Or even more important how consistent are the readings? If you think about it, you probably start to wonder how does the Woo actually measure the height and air time? Time to dive a little deeper in the Woo Sports.
According to the North website their North Select twintip is a 100% freeride board. It is described as a fast, light and responsive board and is build with Textreme Carbon. Out of curiosity we checked what Textreme Carbon actually is. Apparently it is not just a marketing term, but an existing material.
TeXtreme is the trade name of Oxeon’s “spread tow” carbon fiber composite. TeXtreme is different than traditional carbon fiber because the individual fibers are configured like extremely small ribbons, not round strands of carbon as with conventional carbon fiber. The wider, flatter orientation of TeXtreme carbon fiber means the individual carbon fibers nest closer to one another, producing a denser, stiffer, stronger interlace of carbon fibers. Since the carbon fibers are arrayed in closer proximity to each other there is less room for the matrix material, the “glue” that makes carbon fiber solid. Less matrix means more carbon and more carbon means better stiffness and energy management. It also means North can use less carbon fiber to produce an even stronger and lighter board.
The North Vegas is a designated “C”-kite. It is one of the last kites that comes without bridles. Even the Slingshot Fuel, a traditional C-kites, from 2015 models on now have bridles. The Vegas has a very specific aim: Freestyle. Its shape, this year for the first time, done by former world champion Aaron Hadlow, has been set to “create a superior kite for our team riders“.
The North Jamie board is one of the most popular boards of North. The 2015 model is already the 10th edition. It got its name from Tarifa veteran kiter Jaime Herraiz. The website of Northkiteboarding has sophisticated choose&slide features which pops up “best match” with the Jaime when selecting 25% Freeride and 100% Freestyle. The Jaime, according to the North website, is “The real beauty of the Jaime however is its forgiving nature; it’s one of the easiest boards to ride, yet it is still packed with performance “. Continue reading Test Twintip North Jaime 133*40 2015→
The Humanoid Howl boots are designed to be as close to straps as boots can be. Lower, softer, simpel 2-screws connected (“smart toof technology”) to the board and lighter than others. Not meant for the real pro, but for the average to experienced rider who wants to have the best of both worlds. Continue reading Test Humanoid Howl Boots 2014 (Best)→
Riding with boots is something all freestyle pro’s do. We rarely see other riders with boots. Why is this? And can non-pro’s (or non-wannabe’s) also enjoy riding with boots? We tried the 2015 Airush Livewire 140cm with AP Boots and see if we could enjoy it.
First time one boots
We rode the boots in 2 situations; underpowered with an 11m in 17 knots in open ocean with 1 m waves and nicely powered with 25 knots onshore wind on open ocean with 1,5 meter waves on a 9m.
So how does it feel? Heavy! The first thing (after having struggled at the edge of the water getting in the boots) you notice is the additional weight. It is only a few kilo’s, but it is enough to feel a difference especially while jumping. Another disadvantage of riding with boots underpowered is that they have considerately more drag than straps. So it was pretty difficult in our underpowered 17 knot session to get going. Each time a wave catches the board it is getting pushed back on the boots. All though we rode a relatively large board, riding with boots is not the perfect choice in (light) 17 knots wind conditions with waves. Continue reading Test Twintip Airush Livewire Team 140 *42 cm 2015 model (boots)→
Wainman is one of the first, if not the first brand who made kites specifically designed for wave riding. Wainman kites are updated by a version, instead of “renewing” them each year like most brands do. The newest version of their wave riding kite “Rabbit” is the 3.0. We tested this kite in gusty 20-30 knot Levante (side shore) wind in Canos de Meca, Spain. The conditions were good with waves up to 3 meters.
The 7 different colors belonging to each kite size (5 till 14.5m) are characteristic for Wainman. An unique detail about Wainman kites is that they give each kite size a name. In our case (the 7.5) is called “mr Green”. Wainman present’s kite size up to 2 digits (!) behind the comma (all having 3 struts). For example they have a 6.25m, called “Gypsy”. Each kite size has a special dedicated aim, all explained on their website.
Our mr Green has lots of bright colors and a huge typical 3-rounds logo. Even the tips of the leading edge have this logo.