A kite for female’s, designed by the successful professional kiter Bruna Kajiya, which turns out not to be for pussies. Bruna’s Diamond got us a big smile on our face. Not because we had to laugh but out of big respect how Bruna, and other kite chicks, can perform with this (three strutted or should we say three legged) wolf in scheep’s cloth. Pretty fast, responsive in a almost nasty way and a lot of very direct bar pressure, may be even a bit too much for most (older) men. Think Vegas, or Torch as in C-kite and you get a pretty good picture, although her (!) sweet spot is small and not easy to find. The downsized bar is really a disappointment. The power/depower system is out of date and needs an update.
Agile as a Dice, snappy as a Bandit and unbelievable amounts of fun from its firm, fast and responsive feed back, that is what the Ozone Enduro is all about. A new, confusing and ugly name for the follow up from the 2015 Catalyst. The Enduro comes with a new feature which adjusts the bridle by a simple and remarkably small adjustment. It really adds value to the multi-purpose goal of this kite which for sure is going to be a hit. Most surprisingly to us was its firm, stable and steady 5 strut close to C-kite feel, in a very positive way. The Enduro is an almost faultless kite, where only the options on the line length leaves us puzzled.
By the looks of the pointy open Delta-C profile shape the Rally belongs in the hang time corner, competing with for example the Ozone Edge and North Rebel. The Slingshot Rally is around for about six years now, but we always wondered what its unique selling point is. The best we can come up with is the great low end together with its long, floating jumps. But we will remember it as a slow motion kite, because of its slow responses. We just had a go with it for a couple of hours, so this review is not the longest we have written.
The Evo is like a good friend; gently and always there for you due to it’s huge windrange. But the Evo is much more than that. On the King of the Air 2016 in Cape Town Tom Herbert made not only the highest jump with a North Evo 2016, but also one of the longest (18.8m/9.4 sec) of the contest.
It is a very mellow kite which could for some people be the best North kite. For example the ones that like to do old school tricks with board-offs and dead mans. It can be a good choice for many kiters who are looking for something a bit more alive than a Rebel. Less suitable for freestyle though, although North does claims it to be a freeride/freestyle kite.
A brilliant and visionary move back in 2008, when F-one decided to reduce its kite range back -more or less- to only one type of kite; The Bandit. It is safe to say the Bandit made a lot of kiters really happy, no matter if they where doing freeriding, freestyle or even waveriding. An impressive achievement. Whatever we will have to say about the Bandit everybody, including us, will be happy riding a Bandit. But is the ninth version still revolutionary? We could test five different sizes of the 2016 version for over one month to answer that, and many more, question.
We see the F-one Bandit as one of the inventors of the -more and more popular- all in one kite. A kite that can be used without almost any compromise for freeride, freestyle and wave riding. Where most brands have at least three or more different lines of kites (North for example even has seven different types of kites), F-one believes in focus on more or less just one; the Bandit (next to the Trust and the Diablo, a race kite). Marketing wise this is kind of tricky. A marketing theory is that if you have less options the chance you will buy at this company decreases.
Union, the newest kite of Airush has a lot of different applicabilities. This kite is fulfilling the most important goal on top of everything: to have fun out there. Good in almost everything but not the best at any of the specific kiting disciplines. Nonetheless the Union is one of the best five kites we have tested for every day use. Continue reading Airush Union 7m and 9m (2016)
What on earth could be the reason to start a new Kite brand? With over 70 (yes, seventy!) kite brands already out there, there needs to be a good one.
So what is the reason Dr. Tuba has launched from 2015 on a new kite brand Force Kites. One thing is clear, the experience in kite constructing . From bladder repair, numerous repair kits, complete kite repair services until imprinted customized logo’s right on your kite, it is al there. Dr. Tuba has built up a huge number of retailers (mainly in Europe) over the past ten years. In about every country with kite spots in Europe the repair kits are easy to get.
Stability with a superb wind range that is what the Switchblade is all about. The all-round Cabrinha Switchblade is described as a crossover, high performance and versatile kite. Cabrinha has more than seven different type of kites. But how the kite should be placed between the other six different kites it is not easy to judge. Good thing Cabrinha has made an overview of their kites. The Switchblade (being right in the middle) should be the more efficient kite but less responding than the FX (which we tested and liked very much) and capable of being good for just about every discipline. Continue reading Cabrinha Switchblade 9m 2016
North is a big brand as in very well known around the world, but also in terms of the amount of different types of hardware. For 2016 North has roughly 8 different kites, 10 twintips and 8 different wave boards. An incredible amount and most of them are redesigned every year. Is this redesign a marketing driven thing or can we pin point some real improvements? To give you an hint; most North quiver is not really changed but tweaked.
We had the chance to ride most of the 2016 equipment for a couple of hours. Below you will find some highlights of the first impressions we had from it. In a further stage we give you more detailed reviews on all main stream kites and twintips.
Probably the nicest surprise of 2015 was the North Dice with it’s quick response, direct, light, wide wind range and an amazing quick depower on the bar made this truly do it all kite almost everybody’s friend. No wonder we were very curious for it’s offspring. The 2016 Dices were released in the beginning of september and luckily we were already able to get our hands on a 9 meter.
We were so excited to test the Dice 2016 we took it out the first time the wind did hit the coast. Unfortunately the wind was very light with just 16-17 knots of real on shore wind and big waves compared to the strength of the wind. So we did not expect we could take out the 9 meter, but curiosity killed the cat. Our lightest test kiter decided to give it a try and didn’t come back for at least an hour. Needless to say she liked the 2016 Dice and the kite already had an amazing low end in 2015. After she came back I could not resist to give it a try myself, 25 kilograms heavier then her, and even I could ride the kite in this light weather conditions. The low end is definitely better than last year but what more has been changed?