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
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.
After 4 weeks of comparing the F-one Bandit from 2015 (“version 8”) and the North Dice 2015, we have made quite some notes and remarks to fully evaluate the differences. We already made a description why we compare the Bandit and the Dice and what the similarities and differences are on the lines and bridles. This report is mostly on the performance (see below at “Details that matter”), the most important aspect of a kite. Any differences described here are on details. Both the Dice and the Bandit have much more in common than they have differences. We all felt very happy riding with both kites, whatever the rider or circumstances.
“Clash”, a relative unknown brand which just makes kiteboard twintips according to the knowledge of the Spanish professional Alvaro Onievo.
Although they also are sold with boots (complete for just 750,-!) we tried it with normal straps. We took it out to Canos De Mecca on a very gusty but windy (25-40 knots) day with from time to time some big rolling “ola’s”.
We tested 2 F-one twintip kiteboards; The Acid HRD 132*40 and the Acid Carbon 133*42 2015 boards.
F-one HRD twintips
The F-one twintip kiteboards stand clearly out from any other brands by its shape and size of the rail; it is really thick in some outer parts of the rail, but narrow in the middle. To our knowledge no other brand has incorporated this type of rail in their twintip boards. F-one used this so called Helical Rail Design (HRD) also last year (2014) on the twintips. We also tested these boards (see link, in Dutch) and we were very exited on how it works; A lot of edge when you need it (to pop for a jump), and sharp as a knife when you need to cut through choppy waters. Maybe something that comes close to this technique is a invention called “Rocker Flex Adjuster“. This adjuster, mounted on the place of your handle, will try to versatile the twintip. That is where we see the similarity. But it gets different if we talk money; the RFA will take yo another 200 euros out of your pocket, as the HRD rail will just be there with the board without extra costs… Continue reading Kiteboard test F-one Acid 2015 132cm HRD and 133cm HRD Carbon
Both Bandit and Dice have a 4 line set up. The Dice kite comes with a 5th line (hidden in a pocket on the middle strut) for the kite, which means a 5 line bar could be used on the Dice. The North bar is available in one size only and costs (either 4 or 5 lines) 439,- and you could choose between 4 lengths;19m, 22m, 24m and 27m. For a dice 2015 22m or 24m is recommended. In this test we used 22m lines. According to North a 5th line is added to a better safety, but further is has n’t got any extra functions.
The f-one “Monolith” bar, unchanged from 2014, comes with 21.8m lines. The bar is available in 2 sizes; 45 and 52cm (for 11m and above).
The differences between the North and F-one bars are mainly to be found in the details; Continue reading Bar and lines Bandit 8 and Dice 2015
So lets compare the bridle’s;
our assumption is that the way the bridles are set up is quite important to the feel you get from the kite. Let’s say maybe for 40% (and determine the feeling maybe just as much as the shape of the kite)? If we place both kites on to each other, as we did on the picture on the right with 9m’s, it doesnt appear to be so different from the Bandit to the Dice. They both have 4 to 5 connections on the leading edge. But the bandit has 2 pulleys, and the Dice just one on each side.
If we look closer to the pulleys, the North Dice (in blue) pulley doesnt have any moving parts. The pulleys of the bandit does have rolling parts (as the Bandit has had from the beginning).
Is this better? No! From my expierence a bridle line will -in time- be litterly scraped by those wheels, ending up broken, lets say in average use in about 2 tot 3 years. No need to say this means you won’t be able to control the kite any more if it brakes. So a small advice will be to check the bridle lines every now and then and make sure the wheel of the F-one Bandit pulley’s are not clocked with sand or by any other reason….And a small advice to F-one (as this scraping issue must be known by now?!); why not use a pulley without any moving parts….like the North Dice has.
We think the type of kites like, Bandit and the Dice (but also similar on-can-do-it-all kites like the Rpm of many others) cover 90% of the needs from the kiters. We guess if any brand, for example North, needs to cut their number of types of kites the Dice will be the one that stays. In fact F-one has done that about 8 years ago, and focusses with success almost entirely on its one-can-do-it-all kite: The Bandit. We think these kites will most likely will let you smile and feel good in any session for any purpose and any circumstance.
For example a pure freestyle kite (like a Vegas, Fuel or Torch) will only fit the ones that will be competing or trying to copy them. In most cases, no I should say “all cases”, those type of kites suffer from being massively underpowered (especially the Vegas 2015!) on the same size as a Bandit or a Dice, and even be overpowered sooner; i.e. the smaller wind range is a huge sit back. Also we don’t appreciate the slowness and massive bar power on kites like a Ralley or Rebel which are maybe good for more airtime or in low winds, but will not give you the “fun-factor” of a Dice or a Bandit. So we choose to test these one-that-can-do-it –all fun kites by comparing them the next coming month extensively. From bar to bag, from bridle to pump system and off course the handling in the versatile conditions Tarifa has to offer in all will be extensively tested by us!