Today is gonna be a good day. One of the many cheering lines of the JN Kites Twintip Chit Chat reloaded. It has over 20 randomly chosen sentences written down, both on the top and the bottom of the board, which makes the looks of this board unique and cheerful. The Chit Chat is described as a an unrivalled freestyler in terms of pop, speed and landings. We tested the Chit Chat reloaded 134 in several conditions; with 20 till 28 knots in choppy till rough (2.5 m waves) sea. Not the perfect conditions for a test of a freestyle board, but we tested the Chit Chat 134 * 40 cm to see if it is also in it’s element out of pure freestyle conditions. This should work out not too bad, since the aim is to bring you to the next level in freestyle and freeride. The 134 is the second out of the four possible sizes. We reckon this board is suited for kiters till 70 kg. A more heavy (or bigger than roughly 175cm) person will notice the 134 board gives some spray in the face and needs to get a bigger sizes board (138 or even 142). The board has a honeycomb core combined with a layer of carbon and is about 150 euro’s more than the Peacemaker. Both boards weigh, with dry straps, around five kg. The weight feeling while kiting feels medium till light; a bit lighter than most other boards, but not as light as for example the ultra-light North Select twintip. Continue reading Review: JN Kites twintip Chit Chat Reloaded 134 and the Peacemaker 136→
JN Kites, named after its founders in 2003 Bernd Jochum and Michael Nesler, might be known to you without realising it. Not only did they design kites for some of the big brands in the industry before 2003, but you might also remember that kite with the huge, funny looking flower on a kite…?! Yes that is a JN kite. We tested the latest models of three different versions they produce; The all purposeMr. Fantasic third edition , the pure performance oriented C-shapedPrima Donna sixth edition and the fast responding performance weaponWild Thing Revival 5th edition. The (list) prices of the kites and bars aren’t as cheap as you would have hoped. It is not a very well-known brand, which is not a bad thing if you want to ride something different from the crowd. The second-hand market is also a lot more limited for these kites.
A key impact on our kite sport; the weather. More precisely: the wind. Every kiteboarder has its way to get his wind prediction information; either websites like Windguru.cz, Windfinder, Predictwind etctera, local media, whatsapp-alerts or just by asking your (boy)friend. All these resources rely in the end on weather models.
Windguru, for example, has a fairly understandable explanations on these models. Two important facts on these models are the long run time and the limited frequency those runs can be done in a day. Those runs (mostly four times in 24hours) are rather complex, that is why they take about three hours to finish. One of the complexities is that it needs to run for a huge area. For example the WRF model in Windguru is covering Europe, popular spots in Egypt, and also Israel, Lebannon and south of Cyprus. Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
Three hours behind
As a result everybody currently is looking at predictions which are at least 3 hours, but on average 6 hours, old. Another inaccuracy is that those models cannot take local effect’s into account. It is a fact that wind predictions for typical local conditions like in Cape Town from the south-east, westerly Poniente in Tarifa and the North Westerly winds in Leucate all are frequently up to 25 knots off. This is probably due to local thermal effects. Even when the wind is already blowing way above the predictions, they are not used to correct the current models.
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→
Independent testing of kites and kiteboards