You will remember it when you have seen them. The Ronix Franks 2016 looks are very spectaculair; extremely flashy green. From orange/yellow in 2015 to this acid green, means people will stop for it and point at them even more. How is the ride on a kite board with these flashy boots? Well before you buy them you need to know one little detail…which leaves a little stain on the pretty expensive Ronix Franks 2016.
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.
Carbon or no carbon? That is a relevant question when it comes to the twin tips of F-one. Both the Acid and the Trax are amazing boards when it comes to performance. The super comfortable Acid and the low – and up wind capabilities of the Trax made these boards very populair. But as we have many people around us riding happily on these two F-one boards we also have seen that a lot of the carbon version have a tendency to break. Luckily F-one Benelux has a good warranty back-up so most of the unlucky owners that broke one have a new board in no time.
According to the product video’s all twin tips haven’t changed much from ’15 to ’16. The boards still come with the F-one invention from a couple of years ago where the rail varies in thickness over the board from tip to tip; the Helical Rail Design (HRD). Most obvious changes for 2016 can be found on the new pads&straps and the new colourful designs.
For one whole month we could test the new Trax, Acid Carbon (large) and the Acid Girly edition in Tarifa to see how the changes F-one has made affected these boards.
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)
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?