It seems something very useful and easy; your own personal camera hanging above you, so you and your buddies get filmed on the water. But it is a bit more complicated and compromised as you probably would expect.
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?
Bull Sails in Europes wind capital Tarifa has probably one of the most friendly owners and personnel you can imagine. Without asking we were given a guided tour in their workspace and their Research and design are. A very nice offer as it is not by default that you get to see everything. The owner was also very open about the position of his brand. “It’s for the people who want something else than everyone else already has.” Except that their kites are not widely known and therefore very rare on the water in most places outside Spain, there is another fine thing about Bull kites they cost a lot less then most other kite brands.
We already tested the Joker from Bull. No we were able to test the colourful ZigZag 2015 (fifth edition). This so called do-it-all kite is according to Bull the perfect one-fits-all solution kite. With nearly 900 Euro’s this is one of the cheaper kites we have tested so far.
Peter Lynn; a company that makes kites for or over 40 years from a country that also is the home of several former kite world champions like Youri Zoon and Kevin Langeree: the Netherlands.
After several decades of developing foil kites, originally starting with Peter Lynn in New Zealand, the Peter Lynn company started to produce tube kites. So the company has a lot of experience and is perfectly located in a wind driven country. So far, so good. But what can we expect from their kites? We have tested the 2015 Peter Lynn Escape 9m. Continue reading Peter Lynn Escape 9m 2015
How much better is a twintip that costs approximately a 1000,- euro’s compared to cheaper twintips with similar features? We tested the North Team Series 138*41 cm 2015 to get the answer.
North produces a large quiver of kiteboards. With 10 different (in 2015) twintip boards to choose from it’s a good thing they have made an online tool to point you in the right direction. When you set this tool to “100% freestyle” it suggests 3 twintips; The Team Series, the Team Series Hadlow version and the already tried and tested Jaime.
Bull Kites are designed right at one of the kiteboarding capitals of the world; in Tarifa (Spain), with several large R&D area’s, including a shop where you buy the kites directly from the enthusiastic and friendly designers. Bull just released it’s 2015 kite models. We had the chance to test the 2015 Joker 8m, the third version. It turned out to be two kites in one and on top of that it is also a few hundred Euro’s less than most other brands.
Bull has three lines of kites. The Zig Zag (do it all kite), the Shortcut (Freestyle) and the Joker. The Joker is described as dynamic and power oriented riding. Send your steering impulses and the animal awakes. We were not sure what that should mean, but we will try to describe what we came across. The Dutch distributors have seen our Bull test review concept and made us clear that a big part of the aim of the kite is “power wave”.
Air time, with the capital A. This Ozone kite really is something different than other kites. It is all about jumping. Of course the kite can do a lot more, but it beats all our previous tested kites in air time. We tested the 7th version of the Ozone Edge. Although it is not the newest version (the v8 is just released), we still want to tell our experience with this extraordinary kite.
The Ozone Edge is not only designed for big air but also to win race contests; taken riders to the top of race podiums around the world. Our main question? Can an average kiter go big and enjoy the kite on a twintip?
While the newest 2016 models of Slingshot are just released, we noticed a shift in models. It seems that the new wave kite Wave SST pushes the Rally 2016 more to the position the RPM used to have. Will this fifth version of 2015 RPM be the last version of the famous RPM? We tested it while admitting the RPM appeals to us much more than the Rally, mainly since the Rally seems much slower.
the RPM 2015 is the fifth version of a kite which became famous when Youri Zoon won the 2011 PKRA freestyle competition with the RPM. But Slingshot is also a brand with a big name. It is generally known for its bomb proof quality, but for the RPM we have heard too many rumours that it has a weak point which makes the kite snap after a couple of years of usage, or even sooner. However the 2015 version -as mentioned in the Slingshot product video– should be reinforced on this point. Continue reading Review: Slingshot RPM 8m 2015