After the Woo and the Xensr there is again a new tracking device for kiteboarding; PIQ. Supported by North Kiteboarding and introduced weeks ago, a lot of people wonder why? Why another tracking device? Although an interesting question, this won’t be the topic in this review. No, the most obvious question we dealt with is if this device comes up with similar results as the Woo. The Xensr clearly wasn’t comparable in our previous test, but for the PIQ looks perfect so far!
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.
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→
We took the Best TS out for a test to see till what extend the expectation were met. One thing is already for sure; the kite is used for the highest Woo Sports world record jump at an unbelievable 19.1 meters, so it cannot be bad for boosting big air!*
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)→
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.
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.
Independent testing of kites and kiteboards