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→
After establishing that the Best TS already is a kite for advanced riders, we wondered how even more advanced the Best GP is. The Freestyle oriented GP is designed to be even more “for the pro’s”. We tested the GP 9m, side by side with the North Vegas 2015, mainly to see to what extent average to advanced riders can benefit from it.
The five line Best GP has no bridles and a relatively small leading edge, 5 struts and 2 battens in the trailing edge. The battens were broken when we got the test kite. We don’t know if this is due to rough handling or due to normal use on the water, but it is something to keep an eye on. Continue reading Test: Best GP 9m 2015→
A huge low wind kite and still responsive? It sounds impossible but it looks like the Epic Infinity comes very close. We tested the fourth (V4) edition of the Epic Infinity. The V4 is brand new and there is little information (yet) on-line except for some video’s from the Epic owner Dimitri. The information on the third version on the Infinity reveals it should re-write history…again; exceptionally stable and has the power of a 19 meter but turns like a 14 meter kite.
Funny detail is on it’s size indication; the Epic Renegade Infinity V4 has just one size which is not stated. Why not? “Well it just sets people on the wrong thoughts and pre-assumptions” was the answer.
Normally we are not that keen on testing a kite made for a very specific goal. For a good test it requires multiple sessions with several of these types of kites. We only had the Epic Infinity to our availability so we are aware of the limitations of this review. Main aim of this test; can average kiters also have fun with such a huge low wind kite? The potential fun does come with a price though. The Infinity is priced at around 1600 euro’s (the V4 is about to be released and is not mentioned in the price list yet) it is probably a bit cheaper than many of it’s low wind competitors (like a Flysurfer Sonic 15m is a few hundred euro’s more expensive). Luckily the Epic Xtend bar can be used on almost all their kites including the Infinity. This means you save an extra 500 euro’s.
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 new FX from Cabrinha is supposed to appeal a wide range of kite styles and it is one of the new kites people have been asking us if we tested it already. The FX is the latest out of the current eight models from Cabrinha and yes finally we were able to test it. Cabrinha describes the FX as follows; the all new FX kite effortlessly bridges the gap between freestyle and freeride to create the perfect crossover kite. RIDER PROFILE: A rider who mixes hooked and unhooked freestyle tricks. Loves huge jumps and kite loops. Sounds good that is something we as many others indeed love to do.
In the designers note Youtube video is explained that the FX is meant to fill the gap between the full-on competition freestyle kite Chaos and the famous freeride kite Switchblade. The kite has 3 struts, 2 battens at each side in the trailing edge and a wide and quick one pump in- and deflate. It has 2 options for the steeringlines and the split point of the front lines is low, just above the depower system.
The 2015 Gaastra Spark is described as a crossover kite with superb low-end performance which should take you to the next level. It is not literally stated, but it seems the kite is intended for beginners, all though the Gaastra site states that the Spark is very popular with all riders.
The tested eight meter kite has five struts (three struts on 11m and above), the inflate is a classic wide -and quick- entrance to the perfect one-pump system and comes with the same four-line X2 bar as the freestyle oriented Pure which we tested (nine meter) at the same time with the Spark. The Spark is a bit cheaper (roughly 80 euro’s) than the Pure.
We tested the Spark in steady 19 knots wind with some small waves up to 1,5 m. One thing immediately was clear; the promised low-end was certainly there. For example the eight meter Spark had more pull than the ten meter Best TS 2015 (which we also tested at the same time). The power is very clearly felt at the steering lines. In fact it was so powerful it reminded us a bot on the famous Slingshot Turbo Diesel from a couple of years ago. With one difference though; the Spark has a much smaller rotating circle and feels even a bit lively due to this. The power on the steering lines gives you a good feeling where the kite actually is, which really helps when you are a beginner. The down side of the huge amount of power on the steering lines is the intensive workout you get from riding with the Spark 2015.
The South African brand Vanhunks sales skateboard, surfboards, SUP, kite surfboards and twin tips. They have three different twin tip models which are made in two to three different versions and are (except for the Anemoi) available in a short and a long version and most of them come in different colour options. Apart from the colour options there are 17 (!) different twin tips available. Apart from the size, Vanhunks still have nine different twin tips to chose from. To make a good selection from those nine different boards is a bit overwhelming. Too bad the graphical explanation on the Vanhunks website it too difficult to really help you make a choice. The two boards are 599,- Euro each (including straps and pads), which is not really expensive.
We used two of the Vanhunks twin tips and checked if they are also in it’s element in another continent. We tried the Manakel Cross over white 137*41 (large) version and the Bucca Flex 135*41 (small). We tested the boards in open sea with 25-28 knots of wind with medium waves with different kites like the F-one Bandit 7, the North Dice 2015 and the Ocean Rodeo Razor 2015. We didn’t do any freestyle moves, but we could test them for old school big air’s, upwind capabilities, comfort, speed and handling of chop. Continue reading Review: Vanhunks Twin Tips Manakel and Bucca→
The Canadian brand Ocean Rodeo comes with four different type of kites in their 2015 product line. The Razor is one of them and is branded as the C shaped freestyle shaped SLE (Spported Leading Edge; kite with bridles). There are some details which suggests the Ocean Rodeo R&D team have put in some long thoughts about some remarkable features the Razor needs to have. The two most obvious ones are the amount of struts (four) and the other one is the little twist in the leading edge just before the tip of the kite.
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.