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.
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.
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“.
Riding with boots is something all freestyle pro’s do. We rarely see other riders with boots. Why is this? And can non-pro’s (or non-wannabe’s) also enjoy riding with boots? We tried the 2015 Airush Livewire 140cm with AP Boots and see if we could enjoy it.
First time one boots
We rode the boots in 2 situations; underpowered with an 11m in 17 knots in open ocean with 1 m waves and nicely powered with 25 knots onshore wind on open ocean with 1,5 meter waves on a 9m.
So how does it feel? Heavy! The first thing (after having struggled at the edge of the water getting in the boots) you notice is the additional weight. It is only a few kilo’s, but it is enough to feel a difference especially while jumping. Another disadvantage of riding with boots underpowered is that they have considerately more drag than straps. So it was pretty difficult in our underpowered 17 knot session to get going. Each time a wave catches the board it is getting pushed back on the boots. All though we rode a relatively large board, riding with boots is not the perfect choice in (light) 17 knots wind conditions with waves. Continue reading Test Twintip Airush Livewire Team 140 *42 cm 2015 model (boots)→
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.
We tested 2 F-one twintip kiteboards; The Acid HRD 132*40 and the Acid Carbon 133*42 2015 boards.
F-one HRD twintips
The F-one twintip kiteboards stand clearly out from any other brands by its shape and size of the rail; it is really thick in some outer parts of the rail, but narrow in the middle. To our knowledge no other brand has incorporated this type of rail in their twintip boards. F-one used this so called Helical Rail Design (HRD) also last year (2014) on the twintips. We also tested these boards (see link, in Dutch) and we were very exited on how it works; A lot of edge when you need it (to pop for a jump), and sharp as a knife when you need to cut through choppy waters. Maybe something that comes close to this technique is a invention called “Rocker Flex Adjuster“. This adjuster, mounted on the place of your handle, will try to versatile the twintip. That is where we see the similarity. But it gets different if we talk money; the RFA will take yo another 200 euros out of your pocket, as the HRD rail will just be there with the board without extra costs… Continue reading Kiteboard test F-one Acid 2015 132cm HRD and 133cm HRD Carbon→
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