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!*
Best has made some serious moves the last couple of years. They got some of the best riders of the world, like Youri Zoon, Ruben Lenten and Gisela Pulido, in their team. And, related or not, there are rumours that Richard Branson and some rich founder of ZED not only bought the PKRA but also invested in Best Kiteboarding. It is difficult to find the facts, but it does rise the expectation of the kites from Best Kiteboarding…
World record jump
We got our hands on the 2015 Best TS ten and seven meter. The TS is one of the five type of Best kites and has the label (like a whole lot of other kites) Do it all. Reading the specifications of the Best kites it looks like the TS is the second of four comparable Best kite types. The fifth is a wave kite (Cabo). So the TS 2015 (2015 is its fourth edition) is aimed at the average rider. The TS is indeed described as the ultimate crossover kite for everybody and with the 5 struts and 2 battens the TS should be ready for it’s claimed perfomance kite. The TS doesn’t come cheap; the 10m is (kite only) 1200 euro’s.
The first thing we noticed on the Best 2015 RP bar are the incredible solid looking -300kg!-lines. The seem to be covered with a special kind of layer, which does make your hands black the first few times you use them. The second little suprise the bar holds is its depower line; it is elastic! The split point of the two front lines couldn’t be lower, the safety system is exactly as it should be (with the possibility of a safe suicide mode). A very important detail for the safety is it possibility to rotate the depower line to untangle the 2 front lines after a (several) back-, front- or kiteloops. We have two remarks on the -near perfect- 2015 bar; The square shaped stopper “ball” broke within five minutes of using the bar. Apparently this is a known issue. The second remark is on the fact that there is no insert at the bottom of the bar around the depower line. Which means after a unhooked trick the chickenloop isn’t aiming straight and firm from the bar for re-hooking again. A feature that many other brands do have,
We tested the 10m several times in 18 till 24 knots with small till medium sized waves. We compared it simultaneously with the Gaastra Pure 9m 2015 and the 9m North Dice 2015. We also had a short go with the 7m Best TS in 35-45 knots of wind with medium till big waves right at same time and moment the Best TS 2015 7m was used to jump the world record of 19.1m.
One thing we couldn’t figure out (may be it was our unfamiliarity with the Best kites) how to use the in- and deflate properly. The wide inflate needs the biggest hose from “any pump”. But ours kept coming off each time we had a bit of pressure on it. With a lot of force (which may be the way to do it, but it felt a bit like we would destroy it) it did stay in place. Deflating is done by pushing the red button, but again, it needs a firm push to keep it deflating.
The test of the TS was one of the most difficult ones we had to do so far. We knew, and felt, that the Best kite has loads of potential. But the first tests with the 10m in 20 knots wind didn’t give the smiling faces which we would have expected up front. The kite, in these conditions, gave little feed back and wasn’t very powerful. The kite has the lightest bar pressure we have felt so far. The first thing we did is set back the steering lines to more bar pressure. In this setting is was still very light, but we did have some fun with the kite. Most amazing was the perfect, smooth but still very short pop the kite has. Al though, like most riders, we are no unhooked freestyle experts we made some really nice unhooked freestyle tricks with it. With those kind of moves you feel the combination (probably) of the elastic depowerline (does it play a role in the pop?) and the stability (stays where you put it). You can go for it as hard as you need to go, the kite stays where it needs to be. You just need to have enough confidence, since the feed back on the steering lines won’t tell you where the kite is. The closest feeling, all though with more pressure on the steering lines, was with the North Vegas 2015,
The (over)powered session with the 7m in 35+ knots of wind was kind of scary. The kite is so firm and steady it need a lot of confidence to set it out of it’s comfort zone backward into the power zone to get you air born. If you have the balls, and the power in your legs to keep your rail, you will be rewarded. The kite -as we now know from the record breaking jump- will get you as high as your capabilities are. We reckon a strong young 20 year old on boots will suit the kite most. No surprise the guy who jumped with the TS at 19,1 m, Gijs Wassenaar, is a young fearless, long athlete. What we wonder how much more radical the Best GP and the Best Extract 2015 possibly can be.
* While writing this review, this record has been beaten (twice).
Best TS 10m 2015 (IV) kite only: Eur 1199,-
Best RP bar Eur 399,-