In the Romanian language ‘Taina’ means mystery. We took this exotic Taina out in to the grey North Sea. With a big smile on our face we wondered how she can be so much fun when her looks are so deceivingly different. She looks like a kite from quite some years ago. The colours and round, semi-pointy shape doesn’t exactly give mouthwatering effects. But don’t judge this kite by its cover. In fact it is so sweet -like a butterfly- so easy and so quick you shouldn’t be bothered by what people think of her looks.
Although Starkites isn’t a very big brand it is already around from 2005. Based in the Caribbean -from the kite mecca Cabarete in The Dominican Republic-
the Taina is currently their only kite line. The 2019 is already their 8th version and v9 is coming out soon. Apparently only the colors will change from v8 to v9. Although it comes with some modern features like a big inflate (with sadly again another different system with a screw cap on the hose) double Ripstop, one pump and a small protection bag inside the bigger one, its looks and feel at first sight are that of a kite from a decade ago.
The Taina prices are about 15% lower compared to A-brand prices. Let’s say that it is nicely in place but it is not going to attract bargain-seeking crowds like Gong and Switch for example are trying to accomplish.
The bar comes with 24 meter lines which -in combination with its curved tips like an Ocean Rodeo Prodigy for example- made us guess upfront that it would be a slow and steady kite.
So let’s start with what this sweet butterfly isn’t about. Too fast and literally no slack for any proper unhooked wakestyle tricks. Mega loops come with a pull you would expect from a butterfly; none. But What it does deliver is much more important. And we must admit quite impressive. The immediate reaction from any input on the bar is probably the best one. A very quick and easy response. Downside of this feature is that it is letting you know when the wind is up or down. Perfect though to pull your first jumps and even kiteloops with her. The power is as quickly on or off as it reacts to any left or right input steering. Which gives a very confident feeling that you can loose power as soon as it is needed. And the Taina has more power than the average 9m. Which is a brilliant combination for particularly lighter persons who are at the start of their kite career and just want to have a one kite quiver.
Starkites Taina 9m V8 2019 US$1289,- / 1162,16 Euro
Elite bar with 4 lines 480 US$ / 459,- Euro
Reaction from Starkites (EU).
Thanks for the test, very much appreciated. It was nice to set up the test. Starkites.eu