low cost excitement: the Ventum Xcite and Xplore

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Ventum Xcite
Ventum Xcite

Ventum’s main motto; keep kiteboarding accessible. In other words keep things affordable by saving on stuff like dealers and shops. But the real added value which makes a difference is the experience and knowledge from the owner of Ventum; Sebastiaan van der Velden. Durability on canopy tests, stretch tests, coatings and UV? He knows it all. A fresh start in 2019 with 2 different kites. Both only 780 Euro for a 9m. The allround Xplore and the more mature Xcite. Quality wise it is certainly worth the money. And they are worth a whole lot more if there is a match between the nature of the kite and the user. For the Xplore there are far more fits than you would expect at first sight. The Xcite needs a more specific crowd though.

Ventum Xplore
Ventum Xplore

Ventum kiteboarding

The gap Zian kiteboarding left -one of the early down to earth low priced brands- is now filled by Ventum. Just like brands as Gong and Switch Ventum keeps the kites at a friendly price by skipping the margin shops and dealers normally get. Ventum just sells online. The distinctive added value though comes from the Ventum owner. Sebastiaan gained his specialised knowledge while working at Zian. Google his name and within minutes you understand how incredible deep his knowledge goes. For example on the subject durability he is the master. And that is important because the Ventum kites are very likely to stay a long time with their first owner. We tested both 9m versions for over a full month in a wide variety of circumstances. From a choppy North Sea with 20 knots to 30 with 3 meter waves. In the end at least one of the testers would have liked trading his own Liquid Force v9 NV’s for the Ventum kites.

Test Xcite

Ventum Xcite wingtip
Ventum Xcite rectangular wingtips

The Xcite is not a kite you choose because it has a massive wind range. Nor is it the quickest reacting one. Like a Liquid Force NV and a Slingshot RPM the Xcite has quite rectangular wingtips.

Suggesting that is has some C-shaped DNA characteristics. Low bar pressure with quite some slack on the lines offers potential for the ones progressing in their unhooked tricks. The low bar pressure makes it a bit more tricky for inexperienced riders to know at which angle the kite is pulling and when to aim perfectly for a big boosting jump. Although the Xcite has a slight grunty nature it does ease down the power when you sheet out the bar. Far more effective over a real C-kite because of the bridle.

The Xcite is ideal for performing a megaloop. Spectacular as a C-kite but with less struggles.  It has a characteristic power build up. This is what makes the Xcite exciting. A second lift is quite common and a mega loop means a rather late but strong pull. Young dare devils or more heavy riders will keep on smiling. Although they need a bigger size over the average kite -or more wind- to do epic stuff with the Xcite.

Test Xplore

Ventum Xplore wingtip
Ventum Xplore wingtip

Looking at the shape of the Xplore it isn’t love at first sight for anyone kiting for several years. A double connection to the pointy wingtip usually means a slow reacting kite with heavy bar pressure and only comfortable in low winds. Like a Slingshot Rally for example.

Ventum Xplore
Ventum Xplore

But that is not the story with the Xplore. It is much quicker, less bulky and way more fun than you may expect. The combination of big jumps with a nice decent pop and the chance to get your kite relative smoothly forward again for a proper landing is a lovely mix of ease and excitement. It isn’t as quick as a F-one Bandit or Cabrinha FX. But the relative low aspect ratio (longer struts) makes it rather easy to (down)loop the kite. So is it less suitable for beginners? On the contrary. It is quite powerful on the bar (mediumplus bar pressure) which makes it easy to know where the kite is. And what it does better than most other beginner kites is how easy the power is released by pushing away the bar. Which increases its wind ranges a lot to a very respectable high end. All in all a kite with quite unique combinations that will be difficult to out grow.

Ventum Xplore
Ventum Xplore

Test Tough bar

The line strength of the 23m 4-line low-v Ventum bar -450 back and 500 kg’s for the front lines- is above a lot of A-brands standards. Duotone for example has 340kg lines from the same factory. Besides that the Tough bar is quite a standard bar.

Ventum Tough bar
Ventum Tough bar

Which means don’t expect to have a stopper ball that works. Same goes for the swivel: it only works by hand. Not really show stoppers. Less attractive is the price. With 439 Euro -about 10 to 20% less expensive to most others- it isn’t as friendly priced as the kites are.

List price

Ventum Xcite or Xplore 9m (kite only) 783,02 Euro

Ventum Tough bar and 4*23m lines (including short leash and chickenloop) 439,- Euro

Reaction From Ventum Kiteboarding: Thanks for the review. There is a 10% discount when purchasing a kite and a bar at once. Or a 25 Euro discount when a leash is left out in the order.

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