Finding your perfect kite requires looking into the mirror. Knowing your needs is step one. Step two is understanding what a certain kite can deliver. The 2021 Go version V5 from the growing Dutch brand Harlem will be a match for quite a large crowd. The ones that either need a bit more time looking in that mirror or those that are looking for a predictable rather powerful kite. The Go v5 brings confidence with its reliable solid feed back. A fraction too plain for the expert looking for that epic g-force action. But it does have some innovative and effective gadgets. So don’t buy it without a Harlem bar.
The Go’s selling point is that it comes without surprises. No sudden pulls. No restless nervous reactions. With a decent amount of power. Which is particularly handy in the low-end (where the 24m lines are helping) as it is a fraction more powerful over most other kites. Some more experienced kiters call it a bit slow and are not impressed by the pull in a kite loop. Others -who can’t be bothered trying any mega looping- describe it as the kite that ‘lands all my jumps rock solid. What a feeling’.
It is far away from a single purpose kite like a big air machine Core XR. Neither it is close to the other side of the spectrum like a throw-it-around kite Duotone Dice. Maybe right in the middle? Which means a better low-end over the Dice and more versatile compared to the XR. With a steady and controllable amount of pop it brings you higher and further skyborne over the Dice. But don’t expect XR jumping miracles. The XR is far more entitled to the words ‘high-performance freeride’ than the Harlem Go v5.
Good thing is that the Go lost it’s previous behaviour of being stuck to one side. And what can’t be said to a lot of kites is that it even reacts properly when completely depowered. The Go has a fair amount of bar pressure. Which makes sure you always know where the kite is. Even when we tried mistreating it by putting our 100kg tester in nearly 30 knots smashing winds. The kite did not get out of shape. Impressive.
Looking into the DNA of the brand Harlem kitesurfing – with 5 (!) different type of kites to choose from at the end of ’21- it is interesting to see their up to date knowledge about innovation in the kite industry. Third brand to have a back-line-trim on the bar for example. But there is more.
There are some interesting details to mention. Some -like the funny remarks on the kite- are less important than others. It does makes you smile knowing the very functional bag comes with some sort of a key that also functions as a screwdriver.
The Go v5 includes a ‘Boomtag‘ lost&found. A NFC chip integrated in the tip of the kite. Which means anyone with a smart phone could potentially scan it and see who is the owner.
A search and rescue organisation could save a lot of time and money if they sufficiently implement the use of it.
But the most important detail is the fact the Go v5 can be set faster and lighter to more powerful and grunty within a couple of seconds by resetting the height of the splitter.
Arguably this feature might not be the most interesting part for the novice kiters. Which is certainly a part of the target group. When those kiters advance over time it is something they could use to get the most out of the Go v5.
The same could be said over the 3 and 2 meter extensions on the 19m lines on the (we used a prototype) Harlem ‘Lead’ bar – which will be available late 2021. A bar a lot of brands that will (or should) be jealous of.
Harlem Go v5 (kite only) 9m 1269,- Euro
Harlem bar including 4*19m+3m+2m extensions and splitter around 550-590 Euro’s.
The bar is nice, but it is not a dutch design as presented on the Harlem website, it is the Ocean Rodeo bar.
We Test Kites
Nice and interesting review Dave. Thanks for sharing.