Probably the nicest surprise of 2015 was the North Dice with it’s quick response, direct, light, wide wind range and an amazing quick depower on the bar made this truly do it all kite almost everybody’s friend. No wonder we were very curious for it’s offspring. The 2016 Dices were released in the beginning of september and luckily we were already able to get our hands on a 9 meter.
We were so excited to test the Dice 2016 we took it out the first time the wind did hit the coast. Unfortunately the wind was very light with just 16-17 knots of real on shore wind and big waves compared to the strength of the wind. So we did not expect we could take out the 9 meter, but curiosity killed the cat. Our lightest test kiter decided to give it a try and didn’t come back for at least an hour. Needless to say she liked the 2016 Dice and the kite already had an amazing low end in 2015. After she came back I could not resist to give it a try myself, 25 kilograms heavier then her, and even I could ride the kite in this light weather conditions. The low end is definitely better than last year but what more has been changed?
Peter Lynn; a company that makes kites for or over 40 years from a country that also is the home of several former kite world champions like Youri Zoon and Kevin Langeree: the Netherlands.
After several decades of developing foil kites, originally starting with Peter Lynn in New Zealand, the Peter Lynn company started to produce tube kites. So the company has a lot of experience and is perfectly located in a wind driven country. So far, so good. But what can we expect from their kites? We have tested the 2015 Peter Lynn Escape 9m. Continue reading Peter Lynn Escape 9m 2015→
How much better is a twintip that costs approximately a 1000,- euro’s compared to cheaper twintips with similar features? We tested the North Team Series 138*41 cm 2015 to get the answer.
North produces a large quiver of kiteboards. With 10 different (in 2015) twintip boards to choose from it’s a good thing they have made an online tool to point you in the right direction. When you set this tool to “100% freestyle” it suggests 3 twintips; The Team Series, the Team Series Hadlow version and the already tried and tested Jaime.
Bull Kites are designed right at one of the kiteboarding capitals of the world; in Tarifa (Spain), with several large R&D area’s, including a shop where you buy the kites directly from the enthusiastic and friendly designers. Bull just released it’s 2015 kite models. We had the chance to test the 2015 Joker 8m, the third version. It turned out to be two kites in one and on top of that it is also a few hundred Euro’s less than most other brands.
Bull has three lines of kites. The Zig Zag (do it all kite), the Shortcut (Freestyle) and the Joker. The Joker is described as dynamic and power oriented riding. Send your steering impulses and the animal awakes. We were not sure what that should mean, but we will try to describe what we came across. The Dutch distributors have seen our Bull test review concept and made us clear that a big part of the aim of the kite is “power wave”.
Air time, with the capital A. This Ozone kite really is something different than other kites. It is all about jumping. Of course the kite can do a lot more, but it beats all our previous tested kites in air time. We tested the 7th version of the Ozone Edge. Although it is not the newest version (the v8 is just released), we still want to tell our experience with this extraordinary kite.
The Ozone Edge is not only designed for big air but also to win race contests; taken riders to the top of race podiums around the world. Our main question? Can an average kiter go big and enjoy the kite on a twintip?
While the newest 2016 models of Slingshot are just released, we noticed a shift in models. It seems that the new wave kite Wave SST pushes the Rally 2016 more to the position the RPM used to have. Will this fifth version of 2015 RPM be the last version of the famous RPM? We tested it while admitting the RPM appeals to us much more than the Rally, mainly since the Rally seems much slower.
the RPM 2015 is the fifth version of a kite which became famous when Youri Zoon won the 2011 PKRA freestyle competition with the RPM. But Slingshot is also a brand with a big name. It is generally known for its bomb proof quality, but for the RPM we have heard too many rumours that it has a weak point which makes the kite snap after a couple of years of usage, or even sooner. However the 2015 version -as mentioned in the Slingshot product video– should be reinforced on this point. Continue reading Review: Slingshot RPM 8m 2015→
After establishing that the Best TS already is a kite for advanced riders, we wondered how even more advanced the Best GP is. The Freestyle oriented GP is designed to be even more “for the pro’s”. We tested the GP 9m, side by side with the North Vegas 2015, mainly to see to what extent average to advanced riders can benefit from it.
The five line Best GP has no bridles and a relatively small leading edge, 5 struts and 2 battens in the trailing edge. The battens were broken when we got the test kite. We don’t know if this is due to rough handling or due to normal use on the water, but it is something to keep an eye on. Continue reading Test: Best GP 9m 2015→
A nightmare for every kiter is a broken line. To make things worse it happens often right in the middle of a perfect session. Then the next step is thinking of a solution; buy the same lines or maybe look for an alternative?
Better to prevent than to cure
Probably the best way to prevent any breaking lines is investigating some time in what bar and lines you are using.
Which lines are the best?
One of the most important facts on a bar is the strength of the lines. A stronger line usually also means a thicker line. Thicker lines means more drag, so a stronger line will be beneficial for the durability but may also affect the flying aspects of the kite.
We had the chance to test the latest version (5g means fifth generation) of a 12m Epic Screamer 5g. These 5g’s are just released and so new that they are not even mentioned on the Epic webpage yet. We did find a short introduction video on the 5g. As is described on the kite and what was written on the previous generation Screamer, the kite is all about classic big air / boosting machine and Speedy turns through the wingtip for the megaloop lovers. Those lovers do need to pay a price though; prices of the Screamer kite are comparable with the most expensive ones with 1800 euro’s for an Epic 12m Screamer 5g with bar.
The 2015 Ozone Catalyst is, according to their website, the top selling kite from Ozone: the true do it all kite because of its versatility. The Catalyst performs equally well in all aspects of the sport, satisfying a wide variety of riders and styles. We have heard that a lot of times before, but it is thé Ozone kite the average kiter would choose, so we had a go with it and tested it.
Ozone has six different tube kites. There is one wave kite, a trainer tube kite and a race kite. The riding style for the Catalyst is placed between the Edge (hang time kite) and the C-kite C4. The Catalyst 2015 has a common (for cross-over/do it all kites) set up with 3 struts, one pump (without exact pressure instructions) and options to set the steering lines at the tip at several positions for more or less bar pressure and quicker/slower response of the kite.
There are four gummy feeling “battens”, at the trailing edge of the kite which we have not seen before. We have the impression these gummy battens are meant to reduce any shaking of the canopy. Funny little detail is that the size indicator figure eight is very largely written on the canopy. The way it is written can also be interpreted as an eleven…