The South African brand Vanhunks sales skateboard, surfboards, SUP, kite surfboards and twin tips. They have three different twin tip models which are made in two to three different versions and are (except for the Anemoi) available in a short and a long version and most of them come in different colour options. Apart from the colour options there are 17 (!) different twin tips available. Apart from the size, Vanhunks still have nine different twin tips to chose from. To make a good selection from those nine different boards is a bit overwhelming. Too bad the graphical explanation on the Vanhunks website it too difficult to really help you make a choice. The two boards are 599,- Euro each (including straps and pads), which is not really expensive.
We used two of the Vanhunks twin tips and checked if they are also in it’s element in another continent. We tried the Manakel Cross over white 137*41 (large) version and the Bucca Flex 135*41 (small). We tested the boards in open sea with 25-28 knots of wind with medium waves with different kites like the F-one Bandit 7, the North Dice 2015 and the Ocean Rodeo Razor 2015. We didn’t do any freestyle moves, but we could test them for old school big air’s, upwind capabilities, comfort, speed and handling of chop. Continue reading Review: Vanhunks Twin Tips Manakel and Bucca→
The Canadian brand Ocean Rodeo comes with four different type of kites in their 2015 product line. The Razor is one of them and is branded as the C shaped freestyle shaped SLE (Spported Leading Edge; kite with bridles). There are some details which suggests the Ocean Rodeo R&D team have put in some long thoughts about some remarkable features the Razor needs to have. The two most obvious ones are the amount of struts (four) and the other one is the little twist in the leading edge just before the tip of the kite.
Today is gonna be a good day. One of the many cheering lines of the JN Kites Twintip Chit Chat reloaded. It has over 20 randomly chosen sentences written down, both on the top and the bottom of the board, which makes the looks of this board unique and cheerful. The Chit Chat is described as a an unrivalled freestyler in terms of pop, speed and landings. We tested the Chit Chat reloaded 134 in several conditions; with 20 till 28 knots in choppy till rough (2.5 m waves) sea. Not the perfect conditions for a test of a freestyle board, but we tested the Chit Chat 134 * 40 cm to see if it is also in it’s element out of pure freestyle conditions. This should work out not too bad, since the aim is to bring you to the next level in freestyle and freeride. The 134 is the second out of the four possible sizes. We reckon this board is suited for kiters till 70 kg. A more heavy (or bigger than roughly 175cm) person will notice the 134 board gives some spray in the face and needs to get a bigger sizes board (138 or even 142). The board has a honeycomb core combined with a layer of carbon and is about 150 euro’s more than the Peacemaker. Both boards weigh, with dry straps, around five kg. The weight feeling while kiting feels medium till light; a bit lighter than most other boards, but not as light as for example the ultra-light North Select twintip. Continue reading Review: JN Kites twintip Chit Chat Reloaded 134 and the Peacemaker 136→
JN Kites, named after its founders in 2003 Bernd Jochum and Michael Nesler, might be known to you without realising it. Not only did they design kites for some of the big brands in the industry before 2003, but you might also remember that kite with the huge, funny looking flower on a kite…?! Yes that is a JN kite. We tested the latest models of three different versions they produce; The all purposeMr. Fantasic third edition , the pure performance oriented C-shapedPrima Donna sixth edition and the fast responding performance weaponWild Thing Revival 5th edition. The (list) prices of the kites and bars aren’t as cheap as you would have hoped. It is not a very well-known brand, which is not a bad thing if you want to ride something different from the crowd. The second-hand market is also a lot more limited for these kites.
The 4-lines Gaastra Pure 9m 2015 has 3 struts, a bridle with no pulley’s nor any battens and a high split point of it’s front lines. The very colourful green-yellow bag comes with numerous -functional- pockets and includes a huge size indication. The bag certainly does get the attention on the beach. The inflate is a classic wide -and quick- entrance to the perfect one-pump system, including a unique protection padding. The X2 bar is a bit thicker than most other bars but looks very slick at a first glance, including the lines.
Though when looking a bit closer to the bar, there is an issue: although there is a safety ring, it doesn’t fit over the chickenloop. The manual of the Pure suggests for suicide mode to connect both the chickenloop and the safety to the leach. Our North safety leach however did not fit. A bigger leash connection would fit, but it would certainly compromise the safety, since the end of Gaastra’s X2 chickenloop is wider at the end. The chance a leach connection will be stuck to the chickenloop when using the safety system is very real. So a safe suicide mode is not possible. This is a bit strange for a kite branded as A freestylers dream weapon.*
Dutch Gaastra supplier Newsports, provider of the test kites has read our review and had a reaction to this issue (see below review).
Gaastra’s website is very clear at the aims of the Pure; It is dedicated to freestyle competition with most direct c-kite character, optimized kite-loop performance. The kite indeed has a sort of C-shaped look to it, but for a freestyle kite the split point of the front lines is quite high. This normally ends up with a fast turning kite. Something the opposite freestyle kiters need.
The Humanoid Howl boots are designed to be as close to straps as boots can be. Lower, softer, simpel 2-screws connected (“smart toof technology”) to the board and lighter than others. Not meant for the real pro, but for the average to experienced rider who wants to have the best of both worlds. Continue reading Test Humanoid Howl Boots 2014 (Best)→
After 4 weeks of comparing the F-one Bandit from 2015 (“version 8”) and the North Dice 2015, we have made quite some notes and remarks to fully evaluate the differences. We already made a description why we compare the Bandit and the Dice and what the similarities and differences are on the lines and bridles. This report is mostly on the performance (see below at “Details that matter”), the most important aspect of a kite. Any differences described here are on details. Both the Dice and the Bandit have much more in common than they have differences. We all felt very happy riding with both kites, whatever the rider or circumstances.