Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Kite 2012

Kitesurfing News Year 2012-2016!

Archive for the ‘Kites’ Category

Rapace kites

Posted by kite2012 On May - 26 - 2012

Ever heard about Rapace? Or have you ever seen a Rapace kite? No?, Well, the probability is quite small since Rapace just recently entered the kite manufacturing market. Currently they only have resellers in Canada, France, Italy, Slovenia and the Netherlands. They are actually looking for resellers, so if you want to sell kites, now is your chance!

Rapace produce kites both for snowkiting and kitesurfing. They also produce boards, harnesses, so Rapace pretty much cover the whole spectra. However, their range of products is still small, but I assume that it will grow larger with time.

The one and only kitesurfing kite that is for sale on the market is the Rapace RW1. It’s a 9m hybride kite. Let’s take a deeper look into it. Note that this information is taken right from the Rapace official site (www.rapace-kiteboarding.fr), so the drawbacks with this kite, if any… are of course not stated ;)

The RW1 is easy to use. No oddities or special features, therefor suitable for beginners.
It comes with a one pump system so you don’t have to worry about being the last one that enters the water.
The RW1 is very stable, yet lively and responsive.
The shape of the RW1 allows for a huge lift for those who love long flights when attached to the harness.
The large depower allows you to ride in a wide wind range.

Technical details:

* One pump
* Bar with double stoppers
* Security system + trim piece
* Reinforced fabric on LE and struts
* 25 meter lines
* Non-return ball in the valve on the leading edge
* Quick and easy trim over the bar
* Teijin fabrics
* Reinforcements struts

Shape:

* Hybrid
* 5 struts
* 4 lines
* double pullies
* Freestyle/freeride

 

 

Nothing new really. All kites manufactured today are more or less constructed in the same way with one pump, teijin fabrics, reinforcements etc…

However, what I find interesting with this kite is the price! You can buy this Rapace RW1 kite for as low as $815 or 650 € including bar, pump, bag! The url to the online shop is www.rapace-shop.fr

Finally, here is a video that shows that it’s fully possible to perform well with this kite in the water!

The most well-designed kite on the market!

Posted by kite2012 On May - 20 - 2012

Which kite is the most well-designed kite on the market? I find it hard to answer that question. Is it the Slingshot RPM, Cabrinha Crossbow, BWS Noise? I´ve been an owner of several different kites and I can’t say that I´ve been fully satisfied with any of them, there has always been something in the construction and the design that has been bothering me. The center-line and depower strap on Slingshot’s control bar system sucks in my opinion, not only do these “ropes” wear easily but giving me blisters between my fingers. The lines that Cabrinha provide are crap, after a season they are at least 1 inch longer. The control bars that came with my Royal Kites proved to be fairly easy to crack (I’ve managed to crack 2 Royal control bars!)
Just recently I noticed that the donkey dick on my new “smartbar” for my Airush Varial X 2012 was broken. A bar that have been used about 5 times!
What I´m trying to say here is that it obviously is hard to design a kite that last!
I understand that the manufacturers do what they can to cut the costs, for instance by using cheap materials. Not saying that cheap materials necessarily must be of poor quality, but I assume that it´s more likely to find crappy materials in China fabric than in NASA’s development centre. So I find it natural that the kites from different kite manufacturers have “weak” and “strong” parts in their kites depending on whom they have chosen as for their suppliers.
This brings us to another rather difficult question, which kite brand that has the best suppliers? Best in terms of supplying quality parts.
I guess that it could be possible to tell which kites that are more likely to last if we had information about their suppliers, but I don’t, and it would require a thorough research to unearth that information…
I wish someone out there could give me solid proofs that showed me black on white which kite that is made of the highest quality materials. Or to put it in another way, I´d like to know which kite to buy to get as much kite as possible per dollar.
Until that day I assume that I´ll have to live in uncertainty and rely on what I read on kite forums and what I see in kite promos :P

Finally, if for some reason bothered to read all this, then you might as well take a look at this promo for Gin Guru. My old picture of Gin kites is that they are just another newcomer located in Switzerland that tries to take their share of the pie in the kite selling market. But lately I´ve read lots of positive words about this kite. Perhaps is Gin making the best kites on the market? Who the hell knows… Anyway, I like their new promo. I bet they manage to get some new followers thanks to this short clip, you should not undervalue the effect of good marketing! :)


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BEST TS TEST

Posted by kite2012 On May - 5 - 2012

Best kiteboarding rider Jaime Piñol testing to some of the latest BEST models to see how they perform when doing kiteloops.


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Mike The Knife in Brazil

Posted by kite2012 On April - 17 - 2012

Our swedish friend Mikael Blomvall a.k.a. Mike The Knife is out with a new video from his time in Guajiro, Brazil. Mike has been spent his winter in Brazil and Boracay, kitesurfing, chilling, having fun and hiding from the cold winter back in Sweden, tough life… :P

Best kite factory

Posted by kite2012 On April - 8 - 2012

Epic Kites recently made a video from their factory in China. We could see the happy Chinese infront of their computers and sewing machines. The message – Epic Kites Take care of their employees and they make great kites.
Best didn’t want to be worse, so they decided to make a similar video, the difference is that they have their kite factory in Sri Lanka. Best have filmed their employees laughing and smiling, just so there is no doubt about that also their employees have a good time sewing from morning till evening :)

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Dimitri from Epic Kites knows how to kite!

Posted by kite2012 On March - 27 - 2012

Dimitri does not only spend his time with designing excellent kites. Obviously Dimitri has some time over for kitesurfing, and this maniac sure knows how to kite! Just look how he flips the boards in the air, as if it were the most natural thing to do while you´re hanging 10 meters up in the sky, at the same as you’re piloting a kite with your free hand! This guy Dimitri simply kicks ass!


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Epic Kites – the coolest kites on the market?

Posted by kite2012 On March - 22 - 2012

Epic Kites have in my opinion the absolutely coolest kites on the market! Kite manufacturers come up with new designs every year. Their construction and features might be top notch, but when it comes to graphical design, none of them can really compete with Epic kites!
Epic Kites currently have 6 different kites in their collection. Design wise they are all outstanding, just look at these pictures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what about the quality? Have Epic Kites aerodynamical features and durability that can match Slingshot, Naish, Airush and the other well known kite manufacturers? We did an effort to find out what riders really think about the Epic Kites. Here are some words from riders all over the world!

The Screamer is a high-performance kite! If you were thinking that the first kite from a new company wouldn’t be any good, you are wrong. The Screamer flies very far forward in the window, making this one of the best kites we’ve tested for getting upwind. Bar pressure on the Screamer is in the light-medium range. The Screamer flies fast and turns quickly. Hang time on this kite is fantastic. Once you get the timing of this kite down, be prepared to spend some time in the sky. Of course, all of this performance has to have a cost, and that cost with the Screamer is stability. Especially in gusty/shifty winds, pay attention to flying the Screamer when it’s sitting at the edge of the window.

/ thekiteboarder.com about Epic 2010 Screamer

The Renegade Infinity has light-medium bar pressure and turns quickly for a large kite. The power delivery is very smooth and the Infinity holds its power well through turns. This kite has a grunty feel to it and it does generate a lot of power, but the low end is not the best of the different light wind kites we’ve tested. The Infinity sits back in the window and has surprisingly good jumping performance for a kite of this size. The canopy remained very stable on the Infinity, even when depowered. When unhooked on the Infinity, we found it to be prone to back stalling unless you give it a few inches of depower before you unhook. Testing the relaunch ability of large kites in light wind always makes us nervous, but we were able to relaunch the Infinity in about 12 knots of wind with no problems.

/ thekiteboarder.com about Epic 2011 Renegade Infinity

Thekiteboarder.com tested the 9m version of the 2012 Epic Screamer 3G. An upwind and boosting kite. The overall construction is good. This is a great performing kite for jumping but slow turning. Really easy to get upwind when you’re powered up. Really stable in the sky. Fairly slow turning kite, bar pressure a little bit to heavy. 3 of 6 riders would recommend these kite to a friend.
/ thekiteboarder.com about 2012 Epic Screamer 3G

The Renegade is the freestyle/wave kite of the Epic kite line that excels at powered Kite Loops, and has ideal depower for waves and smooth, lively, responsive steering. With just three sizes in the kite range, the 11, 9 and 6 m, the Renegade delivers simple and reliable performance in a wide range of conditions and disciplines. The SBC Kiteboard test team ranked the Epic Renegade as the best relaunching kite.

/ sbckiteboarding.com about the 2011 Epic Renegade (sbckiteboarding.com are known for making objective reviews without favouring any special kites.)

What can I say, the kite fits like a great pair of shoes or gloves. The Renegade 9m was a very fast turning kite, had a lot of steady pull, and was the easiest kite I have ever relaunched in all my 10 years of kiting. I feel that the Renegade will be the best all-round kite for anyone who is getting into kiteboarding for the very first time. It is very simple to use, easy to relaunch, has a very nice safety system and was very simple to set up right out of the bag. I have very short arms, and it was hard for me to reach the trim strap when I had the kite in my hands for the first time. I was shown that it could be made shorter with just simple and very fast adjustment on the chicken loop line. I also like that one bar fits kites from 6m to 14m and can be easily adjusted in seconds.
/kitetricity.com about the Epic Renegade 9m

In the air, the power delivery is very smooth and deliberate. The kite pivots and then builds speed in the turn which makes kite loops and other powered moves fun to say the least. The kite is predictable and forgiving in its delivery so it doesn’t feel overly aggressive as some other kites do. Just a very fun kite to fly. Super comfortable, predictable and great for all skill levels. Beginners will love the easy launch , stable characteristics and 100% bar depower. Experts will appreciate the predictable power for wake style, old school or riding waves

/ powerkitesdirect.com about the Epic Renegade

2011 Screamer 14 meter: I rode this kite for a couple of hours because Dimitri lent it to me. It was great to try it out. Since I have experience flying C kites, I felt that the Screamer had the shape of a C kite with many of the modern characteristics of newer kites, such as a simplified bridle and much smaller diameter struts and leading edge. There are a lot of reinforcements on the Screamer. It has a relatively high aspect ratio, so it is designed for freeriding and hangtime, as well as speed (though I didn’t feel it was very fast like the Cabrinha Crossbow). I weigh 175 pounds, and I was using a wide 44 cm X 146 cm board in only 12 knots of wind as well as a freeride board Dimitri uses. The kite is higher aspect, so when you want to loop the kite, you really have to make sure that it is high enough in the window because it will take longer to turn. The higher aspect ratio allows you to get longer and higher airtime–at least so I had heard–and when I tried to get launched, I did do some high jumps (these jumps were not too high according to Dimitri’s standards). I carved upwind fairly easily with the kite even though the wind was light. I was surprised how much airtime I could get in just 12 knots of wind. The only thing I can add is that the kite has the direct feeling of a C kite in terms of its response. It is powered up the whole time when you kite loop

/Raphael about the 2011 Screamer 14m

Epic Kites play with open cards and this video shows the factory in China where these kites are made! Thanks Dimitri for the awesome kites you deliver!


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GIN Kites

Posted by kite2012 On February - 8 - 2012

GIN Kiteboarding is a Swiss company that produced kites since 2005. Designer Robert Graham, who is responsible for kite development has worked with GIN Gliders in the late 80’s. GIN is positioning itself as a brand with a focus on quality, function and long-term applicable innovations that create added value in kite surfing experience. You can tell by the kites, control bars and even bags.

At the end of January, I tested a late prototype of ZULU III 11m2 and an old 12m2 Nasca II and both of them feel very nice to play with and they are of good quality and with details of high quality. I also tested the snowkites ESKIMO INUIT 8m2 and 10m2, and these feel good, very responsive and makes a convincing impression regarding the quality and detail work.

Some more info on GIN Kite Board products:

Tubekites:

ZULU III
The ZULU 3 is the thrid version of the Zulu kite. A well balanced shape that comes from the precise construction of all parts of the kite. The Zulu III has a great stability with C-kite performances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GURU

Guru is Gin’s new kite that will be released in March 2012. This kite will come in the following sizes, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14.
A small promo video:

Nasca II

Nasca II is one of previous models from Gin that isn’t manufactured anymore. It is a 5 line kite with smooth and comfortable handling, it has speed and constant traction. It´s a fast turning kite!

For more info about Gin Kites, check out Gin Kiteboarding

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Liquid Force NRG

Posted by kite2012 On January - 4 - 2012

Liquid Force is out with a new promo video for NRG.

The new NRG is the most powerful kite that Liquid Force ever have made. To construct NRG was a challenge that force the LF designers to think out of the box and produce countless of prototypes before they finally come up with the perfect compromises. The NRG is a 4-strut kite with a flatter profile which provides lots of uplift force. The new NRG kite is said to have an amazing hangtime and the generated lift gives huge jumps!

Question is how Liquid Force will be able to match this kite in their next collection for 2013… Anyway, here is the video featuring Jason Slezak and Julien Fillion.

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Looking to buy a new kite? Which to choose?

Posted by kite2012 On December - 19 - 2011

Looking for a new kite but do not know which brand to choose? Then you should read this guide.

But, after reading this, you might feel a little scammed, for in this article, you are in fact not recommended to buy a single kite, the article is purged from brand names. However, it will give you some good tips on how you should proceed to determine the kite for you to choose. And is that not really what you need? =)

“Can I not just ask the forum?”

Yes, of course, that’s what forums are for =) and there are many out there who are holding on to lots of useful knowledge. But the question has been asked many times by other riders in your situation, and the questioner is often left with more questions/options afterwards, than he had to begin with.

Here are some of the reasons to why it’s less useful to ask for recommendations of what kite to buy on a forum:

1) Most riders are happy with their equipment! This is a fact that is reassuring to take into account when buying a kite, because it means that you probably will be there happy with your kite no matter what you choose! The main reason I would say is that the vast majority of kites on the market are of high quality. Another reason is that many who have spent $1500+ on a kite need to justify their purchase (which you can learn more about if you read some basic psychology). A third reason is that you adapt and learn to use the equipment you have. And a fourth reason is that the vast majority of riders do not have any good basis for comparison (which leads us on to point 2).

2) Very few kiters have used more than one kite long enough to provide a reflective (see also point 3 and 4) and the relevant comparison. Most active riders replace their kitene with 1-2 year intervals. But given the developments that have been on the equipment in recent years, most people that change kites probably have experienced that they have gotten a much better, no matter which brand you have chosen.

Some would argue (often loudly) that they have tried a whole host of kites, and can see that their own kite is the best (usually followed by !!!). Read point 1 again. There is a big difference in trying a kite for 30 min (or a day for that matter) and to spend time to learn the equipment to know over time, which most people do with their own equipment.

3) Some riders choose kite out of personal relationships. Let’s face it, the local kite community where you live is probably not huge? and most of the people in your area began with kiting because they know someone else who was doing it already. Because the amount of people that have a kite to sell, it is not unlikely that you within a short time will be friend with someone who sells kites or someone who knows someone who sells kites, someone who offers courses for someone who sells kites, etc. Many think it’s fine to recommend that others buy a kite from his friend (this is also something one can learn about in the basic psychology).

4) A surprisingly large proportion of kiters around the world have some financial interest in that you ride the brand they recommend. The percentage of team riders, promo riders, instructor and part-time employees must be very much higher in the kite community than in any other comparable activity. =) Not everyone is quick to speak out about what interests they have, before they give you recommendations to buy “their” product.

“Damn it. How should I choose which kite I want to buy?”

As stated under point 1 there is an imminent probability that you will be satisfied no matter what kite you choose. That said, it’s obviously some differences between the various kite properties. A very good source to get an overview of these is the SBC’s annual kite boards kite review, link: kite reviews 2011. They describe the properties of many of this year’s kites, in an objective and neutral manner. You will not find any obvious recommendations, but it’s not the point. You have to find a kite that suits you, and here are some points that may help you to choose:

1) The first thing to determine is what type of kiter you are or will be. Let’s be a little black and white and divide riders into those who are engaged in “Free Riding” and those who are engaged in “Freestyle”. As a new kiter, what did you see? Well, probably you have experience with any other type of activity that requires almost the same characteristics of you as a person, as kiting do. If you go skiing or snowboarding, do you just pretty much cruise down the mountain sides (freeride), or do you spend the day on rails and doing big jumps in the park (freestyle)? Unfortunately it is unlikely that you will start to rip hard just because you get a kite in your hands. :-)

Most kite-producers/-suppliers have kites that have characteristics such that they tend to fit either Freeriding or Free-/Wakestyle. The differences are not very big, and due to that, no one is 100% free rider or 100% freestyler, nor is the kite itself. But it may be advantageous to at least choose a kite that basically is in your cubicle.

2) No matter how much you read about a kite on the net, or what someone tells you about it, nothing comes up to actually try it yourself. Fortunately, most vendors are super-interested in allowing you to test their equipment if you request it. Because the amount of teams and promo-riders (see point 4 in the previous question), it is possible to test the kites where you live, even if the supplier is located elsewhere in the country. Show up on demos that are advertised in your local forum, or contact your provider and ask for the demo!

3) As a new kiter is almost mandatory to take a course. If you can not use the equipment, you may as well save money (and health). On the course, you hopefully also get the chance to try a kite or two, and it can actually be a small point to buy the same equipment that you have used on the course. The reason is that the course has received expert guidance in the rigging and safe use of this kite, making you safer and minimizes the chance that you make a mistake when you stand alone on the beach. And it does not hurt either that many instructors gives you a discount on the purchase of a kite after the course.

4) Price is important for most people, not much more to say about it. A good deal means money left in the bank, such as might be used for other necessary equipment. For example, a helmet, which is actually required, but as many drops.

5) Service can make all the difference in how satisfied you are with your kite purchase. Do you know a local supplier with knowledge of the kite, the you might want to consider this. It is invaluable to be able to pop in on monday to buy new lines because the old snapped the this weekend. Or to get them to show you hands-on how quick-release actually works. Or simply just to chat. =)

“Okay, I see … By the way, what size should I choose? What is the difference between a foil and a tube kite? What is a C-/BOW-/SLE-kite?”

See, this is a question that you can get reasonable answers to by asking in a forum! And there are actually many people that have asked about these things before, so by searching, you’ll probably get answers to them pretty quickly.

Good luck with the purchase of your first kite, we are sure you will have fun no matter what logo it is marked with! =)

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Airush 2012

Posted by kite2012 On December - 4 - 2011

It seems like 2012 can be Airush’s year! Airush has released many new products for year 2012 and they seem to be a success so far according to reviews and videos that are floating around on the web. So what’s new for 2012? Well, there is a lot, to much for me to cover everything in this post. However, Airush has products that are something extra, the smartbar III, Varial X and the Protoy board. Let´s take a look at them!

Smartbar III

The 2012 Smartbar is a highly tunable bar with some of the smartest features on the market today. A clean, yet very functional bar. Airush has integrated the Brain Quick Release with an extentable bar and other improved features, such as:

  1. Float Integration (to prevent the bar from sinking if you drop it into the water)
  2. EVA Grip
  3. 2012 Brain Quick Release
  4. Union Rivet
  5. OS Handles
  6. Extendable Length Bar
  7. Active Removable Stopper Ball
  8. Depower Strap
  9. E-Z 4-5 Line Conversion
  10. Multiple Length Options (3 meter extension lines comes with the bar)

Varial X

Mark Pattison, the designer of Varial X says that the goal with this kite was to take the depower, relaunching and forward speed from the previous Varial, and combine this with the unhooked performance, direct steering and highend of Vapor X. The result was the Varial X, a concept that is called SL-C i.e. a hybrid between a SLE kite and a C-kite. A kite for those who are looking for the unhooked, boosting and direct steering that comes with a C-kite, yet with a clean 4 line setup.

The Varial X sits further forward in the wind window than the Vapor X and it also flies faster through the wind window. When you sheet in the bar to the bottom the kite with surge forward to the edge of the wind window. This is something that gives you a great vertical height when jumping. The Varial X needs airspeed to develop power, so you can’t really park it and expect that the kite will act as a truck. The kite is constantly seeking its way forward to the edge of the wind window which might punish those who prefer to just park and ride, but in turn reward those with good flying techniques.

Protoy Board

Airush combines super slick design with the latest patented ACTIVE.

The Protoy board is as flexible as a PU (PolyUrethane) board, but made in high modulus carbon fibre, which gives the board much more reflex and at the same time makes it stronger.

The ACTIVE technology doesn’t prevent the board from flexing, but it prevent the board from breaking under extreme loads, for instance if you land hard after a jump.

Airush claims that this board is 20% lighter than a standard sandwich construction.

The image to the left shows an exploded view of the Protoy board.

  1. Diamond grooved EVA ultragrip traction
  2. Lightweight spray finished, sanded back.
  3. 40 GM protective layer
  4. 101 GM T700 Carbon biaxial lightweight carbon outer skin.
  5. High strength, optimum flexibility and lightening fast response.
  6. Heavy duty double glass reinforcement in heel area.
  7. Corecell san foam high density layer for strength and reduced weight over wood.
  8. 40 GM lightweight base layer for sandwich.
  9. Patented active stringer.
  10. High density foam reinfocement in fin areas.
  11. Corecell san foam high density layer for bottom deck.

The protoy board also comes with a surfinz adjustable box system and a carbon reinforced hexcore fin set.

I know, lot’s of techniqual stuff here… Perhaps just easier to watch this movie and form your own opinion :)

Flexifoil Hadlow ID

Posted by kite2012 On November - 21 - 2011

Flexifoil Hadlow ID is Flexifoils new flagship and considering that Aaron Hadlow himself rides with this kite should be proof enough to give this kite top marks! If you read on Flexifoils official site it says (not very surprisingly) that this more or less is a kite with top performances within all aspects. The problem with reviews written by the manufacturers themself is always that they highlight all the positive characteristics of their kite and don’t even mention the bad things and they never compare their own kites with their competitors kites.

So in an attempt to give you some objectively information about this kite we put together a list with reviews of the Hadlow kite from surfers with different background.

  1. Review from kitemovement
  2. Review Flexifoil Hadlow Pro 2009
  3. Discussion about the Hadlow ID at Kiteforum
  4. Flexifoil Hadlow ID by Kitemare
  5. Great review about Hadlow ID 12m from Pushkiting
  6. Testing new Flexifoil Hadlow ID
  7. Flexifoil Hadlow ID kite information from ATBShop

Finally we would like to share this awesome video with Aaron Hadlow!

Naish Park 2012

Posted by kite2012 On November - 20 - 2011

Naish Park

Naish is considered to be one of the best kite manufacturers in the world. The design of their kites, easy handling and good perfomance appeal many kitesurfers. Good advertisment also help of course, just look at these videos!

So what have people to say about Naish Park? Here are a bunch of reviews:

  1. Naish Park at Naish Kite Surf
  2. The Naish 2012 Park
  3. Naish 2011 Park Action video
  4. Some pics of the new Naish 2012


Win a Naish Park

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Best Kahoona V2 vs Kahoona V3

Posted by kite2012 On November - 18 - 2011

Best Kahoona V2 vs Kahoona V3: What has changed and why?

New Canopy Ripstop

  • Higher tear strength for improved impact resistance and dureability.
  • Improved Ripstop coating technique gives a crisper fabric with enhanced performance.
  • New canopy printing techniques integrate printing onto canopy segments before final fabric treatment for more vibrant graphics.

New Dacron Materials

  • Higher tear strength for improved durability
  • Better handling of bias loads for enhanced steering response & flight stability.

Both new materials lead to a more stable kite.

Lighter and adjustable bar pressure, introduction of trimming options.

  • Best introduce the A and B settings on the Kahoona V3 to increase versatility of the kite. This will make this kite more appealing to advanced riders.

New Size

  • 3.5m enables kids and women to build their ideal quiver.
  • Exceptional school kite. (Guroo will be discontinued)

Kahoona V2 vs Kahoona V3: What has stayed the same and why?

The DNA of Kahoona V2 has been preserved where possible. The KAhoona V3 is a 4 strut, mid aspect Delta kite using the bridle concept as the V2.

Sizes: 3.5/5.5/7.5/9.5/11.5/13.5

Excels in:

  • Surf
  • Freeride
  • Light Wind/Race
  • New to the sport

Performance Attributes:

  • Powerful low end
  • Auto-relaunch ability
  • Stability in all conditions
  • Ease of Use – Plug and Play
  • Easy jumping
  • Full depower
  • Effective and easy to use safety
  • Good upwind ability
  • Steering when depowered

PS. Keep in mind that everything stated above is Best’s own words and they might spice everything up to make the Best Kahoona V3 stand out as an exceptional kite, like all other manufactures ;)

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