Already in the end of the winter 2011 a new snowkiting freeride brand was born – IKON Kiteboarding. IKON got quite some attention over the world, but the reviews have been absent. Luckily we got a hold of the collection of IKON’s snowkites. Said to be a snowkite, you can still ride it in water, so the following review is based on tests with IKON’s snowkite, but performed on land and water.
At a glance
Unlike many reviews out there on the net, we will not glorify this kite in our review. The kite itself comes in a backpack, which should be standard nowadays for brands that want to play the market. The bag is equipped with compression strap and the kite is perfectly seated in the bag which is almost as ergonomically designed as any mountain back pack.
When it comes to the materials IKON is excellently prepared. Every single piece of the kite and the bar seems to have been manufactured into perfection. Everything is elaborated in detail. The kite is equipped with dacron and reinforcements in the exposts parts. The seams are well done and can compete with the best brands on the market. A little surprise awaits inside the chambers. All ribs which divide the chambers have stitched belts around and crossover the ribs. This stiffens up the whole kite and make the chambers stronger. As a snowkiter or foil kite rider you might know that ruptured internal ribs is quite common and leads to annoying subsequent repairments. In the IKON kite all ribs are reinforced for maximum durability.
Another nice thing with this kite is the HC lines that are oversized, so you do not have to worry about them to much in case you´re flying the kite through sharp ice plates.
The control bar
The bar is made from aluminum, very sturdy and solid, well designed and tested for a long time, where security has been a primary thing to focus at. The ends of the bar are fitted with rubber bands to secure the lines once you have wrapped them up. the bar has an ergonomically profiled surface to make it comfortable for your fingers and of course the left side of the bar is red. Holding the bar up side down and you´ll be notified by a prohibition sign :)
The depower over the control bar is solved by pulling a red strap and vice versa a black strap to turn it back to full power.
The quick release is solved by the the classic red molded piece on the chickenloop, very similar to the system used by Liquid Force. Pull the trigger and the kite falls down. Everything is simple and very effective.
Start – to start a kite with an open chamber is a piece of cake. Attract the frontlines and the kite flies up immediately. No trouble with self inflating chambers. Start and go!
After the first maneuvers directly overhead you immediately feel the great stability delivered by the IKON kite. You can do whatever you want. I tried to push it over my head in an attempt to front stall the kite, but the Ikon completely mastered everything wonderfully.
Another thing that impressed me is the accuracy while flying the kite near the water. The precise and intuitive control is literally addictive issues. I was a little concerned about driving on the water, because every inaccuracy would mean drowning the kite and fill its chambers with water. With the Ikon I could bring the kite down to a few centimeter from the surface. The Ikon passes nicely through the whole wind window with a contant speed that generates power. No stress, no flicker in gusts, light, medium bar pressure, over all a very friendly kite. Literally there is a comparison – IKON is according to my first experience of such quality and performance as the Slingshot chamber kites. Accurate, stable and an amazingly HC kite, which at first glance made it something that would last.
Here the Ikon literally thrives. With a narrower profile and a strong lift the ikon will bring you great heights and keep you there as long as possible. With the mandatory and precise control you know exactly where the kite is, therefore allowing you to jump safely.
IKON and its internal reinforcement ribs, which prevents ruptures when crashing.
RAFAL 12 square meters is exactly what the designers describe it as, a kite for light wind conditions. The kite starts to generate power in just 2-3 m/s which is sufficient power for you to ride on snowy plains. With growing wind power the kite behaves quite smoothly and to ride with it is extremely pleasant.
PATROL 10 square meters is a kite that can be used in most of wind conditions. The PATROL is obviously faster than the RAFAL. Thus it is easier to maneuver and to get him to jump in the greater speed. Overall great stability and precision control.
If you´re into high mountain freeriding you might wanna get a reliable workhorse that won’t let you down either in weaker or stronger winds. Both the RAFAL and the PATROL have a tremendous stability which also suit unhooked riders who don’t want to ride their inflatable pets in the winter. Either way Ikon’s foil kites are worth a try. At present, these kites have an unrivaled price / performance ratio.
KITE TYPE: foil kite/chamber, snowkite
SIZE: 4m2, 6m2, 8m2, 10m2, 12 m2
PULLEY: 12 m2 and 10 m2 dual system
DOUBLE SAFETY: YES
COLOUR: Black and White
LINE LENGTH: 25m
COLORED LINES: Yes
BAR SETUP: 4 lines, 45 cm or 55 cm bar length
DEPOWER: Strap with protection
IKON pack – control bar with lines, kite folded and tightened with strap, backpack.
A few hints and warnings.
When depowering the kite, make sure your kite is left in the sky with some power in it, else you might front stall it.
Ikon is so stable that you do not have to worry přelítávání kit from over 12 hrs Feel free to let the kite přelítnoun and he will be in a strong profile back to normal windows. No folding.
After your first kite session, pack the kite without disconnecting the lines. Next session, avoid tangled lines and pack up the stuff in no times.
RAFAL 12 has a comparable performance with the same kite design in size from 13 to 14 m2.
PATROL 10 has a comparable performance with the same kite design in size from 11 to 12 m2
ATTENTION! Flying with the ikon becomes addictive from the first matter of minutes :)
Do not be fooled by lower-priced kites. Ikon uses a different sales system, so the final price for the customer will be lower. Get the highest quality product for your money.