Post general kiteboarding discussion topics here!
I agree demo, demo, demo, I own and ride Ozone, Wainman and Best. Love them all in there own special way, I guess you could say I have my own little "Harem" . Since I am happily married that is about as close as I will ever get to one.
KITES: Wainman Hawaii Smoke/Punch
KITES: Ozone C4 9m & 7M
BOARDS: Nobile NHP & T5 & LF Kitefish
WETSUIT: NPX Assassin Full 5/4/3mm
HARNESS: Dakine Fusion
Can't agree on the Starkites review. The sBow kites are extremely stable and forgiving. They drift well and launch faster than any other kite I have flown. Great kites to teach/learn on, and great for progressing or freeride. But, as I have said before, they are slow to turn which is why they are great to teach on. Build quality is as good or better than many brands. I have thrashed the ones I own as well as letting others thrash them. They have held up well.
If you were looking for a performance kite or a kite for cross/onshore wave riding, nope, not it. But they have their place. That said, have not flown the new 2012 models. Maybe they failed.
Haven't tried Best kites, but know a couple of guys who slay it in the surf on them.
Sticking with my redline bar. Can't see how it is unsafe. It is as safe as any newer bar. QR is the simplest design I have seen that works well no matter how much sand is in it, and can be re-set on easily. Flags out nicely on 2 front lines. That may not be quite as safe as a single line system but unless you are punching out all the time, it's fine. Again, can be re-set without having to de-rig. I like it better than the current offering from Caution so I'm keeping them.
Totally agree on the Starkites bar. Complete trash. Have scavenged several for parts. Won't even use them as backups. Such well made kites and such a bad bar. Go figure.
And yep, these brands are cheaper, along with Caution which I'm riding now. No one will convince me that Cab, SS, or any other brand is better just because the 11m ends up costing $1500 instead of $900. I've flown them and they all have positives and negatives.
As far as advice on kites to learn on, I stick with my recommendation of just about any newer 100% depower bow design. By nature the bow kites have tons of depower, tons of range, and generally re-launch very well. They tend to be quite stable and handle gusts with class. Also, since the design is flatter you can generally ride a size smaller than other styles, and my be able to get away with a smaller quiver due to the range which is nice. I think all the major manufacturers have a bow model in the lineup.
Try as many as you can and then just pull the trigger. No point in stressing too much over nuances until you have some hours under your belt. Better to be out riding on any kite than be stressing over which ones to buy.
Wadell is coming up. I'm going kiting!
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