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If you want to check out these kites for yourself, come to Sherman Island on July 2nd. The North Crew will have a demo and a BBQ in the evening. Some of the international team pros will be on hand to put on a show.
Vegas 5 review.
About me: a big dude (225lbs), intermediate, working on clean kiteloops, basic unhooked stuff and trying to learn how not to look like a kook in the waves. Iím not much of a ìboostî person ñ how high a kite jumps is not that important: it needs to jump high enough for my tricks and to clear white water when I riding waves. I ride in the North California SF bay area. I donít work for/with North or any other company.
Kite Sizes tested: 12m and 10m. Both kite sizes tested at Sherman Island. Wind was in low 20ís for the 10m kite and high teens for the 12m kite. I was riding a twin tip, 132x40: a custom board made by John Amundson.
Kite construction is bomber. Like on the Toro kites I checked out the week before, I like the bladder valves ñ no need to deal with or worry about stopper balls: this makes the bladders very easy to inflate. All the normal things you come to expect from a 2005 kite: multiple attachment points for lines, kook proof connections and 5th line. I flew both kites 4 line mode, with 27m lines. All lines were set up to be of equal length. The kites fly different in 5-line, and I will find some time to compare how they fly.
These kites are in between the Toro, very mid aspect kite and the Rhino ñ high aspect performance machine. The wing tips on the Vegas are nice and wide which I think has to do with how the kite turns and what type of power it develops. Iím not a kite designer, but it seems that kites w/wide tips do a good job of pivot and mellow power development. The kite does a good job of moving upwind: set your rail hard and it flies at the edge of the window really well with clean power.
The kite is incredibly stable in the air and delivers a very steady pull in all parts of the window. It sits a bit more forward compared to the grunty Toro. The bar pressure is light to medium and the kite responds very positive. Compared to the kites I fly now, Boxer and V4ís, the bar pressure is lighter and the kite moves much faster. The kite generates really nice smooth power. It is good at flying both on the front lines, when de-powered, and with back lines pulled in. Solid low end grunt power to get you going on a planeñ the kite pulls really nice. As a bigger person, I love this feeling in a kite. The kite canopy does not seen to change shape when you send it hard, or pull on the de-power strap. No wobble of jelly fishing observer.
The jumping of this kite was a surprise to me. It did not take me much time to get the timing of whipping the kite from 11 to 1: the lift was nice and solid and seem to go on for quite some time. Unlike some of the higher aspect kites I have flown, this kite brings you down nice and slow. Donít we all like coming down nice and soft?? I really enjoyed the lofty jumps with this kite (something I have not done for a while). We had a fun day at Sherman jumping smooth water, a few shots can be viewed here -> http://www.norcalkite.com/rio/target2.html On a few of my initial jumps, I did not fly the kite right and I went under the kite. I fully expected a hidy followed by kite slam into the water. Instead the kite gently drifted back in the window until the lines had tension again ñ surprisingly forgiving.
The power band control from this kite is really pleasant and powerful: an interesting combination. If you have the skills, you can shut off the power by stomping on the rail. If you donít have that skill, the kite will sit in the window and keep on pulling. Kiteboarding is about harnessing an incredible amount of power and directing it into controlled movement and direction. This kite delivers with as much power as you need, but it also gives you the crisp flying characteristics to put the kite exactly where you want it. Please note, if you move the kite too fast you will get power when you least expect it, and may get punished. I did. But when you put the kite in the right place at the right time a new world of smooth opens up to youÖ..or at least that is how it felt to me.
The felling of flying this kite is really sweet. This kite design fits my kiting style, and I felt very comfortable on the kite. I love the fact that both the 10 and 12 feel very similar: North did a great job. I like not having to adjust my freestyle timing to each kite. The kite is killer for freestyle: both hooked in moves and unhooked moves. I love the pop this kite generated for wakestyle moves, and was blown away at the power it can create when piloted right. I wish I had more skill and guys to try the heavy power unhooked moves: Kite loops, Kite loop + Sbend combinationsÖ..soon. Much like the Toro kite, the power the kite delivers is very steady and predictable: you can bear off to pick up speed, edge and the power created is very steady and pleasing.
I did not test the re-launch capability of this kite.
On the day that I tested the 10m kite, we had some nice swells forming due to the ebb tide. I used a mutant to test the turning capability of the kite. Not ocean waves, but 3d moving water. On 27m lines the kite turns well, not lightning fast. More then fast enough for aggressive turns. The kite does a good job of drifting in the window as you ride swell towards the kite. When the power comes back on as you tension the lines, itís a nice and steady pull, not jerky. For nice long carving turns, the kite turns as fast as you direct it, and delivers a nice steady pull ñ just the way I like it.
I also tested the 10m on 22m lines. The kite flew so fast, felt more like an 8m kite. The power delivered was still the same. This will be a very fun kite to fly in ocean waves, as the extra upwind drive will help me get back into the good part of the line up faster.
Bottom line: a very high performance kite that delivers a lot of performance and stoke. When I come off the water with these kites, I feel really excited and know exactly what area in my kiting needs to improve. The kite helps me improve my riding. One of the many things I dig about kiting is that there are so many areas to learn. A good friend said ìthere are many doors to walk throughî. This kite makes this walk a very good time.
If you have more detailed questions, Iím at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good wind + waves, Z.
Yes, Zeev. Sweet review and Ripping pics. Byron did a good job. Thanks for steering me toward borrowing Donny's Vegas (2005?) after I popped my X2. (since repaired) It WAS a smooth fly and very forgiving. Who knows, if I try that Vegas again this weekend, I might be ruined.
Last edited by jstjohn3 on Tue Jun 28, 2005 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
From KWS website:
"Next Saturday at Sherman Island is going to be an advanced clinic and demo as Sky Slobach & Jaime Herraiz will be available for tips & tricks. Sunday will be a fun ride, location TBD, we'll meet at the shop and leave from there."
I just want to complement you on your reviews. They have actually helped me actually understand kiting better (been kiting less than a year), particularly the way you describe the interaction between you and the kite. Reading your description of how the kite reacts has helped me put into words the things I feel happening when I am kiting, and has explained to me why certain things happen when they do.
Keep 'em coming. A request, though: Maybe review a Windwing Rage next, so I can understand why certain things happen with my kite that I still don't understand...
John - make sure when you demo the vegas kite you fly it w/the 5th line. It will turn different for you then when you flew it w/the 4 line. A fun test would be to take you X2 on a few reaches, come in and get on the same size vegas. Note how high you jump, your transitions, turning ability, going upwind, etc....Also, take the time to try different kites: If you love high aspect, you owe it to yourself to fly the ferrari aka Rhino. If you like the vegas, fly the Toro. Good times.
Pablito - thanks for the feedback. I try to honestly express what sits between the ears. I spent a lot of time 2 years ago thinking about kiting, as I took a year off from work to KITE w/my wife and family. Enjoy the learning process of kiting: the progressions are so cool. There are many defininig moments in my kite life (and most all others as well)
* first time you ride on a board more the 100 feet, in both directions
* first time you go upwind and return to where you started
* first time you figure out toe side riding
* first time you ride swell and feel the groove
* first time you have a kitemare
* first time you jump....the list goes on.....part of the joy of this sport is all those memories in your minds eye. For me, putting it in writing just gells those images and makes them last a bit longer.....
I'll be checking out the WW kites in the near future, as soon as Ollie can leave them w/me for a few days.....In the meantime, if you have specific questions you want to ask, let er rip...either here in the forum, or better yet, over a cold one on the river
Good winds, Z.