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Given that the only way I was going to own a partial quiver of new kites I decided to go for the current Best Kiteboarding promotion, the 3 for 2 deal. Here in the Bay Area, I've only known of one person to have bought Best kites so far.
It seems that many are skeptical of the performance and quality of the kites and I've heard mostly negative or ambivalent comments about Best Kiteboarding. I decided to give them a fair chance so I ordered 9, 11 and 13.5 Yargas. I figured you can't go wrong with their return policy. I've been drawn toward mid, or moderate aspect kites as they seem to suit my riding style better than high-aspect kites such as the '02 Airblasts I've been riding. I like the all-around performance, even, grunty power and turning of the mod-aspect kites. My ideal quiver would have been the 04 Slingshots, but cost would have been prohibitive.
Anyway, they processed my order and shipped them out within a couple days and I got them on time. Headed out to Alameda after work for a rare windy day and spent the first 1/2 hour on an '03 Wipika Amp 16, then when winds came up a bit I pumped up the 13.5 Yarga.
I have to say, even with riding it without having tuned pigtail settings and using someone else's bar and lines, my initial feeling is that it's a nice kite. Even, steady power from bottom to top, great turning, powers upwind in the window well, good lift and hangtime. That's after a half-hour on it with no tuning and someone else's bar, so I'm looking forward to rigging my own bar and tuning it to optimum settings.
The construction looks solid as well and with the struts pumped to 6 psi and the main bladder to 6.5, it's seems very solid and structurally stable on the ground and in the air.
If the 9 and 11 fly and perform the same, I'm sure I'll be happy with the kites. I'll post more info as I get more time on them.
I got a half hour on the Yarga 13.5 in well-powered conditions at Berkeley before the wind setlled down today, 5/6. I had rigged up a new bar of mine that still needs some finessing and tuning, so it wasn't 100% optimum, but I was well-powered enough to say that the power and stability of the kite impressed me and I found myself riding very aggressively, more so than on many of my previous kites.
Part of that may be due to the fact that I've find the mod-aspect kites better suited to me personally, but overall I think it's a well-built kite that rocks and will pay big dividends on my investment in the form of fun. After all, that's what it's all about, right?
After spending some time on the Yarga 13.5 I can say that this kite is super and suits me well. It's a powerful kite that inspires total confidence. I've boosted higher on this kite than on any other to date. Yesterday I pulled off a couple jumps from ideal takeoffs that put me higher than I've been. At the apex of a jump, I looked down and to the right of a friend kiting nearby and he looked small, then I looked slightly down on his kite which he had at 40 or 45 degrees. So assuming his lines are 27m that would put his lines lengths at about 80ft., with his kite at 40-45 degrees it would've been around 35-40 ft. in height.
Glad you are grooving on your new kites.....just a quick reality check...the pros are usually jumping 30 feet, 40 in really big winds. While I'm sure that your jumps have improved greatly with new gear and time on the water, I'm not sure you are boosting as high as Vari and Shinn....;-)
Although, as I was driving on I-80, I did notice an object in the air, at least 60 feet, which looked like a kite.....could have been you really sending......
Keep the stoke up!!!
I know it's a lofty claim and I'm not saying they are all like that, but these were particularly exceptional jumps. Charlie was there, he might lend some credibility to my claim. :)
I'll have to document it next time maybe.....
I saw you there, you were ripping... an awesome day today. Yep, my kite's blue/black, and I was having some fun today for sure! I'm kinda worked, was out from about 2:45 to 6:30, but yes, today was not the day of my lofty claims, that was a few days ago.
Hmm, I'll have to locate corraborating witnesses to validate my claims.
Charlie, you there? Back me up, bro.....