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Get ready for the future of kitesurfing! For those who want a fast turning, fast flying, flat water jumping, wave riding fun kite without the killer price this is the kite for you! One ride on this thing will completely and utterly spoil you forever. Other kites will feel doughy, sluggish and slow in comparison. Iím not a shop owner or selling kites underground whatsoever like others and no affiliation with anybody. I just got to demo the most amazing new kite out there! This thing is incredible, with so many new advances it is for sure the only kite you will want in your quiver! From this day forward, safety and performance are no longer mutually exclusive. Safety is now a standard component of the way this kite operates, as opposed to an add-on feature.
On first appearance it looks very strong and rigid. No thread ends showing through the surface of the kite and loose stitches and the weight of the kite is only 6lbs! It jumps higher, flys faster and more stable than anything out there on the market to date. It has an incredible turning speed yet will sit so stable in the sky it wonít move until you want it too. Amazing for kite loops it has almost no pull during high speed turns but you can turn the power back on by just pulling the bar in. It flys with super light bar pressure but you can feel exactly what the kite is doing. Its performance is unrivaled with amazing power when you need it but it backs off when you donít. Once you get to demo this kite for yourself you will never fly anything else again! Youíll be heading up wind faster and jumping more often and longer than anyone else out on the water! This is a guarantee!
What is this amazing new kite??? Canít you tell from the description?? Itís quite simple you see its every new kite out this year combined into one! But funny how this description appears to fit all of these news kites. Well it actually does, I wrote the above by taking little pieces of description from Naish, Windwing, Best and Cabrinha. See my point is simple. Any review I ever seem to read weather itís in a magazine, website, or message board, from the manufacturers, pros or so called ìnon-affiliated independent reviewersî they all sound the same! Everyone constantly spews the same BS over and over again. Are we that gullible that the entire kite marketing machine from the companies right down to the store owners and reps think we believe that BS? Well they must because they all keep doing it and we keep soaking it up.
Look at right here in this forum. I like to read what I think are honest reviews of the latest and greatest gear on this forum but people are so ridiculously brand loyal they start slamming stuff they havenít even tried! Worst of all are those comments made by people trying to be so overtly non-bias and independent and yet if you read what they say carefully enough itís full of little dirty remarks here and there and some of these guys even admit they have never even tried the kite! The best example of this is what weíve all read in the past few weeks about the Hellfish. So many people were slamming it who have never even seen the damn thing! And I bet you the same will happen when the Crossfire comes out this fall! And whatever new kite comes out after that. Letís be totally honest here, I am willing to bet that whatever it is you bought this year, weather it was a Torch, Rapture, Hellfish etc. they will all fly well, get you out on the water and having a good time. None of these kites are leaps and bounds better then the others or thatís the only thing that would be selling! So letís try to keep the reviews realistic and down to earth and avoid all the hype and trash talking. Youíre just making it harder than hell to filter out the honest opinions from the BS thatís piling up in the world of kiting.
WellÖÖ thatís just one kiters opinion.
Understood, but if you have actually ridden the long list of "hot kites" like some of us have, you should be able to discern and comment accordingly. I know of two "reviews" in particular in this forum that were based on real-world comparisons, not just brand loyalty. Re-read them and you will see actual performance distinctions that have some value.
Then again, you get what you pay for!
Wow. That's the best bit I heard in a long time! I think we can all be susceptable to sucumbing to and objecting to marketing hype at one time or another. Wouldn't it be fun to just ride a different quiver of kites every week? That way we wouldn't even care, we could just focus on having fun.
Part of the problem is that in this decent-sized kite market here in the Bay Area, we have quite a few riders who are on a team-rider deal of some sort and thus have some allegiance to a certain kite. I do try to be fair and never claim "This are the best!!", etc. But, let's all try to step it up a bit and be more objective.
For the record, here are the companies of kites I've owned and flown that I think are all damn good, in no particular order:
There's probably more, but I just think you'd be hard pressed to go wrong nowadays. One peeve of mine is excess and major hype from a company about upcoming products. When companies do that they become targets and if they don't live up to the claims and hype, watch out. Then it's no different than an infomercial. Let's be real and tone it down a notch.
Thanks for your wisdom.
I think this forum is better than many others in the quality of reviews. Brand loyalty is acceptable. I have brand loyalty, because I know the systems that the manufacturer I like uses, and I want to keep using them. Nothing wrong with that. If you are used to WW-like depower and flat span, and you like it, nothing wrong with getting another WW.
As for the hype:
Everyone tries to market their products, and of course they claim that they are good and better than others. If you have grown up in America this should be an obvious thing. Did you not grow up in a consumer society like everyone else? Why are you so surprised?
If you are implying to the Hellfish, Best crossed a few lines that pissed many people. Even Best fans don't feel comfortable with it. There is a way, and there is a way. Their way was not the standard hype + marketing BS. Look at Cabrinha and WW for example. No BS and hype. They do the R&D, build the product, and put it on the website when it is ready. Everything else is stuff that is out of their control. Of course when they create the marketing collateral it will be just that, and claim that it is better than sliced bread and all the other kites combined. No better that any other product in any other market.
Speaking of hype and BS: 2006 is a revolution year, not evolution. 06 kites are the kind of kites you will see in the next few years. Its not like 03-04-05 that are basically better versions of each other. Flat inflateables are what water kites should have looked like from day one. Obviously the first 06 versions will be 1.0 versions with many bugs, but there is always version 2 and 3. WW for example, is beyond 1.0. The fact that many manufacturers are going this direction means that someone finally turned the light on.
There are many reasons to be excited this year, and cuben fiber may or may not be one of them, only time will tell.
I agree, one of the reasons I keep coming back to check the BAK forums, apart from the fact that it's a local kiteboarding website, is because I really do like the quality of reviews here -- typically well-informed, thoughtful, and (generally) unbiased.
Best -- I have a Yarga 16? and used to own a Nemesis 8 (which I managed to completely wreck in La Ventana last year), and the kites fly pretty well, are well constructed, and are affordable. That being said, I've been somewhat turned off by the frat boy marketing, particularly with regards to the Hellfish... quite frankly, it makes me less inclined to purchase their products in future until everything's sorted out. Absent the marketing issue, however, I do like their online distribution model (as long as you don't need too much handholding when it comes to rigging/repairing your gear).
WW -- really like the SAFE depower system. Also, I've turned my kites inside out several times after wipeouts, but have been able to continue riding with the front and back lines crossed... not sure what I'd have done if I had a 5th line in that situation. Also like the focus on technology R&D, the responsiveness of the WW staff on the forums and via email/phone, and the generally understated nature of the company. They need to improve on some durability/QC issues... WW's customer service has definitely picked up the slack in this department, and I think they're making an ongoing effort to improve on each production run.
Gaastra -- has anybody heard from these guys lately? I had an '04 Force, and the depower range seemed rather limited. Then again, it was my first kite, so maybe I should chalk it up to operator skill (or lack thereof). In any case, I sold my Gaastra at a swap meet at the start of this season and haven't seen any Gaastra riders or read any reviews/posts since...
I agree that new kites always carry a lot of hype. And it usually takes a season for the hype to subside. Well I believe it's forums like this that can clear the air.
I think every kiter wants to hear that there is a new kite that blows away the competion. I believe we are all optimistic for what the future of kiting ingenuity will bring us. Without that optimism, we would have to come to the realization that our equipment is what limits us. The fact is guys have been ripping on kites and boards for the last 5+ years. You don't need the latest and greatest to rip.
I do believe that most kites are more similar than different. I also believe that a majority of the kiting companies out there are just copying each other's designs. For what it is worth, I respect the companies who bring new ideas and innovations, whether they end up being worth it or not.
I am definately not one who is brand loyal, I want to try them all (tried wipika, cabrinha, slinghshot, peter lynn, naish); want to try (rrd wave or type6 , ww rapture, flysurfer)
I firmly believe that it's the rider not the gear. For examply, I'm sure that Chip, LMG and ANT (local bay area rippers) would still crush it on a 2-line kite and old binding wakeboard. But give thesed dudes some new toys, and they rip harder, go higher, recover from mistakes sooner. I saw Chip doing sweet front roll/back kite loop combo that would be more difficult if he was not flying his current kits.
Everyone has a preference, we are humans, and that is the reason for marketing. Companies try to influence you: I'm in sales, and I do this for a living.
Most kiters don't have the time or patience to really test gear. Can you really tell how a kite performs after a quick 30 minute session?? I also think that most kiters don't take a structured approach to kite testing: see how hard it goes upwind, downind, how it flies depowered, how it jumps, how it loops, how it relaunches, how it handles unhooked moves, how it flies in the waves, how it packs into a bag, how to set up lines/bar for optimal performance, etc., etc......
Most "demo days" leave a lot to be desired....how many times has the hosting company asked the person trying the kite "what do you like in a kite? how is your current bar set up? what kind of board do you ride?" They just give you a kite, set up a given way and there you have it. Bar/Line set up is a huge factor...if you come from 4-line set-up w/limited chicken loop throw, going to a 5-line kite feels VERY different
.....Most magazine reviews are pretty lame as well: they seem to just say the same things the companies say on the web site.
In my kite reviews, two posted for North kites, I try to give a real world test of the kites and give the reader all the information about my preferences/biases. Not trying to "close" anyone to buy my kites: just giving my pt. of view....it's information, how you act on that information is your call.
For the record, I have flown the following kites:
* Naish - 01, 02, 03, 04, 05
* Cabrhina - 02
* Wipika - 02
* Slingshot - 04 and 05
* North - 05
* Ocean Rodeo - 05
* Caution - 05
* RRD - 04 and 05
* Best - 05
Bottom line: If you are the average kiter - goes upwind, a few jumps, a few transitions - any major kite manufacturer product will do. You will be best serverd by building a relationship with your local shop (who can help you w/set-up, warranty), understanding what YOU like and focusing on improving YOUR skills. Stop focusing on gear and focus on your head - as it's the main muscle keeping you from improving.
If you keep chasing "the latest/greatest" product that promises to improve your life, you will not find the promised land (you will drop some good $$ along the way). If you focus on raising your game and having fun with your bros, your smile will be big and last wel linto your work week.
Good winds + waves, Zeev.
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