The new North kiteboarding MONO 2016 is a new single (one) strut from North kites. Rather than having the usual 3 or 5 struts the MONO is configured to only have one single strut. This allows a clearer canopy – great for developing low end power. It flys very similar to the North Neo kitesurf kite, is able to run using the quad 4 line setup or the 5th element 5-line setup. The leading edge is slightly thicker in diameter than the other North kites such as the Dice and EVO, and the canopy is made from many individual sections to keep the shape. Good use of dacron throughout the design ensures strength and stability of the design. On the water as expected it is a great generator of power. There is a slight flap from the leading edge when looping the kite (as expected from any one strut kite) but the stability and consistency of the turning is remarkable. Who’s it for? Those looking for simplicity and of course those looking for a great value kitesurf kite from a premium brand. Call us now on 01243 671777 to order!
We have a one off deal on the incredible North Foil board, ridden by James and by Tom Court!
This complete kite foilboard board setup is an amazing piece of equipment in fantastic condition and comes with a bag too. Please call the shop on 01243 671777.
So managed to finally get some breeze in the right direction and strength to get out and have a ride on the new Liquid Force 2016 WOW kite.
The WOW 2016 has been heavily marketed towards the ever growing wave-riding segment of the kitesurf industry. That’s not a problem for us at BBR as James is well into his wave riding and is a font of knowledge on available surfing kite gear!
So onto the kitesurf test and review of the 2016 WOW:
We used the 2016 WOW 8m kite straight from the bag, and the same for the new 2016 LiquidForce Response Bar, with a much better and improved chicken loop system for 2016. The Response Bar we left completely standard, and had it set on the widest setting.
Immediately starting to ride the WOW is slightly different to other wave kites, it is much softer in its low end power, but then quicker to deliver it once board speed increases. It feel like its using apparent wind much more than others tried, and requires less maneuvering than expected to generate power. The shape in the sky is not as deep as expected, nor as “globe like” as one would expect for a faster turning kitesurf kite. It sits right at the front of the wind-window, it’s also possible to oversheet, and didn’t appear to drift as quick as we were expecting.
So, doesn’t sound like a particularly good kite for dead onshore conditions that most of us typically ride in the UK does it?
On returning to the shop, slightly glum after testing, we went and read the usual marketing fluff, it was interesting to note that LF don’t actually point towards a dedicated wave kite. Indeed, their first line is “Born from our mission to engineer a top-performing wave-riding kite that also excels at all-around freeriding”.
Now a free-riding kite is great for waveriding, but only in cross-off , or completely offshore winds. The reason for this is that free-ride kites are built for upwind performance, so they accelerate to the front of the wind window very quickly (more so with the WOW because of its thin leading edge), and they also provide their power based more from apparent wind than projected area, this means they like to “get going” and need board speed before they will perform, they like to be ridden faster through the air as that what “apparent wind” is derived from, rather than giving low end power as soon as you move the kite. Notice all the pics of liquidforce riders on the WOW show an offshore wind – you can see the tops of the waves being blown off backwards. Now for wave riding in onshore or cross onshore conditions, you don’t want a kite that requires apparent wind as you will be kiting towards it a great deal, and as the kite is at the front of the wind, it won’t drift downwind of you, the lines become slack and you loose maneuverability. Ideally you need something with a deep canopy, but still with impeccable manners!
At BBR we know that what the majority of brands identify as a “wave kite” might not necessarily be a suitable wave kite for kitesurfing in the typical conditions we have in the UK, hence why we talk in-depth with our customers when advising on which model to go for.
Back to the WOW. We were slightly disappointed that it didn’t deliver what we were expecting out of the bag. Its a nice kite, the build quality is very nice, the bar is great, but we wanted it to be a wave kite, just like the pictures showed! Then we noticed some extra knots on the leading edge and that the kite lines had extensions in. There was hope yet!
We moved the front bridle attachments down to the lowest knot setting on leading edge, allowing the kite to lean back, and open up more, hopefully keeping it further back in the wind window and increasing the drift, whilst removing the 2m line extensions to really speed up the response of the kite and allow a much shorter, but quicker, power stroke to avoid those untimely pauses in power that were experienced the first time round.
We hit the beach again, full of anticipation and expectation. As expected the kite performed much better for our onshore/cross-shore conditions, having a faster and more pivotal turn. It still liked to remain upwind and so required a little more encouragement and forward planning/timing to be placed where needed when doing fast cutbacks to keep the power at a constant to allow the kite to continue to perform. We found the kite preferred a much tighter gybing radius as the kite was often already across the wind window before we had got the board all the way round behind it, such is the speed that it can move across the window due to that skinny leading edge. The upwind didn’t appear to be affected, still giving a better angle than other kites we were riding with.
So to surmise – In addition to those kitesurf kites that are very specific in their use, there are many kites on the market that bridge across genres of kitesurfing, however we have yet to ride a kite, apart from the North Rebel, that targets wave and freeride so equally. If you are currently riding a twintip and like the freeride kites that allow floaty jumps and great upwind performance, but are considering, or already have a surfboard that you are moving across to, then the WOW will provide all you need.
Buy the WOW from Brackleshamboardriders WOW kitesurf kite
Check out the amazing North Vegas 2016 kitesurf kite (including the Hadlow Pro) used by the UK’s North Pro Centre – www.northkites.co.uk – who’s test and review rates this as one of the most popular freestyle kites from NKB in 2016.
North Dice 2015 Clearance Discount Sale – save money on these great bargains!
View more infor on the discount 2015 North Dice
Check out the amazing North Pivot 2016 kitesurf kite used by the UK’s Naish Pro Centre – www.brackleshamboardriders.co.uk – who’s test and review rates this as one of the most popular kites from Naish in 2016.
Check ou the amazing North Dice 2016 kitesurf kite used by the UK’s North Pro Centre – www.northkites.co.uk – who’s test and review rates this as one of the most popular kites from NKB in 2016.
The North Rebel 2016 is available now! Don’t miss out, be ahead of the pack and order yours now. Also available with 0% finance.
Its been quite a while since we’ve ridden a Slingshot that has got the juices flowing, but today was a little different. It’s not that the Slingshot kiteboard brand isn’t good – the kites and boards have always had a reputation for solidly built quality – but they havent produced anything that fitted my style of riding – predominantly waves.
So what’s different for the Slingshot 2016 lineup?
Well, pretty much everything!
Lest start with the “Sentinal” bar and lines. You’ll recognise the lines and swivel, and the OSH on the rear lines. But thats where it ends. The quick release system is completely new and has been taken from North Kiteboarding’s industry leading ‘ironheart’ system and tweaked a little, so that in principle it works the same, but a few bits are different. Safe to say that it is a long way infront of what they used to have. The swivel system on top of the quick release is very free moving and smooth.
The changes continue with a very comfortable bar and then the ‘piece de resistance’ – the above the bar depower! We’ve been waiting for many manufacturers to finally catch on to the fact that above the bar depower is just so much simpler and safer to use, and it seems that Slingshot have, if not totally as they offer the below the bar still, come around to this fact also.
Again, very similar to the North system in that the cleat used for depower can be moved towards and away from the rider, so that people with shorter arms can reach the depower simply by moving the cleat further towards them, whereas those with arms like apes (ed.-James?!) can have a maximum bar throw and just the tiniest amount of depower on the trim – ideal for wave riding when you wish to completely kill the power from the kite.
Moving on to the 2016 Slingshot SST wave based kite, new to the lineup this year, a simple 3 strut kite with a deep chord and orb-like shape in the air, with the tips pinching in ever so slightly when viewed from below. This shape seems to give the kite a very smooth turn through all aspects of the arc. A bar pressure slighly heavier than the rally gives great feedback and the kite is very very hard to stall even when underpowered and hanging off the bar – a great aspect for beginners in addition to those who can be a little heavy handed. The kite turns nicely and predictably, again even when underpowered, and doesn’t ‘snatch’ when given slack line – good for strapless. Like all wave kites its not going to win awards for pure upwind performance, however we were staying upwind when others were doing the ‘walk of shame’ along the beach with kites 2 sizes larger, so it’s still good!
The wave boards they have previously brought to market have been built like armoured tanks. Which is great if you want it to last 15 years, but there really was no need. The graphics were also, how can we put this, slightly ‘leftfield’ for most of us. Naked ladies on a board when you’re 20 is cool, when you’re mid 30’s, it’s not great.
The 2016 Slingshot wave board lineup is almost like it’s been produced by a completely different company to last year! The boards not only look great, they weigh less, are still very well built, but ride very very well. We were blasting around on the 2016 Trex (angry swallow). The name doesn’t do it justice as it floats over the chop, gets going early and is confidence inspiring- even with no wax. At speed in the chop the rails throw a bit of spray from just behing the nose giving the rear leg a bit of a wash, but we have to get that picky in order to find fault. We also like the use of the quick-fit fin boxes.
2016 has the potential to be a great year for Slingshot, be sure to call or email us with any questions.
So good we tested it twice!
That’s the feeling from riding the new Jimmy Lewis 5’11” “Kwad” kitesurf board (Kwad KT).
Same as the Canary we tested last month, the Kwad is built incredibly well with an immaculate finish to it. 2-pack paint sprayed provides a hard and durable finish, yet the board is by no means overweight. A full deck pad is attached as standard and straps are included too. Fins are quality ones and the board also comes with a fantastic travel bag. Although on first view the board gives an appearance of being ‘gunny’, the hips are still quite far forward making the board very docile at lower speeds, quick to get up on the plane and removes any urge to bowdive if you are a little late on the wave, or a bit over enthusiastic with front foot pressure.
We took it out 2 days in row in different conditions as we were so surprised at how well it handled everything thrown at it. Chop inbetween the waves is smoothed out. Lumpy faces made smooth and buttery. Super grip from the tail gives confidence in powered bottom turns, even in lumpy water. We rode it strapless in some gusty lumpy mushy stuff and it simply exudes confidence, due mainly to the grip from the rear and the lack of any board chatter from choppy water. This lack of chatter means the board is also more comfy to ride with less stress on the knees and ankles. It heads upwind very easily and we really struggled to find anything bad to comment on – A passing comment on the supplied footstraps being functional, but not amazing, but most would ride this board strapless anyhow. Interestingly although the quad fin provides grip during the bottom turn, a bit of weight shift forward and a push of the back foot makes it still very easy to throw spray off the top turn in our local conditions, and the board rides flat at speed under control.
The fact that the board performs so well, should not really be much of a surprise. Jimmy Lewis has been shaping kitesurf boards for more years than most and so knows exactly what works and what doesn’t.
We know that you won’t be disappointed with this board.
Buy One Here – Jimmy Lewis KWAD