The Vapor 2 is an all-round kite that maintains the steering characteristics of a high-performance C-kite with a new level of extended wind range and static depower, traditionally only found in bridled kites. The key to this is the flat 5 configuration, featuring an advanced 5th line system that supports the leading edge of the kite, enabling enhanced safety, depower and overall performance. A frame concept is used on all the canopy's main panels for reliable performance, and distributes load off all stitch lines in the central area in the event of impact, while the outer frame features a two ply canopy with heavier weight cloth in the wing-tip areas. 5th line and flying line set-up can be adjusted from a fluid, fast, forward steering kite, to a much more stable, pivotal steering configuration. This is especially useful in very gusty conditions and for less confident riders.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
WILL: All the fixtures and fittings are good quality, but not super-beefy.
CHRIS: Uncomplicated, no bridle, five lines. It's a very simple but effective set-up.
WILL: The bar is very slick this year, the padding is very comfortable with good attention to detail. The release seems to have had minor modifications, but is basically still the reliable and simple trigger system. The only minor downside is that if you're unhooking a lot and are grabbing the chicken-loop most times to pull down and hook back in, you have to be careful not to pull down on the trigger.
NEAL: The stopper system is designed to slide up under a certain load, but personally I'd like it to take a bit more pressure before it slides, but it's very safe the way it's set-up. I self-launched it today in gusty conditions and it was just so simple. I'm always impressed with kites that allow you to make some adjustments on the beach with confidence. The depower is very good and it has a lot of range. I felt occasionally that there was a bit too much depower and I lost the bar up the line a couple of times, but this is a great safety feature and I'd rather have that happen than get dragged a mile. Just something for advanced riders to be aware of.
CHRIS: It was windy when we had this kite up, so we had it on the more pivotal setting. As you pull the bar, the tip flexes and then it turns after that.
WILL: I was really comfortable unhooking on it, the bar pressure is comfortable and looping would be fine for those just starting with kite loops as it isn’t the most brutal.
CHRIS: Constant power delivery unhooked, and there are no surprises. I used the fifth line on the relaunch and it worked perfectly.
NEAL: Yeah it's stable, but it had a bow kite-type loop in this set-up, but it was constant. You can do freestyle on it, but it's not exclusively for that. Unhooked in waves it can be very good. It’s the classic all rounder, not excelling anywhere, but certainly not really lacking in any department either.
WILL: I definitely had great jumps on it. I felt I could try anything on it and I had the confidence to try a lot of moves.
CHRIS: You can always tell where the kite is in the sky, which I think is so important.
WILL: A lot of power comes through the front lines and on to your harness so there's not too much bar pressure.
CHRIS: Too many set-up options aren't always a good thing. It may take you a while to get there, but you can get this kite set up ideally for you, however. People get scared of changing things and I don't think they should have to figure things out if they're beginners. This is pretty much my only bad point about this kite, but at the end of the day, at least you can definitely tune it to how you like it and the shop you buy it from will be able to help if necessary.
The Vapour 2 is very versatile, and if you spend the time getting to know it and setting it up to your own style, you'll get a lot out of this, whatever your level. Conventional 5th line safety is simple and safe and the kite is slow enough for a beginner, but also can be tuned to be faster and more powerful as you improve, right the way through to unhooked riding. In the year of the all-rounder, Airush have many eggs in many baskets with the Vapour 2
5, 7, 8.5, 10, 12, 14 and 16m
This test is in issue #33