Messrs Jochum and Nesler are so sure of their new swept-back wing shaped kite that they've called it Mr Fantastic. Designed to be used fowave riding, high jumps, freestyle and, simply, freeriding, the fantastastic element extends to its simplicity and easy upwind performance. If you're looking for a kite to be used in a wide wind-range, in all conditions that's suitable for any level of rider, this is it. Complimenting its performance, the incredible user-friendliness is highlighted by the easy relaunch, optional four or five line set-up, simple bridle system and single-point inflation.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
What an exceptionally well-made kite. When a manufacturer has the bravery to call a kite Mr. Fantastic, in the back of your mind, you secretly think perhaps the name is a not-so-elaborate cover up for an inferiority complex. But JN have been making really refined, good products for a long time, and the Mr. Fantastic takes things even further. Let's start at the top: the kite itself isn't lightweight, it's robust, sturdy and strong with lots of reinforcement. The bridle is basic, relatively short and easy to set-up. There's a good exterior one-pump system and as soon as you start blowing it up the huge JN logo appears, blazed across the canopy. We quite liked that. The bar is comfortable, simple and clean. Lovely cleat depower system and there's an easy-to-use and reassemble push-away quick-release. Nothing more to comment on there; all good.
What stood out immediately on launch was the kite's stability. There was no flapping at all – it's another tight canopy kite. Mr. F can be flown on four or five lines. We flew it on four, so can only comment on that. The steering on the kite requires firm input, there's nothing wishy-washy about it and there's ample depower. Turning speed isn't insane, but it's no slouch. It's comfortable for a ten metre. Park the kite, edge and you'll scream upwind. The power delivery is very progressive and comfortable; not off and on in any way. The relaunch is very good, the low end, excellent and the top end just keeps on going. Those are the three things that most intermediateriders hould be looking for and all boxes are ticked here. We aven't even got onto the boosting yet. Most manufacturers seem to be trying to create kites with C kite-like feeling. JN have nailed it with all the other benefits of a hybrid shape, such as depower and good relaunch. Jumping is C-like. You can't just move the kite above your head and pull down on the bar like on bow kites. This will jump way higher than that and keep you up there, rewarding good technique. Learn how to send the kite properly and you're going to love this kite for nice floaty hang-time and floaty transitions. At the end of the day, this has enough performance to satisfy the most hungry intermediate. Good, direct feel at the bar, lots of feedback and needs a little more input to get the kite to turn than some, but in a reassuring way. There's no accidental steering traits, which makes it good for more basic riders as well. It's rock-solid through the gusts as well when conditions turn flukey and weird. Looking to unhook? Go for it. Mr. F didn't back up on us once, just pulled nicely through the window. We loved the Prima Donna 3 last issue (yes, it was definitely the 3!), and the main difference we can find between Mr. F and the PD3 is the increased intensity of the kite loop on the latter. Other than that, kite loops are perfectly acceptable on this kite – it's just an extremely complete all-rounder.
We don't really have too much to criticise this kite for. Beginners and
intermediates can grow into its performance at their own pace, while advanced riders would have to be really good to not appreciate the fact that it really is a kite that does it all.
KW LIKED: The whole package.
KW WOULD CHANGE: The fact that we don't see more people riding
SIZES: 12, 10, 8, 6 and 4.5m
This test is in issue #36