The Kahoona V3 delivers the perfect mix of freeride, new school and wave riding performance. Faeturing rock-solid stability, smooth power delivery, endless depower and precise handling, it's the perfect kite for advancing your riding level, regardless of your preferred riding style.
The first two generations of Kahoonas were praised for their surprising hang-time and great low end power. The V3 has additional high-wind stability and turning speed but also reduced bar pressure. New, specially developed high-performance materials and improved profiling have energised its performance. Wave riders will love the incredible downwind drift, precise steering response and huge depower. Effortless re-launch motivates you to learn new freestyle moves and also gives supreme confidence to wave riders who simply have to be able to re-launch their kites before the next set comes in.TEST TEAM NOTES:
What a good looking kite the Kahoona V3 is. This year you have an option on the bags you get with your kites. A lightweight, extendible drawstring bag comes as standard, which is perfectly adequate and has a couple of handles. If you want the more robust satchel style bag, that's an optional extra.
It's interesting to note that there are still a few top models out there without one pump, such as this V3. Apart from the obvious cost saving, there's no doubt that it's also easier to get every strut pumped up much harder without one pump. The market demands one pump, but it's interesting to note the models that dare to come without single point inflation systems.
One of the really good things about the Best range is that it isn't muddled; it's clear and specific. More subtle in their branding than in their early years, Best's current models are clean and crisp, as is the handling on this four strut Kahoona. Not super fast and whippy, the V3 moves predictably and with purpose. Wonderful for beginners, it will sit there behaving, not really deep in the window, but it certainly hangs back a little way generating a very smooth power delivery. For any rider wanting to get out there and improve their riding, this is great because of that steady, constant pull. Adding to its appeal, the V3 depowers a lot, but smoothly and progressively rather than with a stop-start feel at the bar. Very easy to set up and just get out and ride, you will also be inspired with confidence knowing that when you've crashed, by the time your head surfaces above the water the kite is going to be ready to be relaunched and won't sweat even if it gets rolled in the surf, it'll still go up again no problems.
The Kahoona is actually very good for wake-style freestyle and as a lightwind machine. We got out for a few sessions on the 11.5 metre in marginal conditions and had no problem. For its size, each model packs some poke. There are two knots for setting the back lines on and are worth a mention. For a slightly slower, steadier feel for unhooked riding, set the kite up on the knot furthest away from the kite (making the back lines longer) and the sheeting effects of pulling the bar down to the chicken-loop much less, helping the kite perform the dark arts beautifully. Tune it up on the knots closest to the kite, shortening the back lines, and there's noticeably more grunt and more responsiveness in the turns; great for wave riding, where the 7.5's agility and handling really excelled. There is ever such a slight hint of a back stall on this setting at times when you sheet down too hard on the bar after a turn for example, but never so much that a little sheet out doesn't quickly resolve.
Wave riders, wake-style riders and first time kite buyers will all be very happy with this kite. The big boost brigade might find it a bit empty up top though. This is a really fun progressive ally, but it's not a boost machine.
This kite is capable of most things, whether you're a beginner wanting to get up and ride with as little fuss as possible, or someone wanting to learn unhooked moves or enhance your wave riding experience. Literally anyone could get on this kite and immediately have a good time. Pure plug and play pleasure. Bring on the good times!
There are a lot of people out there that like a bit of wave riding when the waves get up with the wind, but like to also try and throw a few tricks in more moderate conditions. Sounds like you? Then you'll like the same things we did!
KW WOULD CHANGE:
We'd increase the hang-time a bit.
13.5, 11.5, 9.5, 7.5, 5.5 and 3.5m
This test is in issue #52