TEST TEAM NOTES
We had the Alex Pastor Edition which is just a cosmetic difference to the regular Razor Team model. The Razor is an incredibly well made kite with a noticeably enhanced construction with loads of attention to detail in the canopy and reinforcements. If you bought this as a brand new kite you’d be pleased when you unwrap it – probably like buying a brand new Audi. The Aramid load frame now used by Airush in their Team range of kites has proved itself as a worthy structural development to add life and integrity to the canopy.
The AP Edition comes with the AP bar. If you’ve got worker’s hands (like Bully), you’ll find the coarse grip and distinct finger ridges to your liking. If you’ve got office hands (like KW editor Jim), you may want to choose the regular bar instead that’s still nice and grippy, but more comfortable. The Razor is a dedicated five line set-up and we would like to see a stopper ball a bit closer to the bar as if you miss a pass without having your leash set up on suicide the bar does disappear a long way up towards the kite.
There are three line attachments points on the back and two for the front lines on the very corners of the kite with no bridles. We always had the lines in the middle on the back, but used both settings on the front and found a great difference. The wind wasn’t very strong, so thought we’d like to have the kite sit a little further back in the window for a more grunty power to check its credentials for being a bad ass, so set it up on the rear front line setting first. Very parked in that setting, the steering slower and the power is really constant. In the gusts it is a testament to the kite in terms of how long you can hold power when you lay your rail in when set up in this wakestyle mode. The Razor definitely steps back in this mode, in the land of C kites it’s definitely dirty and pulls very deeply and steadily, but it’s very clean too and well behaved; it’s just manly and when you become very used to the softer freeride kites, is tiring. But the Razor is one of the most easy-to-use C kites and when switching the lines forward and we have to say that we enjoyed it more – we are getting old! In the forward front line setting it’s like there is much less background noise in our sessions and for general riding everything is easier, but the connection is still very involving; very C kite kite. The Razor is really reactive and drives forward in the window very smoothly and once you get the taste there is something so much more engaging in the C kite flying experience than on many bridled kites. You feel closer to the road, you follow the kite more through every turn and your senses are kept very alert. There’s medium pressure at the bar and the Razor is actually very easy and instinctive to fly. There is considerable low end too, as we were using this quite happily while others were on 12s. The manoeuvrability helps the Razor generate power rather than just sheeting at the bar in what would otherwise be underpowered conditions. Although the Razor has a keen forward flight, it’s also happy to be left alone and felt great when riding the strapless Shinnster when we wanted to just concentrate on the board. When the wind picks up the Razor does have that great C-kite climb when you jump, but although always smooth in its flight, does tend to brings you down fairly quickly. You get a quick rush of very good height and then you’re down again. It’s a little unfair in this review in that we feel that the Razor and the Torch are quite similarly aligned, but we didn’t have the Razor in the incredible jumping winds of Cape Town. The consistent forward flight does help the Razor in kite loops of course, taking a nice, wide radius and getting itself low in the window and without a hint of choke around the bottom of its circle; powering very consistently through the turn. The relaunch often only requires a steady pull on one back line, but there’s also the option of pulling on the fifth line to roll the kite over.
The Razor will ideally suit a dedicated and dynamic new school freestyler who is not just looking for a steady chugger. There’s wakestyle feel if you want it, but also the more agile forward flight that makes it so much fun to throw around and get into great positions to help make the most technical hand-passes possible.
From boosting, to poise and pull for freestyle, to simply just being a rewarding kite to fly for fit freeriders, the Razor is a genuine C kite that many ambitious riders could grow into. For top level freestylers the build quality and two very good front line setting differences cover today’s modern riding styles very well indeed.
KW WOULD CHANGE
The Razor is a really fantastic package overall, the only very tiny change we’d make is to implement a one pump valve that doesn’t require the middle nozzle as not every pump you borrow will have that if you’ve forgotten yours. This is just a general consistency we’d like to see across the industry.
13, 11, 9, 7 and 5.5m
Medium diameter / Coarse feel / Centre line covered in durable plastic – comfy against fingers / Great-size freestyle chicken-loop with clean functionality and re-build / Tidy, easy above-bar trim / Line un-twister above chicken-loop works, though grip is small.
RAZOR BALANCE POINTS
Build quality: 9
Full package: 8
Low end: 7.5
Top end: 8
Steering speed: 7
Turning circle: 6
Power through turn: 7.5
Bar pressure: 5.5
Water relaunch: 6
More info at: www.airush.com
Here’s the official Razor Team/AP product video from Airush