CONDITIONS TESTED IN:
Day 1: 14 ? 18 knots. Day 2: 16 ? 22 knots
The 2009 Nemesis HP provides the perfect balance between C kite responsiveness and SLE performance, making it an unbeatable choice for both big air and big surf riding styles. The addition of Twister Tech ?? for '09 delivers faster turn initiation and tighter turning with reduced bar pressure. With the new more responsive HP you will find everything you do improved beyond recognition. The cuben equipped leading edge continues to deliver breathtaking jumping, upwind riding and hang-time performance. A revised VP2 bridle for stability and Best's 'surf tough' construction makes this the number one kite choice for all discerning, performance focussed riders, in any wind, on any wave.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The Twister Tech isn't something you can see immediately. You notice the detail when you get up close and start inspecting the incredibly thin leading edge. The cuben fibre material on the leading edge felt rock solid in our hands and we could see where the Twister Tech sections were sewn in. There was no doubt this kite is absolutely bomb proof. Initial impressions were that it was like a 400 metre runner; lean, focussed and with incredible detail in some areas, but also with a chunkiness to its overall shape. Nothing too notable about the bridling, but there are plenty of set-up options on the back lines.
The bar is well crafted and the depower strap is above the bar and at a good distance away. There's a loop to retain the depower straps and stop it flying about. The chicken-loop is an average size, not too small and generally the bar felt comfortable in the hands with a good amount of pressure. Good amounts of depower without being crazy and the bar never goes out of reach. Good swivel and oh shit handles.
On launch the kite is solid and stable from the word go without a hint of flapping. That parallel lined canopy seemed boxy and grunty. The kite pulls high into the window and has good forward drive but one of the best things about this kite is the power delivery through the bar ? it's so smooth and predictable. No matter how aggressively you pull on the bar, it always delivers power smoothly and softens the ride. The steering is direct and light with good feedback. Very impressive upwind ability; really effortless. You can get dragged downwind after crashing an unhooked trick and still come in upwind of where you started without even trying. That side of the performance will attract many people.
Jumping was good and it's got that really predictable, smooth and floaty flight pattern. Because of the stability and speed of the kite it was easy to predict the kite during jumps. Very good for going out and boosting jumps without over sending or under sending. On that note, it could have done with being a bit quicker sometimes for more advanced riders in certain tricks, but for an intermediate looking for big, controlled jumps, they will really enjoy this. This kite really has a lot of lift at the top of the window. Works much better higher in the window than lower, which is why it's more of a jumping kite than a kite for an experienced wave rider who really likes to move the kite around low to high a lot and quickly. The smaller sizes should be much different in this respect to the 12, though.
On kite loops the kite drives all the way round, although there is a slight heaviness going back up in the window. Down stroke is very good and progressive but there is a delay on the upstroke.
Unhooking it delivers power smoothly and doesn't pull your arms out of your sockets. If you're learning to unhook it's manageable, doesn't hoik you about too much and you don't have to tune it too much to unhook. Stability of the kite really added to the unhooked performance ? it just sat there, parked and rode.
Good looking kite with bomb proof construction and great ease-of-use make this a great buy. Over the two days we rode it, we felt the kite could have held a lot more power, and the boosts would have been even bigger. We definitely went higher than anyone else on the beach with the HP. Performs well unhooked, although isn't ultimately designed for freestyle, but will definitely allow you to perform some fun tricks without too much fuss. Tough build quality, good relaunch, solid power and smooth depower will see this kite being popular in 2009.
6, 8, 10, 12 and 14m
The Best Nemesis 12m was tested in Issue #35 of Kiteworld. Buy Issue #35 in the Kiteworld shop.