The Taboo range represents a new concept in building the ultimate quiver of high-performance kites. Each size in the range has been uniquely engineered to provide optimised performance for specific riding conditions. Every aspect of design, shaping, material selection and construction has been tested and selected to create the ultimate ride in every size. Unhooked big wave enthusiasts and wake-style riders will find the smallest Taboos offer the perfect blend of tight and fast steering response, light bar pressure and massive unhooked ability, allowing them to express their style like never before. Similarly, new school and big-air riders in the hunt for devastating lift, hang-time and eyepopping kite loops will be blown away by the uncompromising power delivery and handling in the midsized Taboos. For course racing and light wind conditions, the largest Taboos are the most aerodynamically refined kites we've ever made. Every gram has been trimmed back to deliver maximum light wind performance and racing advantage possible. Plus, a huge size range means there's a Taboo for you!
TEST TEAM NOTES:
For us, the Taboo is the best looking kite that Best have produced. It looks amazing; clinical, clean and mean. We were lucky enough to get the chance to try the eight and 12 metre Taboos in Portugal, in the waves of Guincho and at a flat water lagoon close by. We've then also had the 12 at the office here in the UK for a while, so we've definitely had them in a few tight corners and given them a good going over. Let's start with the Redline Performance bar; it's right up there and ticks all the top end boxes: comfortable, grippy, uncomplicated, good trimming system, super easy safety and self-centring chicken-loop for unhooking - it's very well-manufactured. We had the eight out in some fairly drastic conditions. Guincho was honking about 30 knots and, more onshore than usual, there were some horrific holes in the wind. There were also some big, but fairly messy waves. Basically just good testing conditions. We've tried to find some bits and pieces to criticise with this kite, but we've come up blank. Yes, Best took us out to Portugal for a few days, and you're probably sitting back in your chair thinking that this is automatically going to be a shining review, but we do still have some editorial backbone to preserve (although we're a sucker for a free pina-colada) and we've really tried to find some negative points with this kite, but it's an absolute peach. The eight is fast, but not too fast to manage. In the wave conditions we had it out in it put you at ease straight away with lots of depower and no hint of twitchiness ? even in those gusty conditions. In fact, probably the standout feature of that kite is the incredible gust management. There were kites falling out of the sky on the beach and people bogging around on the inside where it was flukey and light, but the Taboo just swallowed it all up and went about its business. When the mega gusts hit the kite just sort of shrugged its shoulders and carried on, not threatening to pull us over the front at all. For wave riding it's very easy to switch off thinking about the kite and just
focus on your turns. It just goes where you want it to, waiting for the next input. There's loads of depower when you need to ditch some power on a turn, and you can really tighten the kites own turns very aggressively, too. On a twin-tip it boosts really high when you're powered and for kite loops there aren't any hiccups on the way round and it can be slowed down from being so pivotal. The feedback when you're moving it around a lot is excellent. The 12 is noticeably lighter in construction to the eight, which is bombproof. The idea being that there are three categories of kites in the range: the four to eight metre being the most reinforced, the nine to 14 metre a little lighter reinforced, to aid flying and performance in lighter winds, and the 15 and 17 metres being ultra light and efficient. The 12 feels a bit more subtle but still fast and pleasing and with the same ease-of-use as the eight. There's nothing unruly about it, there's lots of depower, plenty of hang-time, good relaunch and unhooked it's lovely with a really predictable feel. A real all-rounder in that middle weight category. Actually, there is one thing that we can have a grumble about, and that's the nylon bag that it comes with. This year you have the option of ordering the proper kite bag as an optional extra, to save on cost, coming as standard with a little black nylon bag that will extend to also hold your kite with the struts inflated. When extended and carrying the kite that way, the handle is nicely balanced and easy to carry. When packed away and stuffed into the compact bag it's unbalanced, especially when carting five kites and boards up and down the beach as we often do. If you're going to get this kite think about the upgraded bag. It has a waterproof seal, is airtight, has a changing mat and you should treat yourself! Although maybe bear in mind you only need one bag as you can just about fit two kites into it.
The Taboo is a modern, well designed hybrid kite that's all about control. Present Waroo owners have nothing to worry about in replacing their kites; this is a real step up and great for all types of riders.
Supreme control, performance and user-friendliness in both lush and tough conditions.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Not a lot.
SIZES: 17, 15, 14, 12, 10, 9, 8, 7, 5.5 and 4m
Best Taboo 8 and 12M (2011)
Kitesurfing Test - Boards 2013
Kitesurfing Test - Kites 2013
Cabrinha Switchblade 7m
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