The TS will be the most popular kite in the Best range and is perfectly suited to the majority of riders. An open-C platform gives the solid stability of an SLE with the super sharp handling of a C kite. A huge sweet spot provides impeccable unhooked handling while revisions to the wing-tips and leading edge profile have improved the downwind drift and bar feedback for wave riding. Tweaks to the bridle layout eliminate back stall and have increased the wind range of each size. The five and six metre sizes come with a three strut layout for stability in even the gustiest conditions, while the rest of the range perform with a five strut layout.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Best are up there in terms of their build quality and they’ve also created a unique version of the quick inflation system, which they call the Twist Lock Valve and works very well – just remember you can only use a mid sized pump nozzle. The bar is soft and comfortable, perhaps not the most hard wearing, but the above the bar trim adjustment is nice and short and works cleanly on a cleat. Good sheeting range on the kite and the bar stopper is smooth and easy to use. The chicken-loop is a lovely size for hooked or unhooked riding and the push-away release on top of the loop works smoothly and with little effort.
In the air the TS is very nimble and loves to fly forward. It doesn’t have that immediate low down torque of some more pull-and-go kites, but within two strokes of the kite you’re up and generating excellent board speed. The TS then happily gets in to gear and pulls you along in a very silky smooth way. Sitting in a very positive forward position in the window the TS doesn’t stall even when you really throw it around, which is why in the smaller sizes it’s also a really fun and reactive wave kite. The bar pressure is nice and soft and reacts well to input, there’s no real lag and this is one of the most direct feeling bridled kites.
Jumps require a little more technique than a more bow shaped kite, but the lively performance means that coming out of transitions the kite’s quick speed and good behaviour allows you to always get it into the right place. The TS isn’t the ultimate jumping machine, but as it has such a great top end, the more wind thrown at it the better it gets in the air and in general the jumps are rewarding and very smooth. Unhooked the TS is excellent, generally doesn’t require any trimming and is very well behaved. You really can learn so much on this kite as it’s so easy to use and get on with straight away. It does however lose a couple of points on relaunch. It’s acceptable, but not as automatic and rapid as a very delta shaped kite.
We would put anyone on this kite, from our kids, to our mothers and through to our very progressive and skilled riding friends. Bigger guys may want a bit more grunty low end, but the TS is a beautifully balanced all-round freeride kite for fun in all sessions.
Good energy, intuitive handling and forward flying characteristics.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Bigger riders might want more low end grunt and sheet and go performance.
TS BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 8
Full package: 8.5
Low end: 7.5
Top end: 8.5
Steering speed: 7.5
Turning circle: 4
Bar pressure: 6
Water relaunch: 7
Ease of use: 8
SIZES: 12, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5m
Find more information at: www.bestkiteboarding.com