KITEWORLD SUMMARY: The Ion2 comes laced with power but it's not hard to control when the wind gets up, though you might want to err on the small side when it comes to size. Fixtures and fittings are all top notch, but this kite's best asset is its prowess around the sky. One of the most refined handling kites we've tried. Effortless all-round, fun kiteboarding that you can get into early and won't grow out of.
The Ion2 is the new hybrid kite from Flexifoil and has been designed to give amazing performance to all intermediate and experienced kiteboarders, no matter what style of riding you're into. The kite is supplied in the four-line bridled hybrid mode, allowing the kite maximum depower and flyable wind range, making it perfect for big fun, waveriding and jumping. The Ion2 can be quickly changed to a five-line configuration (supplied in the bag), that is ideal for the hardcore freestyle rider who is looking for the feel of a competition C shaped kite for huge airs and full-on powered kite loops. A simple safetysystem means that when you let go of the bar the kite depowers by 90% and sits at the edge of the window for an effortless relaunch. NOTE: We only tried the Ion2 on four lines.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
CHRIS: I am so impressed with the quality; one pump, trailing edge spars...very much an '07 kite. Really solid rubber pad reinforcements are a nice touch and nothing is over done, just the real essentials.
GEORGE: Everything is colour-coded and really easy to set-up. There are even different attachment points on the front bridle for more or less speed. Again, nicely labelled up. A lot of people might look at attachments and never bother doing anything, but this is so clear.
CHRIS: I would have preferred a bigger chicken-loop for unhooking. You must hook back inmanually with your other hand and this sometimes takes a bit of thinking about if you're close to the beach.
GEORGE: The quick release is really good... almost too good!
CHRIS: A lot of beginners don't want to donkey dick themselves in, but because the release is so good they will be more inclined to use it.
CHRIS: The traditional depower strap works really well and is easy to use. Decent 'Oh Shit' handle gives you another good option for safety, too.
GEORGE: The chicken-loop line is a good length, so you can get to the depower easily and still have plenty of range on the bar. WILL: I do building work and have calluses anyway, but when that bar gets ripped from your hand it still hurts. CHRIS: I didn't mind the bar - I like mine rough and grippy! The padded cow horns on the end are exactly what you want - when you're unhooked and kite looping, they have a nice, soft feel when you're hands are up against them.
CHRIS: I never felt like I had to pull in on that bar to get drive. It was so enjoyable. I always had really nice power and it wasn't hard on my arms at all. Totally impressed. Good kite loops and always well- ehaved through the window. There were just no issues. Jumped well, turned nicely...did it all well.
GEORGE: Great freestyle kite, even on four lines. Five lines must be even better. I think the quoted size is misleading, though. The power is huge - it's more like a 12, but even unhooked it's still great.
WILL: I was strapless on that when you lot were on smaller kites and I thought it was fine. Yes there's a lot of power, but it's manageable because of the depower.
GEORGE: Not sure about it as a first-time kite, but for early intermediates it's blinding. Bloody good relaunch - just point the bar towards the kite and that's it. No need to grab one of the lines. One of the most simple relaunches out there. CHRIS: Impressive that its got good features for an advanced rider but is also really simple to fly for the less capable. Good depower and speed for wave riding too. It's not just a park and ride kite, you can move it about well. I can't recommend this strongly enough.
6, 8.5, 10.5, 12.5, 14.5 and 16.5m
This test is in issue #27