The MRK Zoom has been developed with the intention of being super easy to use, fast off the mark and packs some serious pop. It's the perfect weapon for new-school freestyle and works great unhooked. Stable and easy to relaunch, the Zoom has six struts is rigid and gives you C-shape-like feedback thanks to its straight tips. The bar feeling is direct and gives you accurate kite control while the power range and turning ability are admirable, but it is the speed of the kite that will really please the crowds, with its reduced drag and increased performance taking things to new levels. A reinforced leading edge and flat sewed canopy with additional layers of adhesive provide the armour and a single inflation point for rapid and simple set up lets you get up and going as fast as the kite will be moving across the water.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Winging its way onto the market like Darth Vadar's Tie Fighter is the MRK Zoom. You immediately notice that it's got some hard angles going on on the canopy and seems to have a lot of features that the manufactures have adapted into the Zoom; there's even with a hint of Sigma about it. The kite is very aggressive looking with the cross graphics and there's no doubt it looks different and good. Constructed with some good materials the Zoom is reassuringly well-built. It's certainly not the most robust kite on the market, and you'd be forgiven for thinking that any new brands must be using cheaper materials in order to be able to enter the market, but that's not the case here. There's no centre strut - as seems to be the trend at the moment - but there's still space for six struts to find their way into the canopy. There are two settings for your lines: freeriding/wave and a freestyle setting. There isn't a huge amount of difference between the two, but the kite does turn a bit quicker and more pivotally in wave mode and has increased drive round its turns on the freestyle setting. There's a lot of depower on the throw of this kite, but you do need to be Mr Stretch to be able to reach the bar again if you let go of it. It runs miles away! There is however a good stopper that works well which you can pull down and set where you want. Overall the bar is fairly neat, the chicken-loop is really good, solid and easy to hook in and out of and the donkey-dick is good quality and also easy to use. The MRK Zoom is definitely more suited to the early intermediate end of the market than the more advanced. It sits back in the window and provides the basic grunt that a beginner needs to get going and then there's a lot of depower available through the bar. The relaunch is very good too, so it has a lot of attributes that first time kite buyers are looking for, including an excellent upwind ability. As you become a better rider you want a kite that will really start to fly forward positively and almost predict your next moves. This is a bit too steady for that and the feel at the bar reflects that, but does allow beginners to get away with their early mistakes.
The MRK Zoom really looks the business and any new kiter wanting to get a good looking kite that isn't going to be too quick or high performance will get on with this. Progressive intermediate riders will want something a bit more inspirational.
Excellent relaunch and simple handling.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Add a bit more positive forward flight.
SIZES: 15, 12, 9 and 7m
MRK Zoom 12M (2011)
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