Starkites Taina 9m (2014)

Starkites Taina 2014 9m THE HYPE:
The third generation Taina is for freeriders and wave riders looking to progress their riding. Stable, reliable and with a huge low end, the Taina enables you to use as small a kite as possible and provides an exceptional, vertical lift and hang-time for those who like to fly. A new shorter bridle reduces the chance of tangles and provides a new reduced bar pressure. The Taina is faster and more manoeuvrable and depowers quicker with a shorter movement on the bar for better wave riding performance. The Taina also features new large deflation valves on the end of the kites for easier packing, regardless of weather conditions.
Starkites Taina 2014 9m
TEST TEAM NOTES:
We’ve been very pleasantly surprised by this kite from Starkites in the past and looked forward to hopping on it again. New for this year is the Elite bar system, which is comfortable, features small bar ends and very flexible line floats. This isn’t the most luxurious system, the chicken-loop safety is very standard but there are options for both leashing for suicide and safety. The trimming system above the bar is a little bit cumbersome, although when fully trimmed Starkites have made some provision for controlling the length of strap flapping.

Onto the kite and it’s very good looking, definitely a delta shape and the valves are the traditional inflate/deflate rubber nipples that operate the one pump. It would be nice to see at least a Velcro or elastic band to go over the top of the valve but they do wedge in quite securely. There is a convenient bigger deflate valve close to one end of the leading edge which greatly assists in the tight packing of the kite. Although featuring a considerably long bridle with pulleys, the on water performance is very energetic. It’s important to ensure that the kite is pumped up really hard as there is a slight tendency to flutter in strong winds, but the top end is good and in general it’s very fast, very pivotal and there’s only average input needed at the bar to turn the kite. This is one of those kites that you can throw loops all day long without it ever getting really scary or tiring. Experienced kite loopers will want a bit more power and confidence but most riders will really learn a lot about looping handling with this. It always gets round and catches you, which is very motivating for most freeriders. Jumping really well, you can really throw this kite around and tear up your spot in all sorts of ways.

The power delivery is progressive, although that big bridle does remove some feeling at times, but it does make the kite comfortable and in general the Taina is very simple to use and also relaunches smartly. If you sheet in or out too quickly it feels a little as if the clutch slips, such as if you dive the kite to charge forward and then pull on the bar too hard there’s a little lag before the power engages, but once in gear and charging around it’s good fun. We really liked the fact that it has such a lot of depower and especially that when fully depowered the Taina still steers responsively. Off the hook the Taina is very capable but it does require some trimming to get it comfortable for flying just right.

Starkites Taina 2014 Elite bar and action
SUMMARY:
The Taina is a good all-rounder and due to it’s quick reactivity and pivotal turns would also work well in waves. Easy on the body and with good low end a lot of riders could find themselves really enjoying this kite.

KW LIKED:
Fast, energetic jumps and great for learning kite loops on.

KW WOULD CHANGE:
The Taina is really good fun and very lively, but a little more polish throughout would really take it to the next level.

TAINA BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 6.5
Full package: 7
Low end: 7.5
Top end: 8
Steering speed: 8
Turning circle: 3 (pivotal)
Bar pressure: 4.5
Water relaunch: 7
Boost: 8
Hang-time: 7.5
Unhooked: 7.5
Ease-of-use: 7
SIZES: 17, 14, 12, 10, 9, 7 and 5.5m

Find more at: www.starkites.com
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