All the problems with last year's Nova seem to have been ironed out. The forgiving feeling and handling of the Nova 1 were actually great for intermediate riders or anyone wanting to get into the waves. While it was very safe, the huge downside was the fact that every time you let go of the bar the kite would ditch all its power and drop out of the sky. That's now ll been sorted, and the hand grenade is pretty tunable as to how much resistance you want it to have. Anyone swapping from a C kite will need to spend a few sessions getting used to this kite as it really has that bow feel, and looks even more so than a lot of the 07 models out now. A very comfortable, fun and forgiving ride.
The Nova 2 is based on the same concept as the first flat profile kite released on to the market by Takoon last year. The aim of the Nova 2 is to keep the classic 4-line kite feel, but at the same time enhance the wind range, reinforce the safety and make the whole package easier to use. The feeling of control is total at all times, thanks to the progressive depower. A simpler bar with a new system of adjustment and stopper allows you to trim the kite more easily, still giving 100% depower when required. Each size of kite has been individually designed to increase its turning ability, resulting in a more aerodynamic kite in each size. There are no pulleys on the bar, maintaining a light bar pressure. There's also a single inflation system to keep your set up time short.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
JON: I quite like everything about this kite, apart from the big hand grenadelooking thing that sits just up the chicken loop line, allowing you to set where and at what pressure you want the maximum depower to kick in once you've let go of the bar. It works fine, you just wouldn't want that clouting you in the head.
JOE: I think it's good. It makes the kite have that C kite feel where you can rest the bar on the stopper if you want. JON - Yeah, it's certainly an improvement on the old model which had that annoying trait of losing the bar and killing the power totally if you ever let go of the controls - when un-spinning your lines for example. I did find that the depower cleat got stuck a fair bit, probably because it's new. I wasn't too keen on all the depower line flying around your body when you had it fully depowered, but it was never in the way either.
JOE: Out of the bag the kite looks good and the one pump is definitely an advantage. I don't see why anyone would buy a kite without it next year.
JON: Once in the air the kite feels really good with just a medium amount of bar pressure, just enough to let you feel where the kite is the whole time. When I stroked the kite in to the power it tracked very quickly right around to the edge of the window, and just sat there very comfortably. It is well behaved even when it's gusty. JOE - It feels really responsive and light on the bar. Pretty high performance I thought. Really smooth in the gusty conditions and drives upwind nicely.
JON: When a big gust hits, you can handle it fine, load up the speed and power and send it as hard as you can. The height and hang-time is really impressive. When I was up there I felt like I could pilot the kite about a lot and really pick my landing spot and speed by just letting the bar out at the right time.
JOE: Boosting is really good as the kite is really fast through the air, allowing you to flick the kite back hard. But I found, once in the air, the bar pressure was a bit light for me. For unhooked tricks it is OK, but it pushes too far forward in the window for any amazing pop. There isn't a lot of power generated from the loops, so it would be good for learning those. As a big air freestyle kite, though, it's great.
7, 9 and 12m
This test is in issue #21