Airush Wave 8 & 10m – 2016

Airush Wave Action - 2016 Kiteworld Magazine issue 81

TEST TEAM NOTES

The Airush Wave is developed right there on the Western Cape, so we were testing it on home soil! Airush offer a couple of kites that work well in the waves up to a point, but the Wave is the dedicated option. Refined for 2016 with an increased leading edge diameter in the smaller sizes for stability in gusty winds and when being steered quickly, the eight and ten metre models are new sizes in the range. Airush build-quality is particularly noteworthy with the Dyneema Load Frame and Technoforce D2 canopy material combining to make the Wave as strong as possible without adding any extra weight. Overall, the layout looks very neat. Minimalist and bad ass in graphic options; choose from the Reefer series in Red or the Team Black model.

 

Airush Wave review - 2016 Kiteworld magazine Issue 81

 

The speed of steering response is key in any wave kite and Airush have further enhanced that in the 2016 Wave. Highly ‘athletic’, it’s a kite that you can very quickly tune into as a good rider, positioning it with accuracy in the window. The smaller eight metre responded very quickly for an eight, smoothly and without fidgeting. Pivotal turning with steady power inspires the confidence to throw it hard across the window. Light bar pressure helps you react quickly and intuitively as a rider and make committed, instinctive turns on a wave without being yanked ‘over the bars’.

Shut-off depower mixed with enough sheeting reaction to get an injection of power means you can really shut it down when you sheet out, but the Wave behaves and maintains responsiveness when depowered. It also felt solid enough that you could forget about it and focus on what you were doing on the wave without worrying about it falling back in the window (or out of the sky) when depowered. Drift has also improved this year, allowing for more of a forget-about-it style of surfing, which is great. No luffing or falling back. In short, the Wave is rip-able in so many ways. Very, very manageable, you quickly feel inclined to push yourself on the Wave.

Quick relaunch is always a relief. The bridle is quite minimal compared with the Union, which makes it less likely to suffer in waves, and the Wave is no slouch to get back in the air with a good pull on the bar, and equally in light wind, too.

At the outer reaches of its wind range the air frame is dependable and the Wave retains assured comfort and performance even when fully lit. Not only does it have good depower at the bar, but loads of available trim, too. Rapid manoeuvrability generates good early power, too. There are wave kites with more power at their bottom end, but Airush recommend a 6, 8, 10 quiver for bigger riders and 5, 7 and 9 for normal sized riders. (Incidentally the 10 metre handles much more like a 9 in terms of speed. So often we find that tens are slow and cumbersome; not so in the Wave at all.)

BAR HIGHLIGHTS

The Smart Bar is one of the more seemingly minimal bars on the market, but it’s all the better for it. Highly functional, everything’s very straight forward and unfussy. The above the bar trimming tabs work very well and the safety system’s release mechanism is incredibly cleanest and easy to both trigger and re-build. A push-pin system allows you to extend the bar.

INFLATION

Mid-sized Boston valve with one pump.

 

 

SUMMARY

The Wave is one of the fastest and most high-performance kites in this test. Although it’s super-athletic the Wave is also good for less advanced wave riders as it’s not twitchy and has very intuitive flying characteristics. Even at the top of its range the Wave’s superb airframe remains stable, allowing for continued high-performance.

WAVE BALANCE POINTS

Build quality: 9
Full package: 9
Low end: 8 (pick the right sizes for the best results)
Top end: 9
Steering speed: 8
Turning circle: 8.5
Power through the turn: 7
Bar pressure: 6
Water relaunch: 8
Drift: 9
Boost: 6
Hang-time: 6
Unhooked: D/T
Cross-over: 6 (Good for basic, comfortable, safe, freeriding)
Ease-of-use: 8.5

SIZES: 12 / 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / & 5m

 

Here’s the official Wave product video from Airush

2017 AIRUSH WAVE TECH from Airush on Vimeo.

 

For more information on the Airush Wave, visit

www.airush.com

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