KW testing gear in Cape Town

The Kiteworld Test Team And Score Breakdowns

Bully in test action

 

HOW AND WHEN WE TEST

 

We test equipment all year and in a range of conditions, but all the gear featured in this issue was tested in Cape Town, somewhere we head back to every year because of the reliable, strong winds and frequent swells. We want to see how equipment performs in challenging conditions when there’s chop, waves, strong and sometimes gusty winds – and Cape Town offers that up in spades!

Cape Town also experiences lulls and light wind mornings, at which point we’re on it and rinsing the equipment’s low end performance, too. Our testers don’t set out to find the best products for pro riders, but instead focus on what’s important for every day riders. In Cape Town we ride gear in as many different conditions as possible for six weeks to really squeeze the feel out of a product.


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THE TESTERS

We don’t just sit around weighing material. Senior tester Chris Bull is 49, 80 kilos, and has been kiting for 21 years and tested more gear than anyone we know, outside of gear developers themselves. He runs CBK-Hayling Island, a lively school, club and shop and understands what riders really need from their purchases.

Jim Gaunt is 41 and 70 kilos, editor of Kiteworld, has been kiting for 17 years and rarely rides the same gear for more than a couple of sessions, so has a detailed understanding of current directions / trends.

Rob Claisse is 43 and 95 kilos and joins us for foil testing – founder of Progression Sports, he makes kitesurfing instructional videos, runs training camps and has helped the BKSA develop their hydrofoil training syllabus.

 

The Kiteworld test team

Left to right: Rob Claisse, Jim Gaunt, Chris Bull (Bully)

 

HERE’S A GUIDE TO WHAT THE SCORES MEAN FOR EACH KITE AND BOARD

 

TEST SCORE KEY:

 

KITE BALANCE POINT SCORES / 10:

 

BUILD QUALITY: 1 = Sew it yourself / 10 = Indestructible

FULL PACKAGE: 1 = Pigtails sold separately / 10 = Comes with its own wind

LOW END: 1 = More power in a handkerchief / 10 = Like a raging bull

TOP END: 1 = Force 3 feels like gale force 8 / 10 = Feels manageable in a hurricane.

STEERING SPEED: 1 = Barely turns / 10 = Blink and you’ll miss it

TURNING CIRCLE: 1 = Most pivotal / 10 = Likes to scrape the water

POWER THROUGH TURN: 1 = You won’t notice it turning / 10 = Could move a house

BAR PRESSURE: 1 = Light as a feather / 10 = Get down the gym

WATER RELAUNCH: 1 = Superglues itself to the water / 10 = Cat on a tin roof

DRIFT: 1 = Always at the edge of the window / 10 = Goes directly with the wind.

BOOST: 1 = More lift in a wet towel / 10 = Heading for space

HANG-TIME: 1 = Short haul flight / 10 Long haul flight

UNHOOKED: 1 = Collapses or pulls your arms out of their socket / 10 = Who needs a chicken-loop?EASE-OF-USE: 1 = Makes you book more lessons / 10 = Makes you look good

 

BOARD BALANCE POINT SCORES / 10

 

BUILD QUALITY: 1 = Warrantied for the weekend / 10 = Hand it down through generations FIXTURES AND FITTINGS: 1 = Some chance of assembly / 10 = Accessories from the Gods SPEED: 1 = Whales will overtake you / 10 = Induces wrinkles in your cheeks

POP: 1 = Like a lead balloon / 10 = How’s the view?

DRIVE: 1 = Constrained in chains / 10 = Fuel a space mission with the energy

FLEX: 1 = More movement in a concrete slab / 10 = Bends like paper

COMFORT: 1 = Like riding over rocks / 10 = Like cruising on fluffy clouds

LOOSENESS: 1 = Lacks direction / 10 = Like its on rail tracks

GRIP: 1 = More traction in a tea tray / 10 = Like a Formula One car

UPWIND: 1 = “We’re all about the downwinders anyway” / 10 = America’s Cup challenger SLIDER PROOF: Yes / No

FREERIDING: 1 = Makes flat water feel like moguls / 10 = Ride fresh powder every day FREESTYLE: 1 = Stuck to the water / 10 = Responds best to rough treatment

EASE-OF-USE: 1 = Build your own / 10 = Features auto trick learning button

 

*DT = Didn’t test, so not prepared to score

 

Bully in test action

 

CURRENT GEAR TESTS ON THE SITE:

We test gear all year, not just in Cape Town. Here’s a list of gear that’s still current that we’ve already tested that you can find here on the site:

Airush Apex 138 – Issue #104

Airush Lithium 9m – Issue #104

Airush Ultra V2 9m – Issue #101

Airush Union 10m – Issue #101

Airush Vector 138 – Issue #104

Cabrinha Switchblade 9m – Issue #102

Cabrinha FX 9m – Issue #102

Core XLITE 7m – Issue #104

Core XR6 9m – Issue #100

Crazyfly Hyper 9m – Issue #104

Crazyfly Raptor Extreme 138 – Issue #104

Duotone Dice 8m – Issue #104

Duotone Neo 7 & 6m – Issue #104

Duotone Pace and Spirit foils – Issue #101

Duotone Rebel 8m – Issue #104

Eleveight FS 9m – Issue #103

Eleveight Process 139 & 135 – Issue #104

Eleveight RS 12m – Issue #100

Eleveight Master 138 – Issue #102

Flysurfer Stoke 9m – Issue #101

F-One Bandit S 6m – Issue #104

F-One Bandit S 8m – Issue #104

F-One Bandit Twenty-Twenty 10 & 8m – Issue #104

F-One Kitefoils – Issue #99

Naish Boxer 7m – Issue #104

Naish Dash 9m – Issue #104

Naish Motion 138 – Issue #104

Naish Triad 8m – Issue #104

North Atmos 138 – Issue #102

North Carve 6m – Issue #104

North Orbit 10m – Issue #101

Ocean Rodeo Crave 12m – Issue #104

Ozone Alpha 6m – Issue #104

Ozone Catalyst V2 9.5m – Issue #99

Ozone Code V2 138 – Issue #103

Ozone Edge V10 11m – Issue #102

Ozone Edge V10 8m – Issue #104

Ozone Hyperlink V2 11m – Issue #103

Ozone Infinity 144 – Issue #101

Peter Lynn Nova 10m – Issue #101

RRD Addiction 9m – Issue #104

RRD Poison 137 – Issue #104

RRD Religion 6m – Issue #104

Shinn K2 foil and Jackson Sunburner board – Issue #101

Slingshot Rally GT V1 9m – Issue #102

Slingshot Raptor 10m – Issue #104


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