Sept 20, 2011
Author: SBC Kiteboard Test Review Team
Size Tested: 9 m
The new T5 has been completely redesigned for 2011, with new a leading edge profile, canopy shaping and flattened wing tips. These enhancements have been designed to ensure the big-boosting and glide character of its predecessor, while granting the new T5 improved stability and better low-end performance this year.
Control Bar and Safety Systems
The KISS—Kite Intelligent Safety System—features a new quick-release trim loop and redesigned bar setup. The bar employs a smooth EVA foam grip with finger mouldings to improve grip and help register your hands’ location for passing. There is a swivel system to above-the-trim loop for untwisting the front lines, and the standard pull trim strap effectively trims the kite. For flagging safety, the KISS offers a mini fifth line off a single flying line for complete flagging when the bar is released. The advanced riders of the test liked the secondary safety setup, which eliminates total flagging until the trim loop is pulled. With no additional flagging handles or clutter, the T5 bar is streamlined and ready for action.
• Light touch steering, good stability
• Solid unhooked performance for an SLE
• Fast and effortless water relaunch
On the Water
In addition to some unique graphics and aerodynamic shaping, the T5 has an exclusive one-pump valve placement and special design features that prevent any lines catching on them during crashes. The test riders were impressed with T5’s light handling and super easy water relaunch, in addition to its overall stability. It’s fast flying across the window, has smooth power delivery, and feels more nimble and light to the control-through-bar feedback.
The T5 turning is pivotal and direct, with minimal effort to turn the kite while fully powered or even in over-powered conditions. Of all the kites suitable for beginners in this test round, the T5 was the best for throwing down some unhooked freestyle tricks. It had no tendency to back-stall or over-sheet, even in gusty conditions. It doesn’t surge forward through the window, and it backs up nicely downwind, making the T5 a capable wave kite with good down-the-line control. Good upwind drive and smooth control systems ensure freeriders will appreciate the T5 as skills progress.
The light bar pressure lacked some positional feedback, most notably while jumping with the kite overhead.
The T5-Koinobori is well-suited for a wide range of progressing riders to more advanced freeriders. The stable, aerodynamic flow, smooth pull while unhooked, and nimble steering control compare well against industry-leading rivals.