Jun 13, 2014
Author: SBC Kiteboard Test Team / Photos David Tran
Size tested: 9.5, 11.5m
Spy shots of Wainman Hawaii’s C kite prototypes first appeared on the Internet a year ago, and SBC has been looking forward to trying it ever since. While there is a fifth-line attachment kit available, Wainman designed the kite to be used with four lines. As such, the kite works well on the same well-reviewed Wainman bar the Rabbits use. First reflections: build quality looks great. There’s a one-pump system (we expect and would like to see that on future generation Rabbits), and the graphics are striking. With a pure C Kite shape and a deeply profiled midsection, the Maniac features three leading edge attachment points and four trailing edge attachment points, allowing riders to adjust how far forward the kite sits in the window and fine-tune turning speed.
Wainman advised us to use the farthest forward leading edge attachment and one of the farther back trailing edge attachments. The Maniac is the first true four-line C kite SBC has tested in some time, and to state the obvious, this is not the kite for the majority of kiteboarders, as a true C kite depower is sacrificed for raw horsepower. Rider ability is assumed to be high. That being the case, the Maniac delivered as promised by being super stable unhooked, offering massive pop and tons of power, especially through what turns out to be quite a wide radius Kite Loop. As expected, depower was limited, but more than a typical C kite from, say, five years ago. That being the case, when tuned properly, the kite, particularly the 9.5m, would depower and move forward in the window when sheeted-out, but this certainly is not a strong point.
As expected, relative to most current kites on the market, the Maniac sits much farther back in the window, and proper edge control is required to depower the kite. When fully powered, the kite did a typical bow-kite style relaunch. For sure, technique and maybe even some swimming is required in lighter winds. Overall, Wainman deserves some praise for going against the grain and developing a credible, performance-packed dedicated C kite at a time when the market is certainly not putting as much emphasis on this category as it once did.
The Trade-Off It’s a dedicated C Kite, and as such, user-friendliness is sacrificed for performance. Depower and upwind performance is detuned in favor of full-powered riding and unhooked performance.
If you’re a skilled rider who loves unhooked tricks and wants to ride the most badass looking kite on the market, this is definitely a kite to check out.