SBCKiteboard.com
  SBCKiteboard.COM Twitter SBCKiteboard.COM Facebook

All Terrain Freeride head-to-head kitesurfing kites tested

May 17, 2010

Author: SBC KIteboard Test Team / Shane Thompson

ALL-TERRAIN FREERIDE
Best Waroo
Naish Cult
F-One Bandit III
North Fuse
Liquid Force Havoc
Airush Varial,
Slingshot Octane
NobileT5

The All-Terrain Freeride category logically incorporates the greatest number of models of kites today. These are the do-it-all designs that have flying characteristics that enable them to adapt to the wide variety of conditions, riding style and disciplines of today’s kiteboarding. These kites are in many respects, the jack of all trades and masters of none, as they deliver the optimum levels of performance suited to the varied range of wind and water conditions. The key characteristics of the All-Terrain kite include: good levels of depower and useable wind range, and tunable performance that make them suitable for freeriding, freestyle or waves. With a good combination of wind range and control, instant depower, ease of use, safety and automatic water relaunch, the All-Terrain Freeride kite is capable of easy cruising and freeriding, boosting some nice airs, and has good depower and steering character to hit the waves. They have more high-end performance than the more basic and user-friendly Progressive Freeride category and in the right hands, can do almost anything. Many of these models are also highly tunable with multiple line connections and bridle settings that can dramatically change the amount of bar pressure, turning speed, depower capability and overall feel. This tuning character can change the kite attributes of depower and bar pressure to better suit certain disciplines, feel preference and experience levels. There are lots of options of style and design available in this category. The Delta shape is predominant within many new models this year, with its swept wing tip and canopy profile first introduced in the F-One Bandit two years ago.

Head-to-Head
Comparing the All-Terrain Freeride kites in a head-to-head analysis uncovers no clear standout winner of this broad category. Different Test Team members preferred certain kites for different reasons. There is a definitive series of performance characteristics that endears each model to certain rider preferences of feel and function. As true big-boosting freeride kites, the North Fuse, the Airush Varial and the Slingshot Octane standout from the pack and are great examples of smooth powered and good boosting modern SLE designs. If you like jumping and gliding and want predictable pull, then these kites are ready to take it on. These kites are standouts for the more intermediate cruisers who dabble in every discipline and what reliable and easy performance. For those riders that head into the waves often and want ideal wave performance the Test Team was impressed with the capability of the Naish Cult, the Nobile T5, and the North Rebel. All three of these kites had faster-than-average turning and had the best control while depowered. Their drift character and pull were ideal for wave riding. For the unhooked freestyle and flatwater park ripper, the Liquid Force Havoc and the F-One Bandit are standouts, with the smoothest and most capable unhooked pull of the group. Another honourable mention should go out to the Cabrinha Switchblade and Slingshot RPM; both could easily slide into the All Terrain category and find themselves as top choices for unhooked pop and smooth pull. The RPM was also a top pick of Test Team members for waves.
    No designs are without their flaws and the All-Terrain category brings out the flaws in each model as it crosses disciplines. For example, the Naish Cult lacks the positional feedback of some of its competitors, although it has improved from last year’s model with the direct rear connection, some test members find it still takes a lot of time to get used to. The higher boosting and lofting freeride SLEs like the North Fuse and Airush Varial are also not the fastest turning of the bunch, as often more power and lift reduce the quickness and reactivity of steering.
    Many of the Delta shapes also have drawbacks in the swept wingtip design and canopy shape when it comes to steering the kite out of a downward dive. At certain angles of attack it seems some of the more pure Delta shaped kites can lock in place as they dive downward towards the water, requiring a hefty pull on the steering lines to break the trajectory and start the turn.
    Overall the top-ranked kites of the All-Terrain category were the F-One Bandit, the Liquid Force Havoc, and the Naish Cult. The others in the test should not be overlooked as they had performance that is better suited to advancing into higher levels of riding. These three stood out for their overall wind range, precision steering and performance that can push the limits in any discipline.

Read all the individual kite tests to find the perfect kite for you.

Best Waroo
Naish Cult
F-One Bandit III
North Fuse
Liquid Force Havoc
Airush Varial,
Slingshot Octane
NobileT5

2010 Lightwind Kite Showdown 

Progressive Freeride Head-to-Head Test

Did you find this review helpful? Be sure to share it with your friends on Facebook.

Related News



Gear

2015 Pivot Q&A with Naish Kite Designer,...
Jun 24, 2014
When did development first begin on the Pivot and why? How does it fit within the lineup? We began work on the Pivot (Freeride/Wave) in Summer of 2012 with the...
CARVED IMPERATOR LW
Apr 1, 2014
Hightech meets Lightwind As of now the IMPERATOR is also available in two LW versions. Instead of only cruising the new IMPERATOR LW allows you to perform hard core...
F-One Bandit 7: Raphaël Salles Interview
Mar 28, 2014
Trade Secrets: Raphaël Salles F-One Bandit 7 Interview Raphaël Salles is the owner and driving force behind F-One Kiteboarding. F-One has been a leader in...
Ken Winner and Sky Solbach´s inside view about...
Feb 12, 2014
  Sky Solbach: The 2014 Neo is a full-on dedicated wave kite. It's got all of the key performance characteristics we felt a wave kite really needs to have and...
Pro-Surfboards - 2014 Best Kiteboarding
Dec 19, 2013
Best Kiteboarding now has their first custom shaped kite surfboards available for distribution in Europe. Their ‘Made in USA’ model will come in 2014....
Best Kiteboarding 2014 Extract
Dec 19, 2013
Best Kiteboarding announces the launch of their most extreme kiteboarding equipment, developed in conjunction with the world’s most extreme kiter and Best pro...
Stuff We Like: MOVE 'N SEE automatic camera
Nov 27, 2013
Here is a really cool new video camera worth checking out. Move’n See, is a new automated self-recording system. It is similar to the Soloshot sytem but MOVE...
Cabrinha Kiteboarding - 2014 Board Range
Oct 3, 2013
Cabrinha 2014 Surfboards PC Signature Model The PC Signature model surfboard is the ultimate performance kite surfboard. Pete’s personal board had to prove...
Liquid Force Kiteboarding 2014
Oct 3, 2013
Liquid Force kiteboarding is proud to present the evolution of 2014.   2014 Action preview video     2014 Liquid Force Envy Kite...
2014 North Kiteboarding
Oct 1, 2013
Product video clips for the 2014 North Kiteboarding range.   North Kiteboards North Select "The North Select has a completely new design concept and...
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] > » 

Editor's Video Picks!

 

 

THE LATEST

2015 Kite Reviews
2015 Slingshot Rally
August 29, 2014
2015 Kite Reviews
2015 Liquid Force Envy
August 29, 2014
2015 Kite Reviews
2015 Core GTS3
August 29, 2014
2015 Kite Reviews
2015 North Rebel
August 29, 2014
2015 Kite Reviews
2015 Naish Pivot
August 29, 2014
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] > » 

SBC KITEBOARD ON FACEBOOK

MOST VIEWED

2014 Kite Reviews
SBC 2014 Kite Tests:...
March 12, 2014
2014 Kite Reviews
2014 Cabrinha Switchblade Review
March 12, 2014
2014 Kite Reviews
2014 North Rebel Review
March 12, 2014
2014 Kite Reviews
2014 North Evo Review
March 13, 2014
2014 Kite Reviews
2014 Naish Park Review
March 12, 2014
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] > » 

Download Kiteboard Desktop App

Newsletter Signup

 

MOST VIEWED - GEAR

SBCSKATEBOARD SBCSURF SBCWAKEBOARD SBCSKIER SBCKITEBOARD WINDSPORT SNOWBOARD CANADA SBC RESORT GUIDE  CONTACT ADVERTISE