Jul 16, 2010
Author: SBC Kiteboard Test Team
Style: 4 line SLE
The Airush Vapor X is the all new high performance four line SLE that offers the most aggressive performance of the extensively revamped AIRUSH 2010 line. Also adaptable to a fifth-line system, the Vapor comes with a completely redesigned canopy shape, beefed up constructions and the new V3 bridle system.
Control Bar and Safety Systems
The Airush Smart Bar has some formidable upgrades from its predecessor the Cleat Bar, which include push pin extensions for the first truly adjustable-length bar on the market. The new push away quick-release trim loop called the BRAIN is easily engaged and also incorporates a swivel at it’s base which ensures that your trim line never twists. The BRIAN also houses a mini fifth-line leash system that flags the kite from the front lines. The Smart Bar employs emergency flagging handles on both bar ends for added secondary safety. For those that prefer the above-the-bar trim system, Airush has a depower trim strap with double pull down, adjustment handles. There is also the option to convert the smart bar to below-the-bar trim system, by adding a cleat below bar. Topping this feature-packed bar, this control system also comes with three sections of flying lines, 16, m, 6m and 3 m. This allows you to fly with 20, 25, 17 or 10 m line lengths. The new Airush Bar is a solid, and feature-packed control system with good backup safety systems.
On The Water
This new Vapor X is a very capable freeride and freestyle SLE with Airush leading quality building and design. The overall feel, wind range and turning performance of the 10 m tested gets into the top ranks of the do-it-all SLE kites available today. After a full powered flatwater session, SBC Test Team member, Craig Cunning commented: “ I was really impressed with the large wind range as the Vapor performed great in really powered conditions. Nice turning speed as well, not too fast, but not too slow and keeps its power throughout the turns but with the ability to dish off the power when you need to.” The Vapor is best suited to aggressive intermediate or advanced freeriders that want to dabble in freestyle and have a kite that can adapt easily to waves or flatwater riding. It can be as aggressive as a rider wants with no limits to high-end performance. Unhooked, and trimmed forward the Vapor is well suited for wakestyle/freestyle riding. It’s more direct and nimble than some of the flatter SLE with more power through sweeping turns. It’s a great boosting kite. The Vapor is solid and stable even in gusty conditions. The narrow leading edge drives upwind easily and water relaunch is quick and reliable with singe line steering pull. This Vapor 10 would be a great travel companion
Sometimes the consistency of getting good controlled pop while unhooked was difficult, but this could change as rider becomes more familiar with the kites timing and setup. Once the push pin adjustable bar ends have any bit of sand in them they are difficult to remove, negating the adjustability factor.
The Vapor X delivers the goods this year with more versatility and high boosting performance. It will satisfy the demanding freerider that wants the versatility to perform well with every crowd. Vapor X 10 would be an ideal travel companion to sunny destinations during the cold winter months.