Jul 3, 2009
Author: SBC Kiteboard Test Team/Shane Thompson
Style: four-line SLE / Wind Range: 15-28 knots, expert (180 lbs) / What’s new: All new brand first Vari kite
The Vari Condor One 9 m has all the attributes of a well-rounded freeride kite that can handle a variety of riding styles and conditions. Most testers felt instantly comfortable with the Condor and its good depower and range, combined with quick responsive steering makes it well suited to the both intermediate and advanced riders. Great choice for freeriding, capable for some advanced freestyle and can more than hold its own in the waves.
Key Kite Features
• Progressive aspect ratio for different sizes
• Simple bridle system
• Molded strut connections
• High density LE seams
• One-pump inflation system
Bar Setup and Safety Systems
• Featherfeel Control System
• Long horn bar ends and contoured EVA finger-molded grip
• Thin bar floats
• Mini fifth-line safety system
• Bungeed self returning quick-release trim loop
• Above-the-bar pull-pull trim strap depower
The Vari Condor had the Test Team instantly excited with the overall graphics and shape of this kite. The Condor has great all-around performance, with notable lighter-than-average bar pressure, good low-end power and excellent overall range. Turning speed is good and reactive, not overly fast or too pivotal, but a good combination of consistent pull and speed. Standard SLE style water relaunch capability ensures this Condor will be quickly airborn after crashes at the edge of the wind window. The overall feel of the kite is somewhere between the direct steering, C-kite combined with ample depower of today’s SLE’s. For the advanced rider it has access to big, floaty jumps and although it’s not a full-on wakestyle kite it flies smoothly and pulls consistently for some unhooked tricks.
The Condor above-the-bar trim system was too far away for many testers to reach in windy conditions (Vari kites now modified the trim length to keep it within reach). Relaunch isn’t the fastest in the category, making it better suited to intermediate to advanced riders than beginners.
The Vari design team has done a great job at entering the market with a solid kite that can hold its own against the best freeride, do-it-all designs of today.