Best Kiteboarding have produced a great looking lineup of kites for 2013 and we have been getting our hands dirty by testing the whole lot. The lineup includes:
Best Kahoona (Version 5)
Best TS (Version 2)
Best GP (Version 2)
Best Cabo (New for this year!)
The names sound catchy and the kites look great, but which kite is for you?
We asked around REAL and also had a chat with our friends at Best Kiteboarding to put together a quick chart comparing some basic features of each kite:
With that in mind, let’s take some examples of various rider profiles to try and help differentiate these Best Kites. Try to find the best category that suits you and your riding.
1. The Beginner:
REAL recommends the Best Kahoona or the Best TS for riders looking to get into the sport. The Kahoona and the TS both offer a big wind range with good relaunch. As you can see from the chart, the TS will jump a little higher and go upwind better while the Kahoona has unmatched relaunch and stability. We think the main difference is where you would like to progress to:
Best TS: Ideal for riders who will spend the bulk of the next few years freeriding and getting into freestyle (hooked or unhooked).
Best Kahoona: Well suited to you if you would like to progress into riding waves on some or all of your sessions.
2. The Lawn Mower or Weekend Warrior
We know full well that a lot of you just don’t get to go kiteboarding as much as you would like. This means that when you do go out, mowing the lawn and boosting is exactly what you are after. If this rings a bell for you, REAL recommends the Best TS because of the upwind performance, jumping height and wind range.
3. The Surfer:
Riding waves (or kitesurfing) requires a kite that feels fast and direct. The most important factor though is that the kite feels really reliable and predictable (you know exactly where the kite is at all times). This is something that you are just going to have to trust us on. We have ridden all of these kites extensively and Cape Hatteras is a darn good place to test a kite in waves! Here is our verdict on how each kite reacts in the waves:
Best Kahoona: Actually not a bad wave kite because of the stability and relaunch. It doesn’t turn as fast as the TS or the Cabo though.
Best TS: Designed to be an all rounder with a direct feeling, it’s no surprise that the TS performs well for kitesurfing in waves.
Best Cabo: This is Best Kiteboarding’s dedicated wave kite. The Cabo a little faster than the TS and the Kahoona and has had the words “kitesurf” and “wave-specific” printed all over it since day one. Nevertheless, the Cabo will perform well in the flats too.
4. The Pleasure Cruiser:
Not everyone likes to go at a million miles an hour. If you prefer a less physical experience and just enjoy the feeling of the sport then you should stick with the Best Kahoona. The user friendly nature and light bar pressure will keep you feeling fresh and ready for another sessions.
5. The Freestyler/Wakestyler:
It’s a well known fact that nothing quite compares to the feeling of a true C-Kite when it comes to unhooked tricks. The Best GP will deliver the pop and drop you are looking for. If you need a kite that is a little more versatile but will still allow you to push your freestyle progression, the Best TS is a solid choice.
Hopefully this summary will clear it up for you:
Best Kahoona: Designed for Beginners, intermediates and pleasure cruisers - but will also work for riders looking to get into kitesurfing (wave riding).
Best TS: Designed to have a place in everyone’s quiver – the TS is the jack of all trade that will work in a huge range of conditions. If you are torn between the TS and the Kahoona, REAL recommends the TS for 95% of riders.
Best Cabo: Dedicated wave kite – but of course will perform nicely in the flats too!
Best GP: Dedicated freestyle and wakestyle kite.