TYPE OF KITE: Hybrid SLE
SIZES: 7, 9, 11, 14 and 18m
FROM THE MANUFACTURER
The Mayhem X is the latest in Caution’s line of high performance kites. The design team’s goal for the Mayhem X was to refine the Mayhem line by tuning up its high performance characteristics to meet the needs of intermediate and advanced kiters. The 2009 Mayhem X offers unparalleled turning speed with Caution’s precision turning dynamics and our clean 4-line short bridle system. With an expanded “sweet spot” and ergonomically correct limited throw, the Mayhem X offers lively response and the ultimate in upwind riding ability. The Mayhem X’s new 5-strut frame offers a reduction in canopy weight, faster inflation and crisp reactive steering characteristics. Caution’s acclaimed control system offers functional simplicity, and one of the industries few maintenance free trim loops. The Mayhem X’s single inflation system uses material and hardware upgrades for the ultimate in durability and longevity.
THE KITEBOARDER REPORT
Caution sent us an 11m Mayhem X to test for this issue. Right out of the bag we could see the R&D team spent a considerable amount of time evolving this kite. We were lucky enough to be able to test it in 27-30 mph winds and did this kite deliver! Upon inflating the Mayhem X, we found it to be a very stylish kite complete with the usual flame graphics across the canopy. The Caution team did a great job beefing up the construction while keeping the overall lightweight feel. The Mayhem X utilizes a single point inflation system which makes pumping up easy and efficient. One noticeable characteristic is the simple and very short front line bridle and direct attachment points to the rear of the kite. It feels as though its compact bridle is what needs to be credited for it very direct and quick turning abilities.
We were also impressed with Caution’s bar system. Overall, the system is clean and simple and offers a comfortable tapered feel with all the safety bells and whistles. The chicken loop release includes a centerline kill that you can connect your leash to under the chicken loop. Right off the beach we got into a situation where we needed to rely on this safety system. Anything that could have gone wrong didn’t and this system helped to make the water rescue much easier. The bridle system also seems to give the kite a responsive feel with moderate bar pressure. The Mayhem X is an extremely fast turning kite, and delivered a nice power stroke that was steady in the gusts. The low end was solid and although the bar system is designed with less travel in the throw than most SLEs, there was no problem depowering the kite. If you happen to get overpowered on the kite, just add more depower with the traditional depower strap. Some kites just like to jump, and the Mayhem X is one of them. The pop and hang time were excellent.
We felt immediately comfortable on the Mayhem X riding hooked and unhooked. It felt extremely stable and rock solid. The control and performance of the Mayhem X is reminiscent to what you might get out of a “C” kite while having the advantages of a SLE. People who like bow-style kites with gorilla arm depower might not like the shorter throw or direct feel of the Mayhem X, but those of you looking for a true SLE kite with a short bridle length will really like this kite. We were only able to test this kite on flat water, but we are certain the turning speed and stability will be ideal for wave riding. If anything, you should definitely give this kite a try and see if it works for you.