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Wainman Smoke 2009 Analyze This Kite Review

Originally Published in the August 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine

Wainman Hawaii Smoke Analyze This Kite Review

9m Wainman Smoke

9m Wainman Smoke

TESTED: 9m

TYPE OF KITE: Delta/SLE/Bridled-C

SIZES: 6.5m Gypsy, 9m Smoke, 12m Boss (5m Bunny and 15m Big Mama coming July ’09)

From the Manufacturer:
For most people, life eventually becomes routine, maybe even a little boring. Same schedule, same hangouts, same friends. Life is great. But something is missing. Not everybody is satisfied with this. And this is why every gang appreciates a wise guy in the crew, someone who is spontaneous, and can handle the unpredictable. Smoke is this very important member of the Rabbit gang and truthfully, without him, life would be much less  interesting, for everyone. Yes, he’s got his own path, and he is like no other friend you have, but once you accept this, your kite life improves dramatically, in whatever conditions you choose to play. A 9 m kite that is an absolute must for every rider`s quiver. Its wide range covers all those windy days when you are just dying to ride.

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THE KITEBOARDER REPORT
The Smoke shipped to our office from Kitenaked.com in California just in time before the Corpus winds slacked on us. Good thing it could be rigged right out of the bag with little tweaking on the setup. Upon inflating the Smoke we immediately noticed its distinctive shape with its curved leading edge. Its unique control bar was attention grabbing too with its white and black graphics and the chicken loop came with a detachable donkey dick. We tested the 9m Smoke in somewhat windy 15-20 mph conditions. Weighing in between 165-180 pounds, we trimmed the Smoke in a bit and it instantly flew with more power. Whereas some kites stall backwards when holding the bar powered up all the way on the chicken loop, the Smoke flew solid with little tendency to stall at all.

Turning the kite was easy and smooth. The kite didn’t pivot on its wingtip and its delta shape made it turn quickly and efficiently. The 9m Smoke had plenty of lift but we noticed that it jumped with more hang time than lift as we didn’t get the height we anticipated. This could’ve had to do with us using the kite at the low end of its wind range. Be extra careful with your timing in the air as the Smoke turns fast when it’s powered up. Unhooked, the 9m Smoke has similar characteristics to a C-kite. You can also take the bridle off completely and ride it like a 4-line C, but with the relaunchability and safety of today’s modern gear. The bar didn’t come with an adjustable stopper ball but there is a fixed one that can be adjusted with a little Allen wrench. Wainman Hawaii is currently working on an aftermarket adjustable stopper ball that will work on their current and new bar in development which will be available in July ’09 along with two new sizes: the 5m Bunny and 15m Big Mama. The new bar design will include an improved grip material and “finger nubs” on the bottom of the bar, so you can feel when it is right side up as opposed to having to look at the bar color.

Wainman Smoke

Wainman Smoke

We had no problems deploying the safety system or relaunching the kite in light and moderately windy conditions — it relaunched easily with little input needed. The overall build of the Smoke is solid with a good assortment of adjustment for riders that like to tweak out their gear. You can tell that Wainman Hawaii took a lot of interest in their R&D when developing their first generation of kites down to little details like the bar end bungees that tuck away inside the ends of the bars when they aren’t being used, which keeps them from dangling off the ends of the bar while you ride. The Smoke’s steady pull and easy upwind ability made it a really easy kite to dial in. It can be used in lighter winds than the average 9m — unfortunately we didn’t have the conditions to fully test its top end capacity. We are sure that both beginner and advanced riders will appreciate the Smoke’s performance on the water. Overall, it is a great kite for anyone looking for a solid, higher wind range, all around kite designed by one of the early pioneers of our sport. The hardest decision you will have to make is what settings you might like better on the bridles.

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TIPS:

  • Don’t be afraid to power the kite up all the way when riding as it’sjust as stable as a C-kite when flying powered up.
  • Try and inflate the kite with as much air pressure as you feel comfortable with as it performs better when it’s inflated solidly.
Wainman Hawaii Control Bar

Wainman Hawaii Control Bar

Originally Published in the August 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine

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