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Best 2010 Kahoona Analyze This Kite Review

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2010 Best Kahoona V2
TESTED: 11.5m
AVAILABLE SIZES: 5.5, 7.5, 9.5, 11.5, 13.5m
TESTED IN: Pismo Beach and San Diego, CA/13-18 knots and medium surf

FROM THE MANUFACTURER:

The newly improved Kahoona blends exceptional performance and handling with advanced safety features that make it the perfect kite for advancing your riding level, regardless of your preferred riding style.

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THE KITEBOARDER REPORT:

Out of the Box: Compared to the previous Kahoona, there are many obvious changes to the Kahoona V2. The graphics are much improved, the bridle connection points have moved, and the leading edge construction has been updated. Like the previous version, the Kahoona is a four-strut kite with a large strut-less middle canopy. Once pumped up, the leading edge and struts are obviously stiffer than the 2009 Kahoona. The Kahoona does not come with a one-pump system.

Our test kite came with the Best Red-Line Bar, which is about to be updated. The bar features full carbon construction, 700-pound rated lines, an above-the-bar depower strap, and a push-away quick release. The included kite bag is a little small, so you have to fold the Kahoona up carefully if you expect it to easily fit back into the bag. The Kahoona’s bridle features one pulley and two rings per side and each wear-point is easily replaceable.

On the Water: In the sky, the Kahoona is a stable kite. Placed anywhere along the edge of the window, the Kahoona required minimal attention to fly and showed no signs of stalling. The Kahoona’s turning has a very direct and snappy feel to it and the kite pulls consistently through turns and finishes loops without the tendency to stall. Bar pressure on the Kahoona is in the upper-medium range, but is not excessive by any means.

Because the Kahoona sits back in the window, this hurts its upwind ability, but not excessively. The range from the Kahoona is amazing on both low and high sides and one 200-pound tester was able to ride the 11.5 when other riders were on 14m kites. Depower is incredible, almost excessive. As you ease the bar out, the power goes away very quickly without much travel on the bar. You can actually depower the Kahoona so far that the entire canopy luffs, so you have to be careful to not let go of the bar when unspinning it, otherwise the kite will completely depower.

Jumps on the Kahoona are very floaty and easy to control. The Kahoona remains stable even when unhooked and is almost effortless to relaunch from the water.

PROS:

  • The Kahoona is a nice, simple, no-gimmick kite that you can easily set up and ride right out of the bag. The lack of bridle adjustments takes the guess work out of how the kite should be set up.
  • The stability of the Kahoona is fantastic. It is very easy to fly at the edge of the window and drifts downwind very well while riding waves.

CONS:

  • No One-Pump system available on the Kahoona, which some riders may see as a pro in terms of simplicity.
  • The Kahoona sits further back in the window than other Best kites, so it doesn’t go upwind as well as the 2010 Nemesis NXG or Waroo.

THE VERDICT:

This is a great kite for beginners, kite surfers, unhooked riders, or anyone else who wants an easy-to-use, stable, predictable, and easy-to-relaunch kite. The Kahoona is a very forgiving kite and therefore is great to learn new moves on. Some riders will not be happy with the lack of a one-pump system. If you want the highest possible performance in upwind ability and jumping, you may want to look at the Nemesis NXG.

TIPS:

  • Pump the Kahoona up very hard, up to 10-11 psi according to Best.
  • Make sure you sheet the bar in as you take off for jumps to get an extra boost. Since you can so easily control the power from the Kahoona, you can instantly have more power at your disposal by sheeting in just a few inches.

Tester Comments:

“The Kahoona is a very stable and predictable kite with good predictable turning speed, good drift for wave riding, and an easy relaunch,” Gary Martin, 175 lbs., Surf Kiter.

“This kite is great for new riders, wave-specific riders, or intermediate riders wanting to improve unhooked kiting ability,” Kinsley Thomas Wong, 155 lbs, Freestyle/Unhooked/Big Air Kiter.

Consumer Review: Dee at kiteboardingreview.com
“The build quality has gone way up, same as the new Waroo and NXG. The new LE seams and pads look perfect; last year’s Kahoona could look a little ‘ropey’, like a price point kite, but there’s no hint of that on the V2.” Read the full review at http://www.kiteboardingreview.com/best/161-best-kahoona-v2-2010

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