TESTED: 8 and 12m
AVAILABLE SIZES: 4, 5.5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17m
TESTED IN: Hood River and Central California, 16-22 knots, flat water and chop
FROM THE MANUFACTURER:
The Taboo range represents a new concept in building the ultimate quiver of high performance kites. Each size of the Taboo is uniquely engineered to optimize performance for specific riding conditions. Every aspect of design, shaping, material selection, and construction has been tested and selected to create the ultimate ride in every kite size. Ranging from 4m to 17m, there is a Taboo for all wind speeds and all advanced riding styles. Each size in the range blends a different balance of ‘control’, ‘power’, and ‘flow’ allowing you to completely reinvent your riding game.
THE KITEBOARDER REPORT:
Out of the Box: We tested both the 8m and 12m Taboo. The unique concept of the Taboo’s design means that these two kites are designed slightly differently. They look similar to each other and both feature six struts, a one-pump system, and a short pulley-less bridle. The rear line attachment point is adjustable to change the bar pressure and turning speed of the kite. The Taboo ships with a very simple bag (other bag options are available) that is basically a sleeping bag style stuff sack. This bag takes up very little space and allows you to pack your kites very small for traveling.
The Redline performance bar is a very clean control system. It features an above-bar depower, multiple leash options, forged center piece, and an all-new push away quick release that has a built in line swivel. The bar is slightly thicker than others we’ve used, so it felt a little strange at first, but our testers quickly became used to it.
On the Water: While the 8 and the 12 both have similar flying characteristics, they definitely are slightly different from each other. On both kites, the Taboo had light-medium bar pressure, fast turning, and a very direct feeling. It seemed to us that the 12 flew farther upwind while the 8 sat back in the window a bit. This makes the 8 a little more well behaved, especially when powered up. Because the 12 flies so far forward, getting upwind is effortless, but it’s not quite as stable as the 8. With both sizes, the Taboo holds power through turns and finishes loops without any tendency to stall. The Taboo really shines when ridden fast and powered up and is a great kite for big air jumps.
- The Taboo flies far forward in the window and is a great kite for getting upwind.
- The Taboo has good low-end power and has a snappy, direct feel to it.
- The Taboo is not a great kite for beginning kiteboarders.
- Riders who would rather have a backpack style bag will have to fork out some extra money.
The Taboo is a great choice for intermediate to advanced riders. It offers plenty of performance and the small sizes (4-9m) are especially great for wakestyle riding. Beginners should look at the Bularoo or Kahoona from Best as those kites are a little more user friendly and forgiving than the Taboo. Rider’s who liked the Nemesis NXG will really like the Taboo, as our testers thought the Taboo felt like a more refined version of that kite.
- Pump the Taboo up really hard to get the most performance and to make relaunching easier.
- If you are interested in the Taboo, try to demo the exact size you want to purchase. While we found the 8 and 12 to be similar, there really was a difference in how they flew.
“The Taboo is a good overall kite that’s fun for freestyle sessions and boosting. It’s fast and loops well even in lighter conditions.” –Michael Pedone, 175 lbs., Freestyle Rider
“The Taboo has excellent power, turning speed, and boost. The bar is excellent and overall the Taboo is very easy to set up.” –Gary Martin, 170 lbs., Surf Kiter and Occasional Twin Tipper