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AVAILABLE SIZES: 4, 5.5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17m
TESTED IN: San Diego, 8-12 knots, flat water and waves
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: While we tested both the 8m and 12m Taboo last issue, each size of the Taboo is designed differently. The 17m Taboo is a completely different kite than the previous Taboos tested. Compared to the smaller Taboos, the 17 is a very high aspect kite and has a unique center strut. It’s a five strut kite, but the center strut is very thin compared to the others and is not connected to the one-pump system. The pulley-less bridle is compact and the rear line attachment point is adjustable to change the bar pressure and turning speed of the kite. Like the other Taboos, this kite ships with a very simple bag (other bag options are available) that is basically a sleeping bag style stuff sack.
We’ve tested the Redline Performance bar on a few kites now and it’s a very clean control system. It features an above-bar depower, multiple leash options, forged center piece, and a push away quick release that has a built in swivel. We would have liked to have seen kook-proof connections on the lines to prevent the possibility of rigging the lines backwards.
On the Water: Even though the 17m Taboo is a high aspect kite, we found it to be surprisingly stable in San Diego’s light and gusty wind. On the water, it is a fast flying and surprisingly fast turning kite. This kite loses a lot of power when turning it sharply or looping it, which is very different compared to the smaller Taboos we tested. We quickly found that the key to getting the most power out of this kite is to ride with a lot of board speed. It may not feel like you have a lot of power when initially diving the Taboo, but as you pick up speed the kite keeps generating more and more power. The 17m Taboo has great upwind performance for such a large kite. Relaunching a kite this large in less than 10 knots of wind is not nearly as easy as relaunching a smaller kite in more wind, but it is possible with enough persistence. Once the wind gets to about 12 knots relaunching the 17m Taboo is relatively easy.
- The 17m Taboo can get you riding and having fun when others are slogging or sitting on the beach.
- This kite is very fast flying and fast turning for its size.
- The 17m Taboo loses a lot of power when turning it sharply or looping it.
- With the right board, you could be out riding in wind light enough that you have almost no chance of getting the kite back up if you drop it.
If you want to get out and ride and get upwind when others can’t, you should look at this kite. The stability, fast turning, and fast flying made the 17m Taboo more fun to fly than other kites in this size range we’ve flow previously (admittedly, it’s been awhile since we flew a kite this large). This is a great kite for riders living in towns where the wind is often in the 10-12 knot range, but if you don’t have any interest in light wind kiting, you probably don’t need to own this kite.
- Pump up the Taboo really hard. This will make relaunching easier.
- To get out in the lightest winds possible, combine the 17m Taboo with a light wind specific twin tip, large surfboard, or race board.
“With the right light wind board, I was able to get out and be riding upwind in sub 10-knot winds. Lighter riders should be able to do even better.” –Paul Lang, 200 lbs., Surf Kiter