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2012 BUYER’S GUIDE: Best Kiteboarding

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Best 2012

Best has made significant construction and design changes to its 2012 lineup of next generation products and has also added a few new products to the mix as well.  The new GP C-kite features patent pending Reflex curve technology and Best will also be introducing a new freerace/fun board called the Kiaola. Marketing Manager Simon Clark answered our questions about what we can expect from Best for 2012.

The Taboo is returning for 2012 with a new name. Why the name change? Is the TS sticking with the same design philosophy as the Taboo?

The name change is something that was forced upon us. Gaastra used the name previously for one of their watersports products and complained about our use even though theirs wasn’t for a kite. So we paid them to be able to use it last year as the kites were already made and on sale, but this year we’ve opted to change the name. TS stands for Taboo Series. The design philosophy, tuning different sizes to specific riding styles, has not changed, but the implementation of that philosophy has. There have been radical changes across the board in the new TS line.

The smallest sizes (4-5.5m) are now 3-strut kites, ultra solid, and built for abuse in insane winds but shaped to be controllable and stable even in the worst gusts. The medium size TS kites have all lost the sixth strut. In going to five struts they lost weight, gained low end power, reduced drag, and above all else we tuned them for amazing unhooked stability. If you want an open-C style kite with all the benefits of our proven SLE bridle performance then the medium TS kites offer it in spades. The 15.5–17m TS kites now have all struts on the EZ-pump system, so you can pump that center strut up extra hard to make them even easier to relaunch. For light wind riding, in particular for heavier riders who don’t want to ride a large board, the 17m TS is simply unbeatable. It retains the responsive handling from last year’s kite and now gains more low end power.

Photo Adam Koch

For 2012, Best is introducing the GP C-Kite. How should riders, especially those that like to unhook, choose between the TS and the GP?

Well the best way to choose is to try them both and see which fits your riding style best. The GP is a no-apologies 100% freestyle competition kite. It’s designed for riders competing at the very highest level who want every advantage to help them beat the competition in every heat. It’s designed to be ridden unhooked, almost all the time. In fact, it loves to pop and has the longest slack line feel making it easy to land any trick. Also, it’s a 5-linekite. It won’t perform on 4 lines so don’t try it without the GP-Bar. The GP is focused on being the best freestyle 5-line C-kite available.

The TS is different. It’s an open-C design and has wider appeal. Anyone who rode the Taboo last year will notice straight away just how good the new TS is unhooked and at the bottom end of its range, but it’s not just for freestyle and new school. The different sizes offer different performance and handling characteristics suited to all styles of riding.

Can you discuss how the GP’s Reflex leading edge works?

Want More? Get the rest plus info on 2012 gear from 18 more brands in the TKB 2012 Buyer’s Guide.

Choose your version of the 2012 Buyer’s Guide below. You can get a .pdf file for you to view on the device of your choice or you can also download the Buyer’s Guide directly to your mobile device through The Kiteboarder App.

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