Home / Gear Reviews / 2013 Reviews / TKB Review: 2013 Airush Varial X

TKB Review: 2013 Airush Varial X

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Airush Varial X
Sizes Available: 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16m
Sizes Tested: 10, 12m

Airush Says:

Introducing the SL-C concept. The Varial X is known for C-Kite performance on a 4 line high depower platform, the SL-C has been designed with a C-shape arc outline for direct response and great unhooking characteristics while the swept back wingtips and V3 bridle give great range and relaunch capabilities. This year, the Varial X has extended from offering predictability, depower and 4-line ease of use with an increased focus on unhook, pop and boosting characteristics. An important part to its improvement, the Varial X design has added even more structural support to greatly maximize the direct feel and performance. Ideal for riders with aggressive handling in the waves, freestyle and freeride, the Varial X will give you that C kite feel that you have been looking for in an SLE design.

Our Testers Say:

“Had a lot of low-end power. The 10m felt like plenty of power in conditions I would usually ride a 12m in,” Marko Bartscherer.

“Rode the 12m in overpowered conditions and the kite was not as well behaved as the Lithium when fully depowered. Fast turning and really easy to relaunch, but I didn’t like the grip on the bar,” Kirstin O’Brien.

“Fast turning speed and a good all-around kite, especially for riders who want to unhook. Bar pressure was a little high for my liking,” Andy Sologub.

Meet the 2013 TKB Test Team.

TKB Says:

The Varial X is a medium-high aspect five-strut kite marketed as high-performance bridled-C design (Airush calls it a SL-C). Like the Lithium the Varial X has adjustments to change the kite’s bar pressure and turning speed. Compared to the Airush Lithium, our testers felt the Varial X had better upwind and jumping performance.

The TKB Testers liked the quick sweeping turns, great stability, easy relaunch, and great jumping performance. Some testers commented that the bar pressure was a little high for their liking. We think the Varial X is best suited for riders looking for more performance than the Lithium who are willing to give up all-around ease of use for better upwind, jumping, and unhooking performance.

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The Varial X uses the Airush Smartbar 4 which features a push-away quick release, below-bar swivel, double plastic-covered depower line, adjustable stopper, and multiple line length options. It also features an above-bar depower strap that some testers felt was a little difficult to use.

The Smartbar 4 is adjustable from 45-62cm and adjusts by way of a unique quick release as well as adjustable bar ends. To extend the bar, you remove both ends and add extensions to the bar itself before reattaching the ends.

Pros:

  • Great upwind and jumping performance.
  • Great stability, even when unhooked.
  • Extremely adjustable bar is able to be configured for almost any kite of any size.

Cons:

  • Bar pressure might be too high for some users.
  • According to some testers the trim system was difficult to make small adjustments with.
  • The adjustable bar is a great feature, but adds additional parts to maintain.

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