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TKB LW Review: 2014 BEN WILSON XXL

BEN WILSON XXL 2014 LIGHTWIND REVIEW

BEN WILSON XXL
Sizes Available: 14m
Sizes Tested: 14m

BRAND Says:

The XXL is the Big Brother of the Noise Pro. The XXL’s design borrows the high performance outline of the Noise Pro but there are many refinements that make it much more than a scaled up version of our highly successful 12m Noise Pro.

The aspect ratio and LE curve have both been reduced to minimize the LE circumference and the narrower length between wingtips makes the kite turn on a smaller arc. By reducing aspect ratio, the kite creates more apparent wind, thus giving more low-end and consistent pull. The wingtips are large and in effect have been ‘chopped off’ to enhance the ‘Consistent Drive’ turning of the kite. Three-strut design is lightweight but offers plenty of canopy support in the top end because we believe kites need struts because no struts = no stability.

The XXL is the kite you need for the days when the waves are too blown out for surfing but it’s not quite windy enough to ride the 12m Noise Pro.

BEN WILSON XXL 2014 LIGHTWIND REVIEW

Our Testers Say:

“Great upwind ability, good drift and super stable – the only con is that I would like to have this kite in a larger size,” Clint Sterba.

“4 meters smaller than the biggest kites in our test, it certainly holds its own in everything but the lightest of wind, and with impressive turning response that made me hungry for a semi-glass session in the waves of San Diego,” Brendan Richards.

“Goes upwind well with nice bar pressure and an overall minimalistic design that is simple and easy to use,” Alfredo Maguyon.

TKB Says:

The Ben Wilson XXL kite is one of the smaller kites sizing in at 14m in our light wind test. The XXL features the standard 9mm inflation / 11mm dump valves, a single rear attachment setting, Dacron along the trailing edge, thick LE at the wingtips as well as a non-adjustable front bridle which is refreshingly medium in length for such a large kite. Testers found the XXL to have medium-light bar pressure, good turning speed and good upwind performance. The XXL was smaller in size compared to most kites in the test, but its low-end was impressive and overall a very fun light wind option. The durability of the XXL along with its unique low aspect design makes it an ideal option for smaller riders and those wanting a kite that can push the wind boundaries yet turn responsively for freestyle and the surf.

BEN WILSON XXL 2014 LIGHTWIND REVIEW

The XXL came with the Undertow 50cm fixed length bar which features a plastic depower/throw line, a single center-line safety depower, above the bar depower Clam Cleat, below the bar hand swivel and a well designed push away quick release which can be accessed from any direction. The Overdrive bar did not come with a chicken finger to prevent accidental unhooking, but the bar is clean and well designed with integrated foam EVA floats and winders as well as a comfortable grip that earned high praise from our testers.

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