Sizes Available: 6, 8, 10, 12, 14m
Sizes Tested: 8, 10m
Riding light wind with the OS is pure happiness. Even more so with Version 2 of our dedicated foil and freeride kite, as every inch of material delivers outstanding performance, no matter how thin the breeze. Launch this feather-light kite in well below 10 knots and discover a whole new world of kiteboarding. The Open-C design comes with outstanding agility, a massive sweet spot, and direct control. Though it is remarkably dynamic, the kite is easy to tame as the steering is well-defined and precise. The power deployment is astonishingly smooth, which comes in handy when looping the kite during transitions while switching the stance. The fluid movements in the sky naturally transfer to the rider below.
Visit for more info: www.eleveightkites.com/kites/os
As the obsession with foilboarding continues to gain traction at beaches all around the world there’s a very clear need for foilboard-specific kites that are both user-friendly and capable of flying in the lowest winds possible and that is the design brief for the single-strut OS series kite from Eleveight. The OS features a low to medium aspect canopy with a sweptback leading edge into rounded wingtips with a medium-sized leading edge diameter. The OS’s high flow bayonet vale connects to the standard pump inflation hose without the use of a nozzle and allows for quick and problem-free inflation. The canopy utilizes two battens on each wingtip along with some soft foam battens along the double ripstop trailing edge, all of which keeps the single-strut canopy under control when depowered. The front bridle uses a single pulley to help change the angle of attack and offers three settings that changes the cascade attachment point for moving the center of effort forward and back for adjusting the steering and depower feel. There are clear instructions printed on the leading edge for tuning, but essentially you can choose between a pivot turn, standard turn, or wingtip turn. The front bridle attachment point ends in a larks head loop and the wingtip attachment point ends in a knot. The wingtip features two attachment settings for tuning the turning speed and bar pressure. We preferred the stock setting towards the back of the kite (positive turning speed).
Our first impression with the OS was its low-wind threshold that allowed us to get off the beach when most other conventional kites were grounded—with its handling we were able to get it aloft in 5 knots and work our way out to the wind line for a foil session. The OS comes with light bar pressure that feels incredibly comfortable with really smooth action along the bar’s throw and excellent feel and feedback on your tuning and your power delivery. The power range is solid on the OS; its medium aspect canopy generates really good low-end power for foil waterstarts, but also offers complete depower at the end of the bar for turning the kite off when you don’t need the extra grunt. The OS feels really well-tuned and balanced with reasonably good zenith stability. Its lightweight build and depower allow you to keep it in the air during the deepest of lulls. While you can tune the kite’s front bridle from pivot to a wider steering arc, we generally found the three options to offer small variations that will be apparent to some, but overall, the OS liked to steer in a fairly tight turning radius and was easy and intuitive for steering. For its light bar pressure, we felt like the steering response was direct with fairly swift turning speeds in the mid-sized kite sizes. The OS flies a little deeper in the window which makes it both stable and predictable with excellent handling in the middle of the window for downwind carving and impressive drift. When it comes to tacks and other technical transitions through the eye of the wind, the OS doesn’t fly as forward in the window as say a foil kite, so you have to work a little harder to keep foiling through tacks. The OS scores high marks for its overall balanced feel and wide range with extra reliable flying in barebones threshold conditions. The OS is one of our top choices for freeride foilboarding where ease of use aids both carving and pumping down open swells as well as general cruising around with a kite that gives you excellent range along with nimble but intuitive performance for riders of all levels.
The OS came with the CS Vary Bar which sports a new color coding for 2021 and all the thoughtful design features from last year. The CS is an adjustable length bar (42/50cm or 47/55cm) that features a single centerline safety depower system with a low V and a spectra rope depower/throw line that offers an adjustable length throw (comes stock in longest throw adjustment); the power tuning is via a Clam cleat that features a lightweight toggle that uses a bungee integrated into the tuning line to keep the toggle from getting tangled. The bar’s center lines end in knots (color-coded gray) and the outside lines end in loops (color-coded red and blue pigtails) and has no line extensions. The safety system features a push-away quick release with a built-in hand swivel that also acts as a QR travel shield. Eleveight’s quick release allows itself to be reset by simply placing the open end of the loop back into the quick release body where it will reset by simply clicking it back in place. The insertion requires a little extra push, but the connection is solid when you get the click. The outside lines are tunable by pressing on two little triangle tabs on the side of the bar end. This releases a clear plastic insert out of the bottom of the bar end which allows you to both change its effective bar length and adjust between three knots to change the length of the outside lines (stock set to shortest line length). The bar ends feature retractable line bungees with padded bar ends that feature integrated floats. The color-coding on this bar got an upgrade this year with clear red grip on the left. The center insert is plastic and looks to be easily replaced after wear with the removal of two small Philipps head screws. The bar is narrow at the ends and grows a little bit wider right at the center, which we found really comfortable to hold it in either place. The little dimpled EVA grip is comfortable and you get variable diameters because the width is on the narrow to medium size out on the sides and a little bit thicker as you get closer in, so your hands will find a sweet spot somewhere on that spectrum. The bar ends are padded and have a nice ergonomic feel if you’re the kiter with the super-wide grip. Overall, the CS Vary comes with a ton of functional features and adjustability in a nice mid-weight that scores high marks for comfort and usability.
Visit for more info on the bar: www.eleveightkites.com/bars/cs-vary-bar-v2