Sizes Available: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 17m
Sizes Tested: 9m
The RS is an all-round powerhouse, designed to tame any storm, boost massive airs, and master any spot. High-performance versatility made it our best selling kite, getting freeriders instantly psyched, even when chasing waves or popping freestyle tricks. The aerodynamic delta-hybrid design delivers exceptional efficiency meaning most RS riders will be content with a quiver of just two kites to cover the entire wind range. The construction features a medium to high aspect ratio with a huge angle-of-attack, giving the RS extra grunt making it particularly powerful. Combined with its dynamic speed, it truly stands out when going for massive airs, generating bags of hangtime and thrilling forward momentum when kitelooping.
Visit for more info: www.eleveightkites.com/kites/rs
Known for its high octane-styled general freeride attributes which give you big, powerful jumps and noteworthy hangtimes, the RS also offers ease of use and maneuverability that lends to it’s crossover potential for dabbling in waves or foil kiting.
The Eleveight RS employs a medium aspect 3-strut airframe with a swept back leading edge that has a bit of a delta shape. There have been some significant changes with the addition of more front bridle settings, a reduction in the amount of Dacron used in the wingtips, and narrower diameter struts as well as a much simpler trailing edge design that has trimmed some weight off the airframe and delivers tuned up steering and acceleration.
Inflation Valve: Bayonet valve / no attachment required
Attachments: Center bridle: Lark’s head loop / Wingtip bridle: Knots
Centerline Split: Low-V
Front Bridle Options: Three settings / single slider
Design and Features
The RS inflates with a standard large diameter bayonet-style inflation valve that requires no nozzle on the end of your standard pump hose for a quick and easy pump up. The front bridle offers three settings to toggle the tightness of the turning diameter—just swap the center cascade connection point along three labeled knots to get the desired turn. For freestyle, rig to ‘tip,’ where the kite rotates on the wingtip, making a larger diameter turn. Switch it to the ‘pivot’ knot for surfing of foil kiting for a much tighter turn, or just leave it in the factory setting position in the middle. The front bridle is fairly short in length, uses a single slider and ends in a lark’s head for attachment. The wingtip bridle ends in two knots for power tuning and with two attachment points to adjust turning speed/bar pressure, with the stock position located closer to the end of the wingtip. The trailing edge features four short battens (same as previous versions) but now has some foam battens and a much simpler double ripstop trailing edge for controlling the leach stability. The air distribution hoses between the struts and leading edge feature a nice large diameter for easy pumping up with all parts indicating excellent attention to every small detail.
On our first tack we noted the incredibly comfortable light to medium bar pressure that is easy on the arms and feels super progressive and in tune with the kite’s sheet and go feel and wider power band. The RS feels like it flies off its front lines giving you a softer feel at the bar while still providing enough tactile response from the kite. The throw length is on the short side of medium which keeps everything within easy reach and the power delivery across the bar feels really intuitive with a good amount of depower at the end of the stroke that feels forgiving, yet on the flip side, when the bar is sheeted in, there’s enough lifty grunt that delivers solid boosts during big airs. The steering response feels good, perhaps a little faster than previous versions with a little less windup in turning speed as the kite accelerates into its turns, which makes for predictable kite placement during more aggressive riding.
One of the key design elements of the RS that allows it to cover a lot of territory is the three tuning options built into the front bridle. It felt as if the stock middle setting delivered a fairly tight turn, but when rigged to the ‘pivot’ setting it results in a tighter delta turn that is great for kite foiling and surfing down the line. We thought the ‘pivot’ setting tended to put the kite a little deeper in the window for slightly more sheet and go power delivery while the ‘tip’/wider setting gives the RS a little more stroke to its turning path and offers more acceleration and kick to loops and jumps. If you’re in the jumping mindset, we’d choose the ‘tip’ setting as it tended to heighten the lift that we got out of our jumps and amplified the performance side of this general all-around freeride kite. The hangtime was generous and encourages extra rotations and the landings seemed easy to time with power throughout the touchdown. On both the stock and tip setting, the RS likes to fly a little farther forward in the window and this makes it super comfortable for riding upwind.
The pulled back wingtips made relaunch super dependable. From nose-down in the center of the window, a bit of bar pressure caused the kite to taxi to the side and rotate into launch position with a quick release from the water. We found the RS very easy and quick to relaunch with minimal input to the bar.
The RS balances super comfortable bar handling and user-friendly power delivery with enough boosting punch that makes airs and transitions exceptionally fun. Built to be an all-around freeride kite with its emphasis on a wide wind range and user-friendly handling for fun freeride, the RS is also one of those kites that encourages you to push yourself due to its intuitive and reliable performance that can hang with you at that next level.
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