The Kiteboarder's video review of the 2012 Best Kahoona kite. For the complete review (including comments directly from our testers) on this and 52 more 2012 kiteboarding kites and boards, download the TKB 2012 Freeride Gear Review in the TKB Store.
Designed to keep you warm while you are on/under the water for 1.5 to 3 hours, the product consists of a traditional short sleeve lycra modified to accommodate Thermalution’s waterproof battery system with non-metallic Heating Wire Technology and temperature controller.
My first impression after opening the box was that they looked kind of goofy as they look like a combination of sunglasses and goggles. Once I adjusted the headband to fit my extra large head I was blown away with the colors of the water. The Spex I tested came with polarized gray (smoke) lenses. The frame fit my face nicely and was very comfortable, but they might be too big for smaller faces and children.
The Nemesis HP is back in Best’s kite line after a year-long hiatus and it shares the same unique Best-exclusive Cuben Fiber leading edge with the previous Nemesis. About half of the leading edge is made of the strong material and the leading edge of the Nemesis is very skinny compared to other kites.
The Turbine is Slingshot’s new light wind specific kite and it looks very similar to Slingshot’s popular Rally. The Turbine features Splitstrut, which means that the ribs are built into the canopy as opposed to being attached to the underside of it.
The first thing we noticed about the 2011 Ion is its heavy duty construction. Every possible area of the kite seems to be beefed up to take abuse and even the fabric that makes up the kite feels more sturdy than normal.
The Vision is a brand new kite from RRD and we were able to get our hands on the first Visions to land in North America at the 2011 La Ventana Classic. According to RRD, the Vision is supposed to fill the gap between the RRD Obsession (freestyle) and the Religion (waves).
Our first impression when unrolling the Spitfire is that this kite is built to take a beating. It’s a five-strut one pump kite with a compact bridle. Both the front and rear bridles use one pulley per side, but Caution uses a unique molded block with no moving parts.
Once up and riding, the F-One Trax is a fast board that feels light and responsive underfoot. As you edge harder, the Trax feels like it locks in and never gave us any signs that the edge was about to slip or chatter.
We tested the big boy of the 2011 Litewave Wings, the 161. This is a light wind specific board and it stands out when compared to other twin tips. The board features wide tips, a reverse sidecut outline, and a very deep tip to tip single concave. There are two fins on the heel edge and two near the tips of the board close to the centerline. This board has more rocker than last year’s model and is fairly flexible.
The 2011 RRD Obsession looks similar to last year’s model, but there are a few obvious differences. The trailing edge is now all Dacron and the graphics are actually made of fabric sewn onto the kite as opposed to being screened on, a feature that RRD claims adds more rigidity to the canopy.