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A resource for information and tips on kite boarding.

United States
Bonnier Corporation
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One slightly battered Caution Spitfire, one massive slingshot twin-tip board, and 750 dollars cash. This is what surf photographer Jason Wolcott negotiated as payment for his first kite photography assignment: follow the Schiebel brothers into sketchy Baja surf south of the border. To Wolcott, it was a huge deal.Not long before, on a cold spring day, he'd seen Peter Trow killing it on a kite in huge swell and 35-knot wind. “This guy was out there riding wave after wave on a day when you could not spot a wave to surf,” he says. He knew from that moment on that he had to learn how to kiteboard.OFTEN I FEEL LIKE I AM LEFT OUT BY STANDING ON THE BEACH WITH A BIG LENSHis passion for photography began early. At…

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Size Tested: 9 meterSizes Available: 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14 metersPrice Range: $1,189–$1,669Bar Length: 45–55 cm (adjustable)Line Length: 25 meterWhat We Liked: The depower on this kite was smooth and offered a huge range. Felt super safe and took the gusts like a champBuyer Beware: Some testers claimed this kite was missing the attributes of a high-end aggressive kite.Best Suits: Riders of all levels.Other Highlights: This three-strut kite held its shape perfectly. It was also lightweight and folded into a small package. Our safety-conscious tester stated, “Not only is this a great kite for all riders, it relaunched like a dream. I wish I could have learned on it!”power 9.6range 9.3bar pressure 9range of bar 8.6boost and hang time 8.3turning ability and speed 9relaunch 9.5safety 8.5overall impression of…

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Size Tested: 10 meter Sizes Available: 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14 meterPrice Range: $1,238–$1,699Bar Length: 50 cmLine Length: 19 meter with 4.5 meter extensionsWhat We Liked: The Trigger had just the right recipe for a great turning kite and optimal bar pressure. It boosted quite well and had a nice grip if you like a bar with indentations for your fingers to fit in betweenBuyer Beware: Choose the correct knot when attaching lines so it doesn't over sheet. Felt like it could use more power on the low end.Best Suits: A performance and recreational rider who is searching for an all-purpose kite.Other Highlights: The design was a crowd favorite for the kite graphics, and testers liked the extra compartment on the bag to store the bar separately.power 7.6range 7.4bar…

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Size Tested: 8 meterSizes Available: 4, 5.5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17 meterPrice Range: $1,308–$2,228Bar Length: 52 cmLine Length: 20 meter with 3 meter extensionsWhat We Liked: Smooth power and a very stable kite. Solid low end and was notable in the boost category.Buyer Beware: Small chicken loop was hard to hook back into if riding unhooked. Make sure you inflate this kite to its recommended psi.Best Suits: Anyone looking for a solid kite that works great even in gusty conditions.Other Highlights: The TS is this year's Taboo. One tester was amazed at the improvements from the 2011 Taboo and is ready to upgrade to the TS.power 7.3range 8bar pressure 8.1range of bar 8boost and hang time 8.1turning ability and speed 7.8relaunch 8.6safety 7.5overall impression of bar…

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Size Tested: 10 meterSizes Available: 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16 meterPrice Range: $1,539–$2,159Bar Length: 48 cmLine Length: 22 meterWhat We Liked: The Switchblade excelled in light wind conditions and had the depower needed to still have fun as the wind ramped up. Super stable kite.Buyer Beware: Complex bar and safety release. Before firing the safety release, read the manual or watch the Cabrinha video on how to reassemble so there is no confusion.Best Suits: Riders of all levels who to desire a predictable feel, like floaty jumps and higher bar pressureOther Highlights: Quality of build is evident that Cabrinha pays close attention to detail. The Switchblade 10 was as powerful as some other manufacturers' 12-meter kites.power 7.8range 7.5bar pressure 8.1range of bar 8boost and hang…

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Size Tested: 10 meterSizes Available: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.5, 15 meterPrice Range: $1,528–$1,998Bar Length: 45 cmLine Length: 24 meterWhat We Liked: Good clean pull and handled gusts nicely. You will notice the shape of the kite seems more round that others, which was advantageous when relaunching.Buyer Beware: The bar offered a micro hook instead of a stopper ball. Micro hooks seem so old-school. Be sure you know what you are doing before locking into that baby.Best Suits: Riders of all levelsOther Highlights: Above the bar depower was accessible and easy to use.power 8range 8bar pressure 7.7range of bar 7.5boost and hang time 8turning ability and speed 8relaunch 8.5safety 7.2overall impression of bar 7.7overall impression of kite 7.7TOTAL 78.5 ■…