Any reviews for the latest advanced kite from Caution?
I got to ride a demo 2009 Caution Mayhem X 11m.
Rider: 82kgs, Level (advanced)
Style: Wake, Freestyle
Board: twin-tip 135X43
Weather: Flatwater 13-16 knots
Build Quality: 8/10
Disclosure: Have owned/rode SS Fuel 05,06,07, Caution Mayhem 08.
I was keen to give the newest addition to the Caution family a try as I was a convert to the 2008 Mayhem from the Fuels.
Before flight - The kite looks very similar to the 2008 mayhem with some minor changes to the wingtips (they look a little wider). The graphics have changed a tad and still has the typical flames over the canopy. There are two less struts compared with its predecessor which im pleased with as it reduces weight and inflation time (is still a one-pump system). The leading edge looks to be the same diameter as the 08 along with the struts. They have put on some skid/scuff pads along the leading edge where it contacts the ground which will do wonders in preventing wear. the LE material seemed thicker and harder wearing compared to the 08. The X still has the short bridle which is fantastic as I have always hated how most other bridled kites can get tangled in it, its practically impossible to do it with this kite. There are two extra pulleys as the TE lines do not go directly to the kite.
Bar/Lines - Bar and Lines still have the same very simple setup as the 08. Was a big selling point for me as I have always liked the SS Bar setup. Less is more in my opinion when it comes to bar setup. The bar has a very short, C-kite-like, depower / throw, however I find this very appealing and practical as it responds very well. The emergency is still the 'mini-5th line' setup which I have never had an issue with and the release (big red, idiot friendly thing) is one of the easiest to get to being just above the chicken loop. As mentioned before Caution have changed the TE line attachment points to a pulley arrangement instead of directly to the kite. The depower strap is simple with a red depower handle and a yellow power handle all within arms reach.
In the air - The kite felt more stable in the air compared to the 08. It felt lighter as well due to only 5 struts. The wingtips were much more solid compared to the 08 and didn't balloon or jellyfish at all. When starting to kite at around 13kts kite felt like it lacked some power (despite staying upwind) compared to the 08 however when it hit 15kts it was fine for me riding hooked or unhooked. I felt the kite was responsive however not as quick turning in the depower zones as the 08. This suited my riding more though as I do not like the kite to be twitchy when doing powered unhooked tricks. I had the kite fully powered and it refused to stall or fold up when unhooking as I have experienced with other bridled kites. Pop was fantastic. Landing to blind seemed fine. Water relaunch is still not a talent with these Caution kites however I felt the X relaunched better than the mayhem in 13kts (anything is a dream compared to relaunching my old C-kites).
The 2009 Caution Mayhem X is less of a surf kite and more of a wake kite. It would suit an intermediate / advanced c-kite rider who is looking for a safer alternative or a change to an SLE or Hybrid kite. Im hoping this kite will advance my wake style tricks to air passes. Would recommend it for anyone to give it a demo to see what you think.
Cheers. Hope this helps