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2016 Airush Union 9m

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Created by elhucko > 9 months ago, 17 Aug 2015
elhucko
TAS, 250 posts
17 Aug 2015 7:19PM
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Today I've tried the new Airush Union 9m. So I thought I might give a quick feedback.
Wind was between 15 and high 20's with some strong gusts.

I decided to get the new Union in 9m cause I was after a kite that's closes the gap between my 2012 6m Lithium and my 2014 14m Lithium and that gets me more into the surf. I have a 2011 10m Varial as well, but the gap between the 6m and the 10m was a bit too big and it felt like time for an update.

I used it on the nugget and on a xenon laluz 135x44 twin tip.

Kite looks really nice and kind of grunty/aggressive compared to the old varial. The big inflation valve is really handy. Took me a moment to figure out where to connect my pump leash to.
Once up in the air it feels very stable. I it responses very quick. The kite handles gusts really well.
The style of flying is a bit similar to my older varial. You need to work the kite to generate power (especially in lower wind range).

It is advertised as the all-round kite in the airush kite range and from what I can say after a few hours it really does it all very well.

Used it most of the day In waves. You can just Park the kite once you got a wave and it flies very smooth waiting for you to move the bar. Generating power is really easy. I really enjoyed the kite in waves.

When the wind was pretty strong I used the twin tip and the kite is a big boosting machine with some smooth landings.

I'm really happy with the new kite and it will definitely close the gap and gets me going in waves with the occasional twin tip session.

tomme
VIC, 475 posts
17 Aug 2015 9:29PM
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pretty nice kite, great for a wide range of conditions

have flown it a bit, nice big boosts and good support for gusty conditions, very nice kite to jump on and ride and great to see some of the old varial x (2014) DNA back in it.

tomme
VIC, 475 posts
28 Aug 2015 8:47AM
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www.airush.com/2016/2016-airush-union-tested/

www.airush.com/2016/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/TheKiteMag-6-Tell-Me-About-It-Airush-Union-4-1.pdf

Id agree with the comments about it being a fun kite, has some of the balls put back in that last years varial x lost (in my view). Fun for surf and boosting and running around, very easy to adjust points on the kite and seems to be tough as anything.

Worth testing one out, the new construction looks pretty cool in the flesh, ill try to upload some photos a bit later.

JohnB75
9 posts
1 Sep 2015 3:00AM
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Some feedback in the UK: www.kiteboarder.co.uk/kitesurfing/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=63320&p=369759#p369759

Here is what I have said:

I previously had a pre-production 9m Union to test and now I’ve got my own so I feel I have spent a good few hours on it in a variety of conditions. My initial feedback to the team after my three-hour session on Saturday was it’s an absolute weapon and a very, very capable bit of kit.

From the very first time I put it in the air I thought ‘wow, this is quick’...which was good because I love fast kites. That said it is quick, both through the air and in response to input, but it is also very deliberate and precise. There is no vagueness to it and unless you are an absolute novice you won’t be caught out with it. I have it setup on the low bar pressure setting on the LE bridle (as opposed to medium) and the back lines are on the middle setting at the wing-tip. The feedback and feel is excellent – I know where it is and what it’s doing without looking. Not sure if it’s just been the conditions but I find on the low LE setting it drives though the turns more, on the medium there is a bit more sheer/braking round the wingtip, but there is no pivotal-loss-of-power in the turn even on this setting.

This type of direct responsiveness and speed is what I really want – why - because I love to boost. Big air on the Union it is just stupidly easy to do, plus it somehow gives great float. Sometimes with kites that give really explosive vertical climb like this you get the height, but it’s then straight back to earth afterwards – the Union you get plenty of time up there. Also with the responsiveness a redirect or down loop for smooth landings is very easy – you can use how fast and responsive it is to do this at the last possible second i.e. drop back from inverted, touchdown and re-direct and go without sinking.

The other aspect to getting good height is the power delivery where this is very linear with the bar throw – there is no spike or surge and it’s all very smooth. One thing of note is that I don’t think the last few inches of the throw offers any more depower (maybe if nuking?) and at the very extremes the canopy luffs a bit. You see it go a bit slack behind the points where the dyneema load frame coalesces, but if doesn’t flap like crazy – almost like it goes into a neutral gear. Also at this point (due to the V4 Bridle) there is still full steering input as backlines remain tensioned... it’s like it has told you that you have gone too far in a very easy to understand way.

Unhooked performance is good – it won’t slack like a Razor, but it the power doesn’t spike when you unhook and you can gradually load to get very controlled pop plus it won’t haul you off downwind on landings. It’s just very composed – balanced probably describes it well, the responsiveness might be a minus to the most hardcore freestyler, but it won’t drift or turn without you knowing about it and you probably could setup the LE and wing-tips to slow it a bit more.

The 9m has a huge range – I was swapping with local kid (riding a 9m razor) who weighs about 30kg less than me – he was on my 135 Bronq, but there was no loss of performance and we were getting similar height jumps. I do think though that to get the absolute best from it you need to know how to let a kite ‘fly’ and not simply rely on pulling the bar in to go – get some speed up and be light on your feet. As said previously I have been out on it when people were on larger kites (including a 15m Flysurfer Speed) and I could still have fun and not worry about loosing upwind. I’ve not yet had it fully powered – maybe about about 70% and it is just electric in handling and performance… I cannot wait for 30mph on it as the jumps are going to be BIG!

My all-time favorite 9m used to be the Wave… not anymore and this 9m Union is an instant classic IMO.

Other things - the bag is better again this year, nice backpack style without excessive straps or handles that try to garrote you, it has a pocket for the bar, straps for a pump and the zipped opening is much larger. The new bar is also good with the major noticeable change being the narrower diameter and grip which after a few minutes of feeling different became surprisingly comfortable. Beyond the funky colour scheme and molded floats it is the same quality affair and reliable release it has always been – of and the bigger leash ring make it much easier to rig suicide (they do listen to feedback).

I have also had one session on the 12m in variable conditions and so far it is very promising, much more like the 2014 12m which I thought was stunning – more to come on that after another session or two… but again standout trait so far is big floaty jumps ?

Auswind
WA, 386 posts
Site Sponsor
9 Sep 2015 10:21AM
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Launch VID from Airush Julien going at it on all boards.

cauncy
WA, 5433 posts
9 Sep 2015 7:10PM
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I've heard the airush union is in short supply due to factory strike

skywalker3d
VIC, 228 posts
9 Sep 2015 9:52PM
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Select to expand quote
cauncy said..
I've heard the airush union is in short supply due to factory strike


That would be so true if they were made in Victoria

MikeyG
WA, 65 posts
9 Sep 2015 8:07PM
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Got my Unions last week. 6m, 9m and 12m. Can't wait for some decent wind to try them out.

BrisKites
QLD, 1178 posts
10 Sep 2015 9:09PM
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Our demo is getting some good feedback here. Hopefully I can try it tomorrow for myself.

JacobMatan
WA, 431 posts
10 Sep 2015 10:49PM
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I got to have a quick go on the 9m today it is such a sweet kite,

wind was low twenties with gusts around 25, flat water, I am 105kgs intermediate

The first things I noticed when I got it into the air was the quick pivotal turning and the way that the canopy would luff when you sheet right out and shut the power almost completely off. It is super stable and easy to fly, when I mistimed a few jumps it just floated back until the lines caught it. I imagine it would be really good in the surf but there were no waves today.

I was immediately comfortable on this kite and was keen to try some jumps straight away. The kite feels very direct and it is easy to know where it is at all times. Jumps were smooth with some really good height and hang time it is also really quick to redirect and catch you for some nice soft landings.

Overall seems pretty epic from the short go I had on it

MikeyG
WA, 65 posts
19 Sep 2015 8:14PM
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Got the 9m out today. Brilliant kite! Three main observations:
- So much faster than any other kite I've used (which is a big tick), even in marginal wind it was impressive.
- Really light bar pressure. Personal preference but for me it really helped me to grow confidence with the kite quickly.
- Sheeting out completely kills the power. Makes the kite feel super safe.

elhucko
TAS, 250 posts
8 Oct 2015 11:18AM
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Has anyone tried the union in 6m? Very happy with my 9m,thinking about getting a union 6 or wave 6m.
Needs to handle gusts really well.
Any feedback?

kyrojoe
1 posts
13 Nov 2015 3:05AM
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has anyone had a go on the BIG Unions?? Im looking for a kite to drag me around in the waves in 13 knots on my surfboard. Im very aware of the limitations of big kites...but im thinking as an alternative to Naish Pivot 14.

Anyone ridden a 14 Union?

Thanx and good winds

MikeyG
WA, 65 posts
13 Nov 2015 11:57PM
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I've got a 6m, 9m and 12m Union. All of them are great. The 6m is very stable in gusts (and suprisingly easy to get going in 20knots). The 12m feels more like my old 2015 Varial X 9m. Very impressed.

They all have very light bar pressure which takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do, it makes for a very comfortable ride no matter how gusty the wind is.

izaak
TAS, 1902 posts
17 Nov 2015 7:32PM
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10/10 for the union. Very impressed with my 9m. Have to agree with all the comments mentioned. Really considering upgrading my 015 lithium 12m, to a union

Wunderlich85
34 posts
19 Nov 2015 3:08AM
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Can anyone give a review on the Union and its performance looping and megalooping?
Would love to hear some thoughts on that.

Wunderlich85
34 posts
1 Dec 2015 2:33PM
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Hey John!

Can you tell me a bit about the Unions Looping ability?
I'm torn between the GTS3 and the Union.

I am looking for a more aggressive kite that I can loop.
The GTS3 loops amazing, the boost just kite of sucks.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Peterc150
VIC, 705 posts
2 Feb 2016 10:11AM
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Just tried a Union a demo Union 10m from The Zu.

What I liked:

* Great turning, very responsive (on high bar pressure wing attachment points)
* Very good depower (better than the Lithium)Good boosting and landings (need to "fly it" more than the Lithium)Great down the line drifting on waves
* The inflate/deflate valve is huge and very effective to use.
* Smooth power on downloops and kiteloops - no big yanks
* The narrow leading edge and wing design provides great upwind ability
* The Dyneema Load Frame looks good and may improve durability of the kite


Other observations:
* The Union seems to have a bit less low end power than the equivalent size Lithium
* The middle strut has limited free area for attaching a kitecam mount
* The bridle is big and the rear attachment lines are long (not a big issue)

Full review is here: www.peterskiteboarding.com/2016/01/northerly-at-frankston-with-airush.html

Duff15
VIC, 129 posts
2 Feb 2016 5:44PM
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I just got a 8m and 10m unions, to replace my 9m and 12m lithium (have dropped a few kegs) I am very impressed with the overall kite. Easy to unhook, loops like a champ and very stable in gusts. There is not much difference power wise between the unions and lithiums. I have ZU'S 10m in 16knots (85kgs) and no drama going up wind.

Peterc150
VIC, 705 posts
3 Feb 2016 10:38PM
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Select to expand quote
Duff15 said..
I just got a 8m and 10m unions, to replace my 9m and 12m lithium (have dropped a few kegs) I am very impressed with the overall kite. Easy to unhook, loops like a champ and very stable in gusts. There is not much difference power wise between the unions and lithiums. I have ZU'S 10m in 16knots (85kgs) and no drama going up wind.



That is good to hear - I was thinking of getting an 8m and 10m too.

The bridle line attachment (tuning) points apparently make quite a difference to the characteristics of the Union - I will look into this further.

The kite I used had the wingtip attachment on "high bar pressure", not sure what the LE attachments were.

Which settings are you using?

Duff15
VIC, 129 posts
4 Feb 2016 3:50PM
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Select to expand quote
Peterc150 said...
Duff15 said..
I just got a 8m and 10m unions, to replace my 9m and 12m lithium (have dropped a few kegs) I am very impressed with the overall kite. Easy to unhook, loops like a champ and very stable in gusts. There is not much difference power wise between the unions and lithiums. I have ZU'S 10m in 16knots (85kgs) and no drama going up wind.



That is good to hear - I was thinking of getting an 8m and 10m too.

The bridle line attachment (tuning) points apparently make quite a difference to the characteristics of the Union - I will look into this further.

The kite I used had the wingtip attachment on "high bar pressure", not sure what the LE attachments were.

Which settings are you using?


I tired the demo at ZU back to back with the RPM. RPM has much lighter bar pressure but less power that the Union (12RPM and 10m Union) hard to compare turning speeds cause of the size differences.

I set it up on mid bar pressure and is great. Cannot wait to get tge 8m out and see how fast that loops.

Stevie ss
WA, 3 posts
28 Feb 2016 8:59PM
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Hey mikey g
How's thoughs kites going .i have a 9m and I'm alwYs over powered trying to decide what size to go down to .tried a 7m last week and loved it and that was fully de powered wondered if I should go for a 6m

MikeyG
WA, 65 posts
28 Feb 2016 9:30PM
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Stevie Ss - still loving them. I seem to be using a smaller kite than most, although I'm 75kg, but even when I reckon the kite is maxed, it's still manageable. The 6m has been out a bit, but the 9m is getting the most use. No quality issues at all.



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"2016 Airush Union 9m" started by elhucko