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2018 Airush Ultra 9m

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Created by cbulota 3 months ago, 23 Aug 2017
cbulota
WA, 1101 posts
23 Aug 2017 8:09PM
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Hi guys, I had a chance to demo the 2018 Airush Ultra (single strut) in a 9m size and wanted to share my thoughts as I was truly amazed by it's overall performance. It's my very first time trying a 9m single strut kite, the only other single strut kite I used regularly is a 5m.

I do roughly 50% of my kiting on a twin tip, 25% on the surfboard and 25% on the hydrofoil so wanted to test it in all these disciplines.

First go on the hydrofoil in 10-15 knots, without much surprise the kite performed really well. You immediately notice the advantage of having such a lightweight kite when the wind drops and the kite simply doesn't stall anywhere near as easily as a heavier 5 strut kite for example. Turns super fast, goes upwind really well and drift downwind was also great. Definitely a great kite for foiling, no surprise there as it's really designed for this.

Second go on the surfboard in 15-18 knots. Was a bit underpowered but was still a great kite to ride. A friend of mine who weighs only 65 kgs and is an expert wave rider grabbed it that day and did much better than I could with my 85+kg. He really liked it and said the drift, grunt and upwind performance were all great, just not quite as reactive as a true wave kite.

My third go was on the twin tip in 18-22 knots. This is when I was truly amazed. Having so much canopy area that is unsupported and being a die hard 5 strut kiter myself, I was convinced I would've found some weaknesses in the kite then, but I simply couldn't fault it. It truly feels like any other premium freeride kite I ever rode. I was able to easily boost 5m-ish jumps with a few seconds hangtime even without being well powered. I did my best to try to make the kite collapse while loading it heavily or looping it, but never managed to fault the kite. The kite has a very direct feel to it and a smooth medium bar pressure.

The first thing you notice about this kite is how fast it's flying across the window and how agile and light it feels. It's hard to explain but it's something different from any other kite I've tried before.

Next step is to try it in 25+ knots ... but I don't know when I'll get a chance to do this.

My only feedback would be the size of the bag, which is a bit too small. At first you think ''wow it's nice to have such a tiny kite bag'' but then you realize you have to pack it super well (i.e. take your time and fold it multiple times) otherwise it won't easily fit in the small bag.

Also, my advice is to inflate the kite really hard so that the single strut can be as firm as possible, this gives the kite a better structure and will help with relaunching especially in lighter winds. I did test many relaunch scenarios in various positions and wind conditions, the kite was again flawless!

Having only 1 strut, the kite inflates super fast i.e. 30 seconds or less for a 9m, which is awesome.

In my opinion it's a kite you must try, I'm sure you will be impressed as well.

Christian

Youngbreezy
294 posts
23 Aug 2017 8:16PM
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Frothing on the ultra for sure

jamesperth
WA, 497 posts
25 Aug 2017 7:34PM
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Yeah I'm interested in trying this too. Had Clouds and didn't quite do it for me, the new breed of Single strut kites look pretty interesting.

ActionSportsWA
WA, 464 posts
25 Aug 2017 8:23PM
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Hi Christian, I think you overlooked the part at the start of the review about disclosure. Aren't you selling these kites this year or at least receiving a commission on sales recommended by you?

It it makes a difference to readers.

DM

Gazuki
WA, 573 posts
26 Aug 2017 9:33AM
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Bahahahah, again, LOL@!

thefacts
51 posts
26 Aug 2017 10:32AM
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GOOGLE will give you more info on the kite.......

the walks
WA, 446 posts
26 Aug 2017 4:16PM
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Just wondering if this kite will help an expert 65kg waverider learn some manners on the water

Youngbreezy
294 posts
26 Aug 2017 4:48PM
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Select to expand quote
ActionSportsWA said..
Hi Christian, I think you overlooked the part at the start of the review about disclosure. Aren't you selling these kites this year or at least receiving a commission on sales recommended by you?

It it makes a difference to reader







thefacts
51 posts
26 Aug 2017 7:55PM
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Select to expand quote
the walks said..
Just wondering if this kite will help an expert 65kg waverider learn some manners on the water


Expert!!!!......., not. I agree with the manners part - cowboy would be more apt. As for the pimpin comment, glass houses DM.

carbine
WA, 1401 posts
1 Sep 2017 10:54AM
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Select to expand quote
ActionSportsWA said..
Hi Christian, I think you overlooked the part at the start of the review about disclosure. Aren't you selling these kites this year or at least receiving a commission on sales recommended by you?

It it makes a difference to readers.

DM





Put a disclaimer on anything you have ever said mate.

"Full of ****"

eppo
WA, 6353 posts
1 Sep 2017 12:07PM
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A Site sponsor (with the name of his actual kite selling business in the icon) whose been selling / reviewing kites since the early 2000's. I'm sure we all aware that DM sells what he is talking about. So I'm not sure why the full of Sh1t comment was given.

I didn't know Christian was promoting or getting commission on these kite...did you?

ActionSportsWA
WA, 464 posts
1 Sep 2017 1:59PM
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Hi Guys,

Y'all know me. The profile pic and SB name gives it away that I am a retailer and school owner. and I usually preface my reviews with my blatantly obvious connection to my business. If you look at the profile info about me, It gives it all away. I try to keep it real and have built a busines on my no BS reviews over the years. I am no stranger to the forum rules and have been posting help topics, gear reviews and answering questions for almost 14 years on here and even before that on Kiteforum.com

My logins are Kitehard (first login name), AKSonline (during brand identity crisis) and now Action Sports WA.

There is a big difference to posting as an individual with no disclosure about a brand they have a financial gain by promoting. The rules are for everyone.

DM

carbine
WA, 1401 posts
1 Sep 2017 2:01PM
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Select to expand quote
eppo said..
A Site sponsor (with the name of his actual kite selling business in the icon) whose been selling / reviewing kites since the early 2000's. I'm sure we all aware that DM sells what he is talking about. So I'm not sure why the full of Sh1t comment was given.

I didn't know Christian was promoting or getting commission on these kite...did you?




Clearly just trying to shut christian down for his own reasons (commercial) and is acting like a bully.

Then trying to claim some higher moral ground......I think thats long gone chief.

eppo
WA, 6353 posts
1 Sep 2017 3:02PM
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You may be right about the bullying? Then again you may be wrong. How would we know that ?

But when an individual like Christian posts about a kite it would be nice to know his position. I'm pretty sure we at least know DMs position.

Although I think we can all agree both these gentlemen are fantastic and worthy contributors and worth listening to.

snalberski
WA, 430 posts
1 Sep 2017 4:29PM
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I think DM is totally entitled to point out when posters are breaking the rules, and infact I thank him for doing so. Prior to DMs post I had no idea that the reviewer had a financial interest in selling Airush products. Thats not to say that the review is dishonest in any way but DM is correct... it does make a difference to the reader. I'm still very interested in the kite but!

thefacts
51 posts
1 Sep 2017 9:49PM
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Point made DM but there is no denying there is some underlying history between you two - lets keep it professional and about the gear, leave the handbags at home. I am sure there was no intent to deceive and as stated by Eppo both your opinions on gear are appreciated. We all have something in the closet DM but they are best kept there.....back to the post - any anyone else tried out the Ultra!!!

Youngbreezy
294 posts
3 Sep 2017 9:05AM
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I am also keen to hear more about the ultra particularly relating to the top end and overall wind range, if you oh could get one of these to work ok on a twin tip as well as sb and foil you could really have a 1 kite quiver

ludbey
TAS, 80 posts
3 Sep 2017 12:59PM
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I would be interested in knowing the weight of these kites as well, everyone comments about one strut kites in general being lighter but the only one I have had a chance to check out Was the 2016 12 M North Mono which I compared to my 2015 12M Reo and the difference was hardly detectable. [admittedly the scales we used were only a cheap set of luggage scales]. The reason I ask is most of the time I am travelling so weight and pack down size is an issue but also just purchased a foil and eventually light wind conditions will be a target, any info much appreciated.

easttimor
1 posts
5 Sep 2017 6:39PM
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RRD bar on Airush kite
im thinking of buying a 12m airush ultra
at present i use a 2012 or 2013 rrd bar on my rrd and epic kites
will i be able to use this and avoid having to buy a new bar?

Auswind
WA, 386 posts
Site Sponsor
7 Sep 2017 3:14PM
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Select to expand quote
ludbey said..
I would be interested in knowing the weight of these kites as well, everyone comments about one strut kites in general being lighter but the only one I have had a chance to check out Was the 2016 12 M North Mono which I compared to my 2015 12M Reo and the difference was hardly detectable. [admittedly the scales we used were only a cheap set of luggage scales]. The reason I ask is most of the time I am travelling so weight and pack down size is an issue but also just purchased a foil and eventually light wind conditions will be a target, any info much appreciated.



Hi Ludbey,

The ultra is ~30% lighter than a lithium and about ~20% lighter than a Union.

Ultra 7m - 1.95kg



Union 7m - 2.45kg


Ultra 12m - 2.7kg



Union 12m - 3.45 kg






Select to expand quote
easttimor said..
RRD bar on Airush kite
im thinking of buying a 12m airush ultra
at present i use a 2012 or 2013 rrd bar on my rrd and epic kites
will i be able to use this and avoid having to buy a new bar?



Hi easttimor,

The Airush kites are designed to fly with a low Y on the front lines & equal line lengths all round and will fly great on your bar.

Auswind

Foghorn
WA, 58 posts
7 Sep 2017 5:42PM
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Rrd bar is dual front line safety works well on rrd kites but I'd be cautious to use it on anything else.

Auswind
WA, 386 posts
Site Sponsor
7 Sep 2017 9:52PM
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Select to expand quote
Auswind said..

Hi easttimor,

The Airush kites are designed to fly with a low Y on the front lines & equal line lengths all round and will fly great on your bar.

Auswind





Select to expand quote
Foghorn said..
Rrd bar is dual front line safety works well on rrd kites but I'd be cautious to use it on anything else.



Apologies, the Ultra requires a bar with single front line safety. The bar will need to be converted to this system for safe flag out of the kite when released to your leash.

Auswind

ludbey
TAS, 80 posts
8 Sep 2017 6:03PM
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Hi Auswind, much appreciated, that seems significantly lighter than the 2016 12m Mono I weighed at around 3.2kg and your 12m ultra at 2.7kg admittedly we didn't use the same scales but that seems very good. I will try and get a demo as soon as possible.
Cheers Tony

Youngbreezy
294 posts
13 Sep 2017 8:34AM
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Any updates on the ultra? There's been a few varying days of wind to test it out, I'm still keen to hear your reviews cbulota! I really want to Know about the top end and overall wind range

cbulota
WA, 1101 posts
13 Sep 2017 10:11AM
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Hi All,

My apologies for failing to disclose my affiliation with Airborne/Airush. At the time of writing this post we were still at the early stages of our agreement which I why I purposely chose not to mention it yet.

If you've been following my posts over the years or know me personally, you already know I prefer a straightforward and transparent approach.

As we are now getting closer to finalizing our agreement, here is my disclosure for transparency's sake:

I'm not in the business of selling Airush kites. I'm in the business of running a school and teaching lessons, which is my main passion and also what I do best. The plan is for my school to be using Airush kites. Any Airush sales generated from my recommendations will be systematically turned into FREE lessons/coaching. In other words my financial gain from referring sales is non-existent to very limited at best.

I will be sure to disclose this in my future reviews and update it if necessary.

Now back to the kite review which is what this thread is about.

I tried the same 9m Ultra in winds gusting from 25 to 30+ knots on the twin tip, this is when I found the limitations of the kite.
If felt very overpowered and challenging to control. When sheeting out too far in this much wind, the canopy starts vibrating which can be felt through the bar as well. Needless to say the kite was harder to control. I did manage to boost quite big with very impressive hangtime, however it was harder to get vertical lift due to the limitations in sending the kite fast enough. Perhaps a smaller size Ultra would've provided better results, I will try with a 7m at some stage and let you know.

In other words it's not a kite I would recommend for OVERpowered twin tip riding, a kite with a similar shape but with more struts is definitely a big asset for this.

In conclusion, an excellent kite for anything from 10 to 25 knots for my body weight (85kg) going from hydrofoil to surfboard and twin tip. Great for casual boosting sessions (great lift and hangtime) as well, as long as you're not overpowered.

Thanks for reading

Christian

the walks
WA, 446 posts
13 Sep 2017 5:32PM
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R u really 85 kgs

cbulota
WA, 1101 posts
17 Oct 2017 9:17AM
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A great new review from Jeff at kiteboarding.com



I normally don't even consider teaching lessons in less than 15 knots in deep water, but this kite has completely redefined the possibilities. See for yourself in the video below. Look around the 20 sec. mark when the student steers the kite really low at the edge of wind window and (as all beginners do) has the bar pulled all the way in in low wind and yet the kite refuses to stall and comes right back up! No way this would be possible on a multi strut kite.




Christian

mwdnasa
WA, 31 posts
21 Oct 2017 2:22PM
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About the single line / dual line flag out:
As I understand it, single line is now industry standard and pretty much any newer kite works this way.

Now when it comes to using an old bar with a newer kite:
Naturally the kite is only sold with a single line flag bar so the safest is to operate that way
.
However, what are the features the bridle needs to have to make it work with a dual line flag out bar (as good as a dual line flag out can be)?

I don't know, but I know of someone who used an 2011 Edge on a dual line bar and it did not flag out properly. The Edge has no pulleys and a rather short bridle, so maybe that is why even back then Ozone was selling single line flag out bars.

Should a newer kite with long bridle and pulleys (Airush Wave 2017) work with an older dual line flag out bar?

Has anyone any insight?

Another issue is obviously the Y split position being potentially at a different location not sure what effect that has on flying performance.

Has anyone any insight?


thx

pezza
WA, 138 posts
22 Oct 2017 6:23PM
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Scales look like they used to be owned by Pablo Escobar

cbulota
WA, 1101 posts
22 Oct 2017 6:28PM
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Select to expand quote
mwdnasa said..
About the single line / dual line flag out:
As I understand it, single line is now industry standard and pretty much any newer kite works this way.

Now when it comes to using an old bar with a newer kite:
Naturally the kite is only sold with a single line flag bar so the safest is to operate that way
.
However, what are the features the bridle needs to have to make it work with a dual line flag out bar (as good as a dual line flag out can be)?

I don't know, but I know of someone who used an 2011 Edge on a dual line bar and it did not flag out properly. The Edge has no pulleys and a rather short bridle, so maybe that is why even back then Ozone was selling single line flag out bars.

Should a newer kite with long bridle and pulleys (Airush Wave 2017) work with an older dual line flag out bar?

Has anyone any insight?

Another issue is obviously the Y split position being potentially at a different location not sure what effect that has on flying performance.

Has anyone any insight?


thx


Hi mwdnasa

I would advise against using an older dual front line bar on any newer kite that has been designed to flag out on a single front line.

I may work sometimes, but definitely won't work all the time. When things really go wrong that's when you really want your safety system to work and the only one that is guaranteed to work is a single front line safety system.

Christian

Youngbreezy
294 posts
8 Nov 2017 8:10PM
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Curiosity got the better of me so i had to go to airborne kitesurfing and get a demo of the 9m ultra. Here is my review

about me:
weight: 100kg
age: 35 (youngbreezy is just a silly name I came up with)
years kiting: 6
riding style: 90% surfboard, learning to hydrofoil, do enjoy a good twin tip boosting session every now and then.
Disclosure: no affiliation to any kite brand or kiting related business, also not at all brand loyal, not a pimp in fact many would say I am a troll

I used the 9m Ultra with a 5'6" vanguard surfboard and a spotz foil. I only got one session with the surfboard, a very patchy downwinder and I had 3 sessions with the foil.

I really like this kite!!

So you would all know by now that the ultra is a super light weight kite but what does that actually mean for the rider? To me it was very noticeable from the first flight. The kite stays in the air extremely easily and is really stable in light winds. It also remains responsive and easy to turn in low (apparent) wind situations such as when your trying to water start on a foil and drifting downwind under the kite or when your running downwind towards the kite. In situations where other kites would have stalled and dropped or where the lines would have gone slack the ultra remained responsive. I felt this kite has a real "always there for you when you need it" feel.

The ultra likes to search out to the very edge of the window which at first had me a little worried that it would overshoot the window and drop out of the sky but it doesn't it sits comfortably there waiting for input. When you send it across the wind window it rips across with a lot of speed and power. You can really whip it around to get going in lighter winds and get moving. Once your going it builds a lot of apparent wind and has an impressive forward flying speed. It also points really high and wants to go hammer and tongs upwind. It doesn't have a lot of static grunt like some kites and when your standing on the beach flying it in low winds it almost feels like there's nothing there but when you get it moving it is quite fast and powerful.

It goes upwind really well but it can also drift quite well which is cool because usually those two attributes are at the opposite end of the scale. When I was out on the foil riding downwind towards the kite the kite would sit right back and maintain enough tension in the lines to still be responsive whereas my other kites would feel like they were going to stall or drop. In the surf I did manage to get it to sit back in the window and drift really nicely a couple times, I could definitely feel the light weight assisting in this.

As far as relaunch I cant say I dropped it much or really tried to test the relaunch but when I did drop it (due to being a kook on the foil) it released from the water easily and sprung back up impressively quick. Big tick for relaunch in light wind.

Whenever there is tension in the canopy there is no flutter but if you sheet out the kite will move forward in the window and start to flutter. If you turn aggressively or loop the kite with the bar sheeted out a little you will get a decent amount of flutter and some vibration through the bar. It is however very possible to turn the kite and sine the kite with the bar sheeted in a bit more and not have any flutter at all. When I was on the foil the fluttering didn't seem like it would be any issue but in the waves and how I like to ride in perths small mushy cross on conditions (a lot of aggressive steering) the fluttering might be an issue.

With this said the fluttering of the canopy can actually have a real advantage at times when on a foil or surfboard as it allows you to really kill power when your going too fast or wanting to depower the kite during a turn. As you sheet out the kite flutters and seeks the edge of the window and in doing so spills all the power. This was particularly useful on the foil as a foil newby there is a tendency to get going too fast and not be able to stop or edge hard enough to slow down. With the ultra I could just sheet out and basically take my foot off the accelerator.

On the Foil:
I had 3 sessions, first 2 sessions on the swan river which tends to be quite gusty and patchy with winds blowing different strengths in patches. First session was really up and down with wind ranging from around 12 knots to 20 knots, second session was much more steady at about 12 to 15 and third session was in the ocean in light but steady 12 knots (these are taken from the nearest wind readings which seems pretty accurate for those areas)

For a foil newby this kite was really a revelation!! Firstly the fact it will fly so easily and effortlessly in low wind was very confidence inspiring. At the end of the session in the ocean the wind dropped out to about 10 knots and I didn't have enough power to get up and ride but the kite still stayed easily in the sky and I could just lay on my board and sail back in where I would have been swimming with my other kite.

The ultra sits really forward in the window and I found that this really helped with the extreme upwind angles on the foil and it also helped with not feeling overpowered. With the other kite I have been foiling on (10m pivot) when I get overpowered or hit with gusts the kite wants to pull me off my line and more downwind with the ultra the power felt like it was more converted into forward speed so even when the wind was hitting 20 knots I didn't feel overpowered I actually kind of felt like a rocketship!

As I mentioned before when I sheeted out the kite would flutter and kill the power this was really helpful and made it so much easier to keep everything under control being able to slow down actually gave me the confidence to go fast!!!

The three sessions I had were definitely the best so far in my foiling journey I was able to ride downwind really well and also built up the confidence to really put the foot down and go fast. I don't have a gps watch but I felt like I was going faster than I have ever done behind a kite.

In the surf: I didn't get enough of a chance to really suss it out as a surf kite. I only did one downwinder and it was really up and down starting at around 18 knots then dropping to under 10 knots ( 2 out of 4 of our crew didn't make it) then back up to 20 ish. We weren't riding in sub 10 knots of course had to wait that bit out.

I did get a couple of really sweet moments with it where I got it to sit right back and drift nicely and I also got a couple really nice upwind wave rides were the ultras ability to shoot forward in the window let me get really tight in the pocket for a little upwind head dip.

I felt like the ultra could definitely work well in the waves but would it be better than a dedicated wave kite I'm not totally sure. When you really need to throw it around in the window and do a lot of aggressive steering, sometimes with the bar sheeted out, then I felt like a normal 3 strut wave kite might have the advantage. The turning was not quite as sharp and precise as a 3 strut wave kite and with aggressive surf style steering the flutter might become an issue.

I would love to give it more of a go in the waves and feel like it could work really well but I would need a little more time to pass judgement.

I reckon a 12m would make an epic low wind wave kite or also riding an ultra in cross off waves could be amazing, this is of course just dreaming. Definitely some really good potential as a wave kite but I can't pass any proper judgement just yet.

To summarise what I like about this kite and find to be unique (in my experience) it hammers upwind, drifts really well, builds a lot of apparent wind=speed+power and is also really easy to kill the speed and power!!

Personally I am going to get one for sure I am just not decided on whether I get a 9m which I think is the perfect size for foiling around perth (yellow arrows with a touch of green) and would be good for the lighter downwinders, or I get a 12m as a light wind wave kite and for foiling in super light "I'm swimming in for sure" conditions. Or both but the we will have to work on the budget for that one



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"2018 Airush Ultra 9m" started by cbulota