I had a chance to try the new Airush Ultra 12m last weekend. Only a short demo but long enough to get a general feel of the kite.
Board: Medium sized twin tip
Bar: Airush bar with 4m line extensions
Normal kite (on the day comparison): Ocean Rodeo Flite 12m.
Skill of rider: Early intermediate
My mate bought one of these to help learn to hydrofoil. We were both out on hydrofoils and as the wind picked up I picked up my twin tip whilst he stayed out on his foil. I took a 20 minute play on it as he came in at the end of the day on my twin tip. Had spent an hour on the twin tip by that point so didn't try with my hydrofoil.
I have owned both the Liquid force solo and North Mono (both in 12m size) in the past so I have some experience of single strut kites and some context to look at them. In the past, whilst low end performance has been a headline seller, the top end has been less fun. This is certainly the best single strut kite I have flown for top end. Sure 19 knots is just getting fun on regular 12m kite but for both the Solo and the Mono its the start of the fluttery canopy nonsense. No of that behaviour here. It felt just like a soft surf kite.
When riding, it felt somewhere between the solo and the Mono. It didn't feel quite as grunty as the Mono but didn't have the obvious apparent wind that the Solo generates. Faster turning than the solo but probably slower than the Mono. Its tricky to say as the line extensions (probably) gave a slight delay to initating the turn so not totally representative. Pop was suprisingly good (probably the line extensions helping here) but I couldn't get the timing right for jumping. Jumps were floaty but low. More time would help me sort this out but I'd guess that the solo jumps highest of the three. Get a different kite if big air is your goal. Bar pressure was low/medium and didn't weight up excessively during the gusts (didn't like the delta kite characteristics of the solo for this reason). Plenty of feedback at the bar.
Back on the beach in the wind shadow the Ultra is a very stable. Suprisingly more so than my normal kite. It may have been the line extensions gave it that little extra height to cleaner air but it just sat with no fuss. With my kite I had to do micro-corrections every few seconds. This just sat there. Nice!
- stable, light weight, responsive
- low/medium bar pressure
- Doesn't give that apparent wind pickup feel
- Price (ouch the RRP of that is high)
Overall. A good third alternative for the single strut market. The lightest option until you move towards the strutless kites like the cloud. The one I would choose out of the 3 (although that could be that I have had the others long enough to get bored of them) but I like my jumps big and more aspect to my kites so I'm not changing this time. Worth a demo if you're in the market for a light weight surf/hydrofoil kite.
thanks for writing the review . I am looking to buy a 12 meter single strut. I have the solo 15.5 meter. I have demo the Mono. The selling point to me is the low end and fast turning. This review has help clear some questions. Now I will wait to demo one and the new Naish single strut. cheer
No worries. I always forget about the Zeeko Air. That gets good reviews. I haven't tried it though so can't comment on performance. Possibly worth investigating.
In the UK (where I tested) they are on the pricey end of the scale. He paid the equivalent of $2400 AUD for kite and bar. You'd need to find yer local shop to get a firm price. Nice kite. I could see myself being tempted with a 9m if one pops up at the end of the season.
9m is $1469 RRP kite only.
Not outrageous, could be tempted with a bit of discount.
Had a go on the 9m in 13-14knots wave session a few weeks back. I was extremely impressed, really nice light wind wave kite, great bottom end but not grunty at all,drifts sick, fast through the air, medium bar pressure, punches upwind really well. Just had a really nice light overall feel when you were riding which I guess is why its a great foiling kite.
Anyways yeah would buy if had coin.
looks awesome for wave and hydrofoiling yet to give it a shot so will reserve judgement.
as with anything get a demo