Forums > Kitesurfing Gear Reviews

Eleveight WS

Reply
Created by DutchRooster 9 months ago, 6 Dec 2017
DutchRooster
NSW, 289 posts
7 Dec 2017 12:04AM
Thumbs Up

Rider: Advanced, 95kilo, strapless surfboard
Kite: Eleveight WS 2018
Kite sizes: 7m and 9m
Disclaimer: I do not work for Eleveight ( or for anyone in the kite business, for that matter). As an early adopter, I got a good deal on the gear.

After 15 years riding North kites (Vegas, Rhino, Rebel, Evo, and lately mostly Neo), I've decided to try a new brand: Eleveight. Its a new brand that has risen from the ashes of Best, from what I've gathered. The designer of their kites is Peter Stiewe, who has a pretty good reputation in the business. In his own words: "The 2018 Eleveight lineup represents the culmination of my 16 years kite design experience. I can trace the heritage of these designs back through each of the 1,500+ prototype kites that I've engineered and tested since I first started in the industry." Good enough for me to be interested in having a go!

I'd seen a demo kite on the Northern beaches and I was impressed by the overall build quality, and tried a 9m in a dying wind (12-10kn) on the day that my 8m Neo got ripped to shreds (again) by the bombies. It was time for new kites, and even in low wind conditions I could tell this kite flew well and turned quickly. A week later I bought a 7m and a 9m with a (47cm) bar each.

The kites come in a shoulder strap bag instead of the usual backpacks, with a separate pouch for the bar (that attaches to the kite bag). Good quality. The bar is simple in design with good padding - slightly thicker in the middle of the bar. Excellent quick release system, very similar to there North Ironheart (only real difference is you can push the chicken loop back into locked position quite easily on this Eleveight bar). The lines are excellent quality - certainly appear thicker and more durable. 3 lines go through the bar (2 leading centre lines and the safety line) - more open that later.

The kites themselves look fantastic - but then all new kites always do. :) Its a 3 strut open C kite, medium aspect ratio with extra protection on the leading edge and the struts ends etc -all the places you'd expect are well reinforced. Single inflation using the wide-diameter in/de-flation plug, simple bridle, with the usual little adjustment options for strong/light wind and for faster turning or more bar pressure - both via attachment points at the tips of the leading edge. Ok enough about the looks and design - how does it fly and how does it compare?
I've been out on the 9m in conditions from 13kn - 25kn and the 7m on 22kn - 38kn. These kites handle a wide wind range, but are less punchy/powerful than the Neo (on which I used mostly 8m and 6m). They don't like to be too overpowered, and the depower system is much more sensitive than the Neo's (2cm of depower on a WS is like 5cm on the Neo). The WS kites are fast flying kites and very direct turning kites for their sizes, and so they are easy to use in underpowered conditions. Bar pressure is light, and the kite soaks up gusts quite well. Also; the kite goes upwind really well - better than the Neo (in my opinion). Relauch is easy as you'd expect from a wave kite.

The WS does not DRIFT as well as a Neo, but it makes up for that in the amount of freedom the complete depower offers. It takes 30min or so to get used to - a bit like getting used to the way the power kicks in on a 2 stroke vs a 4 stroke motorcycle :). Initially, I got caught out by it, especially on aggressive bottom turns where I was used to having the support of the bar for balance on the Neo. On the WS, the bar isn't like a 3rd leg to stand on or a railing to hold on to (which is how I experienced the Neo's, certainly upon reflection). This lack of bar pressure on a bottom turn actually is incredibly liberating once you're used to it - the kite lets you focus more on your board riding and fully concentrate on surfing the wave. The Neo was more predictable in its auto-positioning as it drifts; the WS needs a bit more direction from you BUT its a much faster turning kite. FWIW, I tried my Neo's again after 4 for 5 sessions on Eleveight and it was strange; familiar and reliable but slower and heavier.

The only slight downside I've experienced so far is with regards to the 3 lines through the bar: if you like to loop your kite a fair bit and flick your bar when the lines are crossed, you'll need to twist the quick release to keep the centre lines from twisting too much (or loop equally back the opposite way).

All in all, I'm really happy with the kite and would definitely highly recommend them. The Neo sets the bar high, for wave riders, but there's very little difference between them apart from what I've described above. And once you've experienced the extra freedom, you don't want to ride without it. Definitely go and try one!





















Hope this review was useful!

weebitbreezy
342 posts
6 Dec 2017 9:39PM
Thumbs Up

Are they quite pivot turning? Any power through the turn or does it shut off the power completely?

Gazuki
WA, 756 posts
7 Dec 2017 1:00PM
Thumbs Up

I wish the kite looked as good as the bag.

farNT
QLD, 71 posts
7 Dec 2017 4:44PM
Thumbs Up

$$$$

DutchRooster
NSW, 289 posts
7 Dec 2017 9:36PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
weebitbreezy said..
Are they quite pivot turning? Any power through the turn or does it shut off the power completely?


The kite turns on a dime, so I would say so yes. There's still power through the turns (without it the kite wouldn't turn fast) but its dosed out nicely - more power the deeper you dive it into the power zones. The kite doesn't have a tendency to pull you off your board though!

Regarding the look of the kite (@Gazuki); tastes differ. Having spent a decade and a half on North kites, I can only say in terms of looks I've taken a step forward.

@farNT; You'll have to check with a retailer. My reference point is 16 years of buying North kites and these kites are significantly less expensive.

DutchRooster
NSW, 289 posts
7 Dec 2017 9:41PM
Thumbs Up

Here's what the kite looks like in action (not my pic). I like the look of it!

fanfare
55 posts
7 Dec 2017 8:05PM
Thumbs Up

same materials that were used on the latest best kites.... dare i say that means same factory/staff/problems?

DutchRooster
NSW, 289 posts
7 Dec 2017 11:48PM
Thumbs Up

I don't know what went down with Best (something to do with a dodgy owner?), but from what I have gathered their best people pulled the pin on it and left to start their own brand. From what I've heard (and seen) the Eleveight team are all hard riders, passionate about the sport, with a lot of experience and (from what I know) have good reputations.

I don't know what problems the Best kites had - I tried the Cabo 2 years ago but didn't like its character (way underpowered), but TBH I found the build quality to be really good (comparable to North). I think the Eleveight kites are made in the same factory as North, btw.

Keen to see what others make of this kite. I certainly rate it.

Nate KSO
QLD, 91 posts
7 Dec 2017 10:57PM
Thumbs Up

Nice kites and yes the wave kite is what I tried! The WS performs well is a good kite for waves and all rounders.
If you're after a kite that performs like a cabo and works for wave riding I'd definitely give it a go :)

weebitbreezy
342 posts
7 Dec 2017 11:25PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
DutchRooster said..

weebitbreezy said..
Are they quite pivot turning? Any power through the turn or does it shut off the power completely?



The kite turns on a dime, so I would say so yes. There's still power through the turns (without it the kite wouldn't turn fast) but its dosed out nicely - more power the deeper you dive it into the power zones. The kite doesn't have a tendency to pull you off your board though!

Regarding the look of the kite (@Gazuki); tastes differ. Having spent a decade and a half on North kites, I can only say in terms of looks I've taken a step forward.

@farNT; You'll have to check with a retailer. My reference point is 16 years of buying North kites and these kites are significantly less expensive.


Sounds good! I'm looking to see if I continue my current quiver. Already was looking at the Eleveight RS as I'm not much of a surfer but I like fast responsive kites so the WS was also interesting. May see if I can get a demo is the RS isn't fast enough for me.

WaP
NSW, 7 posts
13 Dec 2017 5:38AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
fanfare said..
same materials that were used on the latest best kites.... dare i say that means same factory/staff/problems?


I used the best Cabo and TS kite from 2016. Never had any issues and still happy with them.

bjw
NSW, 2580 posts
17 Dec 2017 7:43AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
fanfare said..
same materials that were used on the latest best kites.... dare i say that means same factory/staff/problems?


This year you'll have a hard time getting these kites because they purchased Best's Rip Stop materials, and they've sold far above their expectations in Europe, so they haven't got enough stock.

As for the materials, they use German made bladders and the lines are well above most brands, and they are made at the North factory.

kemp90
QLD, 1614 posts
17 Dec 2017 7:21AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
WaP said..

fanfare said..
same materials that were used on the latest best kites.... dare i say that means same factory/staff/problems?



I used the best Cabo and TS kite from 2016. Never had any issues and still happy with them.


2016 was a "better year" for best. That's when they changed factories but they still had issues.
2015 was horrendous

WaP
NSW, 7 posts
18 Jan 2018 11:35AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
DutchRooster said..


weebitbreezy said..
Are they quite pivot turning? Any power through the turn or does it shut off the power completely?




The kite turns on a dime, so I would say so yes. There's still power through the turns (without it the kite wouldn't turn fast) but its dosed out nicely - more power the deeper you dive it into the power zones. The kite doesn't have a tendency to pull you off your board though!

Regarding the look of the kite (@Gazuki); tastes differ. Having spent a decade and a half on North kites, I can only say in terms of looks I've taken a step forward.

@farNT; You'll have to check with a retailer. My reference point is 16 years of buying North kites and these kites are significantly less expensive.



Can't agree more!! Loving it in waves and use it as freestyle kite. Keep on riding!!

SBoards
WA, 8 posts
21 May 2018 4:37AM
Thumbs Up

Hi Dutchrooster,

How do you compare the bar pressure against Neo in a scale 1 to 10?

Additionaly, is it a kite that you can park as you ride it or it needs some bar input to generate aparent wind?


Thanks in Advance

DutchRooster
NSW, 289 posts
1 Jun 2018 7:42PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
SBoards said..
Hi Dutchrooster,

How do you compare the bar pressure against Neo in a scale 1 to 10?

Additionaly, is it a kite that you can park as you ride it or it needs some bar input to generate aparent wind?


Thanks in Advance


Hi SBoards,

I'd rate Neo's bar pressure at 7 or 8 out of 10, and the WS bar pressure at 3-4.
Neo's bar pressure is significantly higher than that of the WS. Some like it that way - the Neo's bar pressure is very steady and predictable. It took me a session or 2 to really appreciate the looseness of the WS bar. It gives a sense of freedom when you are riding waves - as if the kite isn't there at all.

You can pretty much park both the WS and the Neo - they both drift exceptionally well. However I'd say the WS needs a bit of input. The WS excels in how fast it pivots, and with it low bar pressure you can really throw the kite around without it ripping you off your board.

I'm putting both my 9m and 7m up for sale soon (6 months old) as I've ordered the 2019 WS (same sizes)!

SBoards
WA, 8 posts
16 Jun 2018 7:21AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
DutchRooster said..



SBoards said..
Hi Dutchrooster,

How do you compare the bar pressure against Neo in a scale 1 to 10?

Additionaly, is it a kite that you can park as you ride it or it needs some bar input to generate aparent wind?


Thanks in Advance





Hi SBoards,

I'd rate Neo's bar pressure at 7 or 8 out of 10, and the WS bar pressure at 3-4.
Neo's bar pressure is significantly higher than that of the WS. Some like it that way - the Neo's bar pressure is very steady and predictable. It took me a session or 2 to really appreciate the looseness of the WS bar. It gives a sense of freedom when you are riding waves - as if the kite isn't there at all.

You can pretty much park both the WS and the Neo - they both drift exceptionally well. However I'd say the WS needs a bit of input. The WS excels in how fast it pivots, and with it low bar pressure you can really throw the kite around without it ripping you off your board.

I'm putting both my 9m and 7m up for sale soon (6 months old) as I've ordered the 2019 WS (same sizes)!




Hi DutchRooster,

I have a Neo 2018 and like it but I feel it heavy (but quite predictable) in turns. Bar pressure is ok for riding but for surfing I prefer a lighter bar pressure kite.

My next move will be to Eleveight WS or Naish Slash.

Have you tried the Slash so you can compare it with WS mainly regarding bar pressure?

DutchRooster
NSW, 289 posts
23 Jun 2018 8:06PM
Thumbs Up

Hi mate, I haven't tried the Slash, no. But a friend of mine recently tested the Slash, and he's been on the WS a few times too. I'll ask him. I don't think he got on with the Slash very well, but both days were weak side-offshore days (and tbh it looked like the the lines needed some trimming) so might not be a fair comparison.

mariokiter
2 posts
24 Jun 2018 11:47AM
Thumbs Up

Peter Stewie has worked hard on the kites. For me he's brilliant building it. He's long time every year on my local kite spot in Brazil, developing Best and now Eleveight. Best Cabo 2017 was the best version of that kite, finally changing the valve set (same system now in the Eleveight) , tubes and solving all previously issues. I had pretty much all previously best cabo versions and Eleveight I don't have it yet but tried several times, many sizes. It is very similar to the 2017 Cabo with minor changes/improves.

Eleveight uses the best available materials on the market. 2018 version uses 2 ripstop material from Teijin, same as North, Ozone, 2017 Bests and many others. 2019 version (if not available now it will soon) uses 4 ripstop material, the last high tech material by Teijin (which was exclusive for Naish Slash in 2017 version). This material is a bit grams more but certainly stronger against impact/waves. It is a more expensive material for sure.

Valve for inflate/deflate its the best one available in the market in my opinion, no need adapters, easy to inflate or deflate cause it's large, and large one pump tubes as well.

I don't know about any issues in this kites yet. I'm just waiting to see if I get a discount to purchase one.

Something very important during the process to design and build the kites: Every kite is different. Every size is made different and tried several times with riders or Peter himself. There's a lot of prototypes involved in this processes (that's why kites are so expensive) . A 5m kite isn't proportional to the 7m that isn't proportional to the 9m. For the kite to behave like the same they have to work in every size separately. That's the reason Eleveight (and other brands) should be doing soon kites with 3 or 5 struts depending of the size and I hope mono-strut for the small ones like 5m or 6m.

About the bar, Peter isn't the designer for it. In the Best was another guy and maybe the same in Eleveight. I just love how they made the safety system, the easiest I ever saw to assemble after eject. Peter told me they use 100% spectra fiber lines which is expensive high tech lines. Other brands use combination part spectra and part other cheaper materials. When I say other brands it's even bigger brands and you don't imagine what they do to save some dollars in the cost. Particularly I don't like the double chicken loop hope without a tube. This rope doesn't last long, probably 3 times less than a Ozone protected with a tube, but slide very well (ozone too) . In the Best last versions I had problems with that rope and I hope it's solved in the Eleveight, but I believe it's not.



Subscribe
Reply

Forums > Kitesurfing Gear Reviews


"Eleveight WS" started by DutchRooster