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Eleveight WS

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Created by DutchRooster A week ago, 6 Dec 2017
DutchRooster
NSW, 272 posts
7 Dec 2017 12:04AM
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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
279 posts
6 Dec 2017 9:39PM
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Are they quite pivot turning? Any power through the turn or does it shut off the power completely?

Gazuki
WA, 573 posts
Thursday , 7 Dec 2017 1:00PM
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I wish the kite looked as good as the bag.

farNT
QLD, 67 posts
Thursday , 7 Dec 2017 4:44PM
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$$$$

DutchRooster
NSW, 272 posts
Thursday , 7 Dec 2017 9:36PM
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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, 272 posts
Thursday , 7 Dec 2017 9:41PM
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Here's what the kite looks like in action (not my pic). I like the look of it!

fanfare
55 posts
Thursday , 7 Dec 2017 8:05PM
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same materials that were used on the latest best kites.... dare i say that means same factory/staff/problems?

DutchRooster
NSW, 272 posts
Thursday , 7 Dec 2017 11:48PM
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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, 90 posts
Thursday , 7 Dec 2017 10:57PM
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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
279 posts
Friday , 7 Dec 2017 11:25PM
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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, 5 posts
Wednesday , 13 Dec 2017 5:38AM
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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.



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"Eleveight WS" started by DutchRooster