Although the S-Bow is an '07 it was only released halfway through last year, so still has some shelf-life. The bar was good quality and tidy. The release was easy to use, the only downside to the bar was when you let go it disappeared way up the line. (Starkites have released a stopper, but that wasn't on the kite we had). The whole package is quite simple and straightforward, the only things to mention being a lack of one pump and the leading edge valve is in a slightly awkward position to get to. Having said that, the valves themselves are very good. When you looped the kite aggressively the edges of the kite with no pressure would flap, but this isn't a performance kite, it's more of a general all-rounder. Letting go of the bar will depower the kite well, the steering wasn't heavy and the kite turned steadily. If you're looking for a punch from your kite in the turn you won't get it from this, though. Generally everything worked simply and effectively when in its comfortable wind range – it doesn't like being fully depowered as it loses a lot of its handling, but that's not unusual and it won't pull out any unwanted surprises. Does the job.
The 07 S-bow range has been designed to fit the most complete riding program possible, with its huge depower and instant reaction it will be loved by the wave rider whilst the flight stability and easy relaunching make it the perfect tool for beginner and intermediate riders. Those who prefer freestyle and big air will love the amazing kite loop and handle-pass potential, whether they use a five or an 11 metre.
5, 8, 11 and 13m
Star S Bow (Oct/Nov 07: Issue #29 Kite Test)