The Kaiman project was born in 2004 when the Advance R&D team designed and built an inflatable hang-glider. From that day the project has gone on to develop the ideal kite to satisfy the modern kiter. The Kaiman is a plug and play kite with total depower and a big wind range. Relaunching has never been easier; simply pull the bar left or right. The bar is pleasantly soft and very precise to the command, always reliable and turns the kite tightly and quickly. New materials and technology have been used on the frame of the Kaiman, producing much lighter and stronger critical points, keeping the kite light in weight but offering maximum strength. Awesome for waves and freeride, the Kaiman can also satisfy the demands of the unhooked freestyler. So easy to control in any situation, it can easily be ranked alongside the best kites in the market for beginners and cruising.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
CHRIS: Immediately the most striking feature is that trailing edge cut-out. I was a little nervous when piloting up in the sky because I've never seen anything like this before, but the bar is comfortable and the kite was stable straight away. That canopy is so stable and there's not a hint of flapping anywhere. The panels look really well cut and there's not even any creases.
WILL: Tidy, wide chicken-loop and the safety system is a bright white plastic chunk that's simple and easy to find. Not so chunky that it's awkward – just super easy to grab and push. One of the easiest to grab and the five line depower system worked very well.
NEAL: The bar has tension and feeling sheeted in and out. Lots of depower available but you have to stretch out to full arm length to get to really low power.
CHRIS: Yeah good progressive depower rather than all or nothing. Turns very well and from the moment I launched it I knew I was going to be able to boost on this.
NEAL: But not in a scary power way that makes you want to get off the beach and away from land. Coming down from jumps is like having a parachute.
CHRIS: Turning is just the right speed – not too fast or slow and the feel through the bar for turning is ideal. On the down-stroke the power is smooth and comfy and there is plenty of control from then on from sheeting in and out. Sent jumps are a joy. This kite absolutely loves jumping high and has a nice float pattern through the sky – really progressive all the way to landing. Solid and stable above your head too, so you always feel like taking one hand off the bar for some grab or board-off trickery. Kite loop-wise, it does do them but isn’t the most comfortable. A very manly kite looping kite.
NEAL: Yeah, especially hooked-in it is an advanced rider's game on the kite loops.
CHRIS: Unhooked it is well behaved, but you do need to depower the kite fully before unhooking to stop it dropping back too much.
NEAL: This is the smallest kite on test, but you wouldn't know it. Grunty for an 8.5 metre.
SUMMARY: Impressive test debut performance for the Kaiman. The test team were blown away by its stability, available power, depower and handling – Advance's paragliding pedigree is apparent. An absolute power house but has very progressive depower and is a great kite. In terms of lift and float for boosting it’s right up there with the best. You can unhook on this kite but there are better options for focussing on unhooked freestyle, but if you ride hooked-in all the time anyway, you'll head for the skies and beyond with this smooth mover. Nothing gutless about this kite, so intermediates
should buy a size smaller.
4.8, 7, 8.5, 10 and 12m www.advance-kites.com
This test is in issue #33