CONDITIONS TESTED IN:
Gusty 15 – 25 knots
The SLE Latitude hybrid is designed for riders with beginner to intermediate skills who enjoy a freeride style. This kite will create smooth traction power no matter how gusty the wind. The bar pressure is designed to be soft yet with the feeling that keeps the rider in full knowledge of the exact location of the kite at all times. Further unmatched stability will ensure that the Latitude will not fall, even when it is fully depowered! The SLE Latitude hybrid is a great all around kite that fits the skills and style of almost every rider.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
FX: Wow, there's a lot of hang-time in this kite. You pull on the bar and up you go. There's loads of power in it on demand but also really good amounts of depower. There's a really lively feeling and pull from this kite – it's a bit of a monster. If you like loads of power and big jumps then this would be a good option for you. I had to ride it fully depowered a lot of the time but it still handled OK.
JAMES: It looks really high-aspect with all those struts and behaves like that as well as it stormed upwind. I really liked the bar. It had a ridge on the top which felt nice and moulded to your hands. Also, the oh shit handles on the side were right on the end of the bar rather than half a metre up so were nice and easy to grab and practically useful. Jumping was good and there's plenty of boost packed into this. Most powerful kite I've tried in a long time actually and I was riding it depowered a lot. This is for riders who aren't interested in unhooking and want to freeride and jump big. It's fairly fast and the bar pressure was quite light, so although it's powerful and more like a big guy's kite, you don't get really tired on it.
CHRIS: Multi-strutted interesting design and I actually like the pink and the flying horse. As soon as you get it in the sky you know it's a jumping machine. The horse with wings makes you smile...and a lot of people came up to me on the beach to ask what it was. It's striking. The bar was a little bit fussy but the kite and its build quality are really solid. I think it brings the fun back into kiting with its look, colour etc. and performs really well in sent jumps with heaps of hang-time. Nice depower, it's fast has great upwind performance. It did kite loop but was a little bit out of its comfort zone as the flatness of the canopy made it a little bit sluggish in the bottom half of the loop. If you want to go racing, jump high and steam upwind then this will fit the bill. Wonderful old school jumping kite. The canopy is really well supported with all those struts which is why it jumps and flies so well. The best jumping kites always have a lot of struts to support that middle section. Just really, really fun. You look at it and smile because you're flying a kite with a pink pony and wings on it, but great fun. And I was doing some unhooked shenanigans as well – needed a lot of adjustment on the depower first to unhook though.
Wonderful old school sent jumping kite with lots of range and speed. The high number of struts support the canopy well, giving it a solid feel. Not overly complicated or trying to be anything it's not. Get it, send it and fly.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
A little more forgiveness.
8, 10, 12 and 14m
This test is in issue #35