TEST TEAM NOTES:
The simple four line set-up untangles effortlessly and there's no question of attaching the lines to the incorrect parts of the simple bridle. The bar is fairly thick in your hands and if we were to pick holes then we'd have to say that the chicken-loop mechanism is a little on the clunky side, but works perfectly well and does at least give you a good chunk to get hold of when hooking back in, which can be useful. The chicken-loop is Velcro and easily removed for those that like to spend a lot of time out of the loop and, further up, EH haven't tried to re-invent the wheel with the depower system, which is the tried and tested pair of webbing straps positioned above the bar. There's a pair of oh shit handles on each side for safety and the leash line runs neatly through centre of the plastic section, just above the chicken-loop, leading up to one of the front lines. Self-launching and landing on the beach is very simple.
In fact, everything about this kite works simply and effectively. The power band is very smooth and, although on first look at at in the sky, you think it's going to fly way over your head because it's so high aspect, this isn't actually the case. Riding it strapless was effortless as the depower is easy to control through the bar with no on/off feel as you sheet in and out. There's fantastic feedback through the bar and the steering is very direct, giving quick instructions to the rapid flying canopy. The Ripper is a very good jumping kite, but isn't just limited to that; its all-round qualities are obvious. The kite loops are quick with oodles of power and speed, generating good forward pull and without a hint of twitching or instability. It really got you up there. We were probably riding it at the bottom of its wind range most of the time at 15 – 20 knots, but it generated a lot of power very efficiently and had plenty of hang-time given the low wind speed. Unhooked it was a real surprise. We've never seen a kite of this shape behave so well out of the loop. Just a little trim adjustment is required and you're treated to a constant steady pull that won't pull your arms off. At the more basic performance end, you couldn't ask for more. Stable, quick, positive, with rapid upwind pull and a simple relaunch.
KW WOULD CHANGE: