TEST TEAM NOTES:
There are three setting options on the back line pigtails as well as the option to actually move the front contact point of the bridle on the leading edge, but there's really no excess fluff or complications on the kite or the bar – lots of options without being cluttered and all presented in a clear, fun and user-friendly way. Some of the test team were disappointed there was no one pump, but the construction was good, the bar was smooth and the chicken-loop release worked very simply. At the bottom of the two front lines where the min-fifth comes through you can get hold of the front lines and self-land the kite really easily, which is a good, useful feature as well as the oh shit handles on the side.
The Wainman resembles a Delta shape, but doesn't have the harsh on and off power. It's one of the most stable kites we've tested, and we've tested some! Loads of depower, but not 100% and it doesn't fall out of the sky when you let the bar go. There's just enough power left to keep the kite up there, waiting for you. The range is good, there's stack of low end grunt giving you that spike of power to get up and going early while the depower at the top end manages the gusts and squalls without flinching.
On first launch the power through the bar felt manly and there was a little trepidation on the first kite loops. The power delivery at the bar is involving and might be a bit too much to handle for an intermediate rider used to an easy going power-assisted kites. But for someone who likes an involving kite, when you first get on it it's like starting up a decent motorbike and thinking, “Ooh, that sounds good.” The solid power feels exciting. It gives you something to work with and flies quickly and positively around the sky, bobbing and weaving like a middle-weight boxer with good power-to-weight ratio. You don't just hang off it like a true low aspect kite that sits in the middle of the window, pulling your arms off. Of course as it is such a low aspect shape it will drift back in the window and sit there while you throw a few tricks or follow it downwind on a wave, but unlike a lot of low aspect kites, when you threw it around it really did like turning, the upwind progress was good and relaunching was simple.
The boosting was perfectly acceptable without being the highest flyer but there did seem to be a bit of a mood to it. The first kite loop attempts were a bit non-committal as there was definitely an intimidating element at first, but as the session went on and the gusty 17 – 25 knot wind undulated up and down the kite seemed to change its character. The turns were very pivotal and rather tame in the lighter winds, but as the wind picked up the kite loops increased their ferocity and took on much more of a C-kite style arc. There was more oomph, but refined and not quite the radical beast we'd first expected. It would cater for the competition rider as well as those looking to push their way into the kite loop club. Unhooking is lively and fun and the kite does everything asked of it with no back stalling or misbehaving.
KW WOULD CHANGE: