You know that guy, the smart guy who's always cracking jokes or giving you a punch to the ribs when you're not looking, or who is so sly that he’ll slip in on your girl if you turn your back? Sometimes you ask yourself, “Why do I keep this clown around?” Then, when you least expect it, he comes through and gets your back. Meet the Bunny. Small in stature but huge in power and manoeuvrability, you need him in your gang if you want to sail when the wind is pumping. When the wind is whipping and all the big dogs are beached, the Bunny gets out there eating up gusts; that’s how he rolls. With his stability and responsiveness, this member of the Rabbit Gang is a wave rider’s dream in nuking winds. When the wind turns on and the waves jack up, the Bunny becomes five square metres of straight aggression. Whether you are a lighter rider or a rider in high winds and rough water, he is here for you. Never turn your back on the Bunny...
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The Bunny 5m is as simple as kite set-ups come. Three struts, no one pump and a super-basic bar. This is actually not a criticism; it's very refreshing and we love it. For starters, there are only three struts and the kite is tiny, so a one pump system is unnecessary and just another thing to go wrong. The bar is well made, neat, tidy and very comfortable. The chicken loop is solid and sized-well for unhooking and hooking. The kite runs on just four lines and has a lovely cleat trimming system. The only negative we have about this hole system is that it's almost too simple. Unless you are going to attach your leash directly to one of the loops at the end of one of the front lines above the trimming system, then you are left attaching straight to the chicken-loop, suicide style. The push-away quickrelease then works in such a way that should you need to pull your release, you will completely lose your kite.
Safe for you, but then you'll have a run away kite situation, which we suppose is better than being dragged along after it. (We have heard that a new release system is on its way that will flag out the kite in a more standard fashion though). Standard fashion isn't what this kite is about though. It feels rugged and raw yet refined at the same time and rolls, bobs and weaves its way around the sky like a boxer on amphetamines. Give it an instruction and it goes. There's a fair weight through the bar but there's never a moment you don't know where the kite is. There's no power steering – it's like a racing kart for the ocean. The Bunny has options to be run hybrid-style with the front bridle attaching to two points on the leading edge, or C kite style, with the bridle doubled up to one point, for a much more manly, direct and rapid feel.
The bridle is just a super simple V-shaped system and unless you're a power hungry addict, running the regular bridle set-up is great, especially in five metre weather when you want a bit more forgiveness. We used this five metre a lot in Cape Town and it made those conditions feel much more handle-able, like nine metre weather. The Bunny isn't like some five metres and far too quick for its own good. It's stable, smooth, predictable and direct. For waves it's phenomenal – you can spin it hard or send it on a wider more progressive arc; it really is so playable and has enough grunt to get you going on a smaller kite than you think and has a huge top end when sheeted down and retains ample steering. It sits obediently unhooked and parked downthe line, or responds in an instant without yanking you around when moving it around in more onshore conditions. For freestyle, again, it really does the job, boosting predictably and high in huge winds and if you're able to unhook in five metre weather, or if you're really light and trying to learn in lighter winds it needs very little trimming.
Unique, stylish and great looking, the Bunny takes us back to a time when men were men and kites were simple. Go back to the good old days with all the conveniences of 2011 kiting, with superb relaunch, big depower (not 100%) and just get out on the water, forget about the kite, forget about the gusty wind and have fun learning new tricks.
No stress, no dramas, just the right tool for the job, however you want to kite.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Add a leash system that flags the kite, without having to rig one yourself that runs to the front lines (but it's coming).
SIZES: 15, 12, 9, 7 and 5m
This test is in issue #50