The Krush's C-shaped form is adapted to the freestyle style of riding of unhooked manoeuvres and powered tricks with the kite low. Bridled, but without pulleys, when riding, the Krush delivers progressive control via the bar for unhooked freestyle, or for fast response in the waves. Very reactive and playful, with very easy control and rapid response and the kite remains stable throughout unhooked manoeuvres.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Probably like you, this was our first experience of any of Zeeko's kites. Pulling the kite out of the bag we were greeted by the striking orange, black and white graphics and unfolding it the kite looked well put together. As seems popular on a lot of 2011 kites there is a reinforced seam running all the way along the leading edge. There's a sturdy one-pump system that's nicely enclosed with neoprene. The inflate and deflate valves are actually the same size, so there's no quick deflation but there's a good sized pump leash loop that should fit most leashes. There's a fair bit of bridling that goes almost up to the centre point on the kite, and there are reinforcements on corners of the leading edge – where the shape isn't exactly rounded and is likely to scuff on the sand. On the back tips of the kite there are three settings – the attachment point closest to the tips says it's for hybrid style and moving more into the centre of the kite is for C-shape style.
A blue line runs up the left outer line from the bar, which is a light wind relaunch, pulling the second strut of five, crunching up the corner of the kite to help it turn over in light winds. This light wind relaunch line comes down to a ring on the side of the bar, so you should in theory just pull on that. You can remove it very simply if you don't want the extra line on there. One of the things that usually separates the experienced players in the market and the new kids on themanufacturing block isn't the flying characteristics of the kites, it's the evolution of the bar systems. The bar works, is functional but it's pretty budget. The chicken-loop has a donkey dick which is long and bendable, so once it's in it's in. There's a suicide ring on the outside of the loop, which is nice as it never gets in the way. The quick-release is quite a dated Velcro system on the side of the chicken-loop. It obviously works but it's just a bit basic. The pretend fifthline safety comes through a ring at the top of the chickenloop and makes up three ropes running through the centre of the bar. Ridges on top of the bar are nicely moulded for your fingers though and the bar ends are chunky but also padded, so knocks to your fingers are minimal.
Finishing the bar off are nice little ridges on the ends to loop the elastic over to keep your lines nice and tidy when you wrap them up. The pull-pull strapping system is really long and again quite basic. It obviously works and one of the benefits is that it's very easy to reach, however, when you do have the kite fully depowered the webbing line comes down really low, almost to your waist, so flaps around there a bit. As soon as we launched the Krush it was obvious it's a very well poised kite. A knowing nod came back from Pete and he looked eager to get on the water. We were actually really impressed by the handling in the gusty, cross-offshore winds we had it out in. The Krush turns really quickly and is very responsive. The low-end is great and the power delivery is predictable but assertive. It's definitely aimed more at advanced riders and the two set-up options made a huge difference. The hybrid setting makes the kite turn much quicker and more pivotally and turns the Krush into a boosting machine with rapid kite loops. Move the knots in from the edge of the kite to the freestyle setting and you get much more of a downwind pull and better low end performance. The kite sits a little further back in the window, which of course slows the steering down a bit, allowing you to unhook and leaving the kite sitting there nice and stable.
The Krush has a nice, modern freestyle pull and loops really well. It doesn't depower massively which doesn't open it up to more rookie riders, but it's not aimed at them. The Krush itself is a brilliant, engaging kite to fly.
High-performance and very tunable characteristics.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Long depower strap hanging by your waist when the kite is really depowered.
SIZES: 12, 9 and 7m
This test is in issue #50