The result of ten years R&D by the Gin Kiteboarding team, the Uru is an extremely instinctive, safe kite that remains stable at all times with good performance and is recommended for all levels of rider. Gin kites usually have light bar pressure, but the Uru offers a more progressive feeling. Coming complete with the latest generation GTS (Gin Twin Safety) bar, this innovative safety release combines two systems in one. Freestylers and new school riders will enjoy the intuitive progressive steering as well as a fast loop at the end. For waves, the advantage is the incredible, progressive depower, allowing easy control of the power all the time, no matter where the bar is positioned along the throw. Super easy to release in wipeouts and emergency situations, the Uru is great for wave riders and beginners alike. Generally the Uru is customised for the needs of kite schools with a quick and easy relaunch, intuitive steering and simple bridle system, making the lives of students and instructors as easy as possible. Perfect low wind performance and great upwind capabilities make the kite ideal for racing and freeriding, too.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The Uru comes with a good big back pack as well as a second bag to carry the kite with the struts inflated. There's loads of reinforcement on the kite and it's generally well built and robust with good bumper pads, reinforced attachment points and the seams and stitching look and feel really good. There's just one setting on the front bridle and two options on the actual kite for the back line and then on the actual bridle line there are three. We set it up on the top knot closest to the kite as the winds were fairly light and it didn't stall at all. The front line bridle has Gin's no friction ring so there are no pulleys and no line wear. The one pump system is all nicely covered up with three neoprene covers for the clip and the two valves where the system links the bladders. There's a bit of reinforcement stitching around the bottom of the struts where they join the leading edge as well as a also a big strong seam along the leading edge. The release valves are the same, so both in/out and not very big, so deflation isn't the quickest. There is a nice carry handle in the middle of the kite to also attach your pump to, which makes carrying the kite to the beach when you have something else in that hand much easier. Overall we are very impressed with the quality you get with the Uru!
It was a self-launch and self-land session with the Uru and both worked really well. Self launching, the kite just rolls right over and goes up through the window with very little pull at all. Releasing onto one line at the end of the session brought the kite down with no dramas and total depower. Pulling down on the bar with the kite in the air doesn't feel as if there's a lot of power and we weren't sure we'd get going in the 15 – 18 mph of wind. The bar is nice and small and with a clean, smooth grip – perhaps a little too smooth for some guys who like a bit of the rough stuff, but it's really cleanly made with a carbon section in the middle where the lines run through. The chicken loop self rights nicely when unhooked and when you pull the bar down to the chicken-loop it unswivels the lines beautifully. The chicken-loop has a neoprene cover on the top so it's nice and soft on your hands when you grab it to hook back in and there's a leash attachment on the outside of the chicken-loop for everyone – suicide freestylers and freeriders as the chicken-loop detaches from the rest of the kite on release. The release is quite unique with two lines running through the centre of the bar that is actually the same piece of line that loops around the release catch. A much thinner safety line is attached to the chicken-loop as, when you pull the release, the chicken-loop detaches from the bar and lines apart from that safety line. There is then a second release on that line if you need to ditch everything. So the release is very clean, push away and has no chance of getting caught around your harness as the chicken-loop remains unaffected. The system is strong and easy to operate and relatively simple to put back together. The chicken-finger is quite small and rotates easily to the outside of the chicken-loop. Above the bar the pull-pull trimming system isn't a huge reach, but isn't the closest. There are three tabs which, at first are a bit confusing, but one just automatically depowers the kite 50% in one pull. The power up tab then lets that 50% of depower out again in one go. The furthest tab is quite a long stretch away.
On first dive there is actually plenty of power and it's obvious how steadily the kite turns. After being used to really quick kites, we had to be aware of sending the kite back up again. The Uru is amazingly predictable; it won't be rushed and it certainly won't do anything by accident. Accidental pressure on the bar won't send the kite into a wild spin and the Uru sits nicely throughout the trick and requires just a little trimming for unhooking. You have to be forceful with the kite and firm, positive movements are needed. Once the kite starts to turn it maintains a really even pace. You can get it to spin by really pulling on the bar end and it will whip through the turn at the end, but other than that it's a real cruiser. There's also a fair bit of power available through sheeting in on the bar, so you don't need to be waving it about madly trying to eek the last bits of juice out of it. Nicely balanced between a grunty bow and hybrid/C feel that needs more movement. For jumps and transitions you have to be a bit more accurate in your timing with the kite at the top of the window and there isn't as much feedback at the top of the window as advanced riders will like, but there's no jerking at all. Put faith in the kite being above your head and you'll get a nice bit of float. It won't take you to the moon, but it's pretty nice.
The Uru is an excellent beginner / intermediate kite with lovely attention to details and a good safety system that you could have confidence putting anyone on. Not fast enough ideally for waves we don't think, but it has a predictable turn rate that you could set your watch by it's that steady.
Predictable, safe and even on the powered up setting there isn't any hint of stalling, no matter how much you pull on the bar.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
A bit more feeling overhead.
14, 12, 10, 8, 6, and 4m
This test is in issue #57