For a year or so, when the bridled kite revolution was kicking in, there were a few questionable design directions and styles on the loose, but on the whole, they did make the learning experience easier. Now it seems brands have really been able to put their fingers on what a kite should be able to do and to make it behave accordingly in order to push this sport forward. More and more often it seems like it's supposed to do everything for everyone.
Kiteworld went to Mauritius for the F-One dealer meeting recently to try out the new Bandit Three kite. It's got so much C shape to it that you'd think we'd moved backwards, not forwards. A world away from traditional C kites it is though, with astounding all-round performance, handling, wind range and ease-of-use. Many manufacturers' offerings this year will be the same, and won't it be fantastic when we all need just one kite for all conditions and riding styles. Simplicity has been lacking for a long time.
The pressure is on more and more for manufacturers to meet production deadlines and get these kites out into a market already flooded with good equipment.
So how do you make your product stand out? You make your team riders work for their living and get a shit hot snapper and film team to take sizzling images of them shredding their heads off on the gear.
Sexy action images sell. This issue we let the seduction begin.
We've also got our second major interview with Martin Vari on his return to the industry, this time pulling the strings behind the scenes as the namesake of Vari kites.
Think the property market is fingered? Not in La Ventana, Baja it's not. In our Getting Shacked series looking at warm, windy places to set up camp, this issue we look at a property that two kiters have developed in this kiting hotspot for a fraction of what it would cost elsewhere.
We teach you the keywords that will help you learn your next trick, we divulge the secrets to the front roll to toe-side, the front roll-to-blind and the Hasselhoff in the Motor Drive Project and on test are the: Vari Condor One 9m, JN Mr Fantastic 10m, Gin Nazca 2 15m, Ozone Instinct Light XC 8m, F-One Revolt 9m, Wainman Blunt 135, Flysurfer Flydoor Medium as well as a depowerable pulley bar from Southwind.
We also remember one the best shapers that the industry has ever had, Colin McCulloch - a man with a real love for the water who always wore his heart on his sleeve. He will be sadly missed. Those who worked closely with him and knew him best share some of their best memories of the man behind Lost Cause and most of the Airush board range over the last six years.