This test featured in Kiteworld Magazine Issue #81
TEST TEAM NOTES
The Razor has been around for six years now as a traditional C kite that has displayed unquestionable freestyle and wakestyle prowess in recent years, helping riders like Alex Pastor win a world title. Quite simply, it looks mean and it means business.
The build quality is impressive with Airush’s Dyneema load frame helping to form a very solid, durable canopy which translates to crispy, positive feedback between the rider and the kite. It’s evident that the Razor will withstand some very aggressive riding.
Upon launch you immediately feel very connected at the bar, typically of a C-kite with no bridle – you can directly feel everything that the kite’s doing which freestyle riders will really like. The connection between you and the kite is constant and it feels purposeful, powerful and is responsive to your input, developing a lot of power through the turn. Although the steering is responsive, your input doesn’t need to be overly heavy and you can easily initiate a turn with the kite but, once you do, it generates power immediately (and plenty of it) giving it quite an aggressive feel. In years gone by the Razor has sometimes felt a little lighter through the turn, but the 2016 kite isn’t pulling any punches. There’s a lot of performance on tap that’s delivered with a bang.
This becomes evident when you loop the Razor and, quite frankly, it has the filthiest loop of the C kites we tested this year. The loop’s arc is wide, although the Razor gets round quickly but it generates more and more power throughout the turn, fully elongating your spine as it chugs its way past six o’clock before powering back up through the window. You then find yourself ‘coming in hot’ and landing at high speed downwind – something that advanced loopers are going to love. It’s an incredibly rewarding loop but it’s one that requires commitment and you definitely need the necessary skills and the cojones before you pull the trigger.
Jumping performance is excellent thanks to the light, quick steering reaction. While the loop is standout, when powered the Razor provides a solid lift and climbs nicely through the window. There’s quite a high-aspect feel to it and hangtime and lift don’t just depend on sitting the kite at 12 and sheeting in. There’s some flight management involved and an experienced rider, who can hold down a lot of power and is comfortable doing helicopter loops, will be able to get a decent level of jumping performance out of the Razor. It does prefer to be powered though and, while it felt great for freestyle between 50 and 70% of its wind range, we felt that the Razor’s ability to really go big could best be seen at around 80% and above when the top end performance has chance to shine thanks to the airframe that handles the rigours of aggressive riding in high winds very well.
Unhooked, the Razor is an insane wakestyle / freestyle kite, punching forward in the window, generating bags of pop and never back-stalling. Generating line slack comes easily but there’s always a constant connection throughout the trick. One of the Razor’s greatest attributes is that it never feels overbearing, it’s manageable and it helps you out. You know exactly what the kite is doing at all times and, although it’s powerful, you feel fully in control when you unhook. We really liked how manageable it felt.
While there’s a lot of power on display when you sheet in, and that constant direct connection can tire inexperienced arms when steered aggressively for long periods, the Razor does have decent depower. If you feel your legs start to tire from edging against it you can sheet out to get a bit of a rest which feels very reassuring in stronger winds. The depower isn’t quite as progressive as some hybrid kites and, once you push the bar up the throw and out of the Razor’s natural power band, it does depower quite abruptly, but it’s still great to see a C kite for which you don’t have to rely on your quads to hold on to. Although steering is dampened down when depowered, much resposiveness is retained.
Relaunch on C-kites has, on the whole, improved over the last few years in our minds and the Razor isn’t sluggish off the water and you can always fall back on the fifth line if you’re struggling to get it back in the air in lighter winds. The low end is standard for a kite of this type, which is to say that lightly powered riding isn’t what it’s really designed for, but it’s workable. We’d suggest that a bigger Razor’s appeal will probably come more from its cable-like feel and rock solid feel in the sky than its low end power.
The Razor runs on the AP five line control bar which, for 2016, has a reduced diameter and has gone from 23 to 18mm to be exact; very skinny indeed, making it easy to grab hold of when you pass it behind your back. The flying lines are heavy duty and come with extensions so that you can run 21 metre lines on smaller sizes (which Airush recommend you do for any Razor below 13 metres). The larger chicken-loop makes for easy hooking back in. The ‘Brain’ quick release system is well made, looks very clean and works extremely well. It’s one of the easiest systems to reassemble that we’ve seen.
C – kite devotees are going to love the Razor. Although stacked with performance it feels very manageable and around the middle of its range, is a kite you’ll feel very comfortable unhooking on, delivering fantastic wakestyle / freestyle performance. Ride it powered, push it and put some commitment behind your handling and the Razor is an absolute beast. The loop is something to be experienced for a serious adrenaline kick when you send it and loop it in hairier conditions.
Solid build quality, brutal mega loop potential, great unhooked performance. For all-round C kite performance, the Razor is excellent.
KW WOULD CHANGE
Some riders might appreciate a slightly more progressive depower throw.
RAZOR BALANCE POINTS
Build Quality – 9
Full package – 9
Low end – 6
Top end – 8.5
Steering speed – 8
Turning circle – 7.5
Power through turn – 8
Bar pressure – 7
Water relaunch – 6
Drift – D/T
Boost – 7.5
Hang time – 7
Unhooked – 9
Cross-over – 7
Ease of use – 9 (For focussed freestyle)
SIZES: 15 / 13 / 11 / 9 / 7 & 5.5m
Here’s the official Razor product video from Airush
For more information on the Airush Razor, visit