Is the Airush Ultra this summers game changer?
It’s new kite release time for Airush, and this one has been some time in the making… if you track it back to the original one strut kite (the one) back in 2012, it’s been 5 years, but in truth, this single strut has been a year’s intensive product development cycle, culminating in this weeks public release. Proto’s have been in the hands of some guys since last October, but, now the final kites are about to land in the UK.
Now, we will be putting together a piece very soon discussing foiling. It is becoming more and more relevant as we move towards the summer months. However, you have got to admit, you are tempted to at least give it a go but understandably put off by the price tag that comes with the boards and the kites. Also, you might be ok with the odd long swim back to shore but surely the thought of having a LEI is much more favourable. That is where the manufacturers need to get to, mass market appeal kites and boards for the everyday rider wanting to give it a go. Although this kite isn't just a light wind foil weapon (take a look at the video), it is a step in the right direction for the mass market appeal.
Lets read it from the horses mouth.
So what’s important and different about the Ultra?
- - Super stable in light winds - ideal for low power lightwind foil use.
- - Good forward turn ability meaning power stays through the turn.
- - Ultralight for instant acceleration and climb in light winds.
- - Excellent float, or drift downwind, for drift style wave riding.
- - Fast turning and direct handling for wave and manoeuvre oriented riding.
- - Huge depower with direct steering even under large depower operation.
- - Highly stable under hheavy load and heavy depower.
And what does that mean….
- For wave riding?
- Fast around the window and extreme drift ability when you are steering into the kite - the kite will drift or in extreme situations pitch back as opposed to falling forward. Plus, excellent de-power, range and efficiency for getting power when you need it, shedding when you don’t, and getting back upwind!
- For foil boarding?
- Super stable in light wind situations (which for foiling - is normal - at least half normal power). Not only is it much easier to get in the water with the kite above your head, it’s significantly lowering the amount of wind you need get a foil session underway. When getting the foil started in light winds the kite’s forward turn speed keeps the power on, and when the kite climbs back up the window, it’s not fighting against it’s mass, and so the kite is starting significantly earlier than anything else on a foil.
- The depower is needed and useful - and it steers very well on high levels of depower and light line tensions - just what you need for foil use. It’s also fast turning and athletic in the window, which in light winds is also extremely important for foiling - the ability to loop and throw the kite to keep it downwind of the foil. The drift ability is also excellent for the all inevitable foil related overshoots of the kite. It’s just so easy to end up down wind of your kite on a foil, and the Ultra just drifts back and catches.
- If you stick it in the drink it’s VERY easy to get back out, which is important as the lighter the wind the harder it can be…
- For Freeriding?
Direct and instant handling. Excellent efficiency, great punch when needed, extremely athletic and very agile with plenty of forward pull. The light weights makes power very instantaneous, and it really is great fun to throw around. It may not have the woo busting numbers of the Union, but it’s very capable at higher power levels.