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New XLKITES videos
Posted on May 20th, 2012
It was an awesome Demo Friday and little wind on Saturday so the crew went out to the drop zone with the Slingshot Crew. It made for a great time and pretty sweet videos.
Cabrinha Crossbow LW 18m Demo and Review
Posted on March 13th, 2012
The 2012 Crossbow LW 18m light wind kite
Damien LeRoy just sent us his 18m LW Crossbow to try out this week. We had it on the water in 10-12mph and did a ride test, relaunch test, depower test, and upwind test. What we found is it it did pretty darn good.
The 2012 18m Crossbow LW kite was specially designed for light air…with 4 less struts than the normal Crossbow it still has the same great efficient shape but is now lighter. The bar is a bit bigger it seems with the 2012 release system. The kite comes in 3 sizes although we only tested the largest size…because if you’re going to go big…GO BIG!
Everyone knows that the winds on the gulf coast can be light in the summer time. Having two kiteboarding schools on the gulf coast makes the crew at XLKITES real light wind experts. We want to teach with and ride the best light wind inflatable kites we can find, so we are constantly on a quest to find the best light wind kites out there.
What we found: Overall the kite is BIG! It is 18m but feels big also being a fairly low aspect kite. The bar is also BIG, but that is ok because it drops the bar pressure down to a reasonable amount (don’t get get any ideas, it still has a lot of bar pressure). The good news is it delivers in light winds and has MASSIVE low end grunt. It is slow in the air but pulls like a truck….making light winds fun. We were able to do all kinds of tricks in the 10-12mph on the test day. We would have liked to get it out in even lighter winds but only had in for a few days. One downside we found was the relaunch was not so good…it did come up off the water but it took a lot of line pulling to make it happen. If you are an newbe looking for more riding time you may benefit from getting a Crossbow LW over the Slingshot Turbine because this kite will pull harder at lower flying speeds….this is what we mean when we say “low-end grunt”. Just like every upside or downside to any kite you’ll pay for this low-end grunt with slow kite speed in the air and lots of bar pressure. So pick your poison. We had a blast on this kite and know you will too
Overall, I would say that the Crossbow 18m LW is a great choice for a heavier rider looking for a light wind kite or someone who is very new and in an area with extremely light winds…it will definitely get you out a lot more days for sure. We have these kites on our online store here: Cabrinha Crossbow LW
Litewave Wing Review
Posted on February 24th, 2012
Litewave has been making kiteboards for years and doing it with their own very innovative style. Dave Turner is the mastermind behind Litewave boards and an expert in board design. In 2007 Dave was in Northwest Florida doing a demo at XLKITES first shop so of course there was very little wind and everyone was out on the water on huge C-kites, bow kites and big boards. Dave asked us what type of board we could sell a lot of here in this area of the US and we told him to make the largest widest board he could and we would use it our light days. 2-3 years later Dave finally did just that and the Wing was born.
The difference between the Wing and a lot of other light wind boards is it’s unique shape and rocker. Most light wind boards are flat to give as much surface area as possible, well many places (the Levee) even in light winds we still have small chop on the water. This chop will easily catch the front edge of a flat board but the Wing with it’s curved tips and rocker keeps the edges up and out of the way of that chop. The other thing I like about the wing is the edge shape, it is elliptical like a newer set of skis or snowboard. This means you’re edge will be in constant contact with the water when you’re edging the board. It give you much better control and prevents skidding down wind. Finally, The double heel-side fins give the huge board additional traction to keep you tracking upwind while you’re edging. It is by far the easiest board to ride upwind in choppy water, you literally just have to ride it.
The Litewave Wing comes in sizes 146cm, 153cm, and 161cm. The smaller size is for lighter riders but even many light riders appreciate the 161cm in really light riding conditions. We keep 2 Litewave Wings in the teaching van in Houston as well as in Florida so if you’d like to try the board out come by on a light day and we’ll make sure you can take one for a ride.
2012 Dakine Harnesses
Posted on February 22nd, 2012
We just got a shipment of new kiteboarding waist harnesses from Dakine for 2012. These harnesses include all of their new models. There are pictures below. A new harness in the Dakine Lineup is the Chameleon…it is basically the Renegade without the leather finish and a lot less embroidery and screen printing on the sides and spreader bar pad. Both the Chameleon and Renegade have a less stiff feel than the Pyro. They are also narrower around the front. The Dakine Pyro has been and is still one of the best choices for very hard riding kiteboarders. It is very wide in the back to disperse the extreme force from the kite during high load maneuvers like kiteloops or wake style tricks. You can wear the Pyro all day and still not be sore the next day.
Dakine has been making harnesses longer than anyone in the kiteboarding industry. They started with windsurfing and sailing and have created a great following over the years in the kiteboarding industry as well. They are known for bomb proof construction and great warranty support in case something does break. Visit either XLKITES store and try on Dakine harnesses to see which one is the best for you. If you’re a student your 15% off discount will apply to these harnesses as well as any other harnesses we have in stock.
2012 RPMs Are in!!!
Posted on February 7th, 2012
We just got the 2012 RPMs in at the shop. They looks super slick. We took the below vide0 today and immediately took one out for a test spin at the Levee to see what the deal was with the new design. Check out pricing etc, don’t forget your locals discount. No one seems to know. So here it is…straight from the experts:
We’ve done a test of the RPM on the water including light wind relaunch and a full deep water self rescue. The setting on the kite changed and the cut of the kite changed a bit but for the most part it is very similar to the 2011 Slingshot RPM. The kite performed almost identically to the 2011 RPM in all categories. We still have the 2011 12m RPMs in stock but only have a few left…all other 2011 RPMs are sold out from us and from Slingshot.