OK, so too eager to post on this one, but not in a good way. Ordered an 11m GONG Strutless V4 on the first day they were available... 21 July. Not because, i was so excited about the V4, but because I was excited about getting a strutless kite that was half the price of the Slingshot UFO. The V3s were sold out so I had to wait till V4s debuted. I just want to be able to kite (foilboard) in the lightest wind possible without having to buy a foil kite. Kite arrived from France 5 days after ordering which I find impressive, but have been majorly disappointed since. I was out of town when kite arrived so first chance to take a look at it was today. There are 3 battens delivered with kite to be installed where a 3 strut kite would normally have struts. There is a little pocket for each batten along the leading edge of kite. There is no middle support/guide and at the trailing edge, instead of having another pocket, there are velcro flaps which are supposed to fold over that end of the batten. Problem is, there is no slit in flaps to allow batten into the fold over velcro 'pocket'. Even if this was not an issue, I find whole design questionable, as center batten is well over 5.5 feet long and only has those two little holding points at each end. I would feel much more comfortable with at least a partial sleeve in the middle of batten to give it stability. As it is, I can see that batten jumping around, popping out and disappearing into the water never to be seen again.
There was also no user manual included and the only one on their website is for the V3 which, ironically, has photos of nice long pockets to hold the battens.
I have just reached out to GONG and will update this post when they reply. I see no easy fix to this situation. Best response I can imagine is they send me another kite with redesign or credit me and let my local kite shop do it. Either way... a pain in the ass.
On top of all this, I am not so excited about design even without batten retention issue. I was aware the kite employed battens, but I had imagined they were short. The center batten measures 1743mm (68.6 inches ) and the two side battens are 1255mm (49.4 inches) long ! Not exactly hassle free set up tear down. Plus, I did inflate it and was struck by what seems to be a very high aspect ratio. I like to self launch with anchor and i can imagine that in the light winds i bought this for, this long kite will not want to stay up as i run back to the bar...
Will post follow up with photos and more info once I hear back from GONG.
UPDATE : so i have not yet heard back from GONG, but it is now a moot point as the replies here made me give it another look and ... sure 'nuff... you can slip the batten in from the trailing edge. I feel somewhat foolish, but not completely so. There is some very misleading construction going on with this kite and they have apparently not produced a V4 user manual. Photos of batten insertion in available manual below. Definitely not what you are dealing with on the V4. Other photos show pocket on leading edge and weird velcro flap situation on trailing edge. I am excited for someone to explain to me what the hell they are for !
UPDATE 2 : Gong still hasn't written me back, but feedback on here has got me almost straight. I responded to a reply below with photos of how it works, but damn... Gong needs to keep their user manuals up to date !
Last edited by OFK
on Wed Aug 18, 2021 7:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.