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Gong Strutless V4 review

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OFK
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Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby OFK » Mon Aug 16, 2021 10:35 pm

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 !
Gong V3 battens.png
Gong V3 battens.png (322.58 KiB) Viewed 736 times
leading edge pocket.jpg
not gonna work.jpg
Last edited by OFK on Wed Aug 18, 2021 7:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby intergalactic007 » Tue Aug 17, 2021 12:04 am

yes, my 8m v3 has a better way to keep the batten attached but i still broke it. V3 only has one batten and although there is a slight difference, i fly without batten now and it's no problem. There is no doubt the high aspect ratio makes this kite's turning speed as slow as a 10m delta shape. But there is something so cool about a high aspect low weight kite and that is for waves. Lots of strutless kites drift crazy, but there is something about a high aspect kite that makes the kite slow down so much that even on small waves you can stay on the wave without the kites forward speed messing you up. Basically, kite at 12 o clock on a wave sheeted out all the way the kite will drift at walking speed and stay at 12. It's really badass for strapless and hydrofoil in the surf. Like on a cloud you sheet out and the kite slows down a lot compared to strutted as it drifts, but these gongs slow down even more. I prefer faster turning kites for low wind hydrofoiling but if there are waves these gong kites are pretty unique in how they behave. Although maybe v4 is totally different, haha. I got my gong for so cheap used and just wanted to say that at least one person is stoked on the very different design. 8m in 12-16 knots lift 120, weight 160. 30m lines.

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby jaros » Tue Aug 17, 2021 4:39 am

I have the Gong strutless in size 3m2, but it is a version V2 i think. It has only one batten, but I have never put it in and have been flying it without it and it flyes perfect. For me, that is the only way to use a struttles kite, the plastic batten is not needed at all. Maybe it is different for bigger Gong kites that are used in low winds... My bigger strutless kites are all from Storm and weithout batten and i am not missing it. If i would buy new strutless kite from Gong, i would sure hope to use it without battens.
Having said that, i am not using strutless kites much more for the last 2 years, since I have Peaks now.
Greetings,
Jaros

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby Axis1050 » Tue Aug 17, 2021 7:27 am

I have a V2 9m Gong with a single centre battern, it's a very good kite and excellent value however not as good as my Clouds.

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby AndersP » Tue Aug 17, 2021 10:29 am

For me, the batten is used as a high wind extender.
I have the no strut kite in lightwind and only put the batten in when i get overpowered. Gong 12m V2

I use the kite for foiling in very light wind and even more rare occations lightwind wave riding a mutant.
Last edited by AndersP on Wed Aug 18, 2021 10:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby Brian H » Tue Aug 17, 2021 11:24 am

If you are looking for an inexpensive strut less kite look at the Storm Voyager traveler.

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby Kiteski » Tue Aug 17, 2021 1:04 pm

The battons slide into their sleeves through the velcro flaps in the trailing edge. Once installed they are completely enclosed throughout their lengths. The kite can be rolled up to fit in the bag without removing the battons.

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby Ulrik » Tue Aug 17, 2021 4:00 pm

https://www.gong-galaxy.com/en/product/ ... gallery-10
Looks like the battens are fully enclosed.
From the Gong Website: New: the ear battens are optional, it’s up to you to put them on or not, and they slip naturally through the trailing edge like on a windsurf sail.

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby OFK » Wed Aug 18, 2021 3:45 am

Brian H wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 11:24 am
If you are looking for an inexpensive strut less kite look at the Storm Voyager traveler.
I just looked, but Storm seems to be run by the type of Frenchmen that have no desire to cater to the English speaking world as I could only find their website in French. Even then, when you click on 'Voyager' you get an Error 404.... is that their way of saying they're sold out ?

Seems to be good tactics... if they want to let Gong lead the market.

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Re: Gong Strutless V4 review

Postby OFK » Wed Aug 18, 2021 4:09 am

Kiteski wrote:
Tue Aug 17, 2021 1:04 pm
The battons slide into their sleeves through the velcro flaps in the trailing edge. Once installed they are completely enclosed throughout their lengths. The kite can be rolled up to fit in the bag without removing the battons.
Boy... a current manual with current photos for the V4 would really have saved me a lot of time and effort here. After all these replies, I played with it further and realized the battens can actually slide under the flaps and thru the flaps. So OK that explains the flaps ( not why you can slide them under flaps as well ), but why do they have these external pockets on the leading edge ?? And rolling up the kite with battens inserted ? I would have to see a video on the proper way to to that. That seems totally sketchy to me.
leading edge pocket.jpg
under flap.jpg
thru flap.jpg


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