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Gong kites reviews and tests

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Shaun Kaufmann
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Re: Gong kites reviews and tests

Postby Shaun Kaufmann » Mon Oct 04, 2021 6:18 pm

Alfman wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 9:15 am
I'm interested in replacing my solo 15.5 for a unik 14m. I'm 68 kg and I'm mainly doing freeride and surf.
With the 15.5 solo i was able to twintip with small jumps in 6 to 7 knots and I would like to have that low end but the unik seems to have a 12 knots as a low end. I think that that is a really strange low end for a 14 m single strut. I has the same low end as the 12.9 m unik from last year and the same low end as the freewave. That just strange.
Does anyone have a unik och a freewave 14 meters that can report the low end ?
Hi, did you ever get an answer to this ?

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Re: Gong kites reviews and tests

Postby alpaia » Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:28 pm

Hello the indications are a bit strange indeed.
I would think you nearly have the same low end as the solo 15.5 or not much différence.
I guess the solo is a bit more rigid and good for jumping the unik lighter but not certain.

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Re: Gong kites reviews and tests

Postby azoele » Mon Oct 18, 2021 2:58 pm

mountain_lake wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 8:06 pm
rnelias wrote:
Tue Aug 31, 2021 7:22 pm
I'm looking for more info about the Maverick XT.
I own one in 10 qm. I had a bit of a hassle with the manufacturer (he sent me a leaking kite and I had to pay for the repair myself).

That's by far the thinnest leading edge I've seen so far. This makes the kite quite sensitive to pressure. You need to pump it up really hard until the valve seems to be popping out. If it's not pumped hard enough it will fly like a sponge and it hardly relaunches.

On the plus side, the kite is very light and it stays in the air quite long. Longer than a single strut I don't know and I don't think so, but maybe comparable. Definitely longer than my three strut kites. The kite flys fast and turns fast, it creates power through movement which is advantageous on a foil. The kite likes to be flown on its lower end and is overpowered very quickly. You can depower it, but it quickly gets hard to steer without enough pressure on the steering lines.

Do I like the kite? Some days yes, some days no. I don't fly it often and it flys differently from my normal LEI kites, so I always need to get used to it. And I don't always pump it hard enough because I'm worried it will explode, then I have this sponge in the air and it's not fun flying a sponge :lol:.

I have the bar as well, don't buy the bar it feels more like someone assembled it in his garage than actually a professional product. And the quick-release is near to impossible to re-assemble in deep water.

Would I buy the kite agein? No, because of the hassle with the manufacturer and due to its flying characteristics. But it doesn't fly so bad that I have the feeling I would be better of with a one-strut kite that much.

Probably good to know: I only use it with a hydrofoil and not with a directional.

If you happen to speak German there's a long thread in the German kite forum about the kite. With a lot of details about the flying characteristics and all the problems, people have with the kite and the bar.

Just for sake of having more than one opinion on the subject: I fly Kauper Mavericks (v. I, there's an improved v. II now) exclusively, either with their Pintxo bar, or with Groove carbon bars, and do hydrofoil only.

My impression of the kites is exactly opposite yours, go figure! :D (goes to say a lot about personal preferences!)

They are certainly not beginners' kites: super fast in the air, very powerful loops, not easy to loop without power, astonishing power per size, and amazing relaunch (which requires specific techniques, though).
I have been stung by them quite some time, until I learned how to fly them properly. Basically, the Mavericks did show me how mediocre a kite-flier I was before using them, spoiled as I was by easier kites :roll:

If I have a gripe with them: looping is a tough job. They don't (or, after a few months, I still haven't learned how to) loop with zero pull.
Which means being out on a foil normal- or a tiny bit overpowered is... not easy, to use an euphemism!
But run them seriously underpowered, or just underpowered, and they are fantastic fun: you never stop looping them, out of every manouver, backward and forward, they just fly and turn around super fast, making piloting itself a secondary fun-source beside actual foiling.

They relaunch great, but you need to master the technique: simply pulling a backline is a guarantee of failure, unless there's loads of wind. Be stubborn with that as you would with a more "normal" kite, and watch in horror as it loads water on the canopy near the tip, and stick to the water like it's glued even when there are 10 knots. :argue:
Take the time to learn how it wants to be relaunched... and watch mesmerized as it relaunches in conditions one has no business flying a kite. :thumb: This is, by the way, a very rewarding accomplishment in itself, because it requires developing finesse and timing, so it gets very satisfying.

I crashed mine sometimes, they have been in the waves, been washed ashore, and still look excellent. Something I never would have believed given how light they are.
And they are focused: it is obvious the designer removed weight everywhere. They are elegant in their simplicity... other kites are more flashy, sport large "protective patches", have cooler valves: the Maverick is essential, almost ascetic :D

I don't think they're "the best kites ever". Absolutely not!
For instance: the 5m is so fast it's actually very challenging to ride when looping around. I have the feeling the designer went as far as making this kites "borderline" lively (at least for the majority of kiters), and stopping just a little before making them apt only for super talented individuals. As they are, they are for everybody (with experience), but they require conscious flight. So, their speed, while pleasant, can also be very challenging.
Plus, when they "run" across the wind window after a loop, the bar gets *hard*, because they generate surges of power in a very short span, and you feel it all in the bar. (by the way, the bar is very light: it gets heavy only during these bursts of acceleration).

But, and here's the million dollar point: they are a ridiculous amount of fun when flown as intended (underpowered on a foil, like one would a Peak), and they drift, relaunch, and produce gobs of power through sheer speed. Once properly understood, after the "Ah, now I get it!" moment, they truly shine.
Before that: eh, they can be... punishing...
Other kites are certainly easier to fly and more "sedated" (i.e. the new Contra): both are excellent performers, in a different way, it's just that usually a kite is a means to an end (kiting). The Maverick, besides being a very high performance kite, is also fun to fly in itself.
Plus... they're super affordable :thumb:

As to the bar, here too I have differing views from you.
I owned the penultimate version (with round bore in the carbon tube), and due to an accident updated to the latest version (with a hourglass opening on the bar tube).
While I do not like the size – too small for me – of the carbon tube bar, I actually prefer this bar to my Groove bar(s).
It is even lighter, grants me more working space due to the unique release system, and I learned to love the depower mechanism.

I found it tough to re-assemble the quick release in the water only the couple of times (yes, the small pin can be nasty).
But the release system is super light, super small, obviates the need for an external leash (yay!), and truly makes the bar minimal.
And again: the power/depower through knots that slide into the carbon tube is an evil-genius kind of solution.

Would it be nicer with proper padding, and maybe a couple of elastics to hold the lines?

Does the lack of the aforementioned comforts detract in any way from its use? Absolutely not.
The bar is so tiny it looks unreal, and when you learn how to do it properly (spot a fil rouge with Kauper designed stuff?) even putting it away in an orderly fashion is super easy, and it takes so little space it's crazy.

Just my 2c.
I bought them "sight unseen", and after some depressing hours at first, I started appreciating them.
They are... unique, for good and bad, but if one likes a fast kite with great drift and depower, they are certainly a great ticket :thumb:

No, I do not get a discount by the owner (no one does! :D )
I just happen to like them... a lot.
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BenS (Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:04 pm)
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Re: Gong kites reviews and tests

Postby gregkn73 » Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:17 pm

Can someone change the topics name? More posts are irrelevant!

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