Airush 2016 - the new thread and the new kite - UNION

All the latest news from the kite industry in one place
Post Reply
Mike B
Brand Rep'
Posts: 3259
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:09 am
Location: the north

We have had a few requests for shorter back line lengths.
Looks like the designer may have added a little on here and there, and while this cures any back stall probs for in experienced riders, the more experienced are putting an extra knot closer to the kite after doing their own stall tests on the beach.
I've not moved my own personal 12 or 9 though...
james
Posts: 2496
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 7:50 pm
Location: lymington, hampshire

as I say the 9 I used felt great.

Dan had said I might want to adjust things but we discussed the amount of wind and figured it should have been ok.

its not the end of the world and certainly I can see where Airush would be coming from ensuring it doesn't backstall,

Its a balancing act for them, we all want slightly different things
Mike B
Brand Rep'
Posts: 3259
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:09 am
Location: the north

I saw a cabrinha vid today - really cool actually - a guy on south africa using backstall to spin, reverse and fly a kite, (extremely skillfully) backwards. He'll have shortened the back lines massively to get it to do that but it's a good example of what a kite does if you play with the stock settings.

In the world of bridled kites we have all forgotten what over-sheet is, for it is less apparent than it was on the C's, and few in anyone (including me) ever really check as it's not that important to get it right. When the Unions came out people were saying that they didn't have a lot of grunt, and shortening the back lines gave the kites a low wind magic bullet. Others didn't mention it, though the unions and 2016 kites do seem to be further away from the stall point than ever.. A bit like car manufacturers all use the same engines in different models but control the horsepower using the engine's computer...

I was thinking of making a short vid showing the stall point on a union next week, how to adjust and get it right for any given session (when you tune to the ragged edge then you have to set it for every session, and also twice during the session, which is probably why the mfr's always supply it on a 'cautious' setting).
james
Posts: 2496
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 7:50 pm
Location: lymington, hampshire

Please do the vid, very sure that lots of post C kite riders or new since bridles became the norm would benefit hugely and actually get the real capability out of their kites as well as making them better kite surfers
baxterbradford
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:24 pm
Antispam: No
Location: Lymington
Contact:

Yes please, I'd like to see this video too - looking forward to being able to throw caution to the wind!
Mike B
Brand Rep'
Posts: 3259
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:09 am
Location: the north

Been foilboarding (loving it) and doing very well these last two days... Will get the vid done on friday when the wind returns hopefully....
John.B
Posts: 1901
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:21 pm
Location: The Union

I've had a good few sessions on the 6m now and can safely say it is an awesome 'storm kite'. I've had it out in winds ranging from 30 to gusts into the low 50's and it is incredibly stable - like the other sizes as the wind picks up it just seems to tighten up. I've actually been out when others have been struggling on 5m kites and I reckon this is because it responds so well to edging - I can drop it low and really push it forward in the window to keep everything under control.

The other thing it does well is jump - I took top spot on the Woo European leader board with a 13.1m jump this past Saturday on the 6m in really gusty, choppy cross shore winds. It's actually very easy to jump as the feedback and control you have with it is excellent so even in really crappy conditions you have the confidence to pull the trigger. At first I was unsure if it had as much poke as last years, but like the other sizes it's just much more refined and I'm now sure it not only goes bigger but also offers better float so even with the 6m it's not and up and down affair - 5.1 seconds hangtime on the Woo.

Super stoked with the Union this year - the more I use them the more I like and understand them.
Mike B
Brand Rep'
Posts: 3259
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:09 am
Location: the north

New Team Rider.. Victor Hays
Seems to have a handle on things, and has a good choice in music!
Airush is stoked to announce the addition of French kiteboarder, Victor Hays, to the team. Victor’s relationship with kiteboarding extends over 10 long years. Competing professionally in freestyle until 2013, Victor’s goals changed to serve a purpose of being an active member of his local and international kiteboarding community. Victor’s passion is riding all types of kites and boards, much like Airush riders Julien Kerneur and Oswald Smith, his versatility on a kite is extensive.

“We love these types of riders…” Team Manager, Marc Schmid, mentioned. “They are an asset to the brand in terms of developing the image of kiteboarding by not defining to one single discipline. It’s what makes us unique as kite enthusiasts and allows us experience so many feelings from waves, foil, wakestyle, etc. This is what Victor loves to do and we find it absolutely amazing to have someone like him onboard.”

In addition to his versatility, Victor spends a lot of his time assisting in developing products. With his extensive background in this field, he has been able to bring his own expertise into the Airush family. He will be joining riders like World Champion Bruna Kajiya and Alex Pastor, along with Julien, Oswald, and Bas Koole to make Airush even better!

Welcome to the Team Victor!
[bbvideo=640,360]http://vimeo.com/153736853[/bbvideo]
Mike B
Brand Rep'
Posts: 3259
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:09 am
Location: the north

An impressive test here from Kiteworld.
Did you know that the lithium is our best selling mainstream kite? It has been for many, many years.
You hear a lot of noise about Razor's, Waves and Unions, but the Lithium is still one of our biggest sellers. It does everything, for everyone. Performance riding made ludicrously simple!

Full Test;
http://www.ktwodistribution.com/images/ ... ithium.jpg


Image
Mike B
Brand Rep'
Posts: 3259
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:09 am
Location: the north

oooof... the tests are coming thick and fast - and I have to say - Rou's test on the 7m Union is an absolute belter - possibly one of the best tests we have ever had.

I know I keep banging on about how good the Union is, but here it is... proof - I told you so!! ha ha

http://www.iksurfmag.com/issue56/?page=153

Image

At A Glance;
The Union is a new addition to the Airush lineup for 2016 and it's billed as an all round machine for the intermediate to advanced rider. As the name suggests the kite is something of an amalgamation with elements Lithium, Razor and Wave models being brought to the drawing board, and the Union bringing them all together with a huge dose of it's own zest being added to the mix.

Airush has a reputation for well built, high-end products and that's all apparent as soon as you remove the Union from the bag. Top-notch components, solid build quality and a clear attention to detail.

The fabric uses Teijin's Technoforce D2 with Airush's Dyneeema load frame giving the best option in durability coupled with reduced weight. Changing from Aramid to Dyneema for their load frame this year to give and even longer life span, better UV resistance, lighter overall weight and extra strength - all of this showing that Airush is committed to constant improvements in their product technology, and also that the new model is the best it can be.

There are reinforced patches at key areas along leading edge, a high volume one pump single point inflation system and the unity strut connection that provides stiffer structure to aid relaunch and performance

All in all the union is a solid bit of kit and we couldn't wait to get out on the water and have it in the air!

Sizes; 6,7,8,9,10,12,14,16m

The Core Bar is a smart component of this Union package and has been designed to require zero adjustments for those that want plug and play aspect yet gives full versatility to tweek can modify for those that like to tailor and fiddle. With some simple adjustments bar can be four different lengths so one bar can comfortably be used with everything from the smallest to largest kite in your quiver without any setbacks ideal for those who like to use a different size bars and also keep the luggage and mass down when travelling.
The grooved pattern on the bar is surprisingly comfortable while giving excellent grip and a slightly narrow diameter as to the overall sleek feel.

The depower lines feature a PU coating which personally I'm a fan of, not only for the durability factor it's also good at eliminating some of the rope burn risks while performing tricks with your fingers inside the centre lines!

Standard push away quick release maintains familiarity and colour-coded lines keep things simple and safe its rugged yet tactile, beefy in its sturdiness while remaining slender and neat and feels 'just right' when it's in your hands.

On the Water
The seven meter Union made its way into our hands buy something of an accident when we arrived in Perth to mega winds and were underprepared with 9 m as our smallest beast. The kind fellows at auswind didn't hesitate in learning us the kite and so our love affair began... with the kites I should swiftly add, we wouldn't want any Auswind employee WAGS getting upset!

Some epic sessions at Woodlands point ensued and the stability, responsiveness and versatility soon became apparent (there we go with that versatile word again it's certainly a recurrent theme of this kite).
The seven meter was a joy to ride in the butter flat waters instilling confidence with the handling and the reactive feeling at the bar letting you know where it was at all times. Somehow being a small kite it didn't perform like a whippet and catch you off guard, that being said the playful nature of the kite shone through and you could tell it would behave well in the waves too.

Turning speed is good while remaining controlled again a characteristic that lends itself to waves and made loading up for big airs and absolute doddle.

The high-performance nature of the union continues when unhooking and I was surprised with how much fun and dare I say it, easy it was on 7m - a clear indication of just how balanced this kite is. Somehow it encourages you to push your riding, try new things and want to get out of your comfort zone, while bizarrely feeling safe in the process. Don't let that fool you into believing that this is some kind of softy though; it's got an eager fireball side and that's what keeps the desire for more burning.

As it had indicated, the Union's demeanour in the waves was as accomplished and multitalented as it had been with the freestyle flatwater sessions. The direct steering enabling you to get down and dirty, hitting the lips and carving out the bottom turns even when the Kite is depowered.

We were very impressed with Unions range - one of the team loved the kite so much, she insisted on using it in some borderline 9 to 11 meter conditions and we fully expected to be rescuing her way downwind. It never happened and left us all rather gobsmacked.

I suppose we shouldn't mention relaunched to but it's so easy you forget you've ever have to do it....

For
Everything - it's an awesome kite, a fantastic complete package and the union does perform in any conditions and any style you care to throw at it. Build quality is uncompromising and you will be pushing yourself and the kite to ever higher levels of riding with confidence that it can handle it.

Against
We really struggle to find anything against the Union. Often with a 'do it all' offering there are areas where it's slightly lacking and you can appreciate where a specific discipline kite would fill that minor void, however, we never quite found it with the union.

Overall
It really is one kind to does it all winner (and with the adjustable bar it's a one bar winner too!) Fun, playful, yet stable and encouraging, good looking, and lightweight, with no compromise on strength and durability.

If we try to address the kites broad capabilities, Mark Patterson chief designer of Airush sums it up perfectly; "it is a fantastic kite for any more aggressive or avid rider that is looking for an all-round kite. This is a favourite for those go out on a surfboard for an hour session, swapout for boots and a livewire, have a freestyle or wake style session, then finish the day off with big kite loops. It simply does a bit of everything from wave riding and unhooking and boosting."
John.B
Posts: 1901
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:21 pm
Location: The Union

It really is a cracking kite - the boost is amazing and I've had some epic sessions on mine. It really is a very good jack of all trades without comprising too much in one area at the expense of another.
lucie
Posts: 2031
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 5:14 pm
Location: Calshot

Good review, some points here that I have made in the past about the Diamond - inspiring confidence for example. I found the union and diamond to be quite similar, although I preferred bar feedback on the diamond. Any girls/small riders liking the sound of the Union should demo the Airush Diamond.
Mike B
Brand Rep'
Posts: 3259
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:09 am
Location: the north

Airush Foils should be here mid june...
Here is Julien doing some final testing.....
foilar.jpg
foilar.jpg (99.24 KiB) Viewed 1969 times
John.B
Posts: 1901
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:21 pm
Location: The Union

Firstly thanks to Mike for coming all the way up and across to our little event at Sands of Luce this past weekend. No only is he a true gent but the demo kit he brought got us on the water when the winds were light. I got to try the 16m and 14m Unions and I'm not usually a fan of big kites and would rather have a board like the Shinnster and a 12m. However these big Unions felt fast, lively and responsive - back roll kite loops on a 16m were easy. The other standout was just how stable they were unhooked - great for popping against and no huge spike of power or surge trying to rip your arms off.

Mike made a little video and most of the riding you see is on a 16/14m Union, a 15m Razor and a 15m VXR Luce Bay Video
Mike B
Brand Rep'
Posts: 3259
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:09 am
Location: the north

[bbvideo=560,315]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1CgXCSgPjE[/bbvideo]

Thanks John... It was a great weekend.
Your local spots are easy on the eye ;-)

Good to get out on the hydrofoil again. A new sport for me as you can tell ;-)
Yup - used the 14 m Union a while ago, but that wa sthe first time I used the 16, and it's class. By far the best super sized kite we've ever had. Light, agile, tactile and efficient -
I was very impressed too.

Unions go down so well at demos, they are always a pleasure to represent....
Post Reply