I rode the Shockwave 12 for the first time on Monday.
The conditions were gusty 20-30.
I have spent most of my time on the Crossbow and Switchblade since August, But have not been out riding in a while to give a point of reference.
Two other kiters out were on 9 Meter C kites. another went out on His 13 C kite (experienced rider) and came back after a couple of tack as he was well overpowered.
Set up-: No hassles right out of the bag. Octopus (one pump) system works great.
There are Multiple Stopper balls with different levels of release. I was using the Middle one which is fairly easy to push through, For a more advanced rider I would put in the stopper which requires more force to release, this allows you to let go of the bar to un-spin with out the stopper letting go.
Construction; Okay, what the hell do I know? I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t claim to be able to look at a kite and tell weather it is well built or not. I like to let time and abuse be the determiner of a kites build.
I have a lot of faith in Naish and their dedication to making a high quality product.
Feel :I felt instantly at home on the Shockwave. I know its not a "Bow" kite, But it behaved very similar to the Crossbow with a little more of the Switchblades C kite feel. it was very easy to tell where the kite was in the air.
Jumping: "to the moon Alice" Like the Crossbow it has the ability to get you up high and keep you there. One handed Jumps which can take some getting used to on a Flat kite were no problem. Keep the bar pulled in tight or you will drop quickly, once you get used to this it becomes second nature.
I did like the Landings after a big jump with the Shockwave. When you are ready to land pull hard on the front hand and come in hot with the kite heading almost in a down loop. Since you get a lot of hang time with these kites you will often slow down forward momentum. Getting the kite moving forward will smooth out the landing. The more comfortable you get with this the more fun you will have with it.
Turning: Very quick and responsive. Turning with a down loop is my test for kite Turing speed and responsiveness. The Shockwave will pivot turn so this is no problem. The first Time i tried the Down loop I was ready for the kite to hit the water. I was happily surprised when the kite came right around with little need for sheeting in.
Stability: As I said in the beginning is was quite gusty, The shock wave felt very smooth. I attribute this to the "gas petal" like sheeting ability. I never got pulled off my edge or felt over powered in a gust.
I did give a few attempts to invert the kite. I will admit I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t try extremely hard as the water here on Cape Cod is not exactly warm. But I did get the kite wound up and then sheeted out quickly (which is a common cause of an invert in a flat kite) The Leading edge would luff hard but the kite stayed stable and did not invert.
Come warmer weather I will get this a more aggressive attempt.
I should also say that I have never had my Crossbows or Switchblades invert, So maybe Im just not good at it!.
Water Relaunch: No problem, Like the other flat kites I have ridden relaunching off the water is almost silly its so easy. Pull on an outside line, let the kite rotate and take off, Sheet out and you will not drag at all.
Self Beach Landing: Again No problems. Bring the Kite over the edge of the Window and sheet out past the stopper ball. The kite sit on its wingtip. It may move around a little. As with any kite I would not take me eyes off it, not because i think it will take off, but its just good safe practice.
You can then reach of and grab the center line ring and let the chicken loop go, the Kite will bounce a little until it settles to straight down wind.
Work your way up the line to the kite and secure.
Pack Up I will fist say that I never put my kites away right, and I am a slob. I decided since I was testing the kite I should test it all.
The kite folds up easily and fits in the bag with no problem. I know this can seen trivial, but for some reason a lot of kites donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seem to go back in the bag easily once they have been used.
The pump has a place on one side of the bag and another for the bar.
The Board clips nicely to the back of the pack.
Being a general yard sale kinda guy at the beach I was proud to walk back to my van with everything easily in its place/
Overall impression Too be honest I was ready to be disappointed with the Shockwave. I have been so happy with the Crossbow and Switchblade and I was told the SLE was a different animal.
In stead I was very happily impressed with the kite from beginning to end.
I put three other riders on the kite that day and they were also impressed.
(two had ridden bows before).
For someone looking for a Very high Quality Kite with Excellent Control ,Massive depower, Tons of range. The Shockwave is a great Choice. Not to mention the Big air and hangtime.
I would put anyone from a beginner to expert rider on this kite with no hesitation although for a beginner I would attach a leash to the center line.
The Octopus System for inflating the kite from one point is defiantly a very nice thing to have.
I do sell Naish Kites, I also sell Cabrinha, Slingshot, Globerider and Gaastra.