Test Report: Ron Goodfriend
Test Rider: Ron Goodfriend 65 kg Naked.
Test Equipment: Best Kite boarding Nemesis 14m
Test Conditions: day 1 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 10 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 14 MPH
Day 2 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 25 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 30 MPH
Test Location: Northern Europe.
Once out of its bag, the first thing you notice about the nemesis is the aspect ratio of the kite, an obvious indication of its serious high performance nature. Once inflated, the panel layout and foiling become apparent and have impressively clean lines. The double thickness trailing edge and flutter busters are a welcome sight too.
In the light wind conditions we had, we tried both a self-launch and assisted launch, neither of which were problematic. As with any high aspect kite, holding her back in the window on an assisted launch allowed her to climb more easily, it also gives you a sneak preview of the power this kite can generate.
For our test we used a 55 cm bar, and in 10 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 12 mph wind, the kite turned quickly on the bar and used a relatively small turning circle, as this kite is narrow, I expected a bigger one. In the air, and on land the kite generated some good power responses to gentle movements of the bar which I found encouraging at those wind speeds.
Given my weight and the light wind, it was not possible for me to go upwind to any great extent, however I was able to ride out of all my transitions and carry though all turns, bear in mind that I was working the kite. There was a point that the wind picked up slightly which made it possible for me to loop the kite and exit with momentum even on my first attempt. Given my past experience with high aspect kites, this surprised me and to be considered as good light wind performance.
With respect to wind, day 2 was a completely different story, with 25 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 30 mph winds, the 14 would not have been my ideal kite for the given day. A 12m may have been optimum choice. Other riders on the beach were rigging 9 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 13m kites, and being that I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know this kite well at all, it was going to prove an interesting day given that the wind was gusty.
Once launched, the 14m Nemesis pulled like a road train and lofted me somewhat until I pulled in the depower, when it became mildly mannered and manageable to the extent that I could get to the water unassisted. Once on the water, flown aggressively and powered, the kite was a completely different animal. The steering became very tight and precise, with all lag eliminated. This kite is extremely direct with great feedback from the bar.
The shallow chord made it a very quick kite in terms of flight, my board speed increased quickly and made for effective generation of large amounts of power. After 30 minutes of flying, I found myself not looking at the kite any longer and relying only on bar feedback.
Despite the gusty conditions, the kite behaved very well and there were no adverse responses from it, to either changes in the wind direction or to changes in wind speed. The stability of the Nemesis at the edge of the wind window was confidence inspiring.
Even when the kite was flown on really slack rear lines, there was no sign of tip swing or jelly fishing, which are problems that still affect many top brand manufacturers today.
Many users still see the high aspect range as mere jumping machines with lots of hangtime, the nemesis has both of those qualities in bucket loads. Although it took me the best part of 4 hours to really get the best out of my jumps, after 1 hour I was getting better hangtime than on my regular ride. As the day progressed, so did my jumping and by the end of it, I out jumped all my expectations, higher and longer than I had before. If I could say anything, it would be that I would have preferred being on a 12 which would be more suited to that days wind and due to my lack of knowledge of the kite, and not ideal choice of board, I rode with the lines slack on the back.
With a bit more time and a board more suited, I would have been jumping very high indeed. As it is, I am very impressed with the kite. Its construction and performance is excellent. It appears to have a very good wind range too boot and is easy to use in a variety of wind conditions.
If it were up to me to compare it to other kites, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d draw comparison of its low range gearbox, to that of the Rhino2 whilst its top end is rather akin to that of the 2002 Airblast 10.0 (13.0). That said, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t care to compare this to other kites because comparison only allows specific attributes such as speed and hangtime to be described. The Nemesis however doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t handle like the aforementioned 2 kites and thus cant be overly compared.
With respect to steering and response, the Nemesis is comparable to the better of last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s high aspect kites. The only noticeable thing was in light winds and related to the slightly slow speed of upturn from right down in the corner of the window when riding towards the kite in light winds.
As a 16 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 30 mph ride for those of average weight but above average kite skill, looking for high performance, the 14m Nemesis proves to be a very well placed kite and considering its price, for me there is very little question in it at all.
Up Up and Away !