new test of the nova kite on ikiteboarding.com.
Make your choice
"The Nova is a hybrid - a mix between a foil and a inflatable kite. The benefits are increased safety features, relaunch abilities and a wider wind range in which the kite can be used in.
Although the Takoon Nova and Cabrinha Crossbow looks strikingly similar from a distance, these kites have different flying characteristics.
The Nova comes in a expandable backpack-type bag that easily houses the kite. The 4 line bar is durable and the flying lines as well as the pigtails are slightly thicker than the industry standard kite lines that we are used to.
The kite is well padded and the kite looks and feels durable. The Nova has a single inflation system, and all the valves are one way valves which enable you to pump the kite up really hard.
Just like the Crossbow, we found the 12 to be a bit slow to our liking. The 9 turns plenty fast and tight. There is a slight delay on the kite when you turn (just like the Cabrinha Crossbows have). Compared to the Cabrinha Crossbows we felt that the Novas turned a notch slower.
The Nova has a typical Takoon feeling with a very light bar pressure and huge range. Two things that stood out on the Nova apart from safety and relaunch features was the high jumps and fast board speed that is possible on this kite.
I really felt that where the Crossbow lacked a bit of punch in upwards lift the Takoon delivered. Lift was comparable to that of the classic leading edge kites, but with added hangtime.
I reached some pretty high board speeds with the Nova. The kite has a definite advantage over the older leading edge inflatable kites when it comes to air speed. It would be interesting to see what the guys will be doing on the bow kites in future speed competitions.
Safety and Relaunch
After spending more than 6 weeks on the kite, I can say that safety and relaunch abilities are second to none. Killing the power involves disengaging the bar stopper by pushing the bar away from you. In stronger wind all you need to do is to let go of the bar from a distance. Letting go of the bar from smaller distances will allow you to unspin the bar.
To Relaunch the kite involves pulling one of the side lines. This will lift the wingtip out of the water into a relaunch position. If you pull one of the side lines really hard the kite will lift in the power zone and lift instantly. Pull lighter and the kite will move to the side of the window where it will launch with minimal power.
So far, I have been able to relauch every time - sometimes in less than 7 seconds.
The nice thing about this safety system is that there's no swimming involved. Just pull the side line and the kite will launch. No need to swim to the side. As an added safety measure you also have the option to pull on the front lines if the kite is leading edge down. This will flip the kite over like a 5 line relaunch system will.
We flew the 12 and 9 Novas head to head against the 9 and 12 Crossbows. In terms of size the Novas looked bigger and had better bottom end.
Like with the Cabrinha Crossbows, we preferred the 9 Nova to the slower 12. The 9 Nova has an incredible range. I found that I could easily cover the range of a 8 and a 12 with the 9 Nova. To get the best out of the kite you have to tune the kite by choosing different power settings for different conditions.
The Nova stands out as a jumping and wave-riding kite, and performs well in all other areas. The only area where the Nova dissapointed was turning speed in the bigger sizes.
The safety and relaunch features coupled with the wave riding and jumping performance of the kite makes it a great all round kite. The 9 has such a good range that you could easily get away with a 1 kite quiver that will cover both strong and lighter winds.
It's not the fastest kite on the block but the safety features, range and jumping performance makes up for it.
Thanks to Bruce and Rob Chrystal from Ocean2Air for providing the demo kites"