Ive been lucky enough to meet alex and peter from best at the taiba lagoon in brasil and could try a prototype of the waroo 9m.
Ive been riding the sonic 11m now for nearly 4 weeks everyday in various conditions (12-30 knots) and am very pleased with how it performs (you can see the details in my other sonic review thread).
So i was very curious to see how the waroo compares to it. Although i had a 9m and not the 12m waroo, i think i can give you a good idea where the differences lie.
For all the lazy people - both kites behave very alike and if you havent been riding one or the other a lot, you wouldnt know the difference without looking at what you are riding. So in other words - buy whatever comes cheaper - best or globekites. Because both kites are so alike that in the end the price will make the biggest difference.
The waroo has the front pulleys where the frontlines get attached just like the sonic - therefore the depower works just as in the sonic. The depower is in its usual place on the waroo - not under the bar as on the sonic. That is easier to get used to except for a 2 things: Because its above the bar, to give enough depower line length, it is pretty far away. Best solved it by making the pull/pull straps longer so its reachable without having to bend over too much. Due to the position, the bar also cant travel up as far as the bar from the sonic and is usually in your reach. Not bad but also limits the depower capability. I only rode in 15 knots at the lagoon so i cant say what happens when you get to the kites upper limit but evidently theres a limit - something that the sonic doesnt seem to have (thats in terms of depowerability). Remember though - when you hit the 30 knots with the sonic - you can ride but it isnt its sweet spot anymore and by then you should be thinking of taking a smaller kite anyway. So if the waroo tells you where the limit is by its "depower stopper" then thats maybe not such a bad thing.
The waroo has more bridle attachment points on the LE and definately shows an advantage through this because even when pulling it through the powerzone, it doesnt cave in at all. The sonic I ride now has the modification for the bridles so that the pulleys cant travel too far forward. This does suppress the caving in on the centerpart of the LE but when pulling throught the power zone you still get a slight "flattening" effect on the edges - the kite takes a square shape and that obviously affects the flying characteristics. Im no kite designer but id say globekites needs another attachment point on the LE like the waroo to compensate this.
Flying the two kites feels 90% identical. There is more bar pressure (albeit not very much more) on the waroo. Also kitelooping both kites is pretty similar although maybe the waroo slides a little less inside the loop (like the bow kites usually do) so in that sense it behaves a little more like a C shape kite. But we are talking of hardly noticable nuances.
Also the waroo feels a little more responsive - the sonic can feel a little "undefined" - difficult to describe really but then again this difference might be becaue i was flying a 9m waroo and comparing it to my bigger 11m.
Turningspeed is as expected a little faster than the sonic but thats due to size difference.
Range wise i cant say much except that the 9m had lots of power in those 15knots and i was going nicely powered up. But just as the sonic - this is a kite that needs speed to go on apparent wind. No grunt what so ever - so dont expect it to rip you out of the water, you got to move it first. A fast board is of course important.
Material, stitching - everything normal and as expected. I dont see any differences here. The waroo proto i had already showed the same wear points as i had on the sonic (see my sonic review). So i pointed that out to peter (the designer) and he will put kevlar reenforcements there on the finals. The pulleys are identical and havent made any jamming problems (not like flysurfer pulleys that dont like fine sand at all).
Relaunch is identical - easy like any foil. Just pull on one steering line and in 10 seconds the kite is in the sky.
Unhooked riding is identical - but here you might have to adjust the line lengths at the kite (can be done easily) to make sure the kite doesnt go too powered up or backstalling. Here the sonic has a slight advantage because you do all adjustments on the depower line while you are riding - as it doesnt have any limit on the depower line length. But heres also a a point where you need some feel for the sonic because you can easily overpower the kite and make it backstall.
Hangtime on the 9m was of course less than on the 11m sonic, but i should be getting a 12m waroo to test soon and then we can say more. Other than that - jumping works identically well. Board control is just wonderfully easy.
So in conclusion: it comes down to small preferences and of course the price. The kites are very similar in their characteristics (not suprising as they work on the same pulley principle) and to me are equally good.
mark van haze wrote:Ive been lucky enough to meet alex and peter from best at the taiba lagoon in brasil and could try a prototype of the waroo 9m.
WOW!! You met the two smartest guys in kiteboarding!! How lucky!
How did Stiewe boy come up with such an ingenious invention!?! Pulleys on the front attachment points. Thats brilliant. Thats probably the coolest thing that Peter has ever designed ever. I'm so fucking impressed. You are a genious Peter Stiewe. You must be the BEST kite designer ever! Congratulations Alex for hiring the most smartest kite designer in the world! I'm in awe... speachless.
My guess is it will be just different enough to avoid paying either the GK or Lagainoux patents. Managing to do this takes a lot of hard design work!
Thanks for the honest review. It's good to have one from somebody who didn't just join the forum yesterday to post a glowing independent review of kite that's not available yet. So basically you're saying that rather than painting a Crossbow silver (Nemi '06) Best have taken a Sonic, painted it pink and drawn a huge cock with wings on it? That's cleared things up nicely.
Damn you got us, what were we thinking off, putting pulleys on flying lines on a kite to give it more depower, probably the same thing that every other company that has ever done it was thinking.
i mean flysurfer, 'how very dare they ?', building a flatter plan shape kite and using bridles on the front lines, just like you do, without asking your permission first.....
what ever next, cabrinha and takoon doing the same thing but on the rear lines to improve turning, and without asking diamond white and all the paraglider manufacturers who have done it for years for permission.