Well this is the sequel to poor relies review of the waroo http://www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/topi ... C_ID=15040
. I'm coming from the sonic bow kite perspective after having ridden an 11m sonic and now a 14m sonic. I've had over 50hrs on the sonics so I think I have a fair understanding of how they perform. I will largely compare the 9m waroo with the 11m sonic. The waroo is a big 9, more like a 10 and the 11m sonic is a very small 11m (Its closer to the 9m crossbow than the 12m), so even though there is a size difference I believe they would probably be the most comparable sizes in each of the kites ranges. I pay for my kites aswell, although I try not to pay new kite prices by buying new season gear second hand or by buying demo models etc, so the price point is very important, both the waroo and sonic are at the right end of the market for me.
I'll start off by saying the waroo and sonic are completely different kites. I've been guilty of saying the sonic and waroo are the same in the past, I'll retract those statements now I have actually tried both.
Ok first thing the bag. ****ing sweet, at first it looked a little tight only giving you a tiny backpack. But no this thing is super nice, perfect size for the kite when folded properly (if your lazy and its blowing 35knots, it might be a struggle getting it in). Its compact but has room for the bar, you wouldnt know it was a kite bag apart from the big waroo bit printed on it. Has the obligatory fold out bit for a kite with struts inflated (looking at it you wouldnt think the kite would fit, but the struts are so bloody tiny is unbelievable). One up for the waroo on the bag, if you like to look cool sonic bag better if you just want a big bag to carry everything, wettie, harness pump etc
Kite laid out on the ground, construction, pumping up etc. Ok get this thing out of the bag. First thoughts, **** you dont get much for your money. Its a little big kite, probably made up from as much material as a 7m C kite kite. As I said before the struts are so small, the middle strut is like the size of the wingtip struts on the 11m sonic. Easy to pump this one up, ball valves on all struts, leading edge takes no time to pump because its small, no need for a one pump system here. Theres also a nice huge dump valve (sonic is hard to roll up because the valve is to small), no wingtip valves like sonic though. Construction, looks very tidy, for mine better than the sonic.Bit more solid than the sonic no where near an SS though (But they have about 6x more stitching than any kite brand on the market), wear bits and all that jazz. Waroo gets a point over the sonic here aswell
The bridle is the same design as the sonic (rear lines go to a simple V though). The lines are a lot longer though and it takes a little longer to get them organised because they can get looped around the wingtips when pumping. This could be an issue if the kite rolls through the lines (it probably won't be though). The length of the front V is alot longer, I believe this really effects how the kite feels in the air (more on this later).Its a bridle! how it flys matters no points here
Now to the bar. Very similar to the sonic, except the depower line is shorter and it has a conventional depower strap. Grip is nicer, chicken loop is nicer. The sonic has a problem where the grip gets worn off near the hole, this wont be an issue for the waroo because the chickenloop is of a different design. The waroo has a widened hole like the SS bar (but not as big), nice touch. No colour coded lines, big downer for me (this is a pre production though the proper model might come with them?), ohh and no easy off things on the loops of the lines makes it a bitch to get them off with cold hands. The dangly depower straps are an inconvenience but don't cause issues, just a bit of an annoyance as they get wrapped around the lines and I had to keep flipping them off. I feel the chickenloop line wasn't long enough as the kite wouldn't fall out of the sky with the kite powered on the strap and the bar out to the end of the line, the sonic has over 1m here and sheeting the depower strap/cleat doesn't affect the effectiveness of the "Total depower" because it changes the length of the chickenloop line. Hard to explain but look at how each system works and you will understand. This could be a positive though as the kite falls out of the sky slower and you have time to recover (and you can, its within reach) it before it crashes. Taking the negatives and the positives into account the waroo bar wins by a smidgen. I like the sonic bar concept a tiny tiny tiny bit better (they both work all right) but the quality of the waroo bar is a ton better
ok to the important part, how it flys!. Ok its in the air, things I noticed straight away were that its reactive, you pull the bar and it turns, no delay really responsive. Turning pressure is very light, to get it to turn you dont need to pull in a whole heap of bar and its not hard to pull in either (the 11m sonic you need to give about 50% more bar movement to get it to turn and the 14 about 100% more). Sheeting pressure though is quite high, to pull the bar closer requires alot more force then the sonic, I would say its at about the 04 C kites level. Was quite annoying after being on the sonic which is lightest bar pressure I have ever felt, but for people comming off a C kite it would just be like normal. Depower, It depowers alot faster than the sonic more like a crossbow. The sonic depowers like a C, rushing to the front of the window. The waroo loses power wherever it is in the window imediatly after sheeting out. This is both a positive and a negative; You can react to gusts easier but I kept moving between over powered and underpowered (I guess its a feel thing and takes a while to get used to). Turning speed is mighty fast, you wouldnt want anything faster. It turns nice and tight on the spot, good smooth power through turns, no stop starting when flying the kite over the top for a heelside turn. Couldnt really tell if it was sliding through turns like a rapture 2 or turning like a C, it was just turning so fast ,but who cares?. waroo gets a point, alot faster, alot more responsive, nicer depower. Bar pressure the only let down, but very acceptable compared to the crossbow
Jumping! Lift is still a little mild compared to performance C's, but better than the sonic (by this I mean the speed with which you get up there and the acceleration off the water). Very very good height, although I didnt take it to its limit, still had quite a bit left in it, the kite won't be holding you back for big air, it will be how big your balls are. I felt it was easier to get a good consistent boosts than my 11m sonic (in the same wind conditions). The jumping technique is similar to the sonics (dont swing it back to fast or far or you choke the power, throw it back a little depowered sheet in as the lift comes in) and probably a little different from the crossbow (from poor relies response). Float was very good, a little less than the sonic though (which is foil like). Landings were alot faster and harder then the sonic for me, I had a hard time nailing the landings and on a couple of occasions had to bail, this could be a technique thing, but the sonic will land you softly whatever you do (hot tip- dont go big air jumping in 20cm of water your first time on it). Points to the sonic here (barely), down on lift compared to the waroo but the waroo doesn't float aswell and can give unpredictable and hot landings, the waroo was more fun but painful
Relaunch I can't comment on coz i didnt ever have to (a credit to its stability and ease of handeling). Same as sonic though from reports (awesome)
In all the waroo is an awesome kite. Some definite improvements over the sonic and some minor let downs. To choose one over the other is a tough choice (you won't be dissapointed with either), but for me I would go for the waroo
. Why? Finish, better bar quality, its faster, more responsive and its just more fun to fly, and thats really what matters not how fast, high or long it goes but how it makes the rider feel.