I have been flying the new Caution Mayhem X 11 and 9 for 6 sessions in various conditions and thought I would share my findings with you guys.
Riding since 2003 and with all the crazy kids around nowadays I would classify myself somewhere in between an intermediate-advanced rider. I am mainly into stylish oldschool stuff and waveriding when waves are good. Up to 20 knots, I also like doing kiteloops and some unhooked stuff but this is limited to some F-16, raileys and sbends.
Construction wise everything looks solid. Reinforcements on the right places, solid dacron frame while clearly keeping the kite nicely light in weight. I have limited knowledge about materials but the materials used in the kite look and feel like outstanding quality. Of course only time can tell.
In general: I used the kites in about 15 to 30 knots. I mostly used the kites in their fastest settings and boy… These kites are FAST! Both in turning and in forward speed. Also really direct in reaction to bar input. For unhooked stuff you can set turning speed a bit slower. The thing that amazed me is that the Caution boys also managed to make this high performance kite incredibly stable. The kite has awesome drift when riding towards it and when the lines go slack after a missed trick the kite hoovers there until the tension is back in your lines. The kite has a good and smooth pull throughout the whole turn which makes this kite a dream to do some nice carving. Bar pressure is nicely balanced and increasing if you power the kite more by sheeting in. (much like a C kite)
Time to get some air! Lift of the kite is really explosive. Big air is easy on this kite. I would call hangtime moderate. Plenty of time to do some nice stylish rotations and board-offs without a dangling finish. In hooked in kiteloops you can loop the mayhem X very tight with moderate power. However if you loop the kite a bit slower the boost is quite explosive. After the loop the kite travels to 12 really fast which softens your landings.
Range: I don’t believe in 1 or even 2 kite quivers as I always want to ride kites in their sweetspot. So can’t really comment on the exact windrange. What I can tell is that this sweetspot seems to be HUGE on both the 11 and 9. I leave it up to others to explore the true high and low-end of these kites.
Unhooked: Up to now I only did a few unhooked tricks with the kites. Unhooked performance seems to be really good. Unlike many SLE kites, the mayhem X is not a horrible “powerhouse” when unhooked and does not stall at all. Pop is great and I could clearly feel a short dead moment after the pop. So I guess this kite is awesome for the newschool kids as well. Maybe a rider more into new school can get more into detail about the unhooked performance.
What to improve: I am really enthusiastic about this kite. There are 2 minor things on the bar that can be improved to my opinion.
1) The leash that comes with the bar looks not strong enough to handle the forces of some good unhooked wipeouts. I threw those in the corner and use my trusty flexifoil leash.
2) The red line of the mini 5th is a bit frayed after 6 sessions. I will wax it with some sexwax and report later how long it holds up.
Conclusion: I am just really, really stoked on these kites. This is the first kite I have that I cannot think of any improvements to the wing itself. The kite likes to be flown aggressively. All in all an awesome kite for intermediate to advanced riders who want a fast yet stable wing. Due to its speed I think the Mayhem X might be a bit challenging for beginners but due to a good safety and a lot of depower I guess it will work good for those who have a good natural kite-control feeling. For beginners who are taking it slower I guess the zombie might be the better choice for them?