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Review Airush Union III 9m

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davedej
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Review Airush Union III 9m

Postby davedej » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:54 pm

Source:
http://www.wetestkites.com/2017/10/08/a ... ion-v3-9m/

If the Union was a dog it would be a Shepherd. It listens unbeatable secure to your input and combines it with a incredible fast reaction. Interesting is the Airush invention of the Dyneema Load Frame. It is used again in the third version of the Union. Which means Airush is convinced it is the answer to its competitors triple and even quadruple wired canopy. Is this a strong answer? And will the Shepherd show its teeth when needed?

Airush Union V3

We have a very nice recall on our test almost 2 years ago on the Union V1. The possibilities to adjust the Union to the conditions or personal preferences is very interesting and probably will be adapted to more and more kites in the future. By changing the setup of the bridles at the leading edge and the (3m) extension on the lines on or off makes the kite so much more versatile. The test team had a common enjoyable and good kiting experience on the Union while learning which set up suited best. Which made most of us wanting to own the Union ourselves.

As we understood the V2 wasn’t different to that of the V1, but the V3 (if it is a 2017 or 2018 model is not clear) has been “re-designed from the bottom up…more lift and hangtime when going for Big Air, along with quicker and more responsive steering.”

Most details on the Union are as you may expect from a grown up brand like Airush. A “Boston” wide inflate, clean and universal way for suicide mode, down the bar swivel, single line total flag out and well protected depowerlines. The Union is also a fraction lighter (we weigh all the kites). Most 9 meter kites are just over 3 kilos but the Union is about 10% under it. It might be due to the fact it hasn’t got any battens in the canopy, while most of the comparable kites (like the FX and Dice) have 4 or even 6 battens to support the canopy.

Inflate

Almost all brands have switched from the universal (and inferior) small inflate to about 4 different wide inflate connections. The one Airush is using (“Boston inflate”) is a pretty common one. Without getting into details on which system is better or worse, we would like to send a message to the industry: get one universal system. Less plastic (one pump should fits all) means a cleaner environment, which is protecting our own playground.

Core Bar and lines

Similar to the previous versions we are happy to see the V2 Core bar has extensions so you can adjust your kite to some extend to the conditions. Sadly the Airush website doesn’t provide you the details on them. The lines itself partly mention some answers, but still it is kind of confusing. We did some measurements; With all lines attached (which is 10M+9m+3m extensions+ longer bridles than average) compared to a 22m North bar you get 1.5m more length (23.5m total). Good for low end, less good for mega loops. When removing those extensions you get 20.5m.

Test

The Union is not an extreme beast. Rather the opposite. It combines a superb stability with the most reactive properties a stable kite can have. If you get it to stay poot, for example at 12 o’clock, it will wait (just like a Shepherd) completely still exactly where you set it. Eagerly waiting for the command to immediately run off at your command. It is almost like the Union has it tongue hanging out of his mouth, like that of an eager dog from enthousiasme. It is a very trust full feeling which advanced riders and wave riders will appreciate in particularly. On top of that we loved -again- the fact the line extensions (on or off) gave us a much wider wind range than kites with just one length. In doubt about which length to use? We preferred on average the longer line set up (extensions on). The Union is fast enough to still get a fun and responsive feeling in this setup.

The Shepherd doen’t really show any aggression when going for an freestyle move. Unhooking, especially in under powered situations, it tends to back stall suddenly. This is the Union major Achilles heel. Just like a Bandit or Dice the Union tends to stall when powering up too much the back lines on light conditions. With the Union it just happens much more suddenly and abrupt compared to other kites. It happened more on the wider setting of the bridles, which made us prefer (by far) the inner settings.

Does the Dyneema Load Frame have a noticeable direct effect on the performance? Our idea is that it will help to support a longer and better canopy on the long run. But we think we have noticed an effect from the Dyneema load Frame on the performance. The Union has a quite particular power buildup. It can be best compared to that of having a second lift while jumping. Usually this (only) happens when you get an extra gust of wind while hanging in the air. The Union sort of always have a late or second pull. It is something to get used to, especially when going for a (mega) kite loop. The power peak, roughly half second later as other kites, can get you surprised.

List price

Airush Union (9m kite only) 1379,- US$

Airush Core Control bar (with 22m lines) 550,- US$
Attachments
We Test Kites Airush Union III.jpg
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Chusss
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Re: Review Airush Union III 9m

Postby Chusss » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:52 pm

Thanks for this review, davedej
Do you think this kite would also be good as a wave kite?
Can you tell us about how was it on the surf?
Thank you in advance.
Best,
Chus

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jeromeL
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Re: Review Airush Union III 9m

Postby jeromeL » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:22 pm

davedej wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:54 pm
The Union sort of always have a late or second pull. It is something to get used to, especially when going for a (mega) kite loop. The power peak, roughly half second later as other kites, can get you surprised.
When I was learning to kiteloop on Bandit 9m and 10m I also felt that second lift, I thought it was pretty common on those kites, that's why a lot of people recommend pure C kite for learning kiteloop because power is more constant through the loop and doesn't spike as bad.
The kite accelerate through the loop and midway it peaks which yanks you out of place then kite stalls slightly. Once you know how to loop you have better technique in term of core strength and you are ready to take the yank but when learning that yank will throw you leg behind you overhead screwing the line tension making really hard to learn kiteloop.
Maybe on 7m and 8m it's less important because kite is faster so it catch you better but on 9m with 24m line boosting off flat water it's quite critical. Though on 20.5m maybe it's less an issue but it will yank you really bad when powered...

The review looks good overall but the lightwind unhook part and the kiteloop part makes it unappealing to beginner to intermediate. Looks like you need to graduate from unhooking on low end and be confirmed on kiteloop before you get that kite.

Really like C but I will probably try to find a hybrid at some point for better hangtime and versatility. Can't do any one footer or board off with my C ;( or not good enough to learn on it at least.

SonnyRider
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Local Beach: A muddy estuary 40 miles from home called Weston super mare.
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Style: Free to do what ever I want
Gear: Airush Wave, Union II & III, Varial X and sometimes my GF's Airush Diamonds

Shinn Bronq, Airush Converse 6' 2015. Firewire 5'3" Evo Helium, Circle one SB
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Location: Bath, UK

Re: Review Airush Union III 9m

Postby SonnyRider » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:35 pm

Chusss wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:52 pm
Thanks for this review, davedej
Do you think this kite would also be good as a wave kite?
Can you tell us about how was it on the surf?
Thank you in advance.
Best,
Chus
My GF has a 9m Union III she rides a TT and I have a 2018 10m Wave riding surfboards.

The Union is ok in Waves, but not as good as the Wave kite. The Wave drifts better and doesn't mind the slack line scenario you can get when on a wave. The Union can be fine, but not as refined in those kind of conditions like the Wave is

If you're going to specifically ride in Waves, then get a Wave kite, if you're mostly into freeride & boosting, with a little bit of Wave action, get the Union.

Chusss
Rare Poster
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:58 pm
Kiting since: 2009
Local Beach: Valencia - Spain
Favorite Beaches: Somo - Spain
Gear: Flysurfer Speed 3 12&21
Flyboard Radical M
Surfboard fish 5 10
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Review Airush Union III 9m

Postby Chusss » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:48 pm

Thank you, SonnyRider
This is what I thought.
I tested a Union V2 12m on very small waves and I was pretty happy with it, but since I hadn't had a chance to test it on bigger waves, where drift and stability of the kite when there isn't any tension on the lines is important, I decided to ask here.
I finally purchased a Union V3 12m for wave riding and boosting when I'm not racing with my foil. I'm also planning to share this with my wife, and she's a newbie riding a TT.
I think I nailed it :-)


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