I had a chance to try the Gaastra 25.0 kite in 6-12 MPH winds.
This was in a bay, so no surf (all flat water). I tested the kite
with my LWD 181, and a Jimmy Lewis 144. I weight 190+ lbs.
The kite itself looks really 'trim' and very cleaned up and aero-
dynamic looking. The dual leading edge is just an amazing concept
(which makes the leading edge oval for better aerodynamics, and also
decreases the 'size' needed to maintain its shape. As expected, the
kite is not as 'huge' as people might think (though its still pretty
damn big!), but keep in mind, its less than 5.0 Sq meters larger than
the other 20+ Sq meter kites. Where it shines, is its aerodynamics
Setup wasnt bad at all. The dual leading edge comes with 4 valves,
(1 for inflate, 1 for deflate on each bladder). The pump has a new
dual head port, which makes it possible to pump both leading edges up
at the same time, so they will have 100% equal pressure. It took
about 96 pumps to get it fully inflated (each tube is pretty small in
diameter). The battens are skinny, and a cinch to inflate. This
kite is definitely easier to set up than the older 20.0+ inflatables.
In flight, it felt just like a 16.0 sized kite and turned only about
20% slower. It wanted to fly quickly and to the edge of the window
(unlike the other 20+ sq meter kites). It also did not have that
downwind 'tractor pull' so characteristic of the older 20+ sq meter
kites. It felt just like my 16.5, only I was riding in lighter wind.
Performance: I was pointing upwind solidly in 10 MPH, planing side
wind in 8 MPH with a little bit of sining, and at 6 MPH, I
was 'working' the kite and barely planing. At 12 MPH I was rocking
upwind edging hard, and there were a few gusts of 14 MPH, where I
could feel mega power, on the borderline of being pulled of my edge.
This kite probably maxes out at 16 MPH...but then I am rocking on my
Jumping was typical of light wind, low with long floaty hangtime for
such low altitude. This kite will probably jump much better in
waves, where you can get some extra pop and altitude from the waves.
Overall, the kite is amazing. It flies like a smaller kite, yet
still has that extra grunt needed when you just aren't powered in 10-
12 with the 20.0+ kites.
This kite is equivalent to a ~12.5 foil kite. I would have loved a
bit more grunt on the lower end (for my weight, 190+ lbs), though the
25.0 is already opening the doors for lighter wind riding for
anyone! For riders under 160lbs, this is probably the biggest kite
you'll ever need. But for riders 190+ lbs or more, I think a 30.0 in
this design is the call. That way, they could ride 'solidly' (upwind
edging pretty hard...not gently going upwind) in 8-10 mph, rather
than 10-12 mph that this kite allows, which is still damn amazing!
Not the miracle worker I was hoping for, but I give it a thumbs up!