[the photos to go with this review are in the Gallery (thanks Toby)....go to Europe/Ireland/AndyT/untitled.....
Direct link: http://gallery.kiteforum.com/gallery/albur28
Kite : 13.5 Yarga
Color : Orange (very orange)
Location : Dollymount Beach, Dublin, Ireland
Wind : anywhere from 12 knots to high 20Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s
Rider : not me, coz I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have the ability (or the balls) for those gusts. Shay didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seem to mind though!
This is a test kite from Best, I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t pay for it but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to do my best to review it as if I did. I have no commercial affiliation with Best nor do I have any particular axe to grind with them. Like everyone who pays full price for their kiting gear the prospect of being able to buy quality gear for half the price is too good to pass up. You can agree/disagree with their marketing/image/attitude/whateverÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦.i really couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t give a s**t. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m only interested in the kite because thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m buying.
This will not be a technical review because (a) I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have the technical expertise to do that (b) as I said above, I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ridden it yet and (c) even if I had ridden it, I doubt that I would be able to distinguish the minute differences between this kite and Brand X and I firmly believe that I have this in common with the majority of people who will buy Best Kites.
Delivery time was quoted as 10 days, on day 10 a courier arrived bearing a box with Best stickers on it. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think he quite understood why I was so happy to see him! In fact he looked kinda scared as I ran towards him yelling Ã¢â‚¬Ëœgimme my kiteÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦..only joking, but it did make my day.
I ripped the box apart (I mean, open!) to find this
Photo 1 - The first Best kite in Ireland (I think)
The bag is, wellÃ¢â‚¬Â¦itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a bagÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.it unzips to hold the kite with struts inflated, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s got one strap for carrying and a zip pocket on the side. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not as tough as the bag of my Takoon but who cares, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t intend to fly the bag and it looks like itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll hold up well enough.
The kite itself is orange, dayglo, flouro orange. At this point I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t taken it out of the bag and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m kinda hoping that the orange is only one panel.
The prospect of going to work tomorrow is depressing me so I immediately develop newkite-itis and tell my boss I wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be in tomorrow. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the understanding type and doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ask why, thankfully. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t fancy explaining that his trusted employee gets his kicks from flying kites! TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not big on individuality around here.
When I get home, I have to take the kite out to check it out (the orange isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t 1 panel!) even thoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ I live in an apartment and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to take up the whole room. It does and my better half is not impressed so back in the bag it goes.
Next day, time to hit the beachÃ¢â‚¬Â¦..quick phone call to the windmeter at the beachÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.15 knotsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦..8 CÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ fill that flask with coffee!! Load up the carÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.
Photo 2 - Yarga goes to the beach!
As soon as I hit the beach I very quickly realise that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not going to be flying the Yarga today.. the gusts are really strongÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦no windmeter but it must be hitting high 20Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s and dropping off to 15, maybe less. Way beyond me, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m afraid.
Still, pump Ã¢â‚¬Ëœer up anyway.
Construction seems good, as far as I can tellÃ¢â‚¬Â¦the stitching is as good as any IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen, very regular, looks very strong.
5 struts, the wingtip ones wrap-around from the leading edge with the vulnerable bend protected as is the trailing end of each strut.. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know what the material is but it seems good and strong.
Protection at junction of LE and smallest strut
Protection at trailing edge of struts
All the materials used are at least as good as anything else out there. The canopy is that ripstop poly stuff, waterproofed in some way so that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s shiny.
ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a strip of foam between the back of the canopy and the LE. (I assume itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s to stop the seam between the two getting worn?)
My first problem came when I inflated it..(the supplied pump is a standard, fairly solid dual action pump, unbadgedÃ¢â‚¬Â¦just a pump). My problem is with the lack of non return valves anywhere except the 2nd struts. Now I know this is a minor gripe but I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see why Best couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have put them on every strut, and the LE, come to that. It just makes everything easier, IMO.
Having said that, it inflated easily, all the valves were seated correctly and even the wrap-around tips got solid without too much effort, possibly because the LE is a bit skinnier than you would expect.
Kite inflated and the wind hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t improved any so I pump my 9.5 as a more realistic prospect.
And that is all I can say personally about this kite at the momentÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦..as soon as I get a chance to fly it IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll post part 2Ã¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦
In the meantimeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.this is what Shay had to say about it (reposted from kitesurfing.ie)
Ã¢â‚¬ËœJust thought I would add my two cents... I had a great spin on the Yarga Thanks Andy, not being experienced enough to give any sort of a review and not knowing much differentce to the kites I have flown (Rhino2 and Airblasts)...
She handled like a Humming Bird with a bowling ball duck taped under one wing... only joking Andy...
The Best kite was pretty impressive.
It is a medium to low aspect kite and didn't have a great amount of Pull compared to the Rhino2, which is probably too much anyway, it sat beautifully in the window, not pulling to the front/back, just sat where I put it.. No jellyfishing at all, rock solid..I came off a couple of times and the kite just rose up to the neutral... Turning speed was medium to fast, slow to start turning then picked right up, which I presume is the same for most kites of this aspect ratio.. A little heavy on the bar also..
I tried a few jumps with only minor success but this is probably me... still learning... It didnt do any 360 kite-loops with forward to inverted handle pass, totally blind either... my lack of skill..
I definitely enjoyed the well powered conditions most were out on 9-10, and if it was gusty I didn't feel a thing, it handled them great..
Look forward to another shot Andy... I would like a smaller Yarga for higher winds...Ã¢â‚¬â„¢