First off: Since December 2007 Gaastra & Intersurf Sneek (shop) offers me discount on their kites. I've tested the 10mÂ² with the KitesurfMagazine Holland test panel BEFORE I had any affiliation with Gaastra.
Board Nobile 666 '06 123*37
Kites I've flown (alphabetical):
Airush Flow 14mÂ² (2007)
Airush Flow sle 10mÂ² (2008)
Blade Vertigo 10mÂ² (2008)
Cabrinha Nitro 10-14mÂ²(2004/2005)
Catapult Scooter 15mÂ² (2005)
Caution Spitfire I 10mÂ²(2004)
Caution Spitfire III 4-8-10-12-14mÂ²(2006)
Core Riot 9mÂ² (2008)
F-one Bandit 9mÂ² (2008)
F-one Mach II 12mÂ² (2003?)
F-one Tribal II 9mÂ² (2007)
Gaastra Force/Vision m12Â² (2004/2005)
Naish ARX 9,5mÂ²(2001)
Naish Cult 10.5mÂ² (2008)
Naish Torch III 9/12mÂ² (2007)
Naish V4 10mÂ² (2004)
Naish X3 10mÂ² (2003)
North Rebel 9/12/14mÂ² (2007/2008)
North Rhino II 12(2002 & 2004)
North Toro 10mÂ²(2004)
North Vegas 8mÂ²(2005)
North Vegas 9/12mÂ² (2008)
Ocean Rodeo Diablo 16mÂ²(2007)
Slingshot Diesel 11mÂ²(2005)
Slingshot Fuel 9mÂ² (2005)
SlingShot TurboDiesel III 9mÂ² (2008)
Takoon eNova 9mÂ² (2008)
Wind: 12-35+ knots, gusts (approx. 50 sessions total)
Water: Flat, super-choppy and small waves (0-3m)
As I said before, I tested the 10mÂ² in August 2007. This pink/white kite immediately attracted my attention. I started testing this kite first because I was anxious to know if Gaastra was working on a come-back in the world of kitesurfing. They made some pretty bad kites in 2004-2006 (not construction-wise) Construction-wise everything looked as a Gaastra had to look like: Excellent stitched, glued, padding on LE etcetera(see photos)
The kitebag is like Slingshotâ€™s, enough space, but I like my old Caution back-pack better. Other than that, the kites fit in it very well, no problem. quality is fine too.
The bar that comes with the Max is simple, nothing special, nothing wrong. The bar-ends are made of a flexible material so that you don't hurt yourself too much
The 5th and depower-cord are very wear-and-tear sensitive IF you don't wax it. The chickenloop is of normal size and the safety is good too.
The kite uses a Y-setup to connect the front-lines.
Gaastra uses one-pump in 2008, so you will be quickly done with setting up your kite.
The kite has very thin struts and a thin LE. This makes pumping the kite even quicker The only downside of the onepump is that you have to press the struts empty manually to get the last remaining air out. The time you save by using the onepump to get on the water quicker, you'll lose with packing your kite....which is better than the other way around!
The kite's pigtails are of heavy-duty quality as well.
You can set-up the kite on a lot of ways, there are 3 steering-line connections and 2 power-lines connections.
Testing the kite
The first thing you notice when you launch the kite is the amount of de-power, it's f-ing unbelievable. Itâ€™s now a bow kite, but still like 60-70% (closed strap).
Then I noticed how quick the kite is, it feels so direct, more direct that a torch 2007 and like 30% faster too!
I've looped the 10 through the sweetspot almost without moving! (depowered off course!)
After that I put the kite on 12o clock to see how stable it was, excellent stability.
I then pulled the bar, direct lift
I knew I was going to like this kite, I tested that 10m for 1,5hour back in august..I forgot we had to switch kites after 45mins in that test
Steering: realy quick and direct, and not like most people mean even if the kite is totally lagging, but REALLY quick
Lift: Very explosive, this kite launches you in the air without problems
Hangtime: Huge, best if it comes down to the kites Iâ€™ve flown.
Bar-pressure: good bar pressure, but if you don't like it, don't buy this kite. It's not too much.
After Gaastra offered me discount on their kites I bought a 12 and a 8meter. I was always too afraid to loop a kite with 6bft or more, but with this kite I was confident enough that it would be quick enough. And I was right, I started pulling major loops in no time. Not only high jumps +short loop, but also high jumps with loops in which i could see the kite almost underneath me
When I was testing the kite I discovered a small problem, the 5th-line slides through the chickenloop, but when it's cold it's hard to pull the line hard enough so that the kites tips over.
About the different sizes i've flown:
The 10 is a really good allround kite, it will cover a lot of the windrange for 60-80KG riders. this kite has excellent low and highend.10 meter has all the advantages of a 12 and a 8 kite.
The 8 is really quick, but not nervous. This kite has excellent lo and highend. And it's inflated in 13 pump movements
The 12 is the quickest 12 yet! (of the kites i've flown) the low-end is superior to that of a rebel 14, because it's so quick I think. The high-end is good compared too most kite, there's still overlap with my 8!
Depower (c-kite): 9
Safety: 8(would of been 9 if I didn't need to pull it hard)
Pro's: Steeringspeed, stability. hangtime, lift, construction
Con's: wear-sensitive 5th and depowercord, deflating struts manually, bag doesn't have shoulder straps to use it as a backpack