As UK Rep for Wainman its nice when someone takes the time to write a detailed review of his new quiver, Just got this in from a UK customer on the South Coast, one happy Bunny.
==========================================================================Wainman Boss, Smoke & Gypsy
Short review on my new kites which I have had for a few weeks now.........
OK from the top the bags are nicely designed with a big zipped opening to dump/ load the kite through, they ooze quality and the material is very heavy duty. Separate zipped side section for the bar and a velcro/ mesh section on the other side of the bag for the pump. The pump section has some nice touches - an extra piece of velcro is stiched on so you can close the flaps down tight when not carrying a pump. Opening the bag up the kite is stored inside an additional stuff sack, whilst you won't use it for everyday use it is great for travelling.
The Wainman kites out of the bag are fantastic, well made high quality Teijin fabric, lots of bumper strips on the leading edge and what looks like kevlar panels stiched on the main wear points. All in all very pleasing to see the level of detail that has gone into the construction. The line setups on the kites are easy to follow with a simple upwind (C kite feel), downwind (wakestyle) and a middle of the road setting, all the kites sit on a small bridle though it is only a single piece of line! I set all mine up on the upwind setting. On the back lines there is a slow to fast setting which essentially alters the bar pressure and rate of reaction to bar movements. Again I have mine all setup one from the end so medium bar pressure (for a delta). There is also the benefit of single line connections on the smaller kite so doing away with the small bridles completely
Laying the kites out on the ground they have the usual Wainman delta shape, pumping up the 3 single struts takes no time at all and gives you a nice secure no 1-pump feeling, the big fat leading edge on the Boss is a good warm up pre session though! Once inflated though the kites look small for their size and are easy to handle on the beach - not always a consideration but I have had people drop some of the Sigma shaped kites on me historically. Watching a powered up kite fly along the beach towards a groyne is not a nice feeling! The bar is incredibly simple and straight forward a real plus point for me. Really good contoured bar fitted with an above the bar depower and a plastic coated chicken loop line. The centre line has a stopper ball fitted so that you set the kite up not to depower totally, I move mine down about 5cm so there is still some power in the kite if (when) I drop the bar. This does shorten the throw on the bar but for me is very comfortable to un-spin the bar against when needed. The centre lines are fitted to a swivel with ears with balls and loops on the end for flagging the kite if needs be. Side lines are fitted with standard floaters and then again plastic coated with 'relaunch balls' fitted over the sleeving. The bar has retractable rubber cords to hold the lines in place on the bar when wound in - again a nice touch. Nothing new but great to see. Spare chicken loop in the bag with out the dick which is easy to fit using the very simple push away quick release.
Once in the air the kites like to be flown and it is amazing how much power you can get out of a Wainman kite. I usually find that I am either on a size down from everyone else which is a benefit to the delta shape. Just riding along they are easy to sit back and edge against never giving you any bother or wandering round the sky. Send any of the Wainman kites hard and they will rip you off the surface with a very satisfying pull and long drift through the air, likewise edge hard against them and pop and you will quite confidently find yourself quite a long way off the water. The kites do give you a great deal of confidence and if you do get it wrong and drop the bar most of the power is dropped - this is easily altered to personal preference by moving the stopper ball down for more serious unhooked stuff. Pulling in about 5 cm of the centre line through the cleat gives a great balance when you unhook and the kite behaves very predictably for raileys etc though I am no unhooked master so cannot comment further than this. Looping the kites are great fun though they do tend to pivot round the tips even set in the Upwind (C kite feeling) mode, though for me personally I really like it. Bar pressure is moderate but not excessive and I have never felt my hands fatigue even after 4 hours on the water, the feedback from the bar is spot on and you always know where the kite is. The feel really is that good. I have not yet rigged the kites in single line so can't comment as yet.
Overall they are fantastic kites on the water, they are very flattering to ride. All the sizes I have tried are great upwind and I have never had the feeling that I could be going higher upwind on something else. The only niggles I have (which are minor), there is limited safety on the bar (though personally I do not think it needs any more), it does have the option of a full safety but it is not spinning, or a mini 5th line which doubles the amount of depower. Personally I clip my leash just above the chicken loop on the centre line and I do not think the kite needs any more than this. For emergency self land I do have to move the leash up to the centre lines which is doable but for shorter people may be a bit of a reach. That aside very simple straight forward bar design. Overall all sizes are fantastic fun and brilliant to ride, flattering, stable, predictable, well built. No complaints at all and one very happy customer.