I got to demo the 16m One and the Mako yesterday (16 Apr) in Seabrook, NH. BIG props to Powerline Sports and Andrew who hosted the demo and even supplied free grub. If you haven't been to a Powerline demo, there's this guy Kitt, who is a competition-level barista...he also shows and cranks out cappacinos and espressos for the crowd--best you've ever had. Period.
Back to the demo.
My stats: Intermediate, about 200lbs and my main setup is a Cabrinha Crossbow 16 and Liquid Force WLF 140. I don't work for any kite-related organization and don't own any OR gear.
Conditions: Side-on with your standard New England swell and plenty of chop (Butter...what the hell is butter?)
Gusty winds that started at 5kts and eventually got to 18 or 20 for a while. You can see the wind charts at:
http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstat ... &year=2006
The One performed as advertised and the bar is super-sweet. Myself, Jay and Rod (All in the 200lb range) were able to start riding at 8-10kts and once it got to 10+ we were working upwind without a problem.
The only problem I had is when I had accidentally engaged the punch up. I reset it and when Ithe kite powered back up, the chicken loop ripped right out of the harness hook. Took me for a little belly drag, but I was able to regain control without releasing the kite. Had this happened on the water, I could have been looking at a long swim and been out a kite and bar.
When I got back to the group, one of the other riders (who I don't know) saw what happened and said that the same thing happened to him on Wednesday when he was trying Powerline's 12m demo. So, two people, two different kites and bars and exact same problem. Might be something worth checking in to.
The surprise of the day was the Mako. We looked at it on shore and honestly though "so what". But being a demo day we decided to take it out and see if we could break it or otherwise find a reason to give the rep crap about it. The problem is that the board f---ing rocks! It sliced through the ocean chop and was an upwind machine. Everyone who tried it was stoked to the point where no one was talking about the kite! I guess that also says a lot about how easy it is to get dialed into the One, you don't have to think a lot about the kite.
I finally got tired of passing off the One though and pumped up my Crossbow 16. While everyone's back was turned I made off with the Mako for an hour or two and had a blast. A Mako is most definitely going into my quiver. Shwank!
Since I was on a Crossbow, everyone at the demo asked the same question: If I was buying right now, and money were no object, which one would I get? Answer: The CB and One have similar performance but the One has a nicer bar and lighter pressure. My Crossbow has been very good to me, but there's no way to justify paying $300 more--go with the One. (I'll be adding a 12m One to my quiver this year)
Regarding my Crossbow: I've done the bridle mod to decrease the bar pressure (which never really bothered me), but it still has more than the One.
Suggestions to OR:
1. Check out this chicken loop thing. When I get my One, I'll probably do something with the chicken finger to make sure it doesn't pop out.
2. Get as many people as you can to ride the Mako. To be honest, if I were looking at it online or even in a shop, I wouldn't buy one. But after riding it. SOLD!