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 Post subject: Naish Helix vs Wind-X Monsoonz vs Cabrinha Contra
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:10 pm 
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Posts: 250
Had a good weekend last week though it was not really blowing that well (9-12 kts) and about an hour of 15-18kts... Thanks to Todd for letting me open up his new Helix 14M... I had the pleasure of testing 3 new 2008 kites, my own Cabrinha Contra 14M (2008), wind-x Monsoonz 14M ultra flat and Todd's Helix 14.... all the kites boast of light wind performance and i hope to find that out in my test... to clear things up, i do not represent any brands, just a rider with more than 2 years experience....

Kite: 14M Naish Helix, Cabrinha Contra & WiND-X Monsoonz
Wind: 9-12kts & peaked at 15-18kts
Tide: A little bit choppy
Me: 34yrs, 81Kilos
Riding about 2 years ++
Board: Naish Thorn 135
Personal kites owned: Switchblade, Rhino (sold), Monsoonz, Contra

I like the smell of new kites when you get them out of the box.... As for packaging, I think the Helix and the Contra rates higher than the Monsoonz but again, the price you pay is ofcourse different.... I am happy with the Naish's bag this time... alot better than the previous Torch bag that i had... easier to pack the kite....

Anyway, pumped the kites up... The Contra and the Helix comes with a one pump system, the monsoonz have individual one way valves..... enjoy pumping one-pump system but i dread replacing the leaking bladders in a one pump, especially the octopus.... so pros and cons on this.. it is individual preference.... Surprisingly i was expecting the Helix to misbehave due to its profile but it sat there..... the contra were sitting there as usual but the Monsoonz lay really flat as though the wind was blowing at about 20kts....

Build Quality

When it comes to build quality, all 3 kites are well built, stitching looks tough.... the thing i notice is that Cabrinha's LE is made of some thicker ripstop (which is slightly thinner than dacron) - not dacron..... but yet it takes the pressure of the LE quite well.... one thing i like about the Monsoonz is that the points where the bridles are attached to are made of a type of strap.... my previous cabrinha instead of having straps like the wind-x's, had just lines (probably spectra) and these attachment points tend to wear... the same goes for the Helix... so one point for the Monsoonz in that section.... so far, i dont think these 3 kites would have match the Slingshot's build quality...

Depower

All 3 kites depower well... The Helix did surprise me as I expected lesser depower but it was good (probably with the help of bridles?).... The Monsoonz reacted as fast as any bow, depowered like all its previous bow predecessors.... The Contra depowered well but i realised that the back bridle slacks a little, I am not sure if my self bridle modification was correct... (extended the pulley at abour 3-4cm).. one thing about the depower response on the helix, it's slightly slow compared to the contra and the monsoonz.... for the contra and the monsoonz, it was more like "on" or "off".... could it be the concave LE?

Bar Pressure

Tried the kites on the 1:1 setting (no pulleys)... You'd be surprise at these kites, very little bar pressure.... How do I rank them? 1. Monsoonz (no bar pressure at all, you have to try it), 2. The Helix, 3. Contra

Stability

I am not sure how to rate stability.... I benchmark stability with its ability to sit at the zenith.... at the moment, no kite can obtain Peter Lynn's Arc Stability... The arcs just park there in the zenith.... Helix does not sit that well on the zenith... it sits for awhile... it would be better if it could sit there longer... so it ranks no. 3... Monsoonz ranks at no. 2 and the Contra at number 1... but if the PLs were around, i'd say that they are number 1....

Power

All 3 had better power to any of the other kites i've rode on.... but the Monsoonz have so much power compared to the contra and helix.... i belive the ultra flat profile is the secret behind its power... the helix and contra was about the same (maybe the contra had a slight advantage).... For Helix, I believe this might be the answer for non bow/sle manufacturers to match the bow's power per square meter... The Contra has a little more grunt compared to the other 2...

Low End

The Helix did surpise me on it lower end... the contra didnt surprise me, as usual, the previous contras had the same low end as this 2008.... The Monsoonz still has a better lower end compared to the other 2... when the wind was slow, all 3 kites could stay up in the air but i could point up wind more with the monsoonz.... as for light wind, the Monsoonz is still top....

Relaunch

Naish said that the Helix would launch easily, and it did... Relaunch was easy with the other 2 bows (as usual)... i only tested relaunch with the LE down... all 3 are had easy relaunch....

Lift

The helix flies like a typical C-kite.... the Monsoonz and the Contra is a bow... 2 different flying styles.... i prefer the bows, you just have to sheet in... i think those who fly the Helix will feel that the Helix is a big jump from the previous naish kites.... Hard to comment on the jumps as you have different ways to jump these kites....

Upwind

I was using the same board all the time, all the 3 kites can go upwind, but the speed of the Monsoonz have given it a better edge... was able to point much higher than the helix and contra.... The contra has a grunt-ier feeling, slightly slower than the other 2 but i'm not sure if its suppose to fly that way - i'm not sure if i did the right bridle modification... sometimes, i have to work the kite.... with the monsoonz, i just had to park it and it simply cruises me up wind... the more you sheet in, the more power you get...

Reaction/turning speed

When it comes to turning speed, the Helix tops the other 2... it turns like a typical C-kite but i think the earlier c-kites turn way faster... coming at no. 2 is the monsoonz. The Monsoonz is quite fast for a high AR kite and might be faster compared to the other bows but Helix being a decendant from the C tend to turn slightly faster than the Monsoonz. Coming in at no. 3 is the contra.... the contra has a slightly spongy feeling compared to the monsoonz...

Conclusion

I believe that this 3 kites would be the kites to have for 2008.... all 3 are good kites... and if you are looking for a kite for 2008, you may consider these 2 kites.... if you are a C-kite user, the Helix might suit you, if you are going for the bow/sle, than the Monsoonz.... the contra??? probably not a one kite solution... i think the other cabs like switchblade, x-bow, omega would perform better than the contra in certain departments mentioned above (in higher winds ofcourse)... The Sigma and the Ultra Flat Design was newly introduced and some would have called it a hype (in some aspects, yes, it's marketing) but i believe that this 2 designs has alot to offer (some claims are true) and it may be the where kite design is heading towards to.....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:00 am
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Location: Norway/Europe
Nice read!


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 Post subject: Re: Naish Helix vs Wind-X Monsoonz vs Cabrinha Contra
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 468
Location: Switzerland,
chumbawamba wrote:

Tried the kites on the 1:1 setting (no pulleys)... You'd be surprise at these kites, very little bar pressure.... How do I rank them? 1. Monsoonz (no bar pressure at all, you have to try it), 2. The Helix, 3. Contra

.

Cabrinha says/ writes officially the contra 3 and XB 3 are not able to be ridden in 1:1 mode!
You just did it anyway? how did you modifiy the bridles?
andreas


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:54 pm
Posts: 144
nice review.... maybe you should get a the batwing in your test as well...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:51 pm
Posts: 128
Location: Australia
Nice reveiw Chumbawamda...I got to spend some more time on the kite, the conditions I kited in were pretty ordinary...I am looking forward to it though. Maybe tomorrow....

Cheers,

Barrie. :thumb:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 3:54 am
Posts: 250
kruzlifix,

did the following modifications.... http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopi ... 03&start=0


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 22, 2002 1:00 am
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Location: Switzerland,
chumbawamba wrote:
kruzlifix,

did the following modifications.... http://www.kiteforum.com/phpbb/viewtopi ... 03&start=0

ok, so did not fly the contra in 1:1 mode! you had pulleys on the bar = 1:2 = more bar pressure!
andreas :thumb:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 3:54 am
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:thumb: the 2008 kites are crazy!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 10:00 am
Posts: 20
Location: New Zealand
Quote:
attached to are made of a type of strap.... my previous cabrinha instead of having straps like the wind-x's, had just lines (probably spectra) and these attachment points tend to wear...


what straps? can you describe further?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 6:45 am
Posts: 8
Location: Australia
Problem that i found with the wind-x kites is that they are useing fabircs which only have a coating on one side so they will tend to obsorb water and not last very long at all. So the resale value will be alot high just beause they will last the season!!


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