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 Post subject: Re: Airush 2015 Range Now Online
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:11 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:48 pm
Posts: 134
2015 12m & 9m VX Review

I’ve had the 12m and 9m 2015 VX for a couple of weeks now and tested them from just powered to properly lit-up.

If you have seen the pictures of the 2015 VX you can see it has undergone a bit of a dramatic re-design. In the flesh the changes are instantly noticeable with a much more of a sweep to the LE, which itself is now thicker as are the struts. The bridle is a bit more compact and there are plenty of options for tuning bar pressure and speed. The build quality as usual is excellent and there is the new SPS inflation system with the large screw-type valve and some neat one-pump connections to the struts. The Smart Bar is pretty much the same high quality offering as last year, but they have tweaked the grip and it feels much better in the hand.

First impressions are that it just doesn’t look as aggressive as the 2014 and TBH I was wondering how I’d like it as I absolutely loved the high performance of last years. However, this high performance was sometimes interpreted as lacking low-end, or being a bit flaky if you didn’t have the skills to master it – in fact the Razor was in many ways much easier to pilot and understand so the 2014 was a bit of a puzzle in the overall Airush range and left a bit of a gap from those wanting more than the Lithium.

My first outing was on the 12m in conditions fluctuating from being able to do some decent raleys to powered enough for some medium height jumps. The first thing you notice with the 2015 VX is just how solid it is. Three strut kites can inherently be a bit flappy on rapid depower or steering aggressively through the window. Not this – I tried to make it flutter intentionally, but nothing and the larger leading edge really smoothes things out and delivers a super stable platform. It might not hunt the edge of the window as fast as the old one, but it doesn’t sit deep either and you can still force it forwards with edging and it is overall more progressive – no darting about. . I dropped it to test the re-launch and the extra sweep makes it a cinch, much easier than last years which had to be teased up at times.

These changes also give more low-end power, you don’t need to work it or be as light on your feet as the previous model and the power delivery is also very linear with the bar sheeting. I was expecting it to be a bit dull, but the handling is still super sharp with excellent feedback – not quite as fast as the 2014, but that was exceptional for a 12m. The power is also there in the turns, whether you crank it for a super tight turn or adjust the input for a wider arc there are no dead spots in the power delivery. You can also use the stability and power delivery to cut about on a wave (as much as I can anyway) where it will drift and slight input on the bar will keep you powered enough without it flying too far forward or pulling you off.

Unhooked, you feel the extra power, but it is completely manageable and the extra stability sort of evens things out so you can be more progressive in loading and popping. It doesn’t go as slack on landings but it won’t power you up and pull you over your edge or downwind. Jumping I was worried about as I was thinking the change of forward speed and overall shape would mean less whip and a more ‘bow’ style jump – I needn’t have worried. It might not feel as rocket-like as the 2014 but it still turns and climbs fast to give great height, plus the changes and slightly lower aspect give much more float and glide. Even on bigger jumps ou can pull the bar back in to give silky soft landings whereas the 2014 liked to be down-looped, which you can do on this – it just has more options.

Next up the 9m I tested a couple of time with one super powered session and another up and down going from good unhooking conditions to super boosting. Overall it is the same as the 12m in feel and flying – just super stable and it has a huge usable range. I had it in the mid-teens to probably in the low thirties and never touched the trim. I went from unhooking and playing about to super boosting – as an all-rounder it works better than the 9m Wave and that is saying something. Give it some wind and it is effortless to jump big on, high and far is the order of the day and you know where it is and what it is doing, plus you can have quite a chilled approach to things – do you want to sheet in and redirect to ride out the same direction or chuck in a last minute down-loop and transition out the other way.

All in all it is a cracking kite. Maybe doesn’t ‘feel’ as high performance as last year, but there is plenty there to keep an advanced rider happy (if you really want more wakestyle performance then look at the Razor). It is much less frenetic than the 2014 model, just very easy to use and will still deliver enough thrills for an awesome session… in fact probably more consistently so as the natural range and super smoothness of it is far less on/off than last year’s could be at times. Would I like a 9m Razor for those ‘perfect’ days – sure, but we just don’t get them and at times I’ll miss the high energy, ballistic handling of the 2014 VX. Overall, everything considered for me the 2015 VX is a far better ‘real world’ kite that simply works and works very well at that.

Me: 78kg on a 135 Shinn Ultrasonic - riding 8 years, like to go fast and boost big with some unhooked stuff thrown in the mix.

Disclaimer: Yes I’m a local ‘team’ rider, but I still buy my gea, have a real job and a young family so my time on the water is very important to me. If I didn’t like what I ride I’d find something else irrespective of cost. However, thanks to Airush and their philosophy my time on the water has just became so much more fun… I just didn’t expect how much this year!


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 Post subject: Re: Airush 2015 Range Now Online
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:56 pm
Posts: 13
Great review John B, thanks for posting it, we came to the same conclusions, I still want to compare the Lithium and Varial-X 14 meters to see the difference in them, should be interesting.

Greg


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 Post subject: Re: Airush 2015 Range Now Online
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:48 pm
Posts: 134
Ocean Extreme Sports wrote:
Great review John B, thanks for posting it, we came to the same conclusions, I still want to compare the Lithium and Varial-X 14 meters to see the difference in them, should be interesting.

Greg


In Scotland 12m is as big as I go :wink:

What I'm looking forward to is getting the 7m VX out in the mid-30's and of course if the same changes have been applied to the 5m Wave then my storm kite is sorted :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Airush 2015 Range Now Online
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:21 am
Posts: 113
Cruser Putnam riding lit at Kite Beach Maui on the 015 Varial X



Pier wrote:
Hi can you compare with varial x 2014 same size?


Here is a new post on Airush.com comparing the 2014 to the 2015.

http://www.airush.com/2015/varial-x-2015-vs-2014/

Attachment:
varial x.jpg
varial x.jpg [ 84.34 KIB | Viewed 982 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Airush 2015 Range Now Online
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:42 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:48 pm
Posts: 134
A versatile bit of kit :thumb:



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 Post subject: Re: Airush 2015 Range Now Online
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:03 pm
Posts: 4
This is what happens when you put boots on a Airush Board. The board could not hold the inserts for more than two sessions. Poor quality boards that are falsely advertised as boot compatible. Airush does not care about the safety of their consumer and continue to make false claims about their products.
Attachment:
IMG_20140905_102719204.jpg
IMG_20140905_102719204.jpg [ 1.92 MIB | Viewed 597 times ]

Attachment:
IMG_20140905_102705481_HDR.jpg
IMG_20140905_102705481_HDR.jpg [ 2.08 MIB | Viewed 597 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Airush 2015 Range Now Online
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 2:49 pm
Posts: 98
Nice review John B & Ocean Extreme Sports. Thanks!

@ John-B

"– as an all-rounder it works better than the 9m Wave and that is saying something."

I have both the 9 m Wave and a 9 m Lithium, referring to them as my small and big 9 m.

I bought the 2013 Airush 9 m Wave and really like it, no actually I love it. My intention was to keep it and sell my 013 9 m Lithium, but I discovered a slight gap between my 12 M Lithium (2013) and the 9 m Wave (I weigh 70 kg/154 lbs). Although the 9 m Wave works below 20 knots, it really doesn't come into it's own until over say 18 or so (makes it feel more like an 8 m). So I kept the 9 m Lithium to fill in that small gap in the wind range (15-20 / behaves more like a 10 m in relative terms of power). Like the Lithium 9 (nostalgic connection - it's really a great kite all around kite to progress on) as well but it's just to bit of a diesel in power especially over 20, and waaay too much @ 24 knots. The Wave 9 m is fine well in the upper 20's, even with my weight on a surfboard. After that the 2013 6 meter Airush Varial is great when it's silly nukin. The 12 m Lithium is my "modest" wind kite on the big surfboard. I mostly ride surfboards (Airush Cypher 5'6 and Naish Global 5'7) riding a twin part time.

Wondering how the 2015 9 m Varial would fair compared to the Wave 9 m. If it had all the qualities of the 9 Wave (drifting and depower are among my fav's) but with more bottom end this would be a winner, I would sell both the 9's (Lithium and Wave 9 m) and buy the Varial.

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Airush 2015 Range Now Online
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 02, 2004 12:38 am
Posts: 70
jancpc wrote:
This is what happens when you put boots on a Airush Board. The board could not hold the inserts for more than two sessions. Poor quality boards that are falsely advertised as boot compatible. Airush does not care about the safety of their consumer and continue to make false claims about their products.
Attachment:
IMG_20140905_102719204.jpg

Attachment:
IMG_20140905_102705481_HDR.jpg


Have you contacted Airush to find out what their comments are regarding this break, you also say they continue to make false claims about their products, what are the other claims you are talking about ? The reason I am asking is that we sell Airush products and need to know of these issues.

I can say with absolute certainty that I have absolute faith in them as a company, I was talking to them yesterday at the Surf Expo and they were going over their products and construction process. Both Clinton and Mark asked both myself and the owner of our store on what complaints or problems our customers or we had and what recommendations we had on improvements to their products. They also made immediate and detailed notes on any recommendations anyone had.

We talked to a number of different companies at the Surf Expo yesterday and Airush was one of only a few companies that actually wanted to know about our customers complaints and went out of their way to take notes and listen to us with genuine interest.

Greg Meintjes


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 Post subject: Re: Airush 2015 Range Now Online
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 9:58 pm
Posts: 22
Hey Windtzu, thanks for posting. Your thoughts confirm what I was kind of guessing at. I picked up 2015 9/7 Waves and wanted to add 12 Varial X for less than 20 kts. I can't get the 12 in time for my trip, so I am going with a 10 VX. Between the modest low end of the Wave and the very good low end of the VX I am thinking the 1 meter gap between them will be more like a 2 meter gap on the water. The 10 will be a really good size for low end on a surfboard and high end on a twintip. I don't go out much in less than 15 kts, so I think I'll be good. Find out next week.


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 Post subject: Re: Airush 2015 Range Now Online
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:48 pm
Posts: 134
windtzu wrote:
Nice review John B & Ocean Extreme Sports. Thanks!

@ John-B

"– as an all-rounder it works better than the 9m Wave and that is saying something."

I have both the 9 m Wave and a 9 m Lithium, referring to them as my small and big 9 m.

I bought the 2013 Airush 9 m Wave and really like it, no actually I love it. My intention was to keep it and sell my 013 9 m Lithium, but I discovered a slight gap between my 12 M Lithium (2013) and the 9 m Wave (I weigh 70 kg/154 lbs). Although the 9 m Wave works below 20 knots, it really doesn't come into it's own until over say 18 or so (makes it feel more like an 8 m). So I kept the 9 m Lithium to fill in that small gap in the wind range (15-20 / behaves more like a 10 m in relative terms of power). Like the Lithium 9 (nostalgic connection - it's really a great kite all around kite to progress on) as well but it's just to bit of a diesel in power especially over 20, and waaay too much @ 24 knots. The Wave 9 m is fine well in the upper 20's, even with my weight on a surfboard. After that the 2013 6 meter Airush Varial is great when it's silly nukin. The 12 m Lithium is my "modest" wind kite on the big surfboard. I mostly ride surfboards (Airush Cypher 5'6 and Naish Global 5'7) riding a twin part time.

Wondering how the 2015 9 m Varial would fair compared to the Wave 9 m. If it had all the qualities of the 9 Wave (drifting and depower are among my fav's) but with more bottom end this would be a winner, I would sell both the 9's (Lithium and Wave 9 m) and buy the Varial.

Thanks.


As I said the new 2015 is a better all-rounder than the Wave for general riding IMO. However, I'm a self-confessed TT lover and like to ride hard and fast. I was amazed at just how good the 9m Wave was and it was the kite that convinced me bridled kites had become very good and tempted me away from the Razor.

The new VX has very good range and I reckon the low-end power is comparable if not a little better than the Wave - the Wave could be to easily edged to the edge of the window and you had to be light on your feet and deft of touch to get up to speed. The VX is easier to get going in that sense but it not the powerhouse the Lithium is and is far more dynamic and it has an excellent top end - I've had it out in the high 20's gust low 30's and never trimmed it (it jumps huge).

As you know the Lithium and the Wave are like chalk and cheese as the Li is a total truck - great if you are learning or a more casual rider as for a delta style kite it is still fairly dynamic and has a bit of forward turn. Power wise I reckon the new VX could replace the 2, but I'm not sure it will be just as good as the Wave in waves... it does depower and still steer just as good. Not being a proper wave rider I wouldn't speculate on drift.. it is fine on a TT cutting up some wind-blown mush?

Demo?


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