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Airush Ultra: one strut kite that meets expectations of a ram air lover

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RadDrDuke
Medium Poster
Posts: 149
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:18 pm
Kiting since: 2001
Local Beach: Long Beach Island, New Jersey, USA
Favorite Beaches: Hatteras. Maui. Florida Keys.
Style: Surf > Foil > TT
Gear: Airush kites Ultra 9m, Crazyfly carbon TT, LF happy foil, Takuma v100 surf foil, Jimmy Lewis kite surfboard, slingshot skim.
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Airush Ultra: one strut kite that meets expectations of a ram air lover

Postby RadDrDuke » Thu May 24, 2018 10:31 pm

FOILING REVIEW:
Rode the 9m 2018 ultra today on high aspect foil in 8-14knots today
80kg, 25m lines.
First time flying it.

Kite: Very light and well constructed kite. Very high quality, classic Airush. Looks really small but I guess it's just a regular 9m. Nice bumpers and stitching, inflates in 30 seconds - "you were out there so fast" said wife on deck afterward without even knowing. Bag is cool/innovative but way too small for normal use, only going to use it for travel and use another full-size airush bag I have for everyday use.

Flying: Feels noticeably light in the air, extremely stable even at 8 knots. Low bar pressure. Never overflew me even though it's very fast. Great steering, extremely fast kite, generates good power, dumps power rapidly with flutter. Steers well depowered. Very very fun kite to fly. Seems like it would be great in waves from a flying perspective.

Good-great drift, I didn't think it was as good as a true wave kite though, riding surf this weekend so will comment after.

Lightwind Flying: Excellent (although I have NEVER flown a foil kite or a strutless). Rode lulls to 8 knots without any trouble, I think you could legit have fun riding a 7-11knot day with this kite at 80kg on a foil. I didn't have to manage the kite at all, just flew it and foiled!

Launch/Land: Single strut allows it to sit on the beach and launch like a normal kite, which is convenient. I launch by just pulling the lower line until kite rotates and launches, which it did fine. Didn't drop it so no relaunch comments. Has the Airush bridle so self-landing is a piece of cake.

Overall: Very happy with the 9m ultra for foiling. I can't imagine wanting a 12 as I was lit up at 14 knots dumping power.

RadDrDuke
Medium Poster
Posts: 149
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:18 pm
Kiting since: 2001
Local Beach: Long Beach Island, New Jersey, USA
Favorite Beaches: Hatteras. Maui. Florida Keys.
Style: Surf > Foil > TT
Gear: Airush kites Ultra 9m, Crazyfly carbon TT, LF happy foil, Takuma v100 surf foil, Jimmy Lewis kite surfboard, slingshot skim.
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Airush Ultra: one strut kite that meets expectations of a ram air lover

Postby RadDrDuke » Sat May 26, 2018 12:44 am

SURF and TT Review:
2018 9m ultra. 17-21 knots side-onshore wind, 2-3 foot waves, 80kg rider, 20m lines, jimmy lewis surfboard and then a crazyfly carbon TT.

Very powerful for it's size, I was on the 9m and everyone else on 12ms (riding TT).
Again it's a super fast kite and flies very close to edge of the window with looping turning NOT pivot turns. Always wants to be at the edge of the window. Excellent drift.
Definitely not a dedicated wave kite even though the drift is great, the turning and rushing to the edge of the window is not ideal for waves...that being said I think it's the NEXT BEST THING to a wave kite and much better than a freeride kite (evo, switchblade, etc.)
When you dump power it flutters and you can feel it in the bar and hear it, some may not like this. Dumps fast.

Excellent upwind for getting into the pocket.

Great boosting, feels just like a 3-5 strut kite. Totally fine for twin tip riding, you would have tough time knowing you are on a one-strut.

Honest overall review after foiling, surf and TT riding:
- I am stoked on the purchase!
- If you do a mixture of kiting (foil, surf, TT) I would highly recommend the 9m Ultra. With the addition of low-wind hydrofoil riding you can legitimately have fun with this kite from 8 to ~25 knots. It's obviously awesome for travel too. I really can't imagine a better overall multi-discipline kite if you enjoy hydrofoiling.
- If you are a pure wave rider with generally good winds (aka super lucky) I would go with a wave specific kite for better drift and turning style, even though the ultra is great in waves it's not a wave kite. I haven't tried low wind wave riding with it which may be the niche?

Sorry for all the reviews but I had to put them out since there is obviously lots of interest in this kite but few reviews on it.

bigtone667
Frequent Poster
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:24 am
Kiting since: 2013
Local Beach: Umina Beach
Favorite Beaches: Umina Beach, Birdies Beach, Lake Munmorah, Canton, Le Morne
Style: surf, foiling, lawn mowing
Gear: BRM Cloud C2's, D's

Slingshot Skim Board, North Surfboards, BRM Paipo, Shinn Jackson, Firewire Boards, CrazyFly Doors, Naish Hover 155, Naish Thrust Surf Foil, Konrad Foil
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Airush Ultra: one strut kite that meets expectations of a ram air lover

Postby bigtone667 » Sun May 27, 2018 12:59 am

RadDrDuke wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 12:44 am
SURF and TT Review:
2018 9m ultra. 17-21 knots side-onshore wind, 2-3 foot waves, 80kg rider, 20m lines, jimmy lewis surfboard and then a crazyfly carbon TT.

Very powerful for it's size, I was on the 9m and everyone else on 12ms (riding TT).
Again it's a super fast kite and flies very close to edge of the window with looping turning NOT pivot turns. Always wants to be at the edge of the window. Excellent drift.
Definitely not a dedicated wave kite even though the drift is great, the turning and rushing to the edge of the window is not ideal for waves...that being said I think it's the NEXT BEST THING to a wave kite and much better than a freeride kite (evo, switchblade, etc.)
When you dump power it flutters and you can feel it in the bar and hear it, some may not like this. Dumps fast.

Excellent upwind for getting into the pocket.

Great boosting, feels just like a 3-5 strut kite. Totally fine for twin tip riding, you would have tough time knowing you are on a one-strut.

Honest overall review after foiling, surf and TT riding:
- I am stoked on the purchase!
- If you do a mixture of kiting (foil, surf, TT) I would highly recommend the 9m Ultra. With the addition of low-wind hydrofoil riding you can legitimately have fun with this kite from 8 to ~25 knots. It's obviously awesome for travel too. I really can't imagine a better overall multi-discipline kite if you enjoy hydrofoiling.
- If you are a pure wave rider with generally good winds (aka super lucky) I would go with a wave specific kite for better drift and turning style, even though the ultra is great in waves it's not a wave kite. I haven't tried low wind wave riding with it which may be the niche?

Sorry for all the reviews but I had to put them out since there is obviously lots of interest in this kite but few reviews on it.
+1

User avatar
Xtream
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 552
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 11:15 pm
Kiting since: 2005
Local Beach: Brant Beach LBI
Style: Old School
Gear: Rogue Wave, Switch, Windwing, Ozone, Fone
Brand Affiliation: Brands that are fun to ride
Location: LBI NJ

Re: Airush Ultra: one strut kite that meets expectations of a ram air lover

Postby Xtream » Sun May 27, 2018 3:45 am

RadDrDuke wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 12:44 am
SURF and TT Review:
2018 9m ultra. 17-21 knots side-onshore wind, 2-3 foot waves, 80kg rider, 20m lines, jimmy lewis surfboard and then a crazyfly carbon TT.

Very powerful for it's size, I was on the 9m and everyone else on 12ms (riding TT).
Again it's a super fast kite and flies very close to edge of the window with looping turning NOT pivot turns. Always wants to be at the edge of the window. Excellent drift.
Definitely not a dedicated wave kite even though the drift is great, the turning and rushing to the edge of the window is not ideal for waves...that being said I think it's the NEXT BEST THING to a wave kite and much better than a freeride kite (evo, switchblade, etc.)
When you dump power it flutters and you can feel it in the bar and hear it, some may not like this. Dumps fast.

Excellent upwind for getting into the pocket.

Great boosting, feels just like a 3-5 strut kite. Totally fine for twin tip riding, you would have tough time knowing you are on a one-strut.

Honest overall review after foiling, surf and TT riding:
- I am stoked on the purchase!
- If you do a mixture of kiting (foil, surf, TT) I would highly recommend the 9m Ultra. With the addition of low-wind hydrofoil riding you can legitimately have fun with this kite from 8 to ~25 knots. It's obviously awesome for travel too. I really can't imagine a better overall multi-discipline kite if you enjoy hydrofoiling.
- If you are a pure wave rider with generally good winds (aka super lucky) I would go with a wave specific kite for better drift and turning style, even though the ultra is great in waves it's not a wave kite. I haven't tried low wind wave riding with it which may be the niche?

Sorry for all the reviews but I had to put them out since there is obviously lots of interest in this kite but few reviews on it.
I must say, I was pretty impressed with RaddrDuke performance on the Ultra 9m, I was on a 12m I had enough power to keep upwind but did not expect he was going to stay upwind on a 9m as well as he did, VERY impressive for a single strut 9m kite with ocean current.
HE Got me thinking about Airush Ultra.., Always good to see you on the water RaddrDuke.. Another good day today..
X

gbrungra
Medium Poster
Posts: 154
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:53 pm
Kiting since: 2014
Local Beach: Stinky's, San Diego, CA, USA, and Nantucket, MA, USA
Gear: Griffin 17m TRX 2014, Cabrihna 12m Vector 2014, TTs, Camet 160 and SS Hoverglide
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Airush Ultra: one strut kite that meets expectations of a ram air lover

Postby gbrungra » Sun May 27, 2018 5:55 am

I just saw Ultras for sale used on ikitesurf classifieds for the first time. But they were 2018 demo kites, listed for almost new prices. I still haven't seen any "unloading" of these kites.

MikeBirt
Frequent Poster
Posts: 351
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:04 pm
Kiting since: 1999
Local Beach: UK - all north east beaches
Favorite Beaches: Redcar, Beadnell, Budle
Style: everything
Gear: everything Airush and shinn, and anything else I can get to try - I have to test it all, else I'd be a charlatan :-)
Brand Affiliation: Airush and Shinn (UK)

Re: Airush Ultra: one strut kite that meets expectations of a ram air lover

Postby MikeBirt » Tue May 29, 2018 12:44 pm

In the UK we only have 9m left, no other sizes (maybe one 15) original production stopped and the next production is delayed so excess stock is hard to come by - and also - airush are a normal kite company - ie they don't manufacture for closeout, so I doubt there will be much clearance going on...
I had a session on sat - 9m, lightest winds ever, and I used some super thin race lines on the bar and it made a big difference again. If you are really into the low end usability of these things I suggest doing the same. A few other bar mods I did that helped the relaunch and depower / transition too...

Seabizzle
Rare Poster
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:06 am
Kiting since: 2
Local Beach: Woodmans point, Leighton, Cottesloe, Scarborough
Favorite Beaches: Kite Beach Maui, Augusta Western Australia, Lancelin Western Australia
Style: Surf, Freeride
Gear: BWS Noise pro 10m, BWS noise classic 6m, Naish Fly 17m, Wainman Gambler 5'10"(R.I.P.) North Pro series 6'2, unidentified twin tip
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Airush Ultra: one strut kite that meets expectations of a ram air lover

Postby Seabizzle » Tue May 29, 2018 3:09 pm

RadDrDuke wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 12:44 am
SURF and TT Review:
2018 9m ultra. 17-21 knots side-onshore wind, 2-3 foot waves, 80kg rider, 20m lines, jimmy lewis surfboard and then a crazyfly carbon TT.

Very powerful for it's size, I was on the 9m and everyone else on 12ms (riding TT).
Again it's a super fast kite and flies very close to edge of the window with looping turning NOT pivot turns. Always wants to be at the edge of the window. Excellent drift.
Definitely not a dedicated wave kite even though the drift is great, the turning and rushing to the edge of the window is not ideal for waves...that being said I think it's the NEXT BEST THING to a wave kite and much better than a freeride kite (evo, switchblade, etc.)
When you dump power it flutters and you can feel it in the bar and hear it, some may not like this. Dumps fast.

Excellent upwind for getting into the pocket.

Great boosting, feels just like a 3-5 strut kite. Totally fine for twin tip riding, you would have tough time knowing you are on a one-strut.

Honest overall review after foiling, surf and TT riding:
- I am stoked on the purchase!
- If you do a mixture of kiting (foil, surf, TT) I would highly recommend the 9m Ultra. With the addition of low-wind hydrofoil riding you can legitimately have fun with this kite from 8 to ~25 knots. It's obviously awesome for travel too. I really can't imagine a better overall multi-discipline kite if you enjoy hydrofoiling.
- If you are a pure wave rider with generally good winds (aka super lucky) I would go with a wave specific kite for better drift and turning style, even though the ultra is great in waves it's not a wave kite. I haven't tried low wind wave riding with it which may be the niche?

Sorry for all the reviews but I had to put them out since there is obviously lots of interest in this kite but few reviews on it.
Great review RadDRDuke!! I have had a 9m ultra for a few months now and I love it as well. I am 100kg beginner/intermediate foiler and experienced strapless surf, very rarely on the twin tip these days so i haven't tried it with the twinny.

For foiling I find it to be super reliable and confidence boosting. I have also given it a pretty good run in the waves. Where this kite shined as a wave kite for me is of course in the low end. I have done a few downwinders in 12 to 15knots and find the drift and performance in that range to be great. I haven"t really pushed the top end of it yet though mostly just I then use my 7m AR wave.

It is definitely different than most wave kites in the way it flies. I agree with your observation that the kite always wants to fly to the edge of the window that is a major characteristic but I have found it will also sit deep in the window and drift impressively if you coax it into doing so. I have had plenty of nice waves riding straight downwind down the line in sideshore winds. The kite is nearly impossible to stall and even in light winds the lines almost never go slack, maintaining steering at all times.

I feel like the kite doesn't turn as crisp and fast as a 3 strut wave kite, by no means slow but not quite that crisp direct feel you get from a good wave kite (ok i know Im generalising here). The feel on the bar is also quite different, you need to steer the kite more sheeted in to minimise any canopy flutter. The flutter of the canopy I dont find to be much of an issue and it can be very useful to dump power both on the foil and surfboard.

I would really like to try a smaller ultra in stronger winds, I think the drifting potential could be next level. I am also really itching to try this kite in cross off conditions as i think it would excel.

Have fun!!!

RadDrDuke
Medium Poster
Posts: 149
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:18 pm
Kiting since: 2001
Local Beach: Long Beach Island, New Jersey, USA
Favorite Beaches: Hatteras. Maui. Florida Keys.
Style: Surf > Foil > TT
Gear: Airush kites Ultra 9m, Crazyfly carbon TT, LF happy foil, Takuma v100 surf foil, Jimmy Lewis kite surfboard, slingshot skim.
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Airush Ultra: one strut kite that meets expectations of a ram air lover

Postby RadDrDuke » Wed May 30, 2018 2:29 am

Xtream, that was a great session, everyone is on kiteforum LOL Rode it the next two days also at 62nd, super fun sessions and bigger waves!

MikeBirt, I do longer lines but never thinner lines, good thinking for light winds

Seabizzle, for sure your comments are spot on, I'm surprised noone has really articulated these key points about the kite previously. Can't wait to fly it again soon!

danielescobarg
Rare Poster
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:59 pm
Kiting since: 2005
Local Beach: Cartagena
Style: Freestyle
Gear: 2014 9M Varial X / 2015 AR APEX TEAM with BOOTS
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: Airush Ultra: one strut kite that meets expectations of a ram air lover

Postby danielescobarg » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:49 pm

Ive been enjoying my 12M for about 6 months now, exceptional kite, unlike anything I have ever ridden in light winds. I put the kite to the harshest of conditions a few weeks back in Sub 10 kts @ 8,000 ft elevation lake. Tried first with a 13.5 Core XR4 and it could not stay up in the air, while the Ultra flew like a champ.

Have you seen the new Ultra V2? seems mostly the same as the V1, but has new colors and now a 14 and 17M. they say its lighter....

I love mine!

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alexeyga
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Posts: 901
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Kiting since: 2007
Favorite Beaches: Ocean shore!
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Gear: No brand affiliation
Location: Montreal, Canada / NJ, USA

Re: Airush Ultra: one strut kite that meets expectations of a ram air lover

Postby alexeyga » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:37 pm

danielescobarg wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:49 pm
Ive been enjoying my 12M for about 6 months now, exceptional kite, unlike anything I have ever ridden in light winds. I put the kite to the harshest of conditions a few weeks back in Sub 10 kts @ 8,000 ft elevation lake. Tried first with a 13.5 Core XR4 and it could not stay up in the air, while the Ultra flew like a champ.
I never quite understood the deal with XR3/4/5 kites. Especially for lighter riders. These are heavy wings with 5 struts and at their lower end there's a threshold where the kite becomes a royal PITA to keep in the air while most other models in similar sizes are still flying just fine.


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