At A Glance
The all-new Airush Ride bar is a clean, simple bar that is easy to use and designed to work with all 4-line Airush kites. It comes with 24m lines and features the Aero cleat trim system and tool-less adjustable throw, which means you can set the length of your depower to fit the length of your arms; Even T-Rex's would be satisfied.
Airush has done an excellent job at keeping its design style consistent across the range, so taking a look at the five bars available, it isn't always easy to pick out the difference. Don't worry; we're here to tell you all about it. The Ride Bar is the entry-level bar, but don't be confused by the entry-level description. It's a bar that will work for any and all kiters at every level of kiting while avoiding the costly and unnecessary design features that, while exciting, tend to drive up the price of a control bar.
We took some extra time to examine the bar while rigging it up to the One V2. At first glance, it's super clean with nothing in the way. It has the above-the-bar cleat depower system and soft EVA bar horns to protect your hands while riding, which serves the dual purpose of preventing line wraps around the bar ends if you happen to have a 'mare. The bar grip feels almost suede to the touch, not too rough but not too soft.
The Ride Bar features a standard Dyneema centre line. Some prefer the PU coated centres lines available on the Unit, Airush's premium control bar model. However, the Dyneema centre lines have been around for as long as we can remember, and they definitely do the trick! On the pigtail ends, there are 'kook-proof' tags that match up with the tags on Airush kite bridles, so it should be nearly impossible to mix them up while getting set up for a session.
Most importantly, the Ride Bar features the easy breezy Airush IQR system. There are a handful of one-handed quick release and reset systems on the market, notably from North and Ozone, and the IQR holds its own in the pack. Their bar is ISO compliant, and the system also meets IKO and BKSA teaching standards with the Low-Y on the centre lines, allowing for a quick single line flag out. Safety first, simplicity second. You can't go wrong!
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Sizes: 50cm & 60cm
On The Water
We took the Ride Bar out with the Airush One, both for big air and for a light wind wave session to get the full experience out of the bar. Once the kite was up in the air, it was an enjoyable, comfortable experience. The bar feels nice in the hands, even with the added power of the kite. Clean, comfortable, and simple.
Even though some might consider centre lines without the PU coating to be something other than top of the line, we found that the simplicity of the Dyneema main lines was actually really nice and aided the performance, especially in the waves. Some PU coated lines can get sticky and stuck in the eyelet - which is the hole that allows your power lines to go through the bar - especially in warmer conditions when the PU softens up. That was not a concern at all on this session!
We noticed the eyelet on the Ride Bar is large, larger than the average bar. We felt the difference during the wave session. With the need for sharp turns and immediate gain or loss of power, we found the larger eyelet and the Dyneema lines a good combo, making this process instant and unhindered. Conveniently, the IQR came in handy when riding with a rope spreader. The simple one-handed click-in system made securing the bar to the harness rope quick and easy.
All in all, a simple, safe bar at an affordable price that will complement any session. The Ride Bar is clean, neat and simple, and we loved the adjustable throw and the easy-to-use IQR system. It's a bar for every shape and size of rider!
This review was in Issue 89 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Airush
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By Crystal VenessFeatures Editor at IKSURFMAG, Crystal Veness hails from Canada but is based in South Africa. When she isn't busy kitesurfing or editing the latest feature article for the mag, she is kicking back somewhere at a windy kite beach or working on creative media projects.