At A Glance
Airwave has a long history of producing products that show a true passion for flying. In the '80s, they made their first hang gliders before starting Airwave Paragliders. Now, the team has tapped into their skills and knowledge in aerospace engineering to design and release the Koala, a ram air foil kite.
The Koala is a stable, lightweight foil kite that can be used on water, snow, or land, and it does each very well. Airwave uses its very own ALULA virtual simulation software to make significant advancements in testing. This ALULA software has allowed the Airwave team to make more than 200 virtual prototypes, demonstrating just how much thought has gone into this quiver! This kite has been designed from scratch, and after numerous tests, they've produced something which theoretically can replace your L.E.I. quiver. If you've been up in the air with what kite to choose, this could be the answer!
Each size has been specially designed and trimmed to give the rider precise handling and bar pressure. The canopy features three sliced diagonal strips meaning the tension of the canopy remains firm, handling gusts very well but also giving the kite a long-lasting build quality. Cord Cut Bollow (CCB) technology is also featured amongst this kite which essentially assists with the form friction, glider stability and general overall performance when in flight.
The design is certainly eye-catching. It's blasted with heaps of colour across the canopy, which can always be quite reassuring as you'll be easier to spot when on the water!
Sizes: 5, 8, 10, 12, 15
In The Air
Foil kites offer such a large wind range; they fly in very marginal winds and can get you going on those days you didn't think were possible. What can put people off is the relaunch. With the Koala offering a closed-cell design, this ensures that the kite keeps its air for several minutes, even while sitting on the water. Once relaunched, the drainage system will filter out the water quickly, bringing the kite back to its original feeling.
For foiling, it's a great choice. With it being an easy kite to fly for all levels, this will allow you to focus your attention on other areas such as tacks, gybes and jumps! When you then move on to a twin tip, it's also a lot of fun. Like L.E.I. kites, the larger sizes do turn slower, but if you're into your jumping, it offers a lofty feel and great hangtime. For anyone who wants to improve their board-off's, it will offer the time to get the board off and then back onto your feet.
We had the 10m Airwave Koala up in around 15-20 knots. We were really impressed with its ability to handle gusts due to its design features such as the CCB technology alongside the construction of having three sliced diagonal strips. The Koala was very simple to fly, turned really well and sat in the wind window without the rider needing too much input.
This is definitely a breath of fresh air for the foil kite market! It's stable, very easy to fly and can do a wide range of disciplines within kiting very well. Foil kites are great for travelling because not only do they cover such a wide wind range, but they can also get you going on land and snow kiting. If you're contemplating whether or not to move from an L.E.I., I would definitely give this a demo at your local centre as you could be very surprised with what it has to offer! I'm sure beginners, intermediate and advanced riders will love the feeling of the new Koala from Airwave!
This review was in Issue 91 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Airwave Kiteboarding
By Liam DredgeLiam fell in love with all Watersports after completing numerous seasons aboard, he then picked up kiting whilst in the warm tropics of the Carribean and has been obsessed ever since! Anyone that knows him would say it's near the only thing he talks about (which drives some crazy), and he loves to keep up to date with all the latest news, equipment and events that kiting has to offer. Liam also runs his own Watersports Centre along the south coast of the UK, LOOP Watersports, which is where our IKSURFMAG Test Centre is located!