At A Glance
The TS from Best has been in their line up for some time now, over the years it has evolved to become the kite that it is today. Based around an open C-shape platform it is a high performance kite that can handle anything you throw at it. The 9m we have here is a 5 strut design, although it is worth mentioning that each size of TS has been optimised according to the expected conditions, using different profiles and aspect ratios, the 5m and 6m only have 3 struts. Best call this Ride Optimized Geometry and it means you get the best possible kite for any given size. The build quality is exceedingly high, as we have come to expect from Best in recent years. A new exciting feature is the Twist Lock valve, which allows highspeed inflation of the kite. It works really well and makes pumping up the kite a breeze, we’re enjoying these new inflation systems nearly as much as we loved One Pump all those years ago when it was launched! The TS features the Double Core RS fabric, which is exclusive to Best. The material uses twice as many reinforcing fibres as standard cloth. The bridle is small and features one pulley that allows the kite to react to changes in the strength and angle of the wind.
We were really excited to get our hands on the Red Line Performance Bar, the last couple of years the bar has been constantly improving and this year it looks even better. The Pro-cuff+ quick release has been improved to make it even easier to service and activate, it now offers one of the lowest trigger releases on the market, and of course meets all the international standards. The under bar Swivel has larger bearings and a better grip to allow you to untwist your lines far easier. The depower system has also been re-worked, it’s neat and tidy and features an above-the-bar cleat that is easy to operate with one hand. The grip itself has been softened a touch and the bar is finished off with EVA bar ends that offer plenty of grip when kite looping.
In The Air
I’m trying to think of a simple superlative to start off this review, but it is tough to pin down just one. The Best TS stood out from the crowd as one of the best all round kites out there. It’s fast, responsive, direct and has a huge wind range. Upwind is really good, the high aspect ratio and thin leading edge on the 9m allowing the kite to really penetrate the window. The responsive nature of the kite allows you to steer it around the window with total control, and the bar pressure feels about right, it’s not heavy or obtrusive. Unhooked the kite delivers plenty of pop whilst remaining stable enough to perform the latest tricks. Kite loops are perhaps the only area where it doesn’t excite, the kite turns very much on its axis, perfect for learning or for non gnarly kite loops. If you want a ‘balls to the wall’ kite loop then you might want to look at the GP. In the waves the kite turns on a dime and the fast nature lends itself really well to steering it up and down the wave. The drift on the TS is OK, and certainly very useable, but it does hang back a little bit in the window if you really charge at the kite. You’ll want to ensure you keep a little bit of power in the lines to help it along. Where this kite really excels is the freeride arena, jumping, blasting and having fun on the TS is ridiculously easy, it’s very intuitive to fly. Sending it back through the window produces impressive lift and even more impressive hangtime. The timing of the kite is very easy to get to grips with and the bar feedback keeps you in control at all times. The low end on the TS is very impressive and the top end is good too, it’s certainly got a big wind range.
Direct, dynamic and fast, great for freestyle and jumping huge airs, it also works really well in the waves.
Not the most hardcore of kite loops, and if you are a die-hard wave rider then perhaps look to the Cabo for better drifting capabilities.
We loved the TS, it’s up there as one of our favourite all round kites for 2014. Easy to fly, very predictable and packing plenty of performance too, you won’t be left lacking no matter what your style of riding.
This review was in Issue 41 of IKSURFMAG.
By Rou ChaterRou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!