DUOTONE Evo 9m 2019 Kitesurfing Review

DUOTONE Evo 9m 2019

Reviews / Kites

DUOTONE 97,666

At A Glance

The Evo from Duotone has a long heritage as the go-to all-rounder. First appearing in 2008, the Evo has come a long way since then. Still holding its Delta design, the kite has been refined over the past decade to become a genuine all-rounder for beginners and experts alike.

The Evo features 3 Fusion struts, which allows for controlled distribution of forces between the leading edge and strut. This is achieved by the struts all being 100% connected to the leading edge with a flexible and robust Dyneema line which in turn promotes a cleaner line and higher canopy tension resulting in a more solid kite.

The Evo is able to be flown on either 4 or 5 lines, the choice of which is entirely down to the rider. 4 lines is a simpler mode, and 5 lines has a slightly more direct feel. The 5th line attachment when in 4 line mode is simply tucked into a neat little pocket on the leading edge of the kite.

The canopy of the kite is made with strong and exclusive Trinity TX ripstop from Teijin. This ripstop uses a 3 x 2 yearn configuration for unparalleled strength, durability and performance. The rest of the kite has also undergone such additional strengthening procedures, and the results mean an even more durable kite. The leading edge is now closed with an extra heavy duty seam, and the trailing edge has the addition of Trailing Edge Force Control, which simply put is a wavey panel cut running the length of the kite which not only decreases flutter in the air, also encourages a stiffer canopy through correct tension directions.

Duotone have an innovative one-pump system which features larger tubing for faster inflation and deflation, there is also an additional dump valve for quick pack up. Self-rescue handles feature for added help if you are ever unlucky enough to be in that situation, and kook proof connectors ensuring you do not attach the wrong line in the wrong place! Every size from 4-14 meters is available in the Duotone Evo to let you create your dream quiver.

Sizes: 4, 5, 6, 7 ,8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 meters

The Bar

As big fans of the Click Bar it was great to see this year's model includes a smaller version for the wake-stylers and freestylers out there. It will also appeal to the rider who enjoys riding with a shorter bar. In the past the Click Bar has often been considered too long, this new set up changes all that. We used this smaller bar with the 9m kite, and it worked perfectly.
Last year there are some upgrades to the Click Bar, which were great to see. Basically, the few small niggles from the first generation have been addressed, and there have been further improvements. The mechanism is unchanged, but the floats have been beefed up and reinforced to prevent any early signs of wear or damage (something we never personally experienced, but there were a few reports of an issue last year).

Also, the V point adjuster has been changed to be much simpler, it’s now a plastic screw affair, which allows you to simply unscrew and slide and then tighten in the desired spot. The line, which passes through the V point adjuster has also been reinforced, so there should no longer be wear issues here.

One of the biggest changes last year was the new chicken loop program, the bar is the first that we can think of that sells without a chicken loop. Don’t panic though this is for a good reason. You have the option of the Freestyle Kit, which comes with a longer leash and a bigger chicken loop for unhooking and freestyle tricks. There is also a Freeride Kit which comes with a smaller loop, positioning the bar closer to you for improved control, this also comes with a shorter leash, which is tidier when you aren’t unhooking. Finally, there is the Rope Slider Kit, this is the same as the Freeride Kit, but the chicken loop has a low friction metal tube, which the rope can then slide through at a far lower friction rate. Less damage to your rope and no risk of damaging the chicken loop either.

You still get an automatic untwisting safety system with a front line re-ride that works exceedingly well, the now legendary Iron Heart V release mechanism and a long-lasting TPU covered depower line. Also new is the dropping of the 5th Element Trust Bar, now if you want a 5th line set up it is an easy add-on to the Click Bar, it takes about 3 minutes to do and is really simple too.

We love this bar set up and have been riding it for a couple of years now, and for freeriding and waves we wouldn’t be without it, we highly recommend you try it out if you haven’t already!

“Effortless boosting and huge freeride potential.”

In The Air

The Evo is one of those kites anyone can jump on and get something out of. Incredibly user-friendly, it also houses impressive all-around freeride performance.

From the off, the kite flies well upwind with firm but not heavy bar pressure allowing you to feel and direct the kite at all times. The Evo is happy at the edge of the window, the delta shape keeps in pushing forward and flying efficiently at all points of the window.
Likewise, the Evo travels downwind very well. Sometimes a tricky skill to master, the Evo will drift well with you when cruising through a downwinder, down the face of a wave, or simply ending a session. The turn of the kite is quick without being twitchy or pivotal and drives through big arching turns.

Heading into some jumping is when the fun really begins on the Evo. Effortless but certainly still packing a punch, and the float is very good indeed. The more delta shape of the Evo keeps the kite flying forwards in the sky, which is perfect for those who are still mastering the timings in big boosts. Once you start getting the bigger flights, the float is impressive, and a simple downloop of the kite on landing keeps you riding forward well. For old school trickery, you will have plenty of time in the air, and the connected feel through the bar allows easy one handed flight control.

As a kite for looping, the Evo will only inspire you. It is a quick loop, but with enough punch to make it look impressive from the beach from your first few attempts. Go into the loop powered however and you will get a serious kick as the kite snaps back towards 12. A comfortable feeling throughout, we certainly enjoyed the encouraging nature of the loop.

Unhooking seems to be an area of kitesurfing which more and more people will have a go at, and the Evo matches the rest of its performance here with user-friendliness and power to complete the package. The stability is maintained throughout the entire unhooking procedure from take off to landing, and there is an impressive drive of the kite as you edge and pop. For those dedicated wake-stylers the Vegas would be a better option for that emphasised ‘slack’. However, the Evo is a fantastic option for unhooking all the way to throwing your first few passes. We particularly enjoyed the way the Evo pulled you out of the landings, not too fast but with enough support to keep you stable on sketchy drops.

Both 4 and 5 line mode work very well for relaunching. The 5th line mode slightly better in lighter winds, but as with all kites in 2019, the relaunch is consistent and merely needs a small tweak on a back line to encourage the kite to roll over and sit waiting at the edge of the window.

For

Masses of performance, built to last and guaranteed fun for all abilities and styles.

Against

Hard to find anything we particularly disliked with this one, it does everything it has been designed to do and does it exceedingly well.

Overall

Anything which sticks around for more than a decade is pretty special, and the Evo is no exception to that rule. Hugely confidence inspiring with positive feedback through the bar, effortless boosting and huge freestyle potential. The Evo is one of the true all-around kites which does everything extremely well.

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This review was in Issue 73 of IKSURFMAG.

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