At A Glance
The crew over at Eleveight have six inflatable kites in their lineup, from progression friendly to light wind and foil compatible, all the way to performance freestyle and wave. The 3-strut RS, in its 5th version, has cemented its spot as Eleveight's best-selling kite, and we can see why!
The Eleveight RS V5 is described as crossover freeride, which indicates that it is a freeride friendly piece of gear that can do a bit of everything. As a 3-strut kite, it should easily be able to manage all of your freeride needs with decent performance in waves and on the foil, which means this might just be the do-it-all kite that you've been looking for.
We pumped it up and had a good, old-fashioned walk around to see what the RS V5 looks like on the beach. The 3-strut delta hybrid shape with its medium/high aspect ratio is accentuated by Eleveight's signature graphics. The kite has a single pulley bridle and tuning options on the wingtips to adjust bar pressure and turning speed. All in all, the kite looks great and like a straight-up good time!
We tested this kite back-to-back with the XS V2, and the main difference in the product description is that, while the XS is an extreme freeride kite, this one is a crossover freeride, so we are expecting it to have a little less big air performance, but be more beginner-friendly and able to hold its own, regardless of which board we want to session on!
The construction looks solid, as this kite uses the Teijin Techno Force X4 ripstop along with XT Tenacity Cloth. There are several reinforcements like a double-bonded canopy, canopy guards, bridle deflectors, and more. With all the extra work they've put into the build, we can certainly believe that this kite will withstand whatever you want to throw at it - or whatever you want to throw yourself at on it!
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In The Air
We scored with testing conditions, and luckily, because this demo kite was in such high demand, we could only hang onto it for a few days! We flew the 9m RS V5 in winds that started out at 15 knots, increasing to 25 knots in the afternoon. That's a Cape Town 25 knots, by the way, which is quite a bit punchier than a Caribbean 25 knots. These are ideal testing conditions for a crossover kite, which means we can try it with a twin tip and on the wave board to see how it shines.
We paired the RS V5 with the Eleveight CS Vary control bar, which is the perfect match for this kite. The varying wind conditions allowed us to test the low end of the RS V5 before exploring the top end, which 25 knots nearly was for our 70-80kg!
The first impression of the kite came while flying it on the beach. The bar pressure was a bit more than expected for a 3-strut crossover kite, but with easy and quick depower on demand. The kite sits very nicely in the window, and we were very curious to see how this kite would perform on the water.
While the wind was filling in, we were able to slash a few waves and throw a few spins, getting the feel of the kite. The kite is quick, and the depower performance makes it perfect for wave riding, especially at a beginner or intermediate level. Being able to depower so quickly means that the kite doesn't pull you off the wave when you're in the middle of a bottom turn. The depower was also a blessing in gusty conditions, where you can absorb the gusts through your arms instead of your body. After some serious fun in the waves, the wind maxed out, and it was time to see what the RS V5 could do on a twin tip!
The first jump knocked our socks off. While this kite isn't marketed as a big air kite, the 3-strut design and fast turning allows you to whip it harder, which can rocket you off the water. It didn't have quite as much float as the XS V2, but jumping felt nearly second nature on this kite. To top it off, the ease of landing was insane—what a pleasant surprise! We quickly forgot about freeriding and embraced the boosting performance, clocking some serious vertical on our test sessions!
After a few sessions on the RS V5, we can see why this kite is Eleveight's best-seller! It's a three strut cross over that delivers well in everything, a high-performance freeride kite with the unexpected bonus of top-notch big air performance. This kite is for the everyday kiter that wants to do a little bit of everything, push their progression, and have an awesome time doing it; That's exactly what it did for us!
This review was in Issue 90 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Eleveight Kites