At A Glance
The XS is a recent addition to the comprehensive line of leading-edge inflatable kites from Eleveight. Peter Stiewe, Eleveight CEO and Designer, brings nearly 20 years of kite and board design experience to this brand, so you can be confident that they are delivering quality gear.
On test today is the 9m XS V2, the second iteration of Eleveight's XS, and one of only two 5-strut kites in the lineup. Unlike the recently released FS V5, which is a freestyle oriented 5-strut, the XS is oriented towards the more all-around kiter who wants to go big. Eleveight calls this their Extreme Freeride kite, and we couldn't wait to get it out on the water to see what extreme means!
As a 5-strut kite, you can assume that it will be a grunty, powerful kite that can take you to the moon and back. Typically, a 5-strut that will bring your big air game to another level will lack a little bit in steering speed. We'll put that to the test a little later!
Looking at the XS V2 out of the bag, it is a delta hybrid shape and looks like a proper big air and freeride performer. The kite looks and feels solid, built with Teijin Techno Force X4 Ripstop and XT Tenacity Cloth. There are reinforcement patches in all the right places and a reinforced trailing edge with battons to reduce flapping and improve stability. The bridles are made with robust lines and feature one pulley on each side.
We appreciate the simple features, like the Quick Flow inflate valve, which is compatible with the majority of pumps on the market, so you won't get stuck walking up and down the beach looking for someone with a pump with the right adaptor when you inevitably forget yours at home. The graphics are simple and clean, yet distinct enough that your friends will instantly recognise you out on the water. Now, let's get to the good stuff and get this kite in the air!
Sizes: 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14
In The Air
We took the 9m XS V2 out on a Cape Town classic day- slightly gusty side-onshore wind blowing from 18-25 knots, with a decent 1 metre of swell on the ocean. We flew the XS V2 on the Eleveight CS Vary control bar, the recommended match for this kite.
Our first impression after putting this kite in the sky was how stable and clean it looked. The extra reinforcements have clearly given this kite a solid structure. The bar pressure was fairly light for a 5-strut, and really comfortable to fly. The kite is super responsive, which we could tell from just flying it on the beach.
This kite is clearly designed to go big, so we left the wave board in the car and strapped into a twin tip to see what we could do! The freeride performance was solid; The kite flies well and has a park and ride style. Not having to worry too much about what the kite is doing leaves plenty of time to look for and line up the next kicker!
The XS V2 had surprisingly quick handling, unexpected for a 5-strut, but after a bit of getting used to it, we were ready to stamp our ticket to the moon! We found that the kite had a lot of float in the air, which left plenty of time to practice board offs and add some style to our jumps. The looping performance was excellent for both megaloops and heliloops. Even in the gusty wind, the kite would always be there to catch us!
The shape of this kite lends to all-around performance, and we could tell from the unfortunately short time we got to spend with it that jumping and looping are the names of the game for the XS V2.
This kite has an excellent power range from bottom to top, and the kite just worked. The Eleveight XS V2 puts the Extreme in Extreme Freeride. An all-around, user-friendly 5-strut kite that will help you fulfil your big air dreams!
This review was in Issue 90 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Eleveight Kites