At A Glance
Dutch brand Harlem are making waves in the kitesurfing world for all the right reasons. Not worried about trends or being the cool kids, they simply want to make kites for people to have a blast kitesurfing with. The Go sits in their line up as the high performing freeride allrounder. This means it is the kite for you if you wish to do a bit of everything and do it well.
The Go is a 3 strut kite, has a supported leading-edge bridle system and a swept delta-shaped canopy design. The canopy and trailing edge are made from Teijin triple ripstop from Techfibre for superior strength. The frame material is a Teijin Marubini Dacron from innovative industry manufacturer Challenge Sailcloths, chosen for its feedback and optimal stiffness.
The one-pump system is standard, and Harlem have added additional dump valves for even speedier deflate should you wish to use them.
Sizes: 5,7,9,12,14(lightwind) meters
Harlem have two bar options on offer for their kites; we used the Harlem IPS (Integrated Power System) bar with the Go kite, and it worked well. It is a good option for those who are after something different from the more standard cleat system available.
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The bar features a simple chicken loop design with push-away safety release attached to a single front line reride system. The centre line is PU coated to protect the line and ensure an easy sheet and turn experience. You are able to untwist the lines easily using the enlarged plastic ball situated just above the chicken loop.
The bar itself is an open bar design where you can see the inner workings of the depower system in play and also ensure the mechanism is free of any sand and salt by rinsing clean at the end of each session.
To operate the depower there is a simple knob on the right-hand end, to power up simply twist which will wind the back lines down into the bar, or to depower you can push against this knob and the line will be released at twice the speed. This is an excellent system which works on the fly and is great if you struggle to reach a more traditional above-bar cleat system, especially when you involve the stopper ball situated on the centre line itself.
Harlem have added a splitter on to the lines as some kites work with a high V and some a low, this splitter enables you to alter the height so you can use this bar on most kites available today.
Coming with 21m lines with 3m extensions, you have the ability to play with the line length and personalise as you wish.
In The Air
On first launch, the Harlem Go proved to be incredibly stable but also had minimal lateral pull through the harness, and a light feel through the bar. For those just starting out on their kite journey, this is fantastic as it allows you to easily, and safely, move yourself from the beach to the water with confidence. Upwind is excellent, the delta shape drives the kite to the edge of the window and pulls well for great upwind angles which are easily accessible.
Playing around with the depower through the bar, you are able to really dump an awful lot if the wind does pick up. The system is easy and intuitive to use, and to power back up is also good. This IPS bar allows you to really fine-tune your power setting.
The Go proved to have a large wind range with a good bottom end for low-level tricks, and a seemingly endless top-end - certainly on the 9m we tested.
For some wave riding sessions, the Go is a dependable partner with a reliable down the line float, and again a low lateral pull which is perfect for those who ride strapless.
Onto jumping and the Go produces a sizable floaty jump. It has a high boost and delivers plenty of hangtime. There is good feedback through the bar here, and we feel this is an excellent kite to get to grips with jumping. Thanks to the stability and not needing to be 100% exact on timings to get a decent jump out of it, you can progress without being brutally punished.
Throwing some loops with the Go is fun, just make sure you have tightened those back lines beforehand! The kite delivers a tight progressive loop, not sky-high but certainly enough for you to start chasing those stronger winds and getting more into the looping side of our sport. Lose the line extensions here for a sportier feel through the loop with 21m lines.
Relaunching is excellent, again perfect for those who are after an easy freeride style kite they can happily progress with and enjoy.
Easily managed power, floaty jumps and a no-nonsense design.
We found at first the turning and feedback a little loose, however after playing with the settings this was tightened up so do ensure you take a look at settings before setting off on your first fly.
The Harlem Go is a brilliant allrounder for those who are looking for something away from the main players. Construction is fantastic and has clearly been a driving factor in design. The freeride potential of the Go is great with easy, floaty jumps and a great playful feel in all wind conditions and water states. A solid confidence-giver for riders in their first few years of kiteboarding, and well made, stable player for experienced riders looking to do a bit of everything.
This review was in Issue 82 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Harlem Kitesurfing