At a Glance
We’ve not had the pleasure of a Kite Loose kite before here at the magazine, which is surprising as they are not a new brand. They have been around since 1999, arguably as close to the dawn of kitesurfing as you can get! This year they have 4 kites in the range; the Aihoo is the crossover between a Bow and a C Style machine. The construction is very solid, as you would expect from a brand with a few years in the business. They use a lot of heavy-duty Dacron material in the stress areas and this frames the canopy ensuring this kite will stand the test of a few seasons. The bridling is pretty simple just three connection points on the leading edge and direct connection at the trailing edge of the kite. The kite utilises a new system we haven’t seen before called the POB system, but more about this when we talk about the bar. One-pump comes as standard, which we always like to see!
The Kite Loose bar is well finished and looks well engineered, utilising a carbon construction and an ergonomic 3D shape to ensure it feels comfortable in the hand. There are grips on the end for added control during unhooked kite loop moves and built in winders to keep everything neat and tidy. Floats and an ‘oh-shit’ handle are standard as is the pull-pull trim strap. The chicken loop has a plastic and rope construction and the release is very easy to activate, perhaps a little too easy as you could knock it open while riding. The strangest thing has to be the POB system. POB stands for Pull One Back and essentially this is a 5th line that runs along the rear line of the kite, it is looped through the rear line and then connected to the trailing edge of the kite. The theory is you can use this to aid re-launch in light winds.
In The Air
It is quite strange riding along with an extra line attached to the rear line of the kite; obviously the line is slightly longer so it sags down and doesn’t interfere with the actual flying of the kite. But it does take a while to get your head around it! The 9m is quite powerful, and at the very top of it’s wind range it can be a bit of a handful so be sure to pull the 7m out before things get a bit manic! The feeling on the bar is very direct and the pressure is not too heavy. There is a short depower throw that allows you to dump the power easily with your arms without having to bend out of your natural body position while riding. Turning speed is good and the kite delivers a solid pull when you execute fast turns with the kite. Jumping is also impressive with the wing giving a good amount of hang time. We would like to see a version without the extra line though, perhaps that’s a personal thing, but we felt it was just a bit of overkill on what is a very capable design.
Top construction, solid Italian pedigree. Very simple bar set up which feels great in the hands; good depower range at your fingertips and a solid pull through the window.
We really don’t like the POB system on this kite, it seems like an extra add on that isn’t really needed. If you struggle to re-launch your kite, however, then this could be a welcome feature.
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The Aihoo is well made, looks good and flies well in the air, if you are learning then the added re-launch of the POB will be welcome, if however you are more of an intermediate rider then it will soon be an annoying extra to set up…
This review was in Issue 18 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Kiteloose
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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!