At A Glance
The Raw is a totally new kite from Kiteloose for 2014, it will sit alongside the Angel in their range and it is aimed at the rider looking for a do-it-all machine. Available in sizes 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13m the kite is a 3 strut design with swept back wing tips and a very simple bridle that doesn’t use any pulleys. It’s well built with Kevlar reinforcements on high wear areas, Dacron areas surround the canopy and there is some good detailing with the graphics too. It has quite a deep profile around the leading edge area, which should give it plenty of low-end power. It also utilises what Kiteloose call an Auto Stable Reflex Profile, as the profile moves towards the trailing edge it has a concave shape which is designed to keep the kite stable and stop it from over flying in strong gusts.
You might think that with a kite at this price the bar would be a substandard addition to the package, but you would be wrong in the case of the Nuke bar. It is well made and while arguably not as fancy as some of the offerings on the market it is well thought out and packed with features. Last year we felt the Nuke Bar lacked a little quality in terms of the kite lines it used, but we are pleased to say that the standard of the lines has been upgraded this year making this a fantastic bar for the price. The chicken loop is well made and of a very high standard and the bar itself feels good in the hands. An above the bar clam cleat depower system completes the set up.
In The Air
The first thing you notice about the Raw is the bar pressure, this isn’t an airy fairy kite that offers no feeling, this kite really puts on plenty of bar feedback and you instantly notice it if you have been flying a kite with lighter bar pressure. The kite has a very simple bridle and rigging set up so there are no options to tune the way the kite feels, this is true plug and play kiting. The other thing that really stands out is the kites ability to handle gusts, one of our testers likened it to riding a full suspension mountain bike versus a rigid one with no suspension. The kite feels incredibly smooth even in the most challenging of conditions. Steering is fast and direct and the kite responds well to rider input and is quick to engage power in a turn. One thing we did notice was the kite has a sweet spot in the bar throw area where it really starts to come alive, it doesn’t like to be flown “choked” or over-sheeted and you need to really “fly” this kite to get the most out of it. The kite has good low end, no doubt helped by the deep profile shape around the leading edge, and the top end is very impressive too. Jumping on the Raw was a real joy and when it is powered you get some good hangtime as well. Kiteloops are easy enough with a smooth power delivery and not too aggressive. One area where this kite excels is in the waves, it has excellent float and drift and hangs in the window really nicely. This characteristic also lends itself to unhooked freestyle.
Excellent value for money, solid construction with the upgraded lines a welcome addition to the Nuke bar. Fantastic gust handling and very smooth to fly, great in the waves and a good all rounder.
The bar pressure may be a little heavy for the lighter riders out there, the kite needs to be flown well to get the most out of it.
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The Kiteloose Raw is a great new kite from the brand; it works in a huge variety of conditions and offers a very stable feel when the wind is gusty and shifting. A great all-rounder that will excite anyone who flies it.
This review was in Issue 40 of IKSURFMAG.
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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!