At A Glance
Generation 3.0 of the Wainman Hawaii series of kites has been long awaited. The team doesn’t release kites on a yearly product cycle unlike some other brands and the Generation 2.0 series was actually launched over two years ago. Wainman Hawaii fans have had a long wait for their new kites!
What’s changed? Fans of the brand will be pleased to know it’s another round of tweaks and tuning rather than an overhaul. Keeping the kites firmly inline with the brands philosophy and maintaining the low aspect nature of the design.
One Pump brings the kites up to date, and tweaks to the leading edge shape, profiles and panel layout have been done to improve the kites handling and characteristics. As ever each size is actually a different kite, the brand does this as it’s a more effective way of designing a kite to suit the conditions it is intended for.
The 6.25 Gypsy we have on test here is a low aspect three strut design aimed towards lighter riders in moderate winds or for heavier riders to use when the winds are pumping. The bridle remains short with a myriad of tuning options available to help the kites upwind and downwind performance, as well as the bar pressure and turning speed.
Just as all the kites have been updated, the 3.0 Generation Bar has too. It retains many of the features from before, with a few tweaks to the design and an all-new chicken loop too. On the safety side there are a multitude of options, the system now allows for a full safety set up with 100% depower and the kite flagging out onto one front line.
You can also rig it so that when you eject from the chicken loop you ditch the entire kite, or you can have a double depower setting which in effect depowers the quite twice as much as just letting go of the bar and finally a suicide set up for freestylers who don’t want to depower the kite when they let go of the bar after missing a trick.
The bar itself has had the diameter reduced and it now feels really comfortable in your hands. A welcome addition is the increase in size of the bar floats, this allows you to wrap up your lines without them dropping off the bar. The bar ends are integrated with the floats and made from a soft EVA so you won’t damage your board or yourself in wipeouts.
Other features such as the re-launch ball, a guide as to where to pull on the rear lines to effect a re-launch and the centre line spinner make a welcome return. The chicken loop has also been redesigned to make it more effective and easier to operate. Overall the new bar is a very slick set up, it’s clean functional and the niggles we had with the Generation 2.0 bar have been addressed.
In The Air
There are multitudes of trimming settings on this kite, and it is important to tune it to the way you want to ride. We found, as with the previous generation of kites that the Gypsy flies best when the rear lines are set to the fastest setting and are as short as possible. That’s our favourite setting for making the kite super responsive, have a play around and find the best setting for the way you like to fly.
The short depower line was a feature we weren’t used to after having spent some time away from these kites. It seems lots of brands these days are making really long depower lines to offer maximum depower. The instant you put the Gypsy in the air however you realise why they don’t need the long depower line.
The kite has a very, very short throw, you can dump all the power from the kite by moving the bar just a few inches, rather than having to sheet the bar all the way out. This gives you an immense amount of control in gusty and really windy conditions as you can keep your body in the same position and make small adjustments to the bar to tune the power in the kite.
This characteristic will also suit the smaller rider with shorter arms who might sometimes struggle to get the full range of depower on a kite with a longer throw.
In the air the Gypsy is very stable, sitting a little further back in the window due to the deep chord and low aspect nature of the design. An area that has been improved however is the upwind ability and despite the kite sitting a little further back in the window than some kites it is very good at going upwind.
As an all round versatile machine the Gypsy performs very well indeed. It’s a great freeride kite, offering big boosted jumps with good hangtime on the way down. Unhooked the low aspect design works well in terms of stability, however true freestylers will be looking for a little more “slack line” time when they pop and unload for their tricks.
As a wave kite it’s fantastic, the drift is excellent and for down the line cross offshore riding it behaves really well on the wave. When the wind is cross on and you have to move the kite around a little bit it does need to be trimmed and flown to get the most out of it
The Gypsy doesn’t steer brilliantly with slack lines, it’s stable nature means it needs a little bit of bar input and tension on the lines to keep the turns smooth. The short depower throw can also catch you out here if you are used to a kite with a longer throw, it is very easy to dump all the power and a bit of practice will ensure you get this right throughout your turns.
Once you have the kite dialled though it’s a joy to ride in the waves, especially when it is nuking and the wind is gusty. Kiteloops are an exciting affair, the Gypsy turns fast but it develops quite a bit of power as it goes through the window, you’ll definitely need your balls with you.
In terms of who this kite will suit, it has a lot of applications, it’s stable enough to be used by an entry level rider, yet packs in the performance for the advanced freeriders and wave riders out there too. Re-launch is good, these kites have a very curved leading edge that doesn’t stick to the water so it’s easy to get back up in the air should you crash it.
Versatile, stable and with immense amounts of control at your fingertips the Gypsy is a great high wind kite. The short depower throw will also suit smaller riders with shorter arms.
There are one too many settings on the kite for our liking, this can be confusing for a lot of riders and the kite has a narrow window on those settings where it works best. It would be easy to simplify the settings to ensure user error when setting up doesn’t creep in. We love the new one pump system, although feel they could have gone one step further with a high-speed inflation valve set up.
The Gypsy is an amazing kite in strong and gusty winds. It will suit the hardcore freeriders who will enjoy its aggressive nature and wave riders will enjoy the drifting capabilities of the kite. If you are just starting to unhook you’ll get a lot out of the kite too. Smaller riders will enjoy the short depower throw and be able to use the kite in lighter winds as well. Excellent build quality with an awesome bar and bag make the Gypsy an fantastic all round package…
This review was in Issue 48 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Wainman Hawaii
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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!