At A Glance
The Smoke is the go to kite in the Wainman line up, boasting a huge range and offering performance in the waves, freestyle and freeride. The build quality on the Wainman kites has never been in question, and 2012 is no different. The construction is solid with reinforcement in all the right places. The kite also comes with plenty of “trim” options. You can fly the kite on the bridle which is recommended for wave riding, or set it up without the bridle for a more direct feel for freestyle. The kite has the long chord depth that the Wainman range is famous for and the leading edge sweeps all the way back to the wing tip. A great touch is the graphics on the inside of the kite, plus all the little attentions to detail. One surprise is the lack of one pump, Wainman are perhaps the only brand in the industry to have not come on board with this yet.
The Carrot Bar is a fantastic piece of kit, so simple, very effective and it feels great in the hands. The depower line is encased in plastic to prevent wear; the floats are integrated into the winders. The chicken loop is easy to grab and release and very simple to put back together on the water. Safety is taken care of with a single front line safety system. For the depower there is a an above the bar clam cleat set up that works very well and is easy to reach.
On The Water
The Smoke is unique in the way it connects with the rider, the short lines on the bar no doubt helping you to feel the responsiveness of the kite. It moves around the window with a speed and agility that can catch you off guard at first, but once you get used to the turning rate then it almost becomes an extension of your arm. In the waves it is one of the most natural kites we have flown. Jumping is great the speed adding to the kites ability to wrench you off the water. In the air the kite is predictable and offers plenty of float, the wide chord depth of the canopy helping you there. Upwind is good, not amazing, the shape of the kite lending it to low-end power and grunt rather than upwind ability. When the wind is blowing though this isn’t a problem. The low end is good, top end is far better; we were comfortable when others were on 7m kites.
The Smoke is well-built, a little different, very responsive and direct, great for waves, freestyle and free ride.
One pump would make this kite almost perfect; the speed of the kite makes it more suited to Intermediates and Experts.
A great kite, it is easy to see why it is so popular. Direct, responsive and fast with almost limitless top end range.
This review was in Issue 33 of IKSURFMAG.
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!