At A Glance
Zeeko was set up by Nicolas Caillou who was one of the original designers at Takoon when they developed the Nova. He went on to become the manager for the brand until 2008 when he left to set up Zeeko. Since then the new brand has been quietly churning out products that Nico himself wants to use and they have created a small army of fans the world over. The Notus is their do-it-all freeride machine, aimed at the rider who wants a reactive kite that can perform in a variety of conditions. The kite itself has an updated bridle for 2013, along with a new trailing edge design. It’s a 3 strut delta-esque kite with a simple bridle that has been made shorter over the previous years incarnation. This should make the kite more responsive. In addition to the updated bridle the trailing edge has been redesigned using a zig-zag or “bat wing” shape. This is designed to make the kite last longer especially when left on the beach.
We’ve not tested a Zeeko kite or bar before so we were keen to the route they had gone in terms of development. It’s good to see a standard being set in terms of activation these days and the Zeeko Freestyle bar uses a push away release mechanism, which has now almost become an industry standard. The bar is capable of being used on the biggest and smallest kites around, it has a clever “switch” feature that allows you to make the bar wider for larger kites and vice versa. Depower is controlled using an above the bar clam cleat design, it is easy to reach and works well. Safety is looked after by an integrated safety line that is connected to one of the front lines. The lines themselves are provided by Cousin-Trestec who manufacture some exceedingly high quality lines with polymer cores.
In The Air
The Zeeko Notus is a responsive kite, very lively in the hands with an exceedingly direct and fast feel to the bar. Engage the kite in a turn and it responds immediately, this allows you to get it around the window with a real purpose and makes it great for jumping and boosting. Some of the test team enjoyed the quick nature of the Notus, while the less experienced found it a little twitchy, especially if you were not ready for it. Kiteloops were reasonably easy, the kite has a gentle pull to it, rather than generating heaps of power. Upwind the Notus is fast, allowing you to get back to where you were riding quickly after boosting floaty airs, which are a blast. Ideally suited to the more experienced freerider out there, or the ambitious beginner used to flying faster kites. The Notus was a test team favourite fairly early on into the test sessions.
Fast, direct and responsive steering, predictable in the air, easy kiteloops with a fairly gentle pull.
The less experienced rider might find it takes a while to get used to the speed of the kite.
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We really enjoyed flying the Notus, the high end is definitely better than the low end, and the kite turns faster than milk on a summers day.
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!