As we have already mentioned, the ION kite range is split into two distinct lines this year, the Strike series, which is a back zip, and the Onyx series, which features a front zip. Within the Strike line all the suits feature a back zip and there are three price points in the range; the Strike Select is the top of the range with the best materials, the Strike Amp is in the middle and the regular Strike is aimed at the more price conscious rider.
Within each of these ranges there are various combinations of thickness so there should be something for everyone. It is worth noting there are summer suits as well in this line up, so ION have you covered for the entire season. We opted for the middle of the road Strike Amp 5/5mm suit to test, which should be plenty to keep you warm through the coldest of months.
There is a dark blue colourway available and also this red and blue number. It’s worth mentioning here that I always wanted a Spiderman outfit when I was a kid…now I have one and have been wearing it round the house whilst trying to climb walls. You can too if you like.
Kite specific features include shin pads, drain holes to prevent ballooning and ankle straps. In addition, new for 2015, are Crash padz on the sides of the suit, these pads are designed to protect your ribs from your harness and when you wipeout and hit the water hard.
You’ll also find a Gate Keeper on the back to keep the water out from the zip, a key pocket on the rear of the calf and even a sunglass loop built into the neck closure. The suit also features the Sanitized Technology that ION have been pushing, this means your suit will work to prevent bad odours from bacteria.
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The Strike Amp is really warm on the water; it’s very flexible, even though it is reasonably thick at 5/5mm. We really loved the Hot Stuff lining, which is a little like wearing a woolly jumper, it’s soft next to the skin and exceedingly warm. The “S Seals” on the neck, wrists and ankles are excellent and we didn’t get any flushing when we were wearing the Strike Amp.
This is a great suit for the kiter who wants to stand out in the sea of black neoprene, but also is looking for warmth and durability. Flexible and comfortable you won’t be disappointed in this suit, oh and you’ll also look like Spiderman, what’s not to like?
This review was in Issue 47 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit ION Products
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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!