So I recently received my 2019 Eleveight RS kites and I wanted to share with you my thoughts and first impressions. To date I have only tried the 14m of the 2019 kites. Having sold my 2018 14 m demo I was anxious to replace this size and model in my quiver, but I had to wait as I offered my kite to others looking to demo the kite before I had a chance to fly it for myself. Then last week I was one of the last people at Lagoon City on Lake Simcoe and by the time I got out on the water the wind dropped to below 10 knots. Further out in the lake it was 11 knots but near shore it was between 7 and 9 knots so I had a big range to test the kite in.
I immediately jumped on my surf board and had a blast. I was literally singing while flying this kite as I was having so much fun! Within minutes of flying it I felt this was the best all round free ride kite I had ever flown, period.
The 2018 model was impressive. For a first year brand and model I thought it was every bit as good as the Cabrinha Switchblade which has been around for over 15 years and has long been one of my favorite kites, but this 2019 kite blew the Switchblade, the 2018 RS and every other freeride kite I have ever flown out of the water.
The new model turns faster than last year and almost as fast as a freestyle kite. The bar pressure was something out of a fairy tale being neither too light nor too strong and feeling just right. You always knew where this kite was in the sky and what it was doing. You could feel the kite as if you had a sixth sense and were psychically tuned to its every movement. This kite is going to let beginners and advanced riders alike take their riding to a new level.
Alot of effort has been made touting this new techno force x4 rip stop fabric and until this day part of me couldn't help but wonder if it was mostly marketing hype ... but when i got the kite in the sky i understood what they were raving about. This fabric isn't just about 4 threads to prevent tears ... its about 4 threads that prevent stretching and fluttering of the canopy ... and WOW does it work. This canopy was so stable both in flight and when parked in the sky. It felt like the kite was more like a rigid airplane wind than a piece of fabric. It allowed the kite to move so smoothly, quickly and predictably through the sky that I simply could not keep from singing - I was having so much fun!
I didn't even fully pump up the kite and it was performing better than I could have imagined. The added benefit of the new fabric and coatings is that the material will not lose shape and performance for many years of wonderfully satisfying usage. I now understand why this fabric is being so heavily touted.
The 2019 RS still retained all of its boosting, lift and hang time splendor but with the added turning speed, improved feel, stability and predictability this kite is sure to become a boosters dream. Last years kite was impressive and became my defacto free ride kite of choice ... but this year its like i found the love of my life and wanted o marry her!
The 2018 RS had one of the biggest wind ranges I have ever seen but I did notice at the very high end of the spectrum the kite would exhibit some minor instability and at the very low end could be tricky to relaunch. This was never a big deal or serious flaw and in fact most people wouldn't even notice but when you kite and teach for a living you do notice some minor qualities and characteristics ... so I was anxious to see how the 2019 RS stacked up.
I loved my 2018s so much that I was hesitant to sell them. What of the new kites were not as good? I feared I would lose my favorite gear. I would ride my 14m on my trusty Wing board in winds with no one else other than foilers. I had heard from some trusted sources that the 2019s were better but does one ever truly know until you experience it for yourself?
Let me tell you, and as the video can attest, this kite flies in even less wind and relaunches even easier than before. In the video I say 8 or 9 knots but I wouldn't be surprised if it was down to 7 and I was able to relaunch the 14m effortlessly. I haven't had a chance to test the high end stability yet because frankly i haven't had this kite out in high enough wind to push it to the limit yet. This past weekend i flew it in up to 20 knot gusts and clearly that was no where near the upper limit of what this kite can handle so yes I believe the wind range somehow is even better than last year.
In fact I have yet to find a single flaw with this kite. The new carry bag unzips along three sides whereas last year did two so its easier to put back in the bag even. And the new bag is a backpack style, and while i didn't mind last years messenger bag style alot of people prefer backpack style.
In terms of looks the kite is a stunner. I wanted grey because i felt it looked best in the pictures but after seeing the other colors in person they all look spectacular. I love the simple and elegant design of these kites... they are not filled with useless over designed patches and swaths of colors graphics and remind me of an elegant Italian sports car.
I cant wait to try the 2019 FS and the other sizes of the RS but I believe a round of applause is in order. Somehow the team at Eleveight have done the improbable ... They followed up the best release of a kite company with the best release of a kite ever ... I don't know how these kites are going to stay in stock once word gets out about how good these are ... and this time I'm not selling my demos until I actually fly something better which does not seem likely ... unless they invent anti-gravity for the 2020 models!
2019 Eleveight GEAR is HERE!
Well Almost & Sort Of ... The official release date is early July but we've got the lowdown on all the new gear straight from the testers in Tarifa and it looks amazing. Eleveight is continuing to tear up the industry by setting a new standard for quality and performance. Never before has a new company had such an impact since Horacio Pagani shook up the Super Car industry or since Ferruccio Lamborghini told Ferrari to F-Off and built his own car.
As many of you know, some of the brightest minds from Best Kiteboarding left to start their own brand ... but this isn't Best 2.0 - Eleveight is something completely new. The problem with existing brands is you can't change too much form year to year or you run the risk of pissing off your existing customer base. The result is they end up with kites that are behind the design curve in terms of both performance and handling characteristics. So they try and innovate by introducing all these additional product lines but those too are handicapped because they don't want to cannibalize their existing lines - what a mess.
Apple, in its Steve Jobs era heydey was an example of a company that didn't care about cannibalizing itself and they pushed the limits of design resulting in things like the iPhone, the iPad and the multi-touch interface ... imagine if Apple had been afraid to cannibalize the scroll wheel ipod and never released multi-touch?
Do you also remember when Apple bought NEXT and not long thereafter released OS-X ... that was the start of something completely new. Now imagine being able to start fresh in the kiteboarding industry with all new designs using the best ideas form some of the brightest minds and not having to hold onto any outdated legacy product lines - well that's what Eleveight has done - they built a new brand incorporating all the best ideas without any limitations. And oh what a brand it is...
If you haven't tried an Eleveight kite yet you don't know what you are missing. This is perhaps the fastest growing brand in Kiteboarding history and for good reason. The line up is clean and un-cluttered and their products are exceptional in both performance and quality. Now they are entering their 2nd year with only subtle refinements. These include the use of what is widely considered to be the best material in the in the industry: Teijin Techno Force X4, for their canopies which will help prevent tears and reduce canopy stretch and trailing edge flutter to unprecedented levels.
They have also made subtle refinements to wind range and turning characteristics without loosing any of the incredible boosting and stability of the current line up. Their bar has retained the amazing click to reconnect safety system and added the ability to adjust bar width among a few other refinements. In fact Ozone has already copied their quick re-connect chicken loop system - when was the last time you saw one of the oldest brands in the industry copying one of the newest? (Ask Lamborghini, Pagani, Tesla, Koenigsegg and McLaren about that.) But let's face it, click to re-connect is a great idea and I wish all brands used this same system, that way fewer riders would fear pulling their safety knowing it is one click away from re-connecting. I've discussed this same issue with other kiteboarding instructors and we all feel that too many riders are afraid to use their safety and I think this system would help remedy that.
Eleveight's excellence is not just limited to the kites ... have you tried the Process board? OK while I love the naming convention Eleveight has adopted for it's other products, I think this board deserves a better name than that, but name aside it is the best all rounder I have ridden to date... and Ive had the pleasure of riding some great boards over the years. The Process board in my opinion is like the Heinz of Ketchup.
What do I mean by that?
Well, have you ever read Malcolm Gladwell's piece on why we have so many brands and types of Mustard yet Heinz nearly completely dominates the ketchup industry? It's a brilliant piece which you can read here: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2004/09/06/the-ketchup-conundrum. Or you can watch the TED talk here: www.ted.com/talks/malcolm_gladwell_on_spaghetti_sauce.
One of the possible reasons Gladwell attributes to this "ketchup conundrum" is that perhaps Heinz has created the perfect product with just the right ratios of ingredients to make the ultimate universally loved ketchup?
Well my kiteboarding compatriots -- I tell you this in all sincerity: Perhaps Eleveight has created the Heinz ketchup of kiteboards - the perfect all round board in what I wish was better named; the Process. It is such an exquisite all rounder that does everything well and has no weaknesses. It doesn't have the best pop, but it is very, very good. It points super high and carves really well ... but best of all it is exceptionally smooth and comfortable and eats chop like a kid pouring Heinz ketchup on their fries.
Never before have I felt a board so easy on these old knees and spine that I don't think I will ever get rid of this old philly. It was love at first ride and she's with me for life ... and thankfully, Eleveight has made no change to the dimensions, construction or characteristics of this board whatsoever ... they've just given her a fresh coat of paint and she looks great in the new shade of blue which I have to say is a step up from the previously unassuming grey. Ok so maybe i'll get the blue one instead ;)
Now don't get me wrong - I'm not proposing you only own one board ... changing your board changes the complete feel of kiting and I think its great to have a quiver of different boards to keep things fresh and interesting. But if you could own a Ferrari AND a Lamborghini AND a Pagani, wouldn't you? So why not own a few boards? After all it's not like you can have several wives (unless you live in Utah) or several super cars (unless you are RIchard Branson - that private Island owning, super model riding on his back, son of a bitch who has never once invited me to hang out with him like he did with Barrack Obama) ... but ... you can own several different kiteboards - so why not.
Anyways, we are so stoked to try the new gear ourselves but at the same time we don't want to give up any of our existing gear we love so much. What a dilemma... But in the end we have to make some room for what's coming so this is your chance to get some existing demo gear at great prices. To Shop our demo department click here:
And stay tuned for the upcoming big launch of Eleveight's 2nd generation kites and boards and be the first to know by liking us on facebook, following us on Instagram, signing up to our mail list and subscribing to our YouTube Channel. And when the new gear does arrive you can get it shipped right to you just by clicking here:
In the meantime, we still have some very limited quantities of new 2018 gear so hurry and place your order because the remaining inventory is going fast. Shop for 2018 gear by clicking here:
And if you see me at your local spot don't be shy, come by and say hi, and take some demo Eleveight's out for a fly.... trust me, you will not regret it and you will want to get it. If you have any questions about the new gear and what's coming down the pipeline feel free to CONTACT US. but until then thanks for reading and remember to:
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