Our very own BKSA kitesurfing instructor Bryan Matiba has been good enough to give his own reviews on all the products he’s riding this season. If you are looking for an owners perspective, you’re in the right place.
2016 Tona Flow – Wake Style Kiteboard / Cable Crossover
The Tona Flow is a sturdy Kiteboard built to tackle obstacles as well as the most complex of wakestyle tricks. The first impressions of the board are that it is built tough, more like a wakeboard rather than kite board. At the park, the Flow excels with its large progressive rocker line providing insane amounts of pop and with the sintered UHMW slider base, the board glides over the kickers and rails barely leaving a mark. The rocker also absorbs and softens heavy landings when jumping big or when your kite doesn’t quite catch you after a Kiteloop. The board has insane amounts of pop when boosting off the water or off man made/natural kickers.
The Tona Flow can be ridden without fins for feature riding, and while the base of the board appears to be plain/flat, there actually is a lot going on underneath the board allowing it to perform on the water. The double concave tip and tail along with the chines by the fin mounts provide grip when edging and loading up for air tricks and yet allow the board to glide seamlessly over obstacles without catching. The only downside to the bottom shape of the board was the lack of chines round the edges, this meant that when loading for an airtrick there was nothing to deflect the spray from underneath the board and so you might get a bit of spray in your face for a few seconds.
The boot mounting inserts are offset to allow for more stance angles, however I am not particularly a fan of this as most boots typically have enough of a range as it is. The board has an amazing flex pattern that allows you to lock into presses and has a lively feel to it, and a snappy feel when releasing off the water. I would highly recommend this board to anyone looking to progress into a more aggressive style of riding, for riding up beaches or hitting features, or even if you were looking for the perfect cable/kite crossover board – I would rate the Tona Flow as the best Kite/Wake crossover I have ridden so far.
2016 Mystic Majestic Waist Harness
The Mystic Majestic waist harness is my current choice for a kite harness. The harness features a memory foam back support that moulds to the shape of the rider increasing comfort when riding, as well as the support from the harness. The soft neoprene edges and 360-degree pre-shaped back support reduce the pressure on the rider and stopping the harness from riding up on your back, making it possible to fly your kite for longer.
The plastic tube on the back of the harness allows your leash to glide smoothly across from one side to the other without catching which is ideal for handle pass tricks. The spreader bar is protected in a soft material and along with the battle belt underneath is much more comfortable and doesn’t move around while riding/ flying the kite.
2016 Cabrinha Chaos Freestyle/ Wakestyle Kite
Its fair to say that Cabrinha have completely redesigned the Chaos into a freestyle machine this year. The high aspect C shaped kite is designed for the more advanced rider looking for maximum performance out of their kite. The new 6-line set-up is an insane improvement over the bridled C set-up, as the kite is way more lively and responsive.
Surprisingly enough, a major improvement from last year is how easy the kite is to relaunch! I was expecting that with the kite being more C shaped than last year this would not be the case however I was certainly wrong.
Cabrinha’s 1 pump system has been good in past years however the leads to the struts did tend to blow out of their sockets when the kite crashed hard. This has been improved on in the 2016 kites. 1 major advantage with this year’s Cabrinha Chaos kite is the extensive customisation available on the line connections to the kite.
The kite can be tuned to perform like a conventional C kite, where the kite responds well to edging for unhooked tricks but requires more edging to fly forward providing better line slack. The kite can also be tuned to the other extreme where it has more depower and responds well to jumping and boosting big!
On top of this, the kite arc support lines can also be tuned to provide more or less arc support. The downside of not having bridles is that the kite doesn’t respond well to gusty wind as the bridles act as a shock absorber. Therefore less skilled riders may struggle handling the kite in such wind. My style of riding includes Freestyle, wakestyle and throwing Kiteloops in a big air session, I feel that the chaos is the perfect kite for the style of riding I am into.
2016 Ronix One Boot
The Ronix One Boot is probably the best boot I have ridden for cable wakeboarding as well as Kiteboarding. The boot is on the stiffer side of Ronix’s design line which works well for Kiteboarding, while the boot is still flexible enough to tweak out grabs and lock into presses at the cable park. A major bonus with Ronix boots is that they mould to your feet as you ride them making them more comfortable and improves the feedback you receive from the board.
The new and improved lace lock is easy to use and stays tight while riding where as previous years have not been so effective. The longer laces allow the rider to get the boot on nice and tight without having to bend down too far to reach them. The anti-heel lift system on the boot maximises the fit around your ankle and prevents annoying ejections from happening keeping you locked into the boot.
2016 Liquid Force Peak Wakeboard
The Liquid Force Peak has been my favourite board to ride at the cable for almost a year now. The board designed by Nico von Lerchenfeld excels at the cable park especially when ridden without fins. The channels as well as the concaved tip & tail provide grip on the water making this board ideal for both airtricks and feature riding. The board doesn’t have as much rocker as some of the other boards in the liquid force line, however this makes it quicker on the water and great for airtricks.
The full wood core gives the board an amazing flex pattern all the way from the center of the board between the bindings right up to the tip & tail. Liquid Force is well known for their build quality and the 2016 Peak is no exception, I have had a few sketchy transfers and clips on rails but the board barely has a mark to show for this.
I haven’t had a chance to ride the peak behind a boat so I can’t comment on its performance.
I would highly recommend this board for Park riders.