2020 Wave Kite Showdown Part I – Build and Bridal Systems

I’m TJ from Big Winds here in Hood River
on the beautiful sandbar on a fall day to go through three of our favorite 2020
wave kites. Here to my left we have the 2020 North Carve. Yes, the new North Carve 9 meter. Behind me right here is the 2020 Cabrinha Drifter 9 meter.
And right here we have one of our best sellers the Duotone Neo 9 meter.
So all three kites are the same sizes. They will be rigged on to their respective control systems – same bar length and same line length at 22 meters. But before I pump
these kites up let’s note the weight of these kites. When I took the Duotone Neo out of the bag and put it on the scale it weighed 6.6 pounds.
The Cabrinha Drifter, believe it or not, was the identical weight at 6.6 pounds. The North
Carve came out a little bit heavier at just under seven pounds. It weighed 6.95 pounds. I think a lot of these kites’ weight has to do with materials. So let’s
come on over here and check out the materials on these kites.
So for 2020 Duotone is using a new lightweight nylon. It’s the same Trinity
three by two, which means essentially the ripstop runs three ways this way and on
the grid two ways this way. This design allows for a canopy to be stiff but at the same
time have a nice torsional flex when looping the kite or turning the
kite aggressively. So the Trinity X material is very stiff but also allows
for flex. It’s made by Teijin which is the number one supplier of nylon in the
world. Let’s move over to Cabrinha because these guys are using a new
proprietary material that’s made by the Neil Pryde factory. This stuff is called
Nano Ripstop and essentially for every square or quadrant of Ripstop that you
would see in most other nylon materials these guys have doubled it. So if you
look closely the Ripstop is still two by two, like it had been, but now it’s
just run with super small little squares. So they’ve doubled the Ripstop. This
makes for a really stiff canopy at the same time really solid. So they can
minimize how much Dacron they’re using. And to talk one one step further on the
Dacron they’re using a high tenacity Dacron. So you can see that in the grid
here on the Dacron less Dacron used essentially means a lighter kite. So
lightweight at 6.6 pounds. Lightweight at 6.6 pounds.
Let’s look at the North Carve. Now North seems to be using just the standard
double ripstop nylon called D2, which is probably one of the more tried-and-true
nylons out there. So nothing fancy, nothing flashy. They kept it simple, but
you can see a little bit more use of Dacron in the reinforced areas. So at
just under seven pounds this 9 meter kite weighs 6.95 pounds. Okay so now let’s check out some of the
features here now that I’ve got all three kites pumped up. We’ll start with
the North Carve 9 meter. Here at the wingtip you can see the steering line
bridle has three different adjustment points for lighter bar pressure towards
the trailing edge, a little heavier bar pressure towards the leading edge. So
cool you you’ve got three different points here out of the bag. It’s set up
in the mid point for mid bar pressure range. Beauty of both worlds. OK going over here you can see nice reinforcements all the way along the
kite. If I flip the kite over we’ll take a look the one pump system on this kite. This really reminded me of Cabrinha. It’s got the sombrero that covers what looks like
an air lock valve very similar to what Cabrinha uses. No adapter needed when
pumping this up. You’ll see all three struts are
connected with an external tube. This reminds me more of Duotone here
the way they’ve got the clamps and all clamp all three of these shut. They claim
that this is a Kevlar reinforced strut system here. So super stiff on the struts.
This is looking like a really good kite. One thing I might add is the battens
that they used on the far panel here – single batten there and a single batten
here – for a total of four battens on this North Carve 9 m. We’ll move over to
the Cabrinha Drifter 9 meter. Let’s start at the wingtip again. So the
Cabrinha Drifter 9 meter you’ll check out on the wingtip. Out of the bag it’s
set up at the “A” setting which is for a lighter steering impulse, lighter bar
pressure. You can switch it over to “B” if you want a little bit more bar pressure
or if you’ve got short arms and you just need less travel for maximum depower. So “A” “B” setting versus one two three on the North Carve. Same kind of reinforcements
up the leading edge they’ve got some really nice bumpers right here I think. And then one
thing that neither the other kites have is an offshore or onshore setting on the
leading edge bridle. So out of the bag it’s set up as an onshore setting for
better drift. But if you need better upwind ability with this kite you can
move this bridle up to this knot and up to that knot right there into the
offshore setting. It’s so you don’t get pulled off the face of the wave in on offshore
conditions. The one pump system on this kite – again
it’s very similar to the North Carve. It’s got that same little sombrero cover
right here. But I will say the attention to detail is right here with these
silicon covers. A nice silicon cover here on the tube and on the clamps. So we’ll
clamp all three of these shut. OK so now here at the 2020 Duotone Neo 9 meter you’ll see that Ken Winner has done something that he’s used over the years
on the Duotone Rebel. He uses the same adaptive tip on the Neos as well. So there’s a
yellow and a blue setting out of the bag. It’s set up on the yellow knot for a soft
setting. So very similar. Out of the bag the other two kites have the lighter bar
pressure, but if you want a little bit more bar pressure you would move this
below this knot here to the blue setting for higher bar pressure. Another interesting thing here is this bungee. This bungee is attached to a ring on the
inside here. That’s to prevent your outside lines from going up and over the
kite when it lands down on its nose and then shifts so the leading edge is
facing the rider. Typically when a kite does a 180 on the water the outside
lines get wrapped up and over the top of the kite. Those bungees tuck those
outside lines underneath the leading edge preventing that. So here the
adaptive tip is totally different than those two kites. Nice reinforcements and
then there is a setting on the leading edge bridle as well – a yellow and a blue
setting. Yellow indicates better drift. Blue indicates a little bit better
upwind ability. So think of this as a wave setting or a free-ride setting. The
free-ride setting offers a little bit more depower as well. The one pump system on the Duotone Neo – this is a proprietary thing called the
Airport valve. It’s got a big opening here and essentially allows for
the pump to lock into place and then you can deflate from here. But as with all
other Duotone kites, they also have a dump valve over here. So
you’ve got two different spots for deflation. We’ll get these clipped up, rig
up the kites and take a look at the bridles real quickly. OK, so I’m
about to rig the lines up to the kites and the first thing I notice with the
North Carve is that it’s a static bridle. No pulleys. No moving parts on the
leading edge bridle. Let’s check out what the Cabrinha Drifter and the Duotone Neol have over here. The Drifter has a single pulley. So one moving pulley and then static the rest
of the way through. Let’s check out the Neos leading-edge bridles For the Neo – the Neo has a pulley but no
moving wheel on it. And for the most part that blue little bullet right there
prevents that pulley from moving any further, or traveling any further up the
bridle than that. As a matter of fact the movement on this pulley is very minimal.
I think the pulley only moves forward when you hit your quick release, allowing
the kite to dump all power. Otherwise it’s pretty much static up against that
bullet point right there. Let’s rig these kites and see how they fly!

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