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In a saturated market of do-it-all kites, Eleveight has consistently delivered an industry contender in their RS. The seventh generation of the Eleveight RS is at the forefront of this year’s lineup thanks to its versatility and extensive performance, resulting in a freeride multidiscipline kite that can compete with the biggest names in the industry. We threw the RS V7 into multiple scenarios on this test, to truly challenge their design philosophy around the one-kite-fits-all approach, and we were not disappointed.
The standout appeal for us was the exceptionally huge wind range packed into a single kite; the V7 has superior efficiency thanks to an updated profile allowing you to minimize your quiver to just two kites. Gone are the days of lugging around numerous kites on your holiday – the RS has noticeably questioned the need for discipline-specific kites in every size. It certainly makes it easier to decide which size to take out, whilst giving you the confidence that if conditions change you’ll be in control no matter what. We enjoyed the simpler approach.
Our first session was a 14 knot lightwind wave riding session on the 9m, thanks to the ‘aerodynamic delta-hybrid’ shape that gives the kite superior low-end capability. Notably, another technical feature worth mentioning is the five-point, pulley-free, short bridle that livens up the kite allowing for an ultra-direct flying experience. We truly enjoyed how playful the kite felt in the light onshore wind, where kite maneuverability is something we battle to find in multidiscipline kites. Eleveight gives you complete control by allowing you to easily trim the kite according to your riding style; this is done by not only changing the steering options but giving you even more control with the ability to fine tune the bridles for a variation of turning characteristics. For someone as picky as us, we managed to find the perfect settings to create enough tension to enjoy some unhooked wave riding whilst the kite had enough drift to float down the line – a difficult enough task on a good day.
Paired with Eleveight’s CS Vary Bar Plus, the RS is incredibly responsive allowing for a precise feel; we enjoyed the medium bar pressure that gave us constant feedback throughout our session, allowing us to know the kite’s position no matter where it flew in the window. The RS flies relatively forward in the window, which not only greatly improves its upwind abilities in these lighter wind sessions, allowing you to rest the legs and enjoy the sessions for longer, but gave the kite a second or two head start as it shot across the window with crisp sheet-on-demand power – arguably enhancing the wave riding experience for the seasoned surfer while making it fun enough for those learning to position themselves for their very first top turns.
Our favorite session was a pure freeride day with winds between 20 to 24 knots on the 9m. The RS constantly surprised us with how smoothly it generates power, thanks to its mid- to high-aspect ratio which has been tuned with a greater angle of attack, allowing you to turn on the power at any time. This was exceptionally clear as we unhooked and loaded up the kite, which resulted in an impressive pop off the water whilst generating a fair amount of slack for a do-it-all kite. A practically indestructible, triple-reinforced leading edge gives you peace of mind to explore and improvise during your sessions, making sure you are constantly having fun whilst pushing the limits. We have to say it helped us feel better about the kite when we missed the handle on those tricky passes. The everyday rider will enjoy the kite’s medium swept-back wingtips that left us floating that little bit longer on our boosts, thanks to an ideal balance between height and distance in its jump profile.
The RS felt a little nervous as the winds pushed the 30-knot range, but thanks to the XT cloth on the leading edge as well as reinforcements on each strut, it held its structure whilst minimizing any canopy flutter. In this respect, the RS is a great choice for any freerider who wants a dependable kite to push their Big Air game thanks to its quick loops and catching ability.
In closing, the RS will allow the everyday rider to push their limits regardless of the discipline they want to explore, without sacrificing the authentic freeride experience. Overall the Eleveight RS is a reliable kite designed to bring you uncompromised fun, from getting on the water for the very first time to an experienced rider who wants to explore the sport across multiple disciplines.