Eleveight XS V4

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Eleveight XS - Eleveight XS V4

Let’s be honest, in the past few years our world of kiting has rapidly changed its focus to predominantly the discipline of Big Air, and who can blame us? Nothing grabs the public’s attention more than someone like Stijn Koster throwing himself as high into the air as possible, in an attempt to take the latest WOO World Record in some of the wildest storm sessions ever recorded. If you needed any more proof that Eleveight was serious about creating extreme freeride kites, let’s not forget he currently sits at number three on the WOO Leaderboard with a jump height of 35.8m. We tested a 9m Eleveight XS in some rather adrenaline-filled sessions.

Eleveight has recently introduced their fourth generation of the XS Extreme Freeride kite and we were blown away by how truly extreme it is, designed to smash your boundaries when it comes to Big Air. The XS is a five-strut kite designed with the adrenaline seeker in mind, delivering raw power with a grunty characteristic for extreme moves. We braved the recent Dutch Storms giving the Eleveight XS a true challenge in some of the most extreme conditions possible.

Our first storm session was at Zandvoort, the location of kiting’s most extreme contest, The Red Bull Megaloop Challenge. It was blowing 30+ knots as we pumped the 9m up on the beach. Straight out of the bag, we were impressed by the stormproof construction packed into the XS. The leading edge is triple-reinforced along the closing seam making it one of the more indestructible constructions on the market, giving you the confidence that no matter how hard you wipe out, your XS will remain in one piece. Along with the closing seam the XS has strategically placed XT extreme tenacity cloth reinforcements to eliminate wear and tear on the canopy as well as protect the canopy from those pesky pinholes caused by valves.

Eleveight has well and truly delivered a kite that can handle the demands of pushing the limits. It is clear that their team has been doing extensive testing to make sure they deliver the ultimate storm-ready kite. The XS has a refined delta hybrid shape, that allows for a high-aspect ratio; this increases the kite’s angle of attack allowing a balance between the raw grunty power and the finesse of precise and direct bar control. Having a kite that is predictable and intuitive in extreme conditions is one of the most important factors I look at when reviewing Big Air kites. We launched the 9m XS in around 35+ knots and couldn’t believe how gently the kite climbed through the window to 12. No fabric was out of place, the delta hybrid design allows substantially less drag when it comes to five-strut kites. This means none of that canopy flutter that affects both speed and efficiency, giving you the confidence to throw the XS into some extreme loops. This year’s XS is wildly faster than the third generation, allowing you to launch yourself into some of the gnarliest jumps. That aggressive throw of the kite produces an insane amount of vertical lift; this kite sent us to new heights whilst allowing us to enjoy the ride down with an impressively long hang time.

The kite flies with a moderate to high feedback return; this is crucial when it comes to a kite designed to take on some of the most radical maneuvers in our sport. Bar feedback can be defined as how much power is transmitted through the steering lines of the kite. A kite that flies with a higher bar pressure gives the rider a significantly better idea of where the kite is; you can imagine how important this is when it comes to performing megaloops. We personally like to feel our kite throughout our session so we rode the XS on the “hard” settings, but the XS allows you to tailor your    personal riding preference by tuning the attachment along the wingtip. This year’s XS again includes the pulley-less bridle system, we were incredibly thankful for this as more than once during    our session we managed to horribly mistime our loops. The short bridle allows the kite to drive further forward in the window, which in turn means better catching abilities. The XS climbs out of loops with an amazing amount of speed making it fairly user friendly in the progression of loops.

This year’s XS feels refined, an overall upgrade from what already was a serious Big Air contender. Technically the kite responds well to input, making it a more direct and connected flight than the previous years. It is clear that Eleveight did not compromise when it came to the highest quality materials, the XS is built to be pushed to the absolute limit giving any rider the confidence to go big.

03 Eleveight XS V4 - Eleveight XS V4
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