ELEVEIGHT RS V4 9M
RS V4 9M
TESTED BY: Jim & Bully
TESTER BIOS AND TEST PARAMETERS: Here
TEST TEAM NOTES: Hand this to anyone, anywhere and there’s no chance they won’t come back having had a fun session. That’s the sort of kite that the RS V4 is and would easily be in our top three choices to take to a desert island. The three strut Delta-hybrid shape sits between mid-aspect and higher-aspect designs, delivering sweet low end drive at the bar, but also a lovely clean travel through the window for easy upwind riding and stronger wind control.
PLUG-IN, INSTANT PLAY The soft feeling of buoyant lift is immediately apparent when you launch the kite on the beach and, of all the kites we tested this issue, the RS has the best low wind performance. Easy, responsive steering mixes with a fun injection of sheeting power for dynamic sessions. One session, Jim switched up to this after riding the eight metre Orbit and the difference in power and lift felt far greater than the one metre step-up in size. The RS is literally plug and play and about as uncomplicated as a freeride kite can be. Balanced nicely between lift, hangtime, sheeting and turning, the even feel helps you approach your riding without restraint. Even though there’s plenty of sheeting power, in strong winds you won’t be madly trying to hunch your body over to push the bar away because the RS drives nicely forward against your rail.
JUMPING Jumping performance is once again impressive and easy, but the RS is also a joy to throw around, responding adeptly from 12 o’clock, or from lower down at the side of the window. So whether you’re riding towards the kite and need to downloop it, or coming out of a transition with the kite having drifted to 2 o’clock, you can quickly loop the kite for a lovely, smooth injection of forward pull. Sheet out a little if you’re ever too loaded, or pull the bar in to power easily through lulls. It has everything and across the broadest range of wind speeds, water conditions and boards, we’d be very happy to ride this all day long.
Primarily this nine metre is a twin-tip freeride kite, but the responsive, tight turning radius and a clean depower sheeting range make the RS a really capable all-rounder, especially in the smaller sizes. The kite itself is well featured and of good build quality.
VARY BAR The Vary bar is neat and very functional, with hidden width adjustment settings in the bar ends, soft grip, easy to release chicken-loop that flags the kite safely to one line and a below the bar line untwister. If we’re picking holes it doesn’t have some of the shine and top end user-experience touches of auto-untwisting lines, plastic covered sheeting etc, but there’s no doubt that it works perfectly well, is robust and easy to operate.
BRAND NEW QUICK-MATIC 2 QUICK-RELEASE - VIDEO
“Balanced nicely between lift, hangtime, sheeting and turning, the even feel helps you approach your riding without restraint.”
SUMMARY: Like the Master board last issue (read that review here), the RS is massive amounts of fun and incredibly easy to use for all levels. Whether you’re perfecting your board starts, sending huge boosts or looping the kite sweetly before you engage in a bottom turn, the comfortably connected feel that the RS delivers means you literally can’t go wrong with this kite. We’d be very happy to own a quiver. KW LIKED:
The fun and lively handling is immediately apparent from the kite’s bottom end upwards, meaning you can unlock stunning jumping performance very early. KW WOULD CHANGE: A plastic cover over the centre line rope running through the bar would be a nice finishing touch, but as you research, you’ll realise this is a very competitively priced product.
RS BALANCE POINTS: Build quality: 8.5 Full package: 8.5 Low end: 9 Top end: 8 Steering speed: 7 Turning circle: 5 Bar pressure: 5.5 Water relaunch: 8 Drift: DT Boost: 8 Hang-time: 8.5 Unhooked: 7 Crossover: 8 Ease of use: 9 SIZES: 17, 14, 12, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5m