Revolutionary 2006 BEST Waroo Kite Reviewed

BEST WAROO Kite review: The new 06 Waroo Flat kite from BEST Kiteboarding USA
by Lee McClelland, Anabatic Kiteboarding.
BEST are a dedicated Kiteboarding company and everyone right up the chain including the owners are Kiteboarders. So their designs are developed to satisfy the needs of truly dedicated riders. Many of the riders at BEST come from a solid wake boarding background. This wake style influence in kiteboarding has pushed the sport to a new level in a very short time frame. The gear of course must stand up to this brutal wake style riding style and the abuse that comes with it. These hard core riders throw moves down hard and fast, and every now and then the kites take a hammering.
BEST kites have built their kites tough to suit the riders they like to see riding their gear.

So lets have a look at one of the most talked about kites to arrive on the scene in 2006, the new WAROO.
(First shipment almost all sold, more kites due end of March)

BEST Kiteboarding in the USA rushed us a couple of their new FLAT/BOW design kites so I took the time to really check them out in full. Here is my view on their latest offering the WAROO.

The notes that arrived with my new kites pointed out that these were in fact 99% full production versions and about 1% prototype. So a couple of small changes would be added to the kites now in production at the factory. They also specifically said go for it and pump them up hard, it likes it. I did just that in the park across from my shop.
I blew the hose off my pump in the process.

Now I like the bag, its a great size and easily fits the kite into its new backpack shape. Looking over the kite and turning it over you can feel it has a very rigid shape.

Looking at the finish, the new seam construction is very high end. It is double stitched overlaid flat. The panel layout is really tight and neat. They have upgraded the whole kite construction from panel layout, leading edge and struts right down to the kite bar. You need to see one up close to truly appreciate the high end construction and quality.

This has to be one of the strongest kites on the market. We Kiwis are a bit rough on gear at times, so any kite built to handle some abuse gets a nod from me.

The control bar is one of the great features on this new kite.
One of the first things I noticed, Best have re-designed the Flat kite or (BOW) concept to work beautifully without the need for pulleys down on the bar. The allows several benefits. The kite steers like a normal kite, just a lot faster. (Pulleys on the bar make the kite feel like its slipping across the sky with a detached feeling, and are very heavy to ride, wasting energy.) This new pulley free design allows very precise control, very light weight on the arms and also the full amount of depower range possible. A Flat kite without pulleys, brilliant!

My first ride on the 9m WAROO was out at Shakers. The wind was packing a punch of about 25-28 knots when I first went on the water. Much later it dropped down to about 18 knots and we started taking some photos. This allowed me to test out the full wind range in one 3.5 hr session.

Launching the kite and walking out over the little reef, I immediately noticed how easy it is to walk into the wind without even a tug from the kite. No chance of being dragged over the shells at all. In fact I wondered if I would get moving on a 9m in these conditions at all, as the power with the bar out was so light. I'm 93kg and usually ride a 13m in these winds. This kite will be great for riders living and riding in gusty environments.

On the water I was extremely well powered. In fact I de powered it on the trim strap just to find the sweet spot for the bar position for the session. I quickly felt at ease on this kite, any heavy gust and I could just drop the bar out an inch or two and absorb the power. The kite sits back in the power zone and depower's there, so a quick yank on the bar and its instant power at your fingertips. No need to rail hard to move the kite to the edge, you will never need to put the kite at the edge again. Just adjust its pitch while it sits back in the power zone.

Boosting jumps was easy, perhaps a little too easy as your confidence levels quickly grow once you realise you can drop the power at anytime. So now with the WAROO kite loops and under loops are just another functional move. The power control is light, fast and easy to manage. It lends itself to power carves and wave riding without any fear of over cooking the power. One trick I immediately picked up on was that in a front roll or back roll if your coming in to high on the landing, just sheet out and its touch down when and where you want. This will help so many riders land new moves with ease. No more over rotations and slapping in on your back.

Anytime you want more energy from the kite it just seems to deliver it.
This 9m kite really surprised me, and everyone else who has ridden it since, with the wind range and power it delivers.

I see a couple of ways this will transform riders from intermediate to advanced level very quickly. The instant power release allows you to maintain an edge and keep your confidence at all times. The wind range from one of these flat WAROO kites covers that of two old kites. Thus doubling your time on the water instantly.

Add to that, your kite will water relaunch faster and easier than any 5th line or other system on the market. It just rolls over onto a wing tip and you're away again. In fact if you want to have a rest or help a mate launch his kite, just drop the controls and it drops down and lands on its wing tip (don't even hold the bar). It sits there perfectly waiting for you to grab the bar and fly it. Pretty amazing really, and I was doing this in NZ's gusty +25knot SW wind too.

In summary
I am totally wrapped with this kite. From its super finish to its boost and hang time.
It's about time inflatable kites became user friendly and offered the wind range many of us have been enjoying on other kites such as the Peterlynn Venoms.The WAROO will suit riders from entry level (not its intended market) right up to the unhooked freestyle rider and the totally hooked in big air specialist. Everyone will find something to love in the features this kites pack.

All flat kites pack more power per size than any other kite design and because of the bridle lines on the leading edge a significantly increased wind range.The differences between the FLAT/BOW designs show themselves very quickly when you ride one with pulleys on the bar in comparison against this new generation WAROO. You feel the improvements immediately. The WAROO is in a league of its own.

This is the next generation of FLAT kite, stopper free and pulley free because you just don't need them anymore.
The hot new sail shape has added a new level of style to kite design aesthetics.
It looks to me like BEST have set a new benchmark in design.

Extensively test ridden by the Anabatic Kiteboarding crew in NZ.