Mar 21, 2011
Author: Shane Thompson / SBC Kiteboard test team
The SBC Kiteboard test team ranked the Epic Renegade as the best relaunching kite. (Head-to-head Surf Test, Issue 12.1)
• Fast water relaunch with Delta shaping
• Simple performance for beginner to advanced
• Stable shape with good range and gust absorption
• Wave-rider approved with quick pivotal turns
The Renegade is the freestyle/wave kite of the Epic kite line that excels at powered Kite Loops, and has ideal depower for waves and smooth, lively, responsive steering. With just three sizes in the kite range, the 11, 9 and 6 m, the Renegade delivers simple and reliable performance in a wide range of conditions and disciplines.
Control Bar and Safety Systems
The Epic XTEND bar has a smooth tapered EVA foam grip with longhorn-style bar ends that can adjust the throw length of the bar by 10 cm when moved from the outside to the inside settings. There are bar floats and a safety flagging handle on the left outside steering line which adds good secondary safety. The XTEND is stopper-ball equipped with double-ball system that houses the mini fifth-line flagging system and the double-backed trim line. In a joint venture with Blade Kite, Epic has developed a push-away release system called the Swivel Dome. Made of all tough plastic and flexible materials, the dome enables manual untwisting of the front lines after Kite Loops or Rolls. Although there may be fewer awe-inspiring features, the XTEND system works smoothly and reliably during some heavy ocean and sound sessions.
The Renegade has some great features that make this a suitable kite for both the up-and-coming newbie or the advanced freestyle and wave rider. It has a good foundation of performance that any rider can develop skills with. For an all-around freestyle kite it unhooks relatively well with some front line trim adjustment and the power remains consistent and smooth for access to decent pop. Not quite as much big-boosting capability or power as the Epic Screamer model, but the Renegade delivers a good combination of aggressive lift and drift. Simple performance and good stability are what put the Renegade in good standing with beginners and advanced riders alike.
The test riders also ranked it with top marks in its ability to remain rock solid and deliver consistent and smooth handling though the gusts. The Renegade sucks up gusts easily and guarantees stable performance in not-so-stable conditions. Depower comes quickly at arm’s-length and shuts off the pull nicely. The kite can be further adjusted for more depower with above-the-bar trim strap. With good stability and depower, the Renegade has keen wave instincts and the smooth powered pivotal turns are consistent and flutter free. This is an easy kite to park where you need it on the wave and if you get into trouble, the Renegade relaunch is quick and effortless even in heavy currents and failing winds. Its wave prowess is also complemented by an additional set of 15-metre lines that come with every kite.
It would be nice to see a little more polish on the control bar systems and some of the other kites had slightly more depower without trim adjustments.
The Epic Renegade is viable remedy for riders that want well-rounded performance for waves, big air and Kite Loop powered freestyle moves. This kite holds its own against the top Delta and SLE hybrids and the Epic brand shows steady improvement over last year’s models in overall kite construction, graphic layout and all-terrain performance.