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BEST Taboo 12, 8 m

Jun 9, 2011

Author: SBC Test Team

The Best Taboo is an all new SLE design that sets itself apart as a new concept that’s designed for building the ultimate quiver of high-performance kites. Rather than building one kite design with different sizes, each size of the Taboo is engineered to optimize performance for specific riding conditions.

• Quick pivotal turns and direct steering
• Smooth power delivery
• Awesome full powered performance and upper wind range

On the Water
Taking over from the legendary Nemesis, the new Taboo is the most technically advanced, high-performance freeride kite of the 2011 Best range. With each size engineered to optimize performance for specific riding conditions, a quiver of Taboos will take you from the race course to flatwater freestyle, and into the waves. It has the best graphics and finest materials and construction produced by the company to date. The Taboo ideally suits advanced riders who want to push the limits in freestyle, freeride or waves but it is tame enough for any progressing rider to grow into. Water relaunch is easy with swept wing tips and simple bridle setup. Simple set up, with one-pump system and the pulley-free bridles and backline steering attachments put big smiles on the faces of Test Team members. On the water the Taboo has smooth power delivery with direct steering and good bar feedback. It has more nimble steering and less bar pressure than well reviewed Delta shaped Kahoona with quicker turning response and livelier feel. It is a better choice for those that like to fly the kite rather than park and ride, although the Kahoona may have some drift advantages in the waves. Admittedly, the 12 m had less low-end power than some of the other kites in the test, but once fully powered, it competes well with good handling, and quicker turning speed than many equivalent kites. Testers were impressed with the Taboo’s high-end wind range, and the more time spent flying this kite, the more its character really shines. For unhooked freestyle, the Taboo also proves more than capable, with smooth power delivery and consistent Kite Looping and little to no back stalling. Its not as super powered and big boosting as the old Nemesis but offers more rounded performance and a more forgiving ride that lends confidence to try new things. Any advanced rider will appreciate the solid pop, nice boosting capability and smooth control that the Taboo offers. The 8 m was admired for its formidable wave capability and great upwind drive. It could have easily gone head-to-head with some of the top wave kites reviewed in the last issue. Its fast pivotal turning and smooth power delivery through down loops make for perfect powered carving transitions.

Reality Check
The Taboo loses some performance in its lower wind range, which means you might consider sizing up in some conditions. Best’s Pro Team members noted that with some bridle tweaking they were able to tune more power into the kite after getting some feedback from early releases.

Bottom Line
The 2011 Best Taboo delivers the goods for the advanced or up-and-coming freerider who wants a quiver that dedicates itself to performance in a wide range of conditions. It harkens back to the legendary Waroo of ’07 and places Best back in the game with a kite that competes against the top all-terrain models with its smooth power, quick handling and versatile performance.

Best Taboo ReviewControl Bar and Safety Systems
The new Best Redline Performance delivers a control system that can complement the performance that their kites can deliver. The new quick-release trim loop called the Click It is a one-piece injection molded design that’s clean and simple to engage and can be easily re-connected. The new trim system also incorporates a swivel that helps to keep your front lines from twisting up. The trim loop is beefy and durable, and like all trim loops should be kept clean and free of sand to avoid any friction. With a much shorter throw on the length of trim line, it’s easy to grab the straps and adjust depower with the above-the-bar pull straps. A lot of the advanced freestyle riders prefer this type of trim strap system, because it can be fast and reliable to adjust the kites power and pull before unhooking for a manoeuvre. The bar itself feels nice and solid in your hands, and the grip is not overly soft, seems very durable, and tapers nicely from the centre hole. The leash system uses a mini-fifth line that works well at flagging the compact and effective VP2 Bridle system. As always, the Best OSR backline handles add that extra bit of safety and security for any level of rider. Nothing but thumbs up and happy faces for this new bar.

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