Sep 20, 2011
Author: SBC Kiteboard Test Review Team
Best Kahoona V3
Size Tested: 9.5, 11.5
The Kahoona V3 returns in its third incarnation with some refinements in shaping, materials and bridles that have energized its overall performance. Hailed in previous tests as a big boost, big hang-time kite, the Kahoona V3 promises total versatility for freestyle, waves or for taking your riding to the next level.
Control Bar and Safety Systems
The new Best Redline Performance Control Bar was a much-anticipated late release last summer, and added some solid improvements from its long standing predecessor. The grip is textured EVA that provides a good mix of grip but is still soft on the hands. The bar tapers from the center and narrows to the longhorn-style bar ends. They look menacing and also provide a great deterrent against the surfer you’ve angered after accidentally stealing a wave or two, or for fending off hungry tiger sharks.
The Redline keeps the flagging line safety handles on the steering lines—an additional safety feature not offered by every bar system. The redesigned quick release has a smooth and streamlined feel to it, and the body seems very durable. It’s best to keep it clean and free of sand, as many pin and sheath systems reduce its effective operation with poor care. The above-the-bar trim system stays close enough to reach the pull-pull trim strap system. The above-the-bar trimming is still preferred by many freestyle riders who unhook a lot and want a guaranteed quick trimming option to tune front lines before unhooking.
• Huge glide capability for old-school danglers
• Lighter bar pressure than last year’s
• Versatile performance for waves and freestyle
On the Water
The Kahoona V3 continues on the path of evolution with a central canopy, swept wing-tip shape and upgrades to its compact V3 bridle system. Best has done a great job at building an entire line of kites that work distinctively for different riding styles and skill levels. The Kahoona V3 is the Delta hybrid of the line that has become a favourite on beaches around the globe, especially amongst the quickly and aggressively advancing newbies. The test riders were impressed with how much beefy grunt the Kahoona had last season, as even on short lines, it pumped you along to plane quickly. Although not as predominantly grunty this year, the 2011 Kahoona V3 has more nimble steering control and is smoother while unhooked.
If you are an aspiring freestyle or wakestyle rider, the Kahoona will cross over to the park with decent results, but its real niche is freeride big-air gliding, as well as formidable wave performance. It remains a jumping kite, as testers noted its big hang time and smooth lift for takeoff and landings. Easy water relaunch and solid stability with no back-stalling issues to speak of make the Kahoona an ideal school kite that you won’t easily outgrow. Its fast pivotal turns and good drift capability give it plenty of prowess for waveriding, as well. In fact, the 11.5 would be an ideal jumbo wave kite.
The Kahoona isn’t as nimble or light to bar-touch for turn initiation as some might prefer.
The Kahoona V3 will satisfy a lot of riders with its value-packed features that deliver optimum range of depower, big boost and waveriding capability. It rivals the versatility of some of top models that are beginner-friendly with plenty of performance to advance with.