Jul 16, 2010
Author: SBC Kiteboard Test Team
Style: Four line SLE Hybrid
The 2010 ExA is Starkites’ high-performance freestyle hybrid kite that offers big jumping capability, and high powered freestyle mega loops for the demanding intermediate to advanced riders. Designed for riders that want all the benefits of a high depower SLE, with the direct feel and smooth power of a C kite.
Control Bar and Safety Systems
The new ProBar has a nice soft, textured EVA foam grip between the molded longhorn style bar ends. The narrow floats are lead into PU covered leader lines which add some durability. The centre trim line and the mini fifth-line leash system is also PU covered and a nylon pull-pull depower system trims the trim system which is effective and within arm’s reach. The leash flags the kite of a single front line and attaches to the trim loop. In order to engage the safety system the quick release trim loop safety must be pulled. This ensures the trim loop never gets lost. The trim loop also has built in swivel mechanism which unwraps the safety line from the trim line.
On The Water
The Starkite ExA has some impressive performance for the big freeride or high powered freestyle rider. Very similar in head-to-head performance to the new Airush Vapor X also tested this round, the ExA has nimble steering and lots of access to smooth and useable power. The kite generates some great power in the turns and the Test Team had a ton of fun, burning into some powered transitions and boosting big airs. Unhooked, the ExA delivers some smooth performance with access to stable pull from the front lines and good amounts of pop. The kite feels light and nimble in the air and is fast upwind also. As Tester, Brendan Schnurr noted, “The ExA lets you throw down some very big, smooth jumps. Its fast turning creates lots of power… This is a mega looping kite. The ExA is well suited to any rider looking to cruise around or boost big jumps because it’s a forgiving all-round kite with super easy relaunch as well.” With improvements in construction and materials from last season, the ExA 2010 seemed solidly framed and had great wind range for a variety of conditions. Unhooked the kite can deliver for any intermediate looking to throw down some unhooked manoeuvres.
The small swiveling trim loop can be difficult to hook in and out of. The Trim system is effective but slightly outdated.
The Starkites ExA has all the attributes that intermediate to advanced riders look for in a high-performance SLE. Good jumping capability, and reliable unhooked performance for freestyle, the ExA can more than dabble in most disciplines. A great kite for progressing.