Mar 21, 2011
Author: Shane Thompson / SBC Kiteboard test team
SBC Kiteboard test team voted the 2011 Airush Varial in the head-to-head surf test as the best in depower, and freestyle crossover!
• Big booster, more high-powered freestyle capable
• Top contender for load and pop
• Versatility for a compact travel quiver
The Varial is the all-terrain Delta hybrid of the formidable Airush kite lineup. Airush has done an exceptional job giving each model a distinctive feel and the Varial is characterized by smooth pivotal turning, arm’s-length depower, and easy-to-access pop and hangtime. This is an all-around kite that was designed to excite and inspire in any condition or discipline.
Control Bar and Safety Systems
In its second incarnation, the Smart Bar II has a raised its I.Q. with a ton of new refinements. At its centre resides the redesigned Brain quick-release trim loop. It has been ergonomically improved in 2011 and is easier on the hands, just grab, push away and engage the safety. The Brain houses a nice suicide safety setup and features a removable swiveling locking tube. At the top of the Brain the swivel can manually untwist front lines. The primary safety uses a mini fifth-line flagging off of both front lines and there’s the added secondary safety with steering line flagging handles. The Smart bar remains the only bar with a fully adjustable-length bar system with push-pin removable bar ends. The bar is also equipped with 16, 6, and 3 m line sections for the ultimate in line length optimization as it allows you to fly with 20, 25, 17 or 10 m line lengths. There’s no need for a genius to comprehend why the Airush Smart Bar II is one of the premium bar setups available today.
Out of the bag, the Varial inspires confidence with top-notch construction quality and reinforcement features. This kite is built surf-tough for sure. The one-pump inflation system works well and the line setup is essentially foolproof with the clearly tagged and marked line settings. It’s nice that you can reduce the line lengths easily for a wave session or teaching beginners. The V Bridle system utilizes two exclusively designed Airush pulleys that roll smoothly to equip the Varial with instant depower and double front line flagging safety. The Varial is big-boosting kite with awesome glide capability. The flat central canopy really lets you soar.
It has smoother unhooked performance this year with improved park, load and pop character. In fact, the 12 metre had nice load and pop and also in low-end power. It has more of a traditional SLE feel to it than its Delta-inspired shaped brother, the Lithium, and can suck up gusts with ease and rip upwind as the kite fires to the edge of the window. The Varial also scored very high alongside the Naish Park and Slingshot Rally for turn speed. Although, not an exclusive wave-riding machine, the Varial has good depower at arm’s-length, and its quick pivotal turning equip the kite with exceptional wave-riding prowess. The water relaunch is quick and effortless as the V bridles work with the swept wing tip to easily relaunch the Varial with a pull of the steering line. The Varial 10 m would be good kite to travel with to destinations that have a variety of terrain. If you’re a freerider that wants unlimited potential to try any discipline and any condition the Varial is a viable companion.
The Varial isn’t as smooth and direct through the turns as the wider wing tipped SLE or C-inspired kites but the more instant depower gives it superb wave-riding capability for some hooked-in wave pasting.
Big-boosting monster with plenty of playful character to push the limits in any playground, the Varial and Smart Bar II deliver top performance for a competitive blend of safety, reliability and performance.