SBC Kiteboard Magazine Review

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SBC Kiteboard Magazine Review

Postby Stafford » Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:24 am

Freak Dog EZE 11m and 13m Jun 18, 2008
Shane Thompson

The EZE, the third bow kite added to the Freak Dog lineup, is designed to conquer light winds like never before. The ultra-flat canopy shape offers massive efficiency to get you out and riding in under 10 mph. Designed by Eric Hertsens of EH Kites in Cabarete, Dominican Republic.

Style: Ultra-flat bow
Wind range: 11-22 knots, 7-18 knots, expert (180 pounds)
What’s new: Ultra-flat canopy, compact bridle lines, new chicken loop

Bar setup and safety systems
The four-line bar system has no pulleys, and the smooth EVA foam grip is colour-coded and marked front and back. There are flagging line handles and floats on both bar ends, thin coloured lines front and back, with standard larx head connections. The above-the-bar, pull-pull trim strap is easily accessible above the ultra-short chicken line. The new chicken loop has a rotating system to unspin lines, and the safety leash line attaches beneath it and runs up to the centreline V. Setup also includes a hex-key stopper ball and spare chicken line.

Key kite features
The EZE is solidly built with high-quality Ripstop and durable Dacron framing. Wingtip ends and struts are Kevlar-reinforced. The bridles are short and compact, with no pulleys on the front lines and one back-line pulley on each side to quicken turn speeds. There are standard ball-valve inflation and self-rescue handles on the wingtips.

On-water performance
The EZE is the flattest bow we’ve ever tested, and its power per metre is impressive. The largest size this kite comes in is 13 m2, and that’s all you need to get going in under 10 knots. It has smooth pull, turns quickly for a large kite, and there’s no arm fatigue involved to aggressively turn or loop it. Set up out of the bag, the EZE requires no extra tuning, and there is no hint of oversheeting, back stalling or funky trim issues. Our most advanced freestyle tester is impressed with this bow kite’s control while unhooked. It pulls solidly off the front lines and can easily get the new-school crowd practising technical tricks on days one would normally be relegated to cruising on a big surfboard. Water relaunch is adequate with some aggressive pulls of the steering lines. With such a flat canopy and higher-aspect shape, this kite is a power jumper with awesome amounts of boost and glide. We had some of our longest jumps of the test with the EZE in relatively low winds.

Reality check
The low-end power of the EZE is so formidable that total depower normally associated with bow kites is not available instantly. Depower can be accessed more successfully by adjusting the trim strap, but this is a lightwind kite and should not be considered a one-kite quiver.

Bottom line
The Freak Dog EZE is a powerhouse and one of the best kites ever tested for dedicated lightwind riding. Its performance lets you do more than just cruise in light wind. Consider the EZE to increase the fun factor; it opens the door for jumping, pop and unhooked performance on days you used to go golfing.
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Stafford
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