2014 Airush Wave Review

Size tested: 6, 9m Suggested retail: $1,329; $1,479 (6, 9m; kite only)
Sizes available: 5, 6, 7, 9, 12m

Test Team Report:
The Airush Wave kite is in its second year and has found a good following of dedicated surf junkies. We tested both the 9m and the 6m in powered and overpowered conditions, and it has elements to it the make it ideal for raising your game in the surf. The wave has really light-touch steering, and the pivot turns are lightning fast. The pivot doesn’t generate any power, and the kites are not low-end-oriented and sit forward in the window. Test Team riders found it best to use the shortest bar settings and the middle knot to smooth out the pivot turns. The depower is superb, and it pitches almost all of the power out of the kite when you fully sheet-out. These are both solid traits that let you get on a wave and make the most of the ride.
The super narrow leading edge of the Wave make it extremely fast across the window and let it hit high angles of attack for upwind drive. With such a narrow leading edge, it’s important to pump the kite to the max pressure so the leading edge will hold its shape through turbulent gusts. With lots of pressure, the three-strut frame holds together well and adds to its nimble feel and decent drift. Jumping isn’t its forte, but it offers some decent lift to get over the whitewater. Water relaunch is fast and easy, and the kite is light so it lifts off the water quickly. Anyone looking for a dedicated wave kite that has tons of depower and lightning fast turns should consider the Wave a great option.

The Trade-off:
It sits farther forward in the window than some wave kites, and backing it up into the window for reverse drifting down-the-line takes extra feathering.

Best For:
Dedicated surf specialists who want lots of depower and lightning-fast pivotal turns.