Sizes Tested(m): 7, 9, 12
Sizes Available(m): 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12
Control Bar: Core Bar
Review Synopsis: Evolved power delivery, dynamic drift and automatic depower.
The Good Stuff: The Airush Wave is a matured wave design and shows the benefits from several years of refinement. It has some exciting handling for the dedicated surf rider or directional freestyler. It has more low end power and smoother power delivery than its earlier versions but with the same instant depower and ability to sit forward in the window. This year’s Wave also has more steady power delivery with less of the punchy feel that you sometimes get from high depower models. The Wave’s weight-optimized frame and durability offers amazing balance that lets the rider focus on riding the wave. The squared tip shape and V-bridles work their magic with the Wave’s ability to steer and pivot while highly sheeted out. This is essential for wave riding and transitioning to the right spot on the wave. The pivotal steering of the wave is quick and snappy with more direct feedback from the kite than the more freeride-oriented Lithium. It can also back up and drift down the line with its well-balanced and lightweight three-strut frame. The leading edge is very narrow on the Wave and this lets the kite push upwind with good efficiency.
The Trade Off: The Wave has longer bridle lines than some of the more compact offerings, enhancing the risk of bridle wraps during crashes and rolls in the surf.
Best For: Advanced wave or directional riders that want solid drift, instant depower and complete control of power at all angles of attack.