Kahoona 13.5 vs. Bularoo 13 vs. Taboo?

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Kahoona 13.5 vs. Bularoo 13 vs. Taboo?

Postby enoshima5 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:30 pm

It was meant as a back to back demo of the 13.5 Kahoona, 13 Bularoo, and 14 Taboo, in light-ish winds kindly arranged here in Cabarete by LEK, the local Best Center. The winds ended up a tad stronger than planned for, although they fluctuated throughout the afternoon. Most significantly, the 14m Taboo ended up being a 10m, so all the comparisons below are skewed by the fact that the Taboo was smaller than the rest.

First, the three kites are quite different. The Kahoona likes to pull—I heard it compared to a tugboat and a tractor—whereas the Taboo loves to move. They are polar opposite of each other, with the Bularoo somewhat in the middle.

The Kahoona has a quite some bar pressure, and it just keeps pulling downwind. It is also slow to turn, even when fully powered, which was surprising for a “wave” kite. It is not stall-free in the waves, although you have to go through some gymnastics to stall it, and it drops so slowly downward that you have time to tug it back up before it actually hits the water. After an hour of it you get tired, but that’s possibly because it was the largest kite of the three. It’s upwind ability was better than I expected from a kite that flies so low in the window, but again it was the largest of the three kites and fully powered, if not overpowered, so going upwind was not a problem. It is a remarkably stable (and slow) kite, so beginners won’t have to worry about kite control. At 13.5m, I found it too slow for a wave kite, so maybe in the smaller sizes. It is not bad as a light-wind kite, if you can stand its dullness.

The Taboo flies at an incredible speed—much faster than a Bularoo 9m, so it’s not just a question of small size. It also chokes easily, that is, it backstalls when oversheeted. Given how fast it flies, any screw-up brings it in the water in a flash, but it relaunches effortlessly. The 10m Taboo was small for the wind conditions, and yet it kept pulling upwind as long as the board was moving: it devours apparent wind unlike anything else. Because it was clearly underpowered, turns were difficult: the kite would pivot or loop very fast, but there was no juice—no torque—at the other end. But if flies so fast that you sine it a couple of times and there it goes again, zooming through the apparent wind. The key is never to lose momentum. Flying the Taboo was tireless—no bar pressure—and after 90 minutes I was really sad to let it go. That left me wondering whether it retained those characteristics in the larger sizes, 14m and 15m. A larger kite I imagine would be a little more stable and powerful in the turns, but if it went that fast in the long tacks, the speed should be incredible. You can imagine the Taboo ideal on flat water, either for racing or for wakeboarding. The only thing to remember is that this kite needs to breathe.

The Bularoo was the control kite: I use a 9m almost every day and a 13m on light wind days. It is actually because of the limitations of the 13m that I wanted to demo it against the other two. I find the Bularoo somewhere in the middle between them. It turns faster than the Kahoona, but does not pull as strongly. It is more forgiving than the Taboo, but does not fly at the crazy speed. The 13m Bularoo is a good compromise but not a great light wind kite. It does not launch or fly that well in very light winds, always threatening to drop from the sky in the lulls. And when there is just enough wind for it to fly, it has barely more power than the 9m Bularoo—may be a knot or two better at the low end, but not much. Given that the Taboo can be sined at really high speed, at the end of the day the 13m Bularoo and the 10m Taboo were comparable in low winds, with the exception of torque: the power came back earlier after a turn in the 13m Bularoo than in the 10m Taboo. When it was just about going straight, there was no difference, with a much lighter feel on the Taboo.

What does all of that mean? The large size Bularoos are for heavier riders in normal winds, not for lighter winds. For light winds, try the tugboat pull of the Kahoona, or the high speed of the Taboo—polar opposite solutions to the same problem. I really hope to try the Taboo larger sizes, see if I could find my ideal ultra-light wind kite without going to a foil kite—and hopefully Best will one day offer a 13-ish m ultra-light wind kite. For now, I just want to thank Laurel and Mia of LEK for the demo opportunity.
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Re: Kahoona 13.5 vs. Bularoo 13 vs. Taboo?

Postby esutton » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:57 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Regarding bar pressure, my last 5 hour session with my Kahoona V3 9.5 m and 55 cm bar on a light wind day left me with a swollen left elbow at the end of day. I am beginner. This was my 3rd session on my first kite. I spent most of my 5 hour session flying the kite with my left hand while walking the kite around the lake bay and back upwind to start again. The rest of the time spent floundering in the water trying to get enough power to get up.

I cannot blame the Kahoona for my development of tennis elbow. It may have been my frequent lunch time 30 minute kite sessions over the prior 12-months with my 3M Slingshot B3 that I thought was a good arm work-out (maybe not so much). Compared to my 2-line bar pressure, the Kahoona is a vacation and I do not see why people complain nor why I should be having elbow problems.

Anyway, for my longevity with this sport, I have been reading about Bularoos, Waroos, and Taboos in the 15m-17m range as a light winds / tennis elbow solution. It sounds like the Taboo is the better choice?

And I should probably get and use a 45 cm bar for the Kahoona and used the 55 cm with my next kite.

-Ed
Experience.: Beginner, started 2011 June
Kite(s).......: 2010 Kahoona V3 9.5 m, <next?>
Bar...........: 2011 Redline Peformance Bar; 55cm
Board........: Naish Haze 40 cm x 136 cm
Home........: Inland lakes in central Oklahoma
Weight.......: 180 lb ( 82 kg), 6'4" (193cm)
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Re: Kahoona 13.5 vs. Bularoo 13 vs. Taboo?

Postby jumarcil » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:19 pm

It is funny that you talk about tennis elbow and Kahoona. I started kiting four years ago on waroos 2008 and the year after I tried some Kahoonas. That summer I rided all summer on Kahoonas and that left me with a tendinitis on my right elbow. After that; the year after I Kited on Bularoos V2 and Nemesis HP. That totally solved my Tendinitis.

This summer I just bought 3 Taboos 8m 12m and 15m (which I will receive at the end of next week). The Taboos are really different than the Kahoonas. They really like to fly to generate their powers as opposed to the kahonnas that can be parked n ride. They can produce their apparent wind even when the wind drops a bit. But as the wind pick up they are really great. I think that these kites will really improve my skills. They are really precise and they generate some really smooth power all the way from the low end to the higher range.

It is my Best all time favorite. I might miss a bit of that HP rush but overall I like them better.

Jules
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Re: Kahoona 13.5 vs. Bularoo 13 vs. Taboo?

Postby esutton » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:38 pm

It is funny that you talk about tennis elbow and Kahoona. I started kiting four years ago on waroos 2008 and the year after I tried some Kahoonas. That summer I rided all summer on Kahoonas and that left me with a tendinitis on my right elbow. After that; the year after I Kited on Bularoos V2 and Nemesis HP. That totally solved my Tendinitis.

I assume your tennis elbow developed slowly over the course of your Kahoona summer?

I had elbow issues on my second day after my initial 2 hour lesson. I must have had a pre-existing condition perhaps from aggressive flying and intentional shoe skiing across the grass a bit with my 3 meter 2-line trainer. I flew the trainer many times beginning 12 months before beginning my lessons. So while I will not blame my Kahoona, I still need to find a solution for my tennis elbow. Making my next kite a Taboo sounds like a good step.

-Ed
Experience.: Beginner, started 2011 June
Kite(s).......: 2010 Kahoona V3 9.5 m, <next?>
Bar...........: 2011 Redline Peformance Bar; 55cm
Board........: Naish Haze 40 cm x 136 cm
Home........: Inland lakes in central Oklahoma
Weight.......: 180 lb ( 82 kg), 6'4" (193cm)
esutton
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Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:10 pm
Location: "Where the wind comes right behind the rain" ( Oklahoma )

Re: Kahoona 13.5 vs. Bularoo 13 vs. Taboo?

Postby jumarcil » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:39 pm

esutton wrote:
It is funny that you talk about tennis elbow and Kahoona. I started kiting four years ago on waroos 2008 and the year after I tried some Kahoonas. That summer I rided all summer on Kahoonas and that left me with a tendinitis on my right elbow. After that; the year after I Kited on Bularoos V2 and Nemesis HP. That totally solved my Tendinitis.

I assume your tennis elbow developed slowly over the course of your Kahoona summer?

I had elbow issues on my second day after my initial 2 hour lesson. I must have had a pre-existing condition perhaps from aggressive flying and intentional shoe skiing across the grass a bit with my 3 meter 2-line trainer. I flew the trainer many times beginning 12 months before beginning my lessons. So while I will not blame my Kahoona, I still need to find a solution for my tennis elbow. Making my next kite a Taboo sounds like a good step.

-Ed

Check this site

http://www.nismat.org/ptcor/tennis_elbow
Driven by Wind ;-)
Best TS + Nemi V3
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Re: Kahoona 13.5 vs. Bularoo 13 vs. Taboo?

Postby esutton » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:43 am

Thank you for the therapy link!

Hopefully it will continue to stay hot and near windless for a few more weeks. It will make it easier to recover if there is not any wind temptation to go out kiting. :wink:

-Ed
Experience.: Beginner, started 2011 June
Kite(s).......: 2010 Kahoona V3 9.5 m, <next?>
Bar...........: 2011 Redline Peformance Bar; 55cm
Board........: Naish Haze 40 cm x 136 cm
Home........: Inland lakes in central Oklahoma
Weight.......: 180 lb ( 82 kg), 6'4" (193cm)
esutton
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Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:10 pm
Location: "Where the wind comes right behind the rain" ( Oklahoma )


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