Just got the 9 & 7TS, together with a little wind the last couple of days - 13- 14kts on Friday and a gusty 12-16kts yesterday with a choppy, messy 1.25m beach break.
Bar 50cm, 22m lines, 5' 6" airush choptop - which is my preferred higher volume strapless board, great for lighter winds.
Got to say it's great to get back onto this kite having been mainly on Kahoonas for a few months. The TS is much more alive then the Kahoona, a more direct and engaging kiting experience. As with the Taboo, this is a flyer's kite - it rewards when you flick it around, responding immediately to turning input by pivoting around the wingtip with super smooth power.
I'm glad to say the 9TS is a lot more like the 8TS then then 10TS, which I found a fair amount slower then the 10 Taboo - a bit too slow for me. Hard to be objective as it wasn't a back to back, but I'd say the 9TS on 50 bar turns similarly to the 10 Taboo on a 55. Feel is very similar, but the big improvement is low end. The 10 Taboo would have be struggling on Friday, I would have taken a 11.5 Kahoona normally in those conditions. But unlike the Taboo, the 9TS generates good power when you move it around under powered, and responded with enough juice to keep me upwind.
Yesterday, with a bit more wind, people were out in force. One guy on a 9 taboo could not hold ground in the beach break; there were a couple of others on 12 Taboos and they were doing OK. Other riders on 9.5 Kahoonas were doing fine, so this was a great comparison. The 9TS was perfect - in fact I found myself able to reach further up wind then the 12m Taboo riders with no problems. And when a lull came, I was still able to generate enough power to keep going, something missing in the Taboos.
The best bit was when a remotely reasonable wave came along, as the TS handles very similarly to the Taboo. Depowering, it's all about using the wave, then pulling the bar in, the kite responds by quickly coming round without yanking you of the wave. Single handed steering is no problem, and the bar has a great alive feel, a little lighter then the v3 9.5 K.
This was more of a low end test, I was on a strapless board so no jumping today, no unhooking due to chop, and definitely nowhere near the top end!
Performance was good with a 50 cm bar, I will try with a 55 next time - it feels like the 9TS can handle even more turn bar input to bring it around even quicker and still be buttery smooth in lighter winds.
I am happy - the 9TS significantly improves on the weak areas of the Taboo, whilst retaining it lovely flying characteristics. Can't wait to try it out in more wind and also crack out the 7.
Well done, guys.