I've seen a few episodes already and they look great! One episode coming up is your review of the Evo SLS. You’ve had more than five months now on this kite, tell us your impressions.
The kite is really impressive, I didn't expect that changing the material in the leading edge and center strut would make so much difference, especially in the light wind. I think for the average consumer, around 90% of people kiting out there, the EVO SLS is a game changer. It is mind blowing, you can go to the water in really really light wind. What has really impressed me is that usually in light wind when your kite is at 12 you have to pay attention to make sure it doesn’t fall out of the sky, but with the Evo SLS it just sits there and doesn’t stall or fall. I have been trying and testing this in days with almost no wind. Riding with my 12 and 9 meters I can take the foil board from 4-5 knots and twin tip I can do big air past 40 knots! I have been kiting with this kite now for over five months and overall, it’s amazing. For someone who really wants to improve on their jumps it’s amazing! The hang time is amazing and the loops are really good! It is a really playful kite as well, if you are riding with a 12 meter, it has the feeling of a 10 meter kite in your hands. The feeling at the bar is light when compared with the standard Evo.
What kind of quiver set up do you have now? You are not also exclusively riding the Evo SLS, so what conditions do you choose to ride it and what sizes do you have in your quiver at the moment?
I am a pretty versatile rider. For sure my favourite kite is the Dice, it is the most extreme kite in the Duotone range in my opinion. For loops it's just amazing, I think it can't be any better! I still ride freestyle if I go to flat water spots and the Dice in my opinion is better than the Evo for freestyle. I choose the Evo SLS for everything else, the kite flies amazing, it loops amazingly. The overall all-round characteristics of the kite are amazing. The kite really flies forward in the window, so your upwind angle is amazing, you really feel it, even when riding with a twin tip. I travel a lot, so if I know I’m not going to have the best conditions for freestyle and loops I leave my dice and pack two Evo SLS kites and I can kite with any wind from 5-40 knots! Packing them too, I can pack them so small and you save almost half a kilo in weight over some kites, because of the material, so you save a lot of weight in your baggage. For sure it’s nice to have every option in your bag, but traveling now for over 15 years I really appreciate every kilo I can avoid.
You mentioned previously that the kite flies forward in the wind window but is also stable, plus you get the incredible upwind riding angles. That also allows you to fly the kite above you more on jumps, tell us about the vertical lift and the sensation of jumping with the Evo SLS.
The Evo SLS is kind of a “Bow” kite, so you get the unique characteristics of the sheet and go, if you pull the bar you have a lot of power, and if you push the bar you have a lot of de-power, you have an amazing range with this kite. When testing I would put the kite above my head at 12 o'clock in light winds thinking it would front stall, but it wouldn’t. It really works different as well in jumping, it’s hard to compare with the Rebel, both kites have amazing hang time. The Evo SLS sits so far forward in the window that when you jump very high, it usually requires you to loop the kite above your head, but with the Evo SLS the kite keeps on floating really far into the wind, it really goes above your head almost into the wind, it’s almost like having an extended wind window range. It keeps you flying for a few seconds more, it feels weird when you first try.
I think you just start improving your techniques, I have improved my technique to fly and stay in the air as long as I can and I've seen Aaron (Hadlow) improving his technique too, seeing videos where he is able to stay longer in the air! I think it’s a cool and different kite and we are going to continue to improve our riding to find the limits.
It must be an exciting time to be a rider who can push the envelope and discover these new possibilities.
Yeah! For sure we have seen a lot of changes and improvements over the past years in kites, but this is the biggest advancement in kite design I can remember. Normally we adjust the design but not so much the material, but now it’s a big change and it has good points in everything. From travelling, you have less weight to carry and they need less space in your bag to pack! You can fly the Evo SLS in almost no wind and you’re able to get huge jumps and really big hang time!
You can find out more of Reno’s opinions about the Evo SLS on his YouTube channel, tell us Reno a little more on the Episodes you have coming up.
I have filmed a couple of reviews, I have this review on the Evo SLS and I have a review coming up soon on the Dice. From my kite trips, I did a kite trip in the North East of Brazil, a road trip from Cumbuco, it’s one of the most famous and popular kite destinations. For every pro kiter that wants to improve the level, Cumbuco is where they go and that’s the place to be as it’s the best place in the world to improve. We did a road trip from Cumbuco to Jericoacoara, we stopped in the best places and we give tips on where to stay and the best spots to kite. It was a good time, I was there with Alex Neto, the Duotone rider from Brazil. He’s a great kiter and good friend! I’ve also been shooting a lot here in Union Island with Toby, we have some really cool and interesting interviews, conversations and action! I don’t need to mention what a paradise it is here! I think even if you watch the episode on mute it’s going to be worth it as this place is so amazing!