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I've Ordered a GONG Unik Kite


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So I gave my first Kitesurfing lesson today. I got out my 9m Naish Ride that I literally just spent another $192 to fix a massive rip from the last time I used it. I got it especially repaired for this lesson, rushed into to Moti on Friday morning and had it back by that evening, nice one Moti?.

So the lesson went like this: usual explanation of the wind window, power zone, bar safety features, laying out lines, etc (probably missed something out but I'm sure someone will pull me up on it!) blowing up kite- whats that noise? Bloody leaking valve.

Fortunately I had the 8M Soul in the car, so the student got to learn on a foil kite. They said the had fun and enjoyed the lesson so I guess everything worked out OK. But damn I'm sick of throwing money at kite repairs. (Another reason why I love foil kites).

So I've been looking at the Gong kites for a while now. They look pretty good, decent reviews and the company looks straight up, selling direct to the public missing out the middle man.

I've ordered a 7m (6.8m) single strut UNIK (sounds like someone who's been castrated), and am hoping it will be good to teach with. If so a smaller one will be on the cards.

I will post something about it once I've had some time to play around with it.

I also thought it might make a good high wind kite once I get proficient with the foil board.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Gong UNIK 6.8m Kite arrived after 2 weeks.

I put it up in about 10- 12kn for a test flight and it was easy to launch and keep it in the air- it's very light being a single strut kite made for foiling mainly. It looks well made with triple ripstop, good sized bumpers and Dacron TE.

One thing which is annoying is the inflation tube to the strut is way to long and kinks so that it prevents the strut from inflating and I had to fiddle around with it to get the air to flow.

Also notice a odd twist in the center strut- I couldn't notice in flight so maybe the canopy needs to be under tension for it to straighten out.

Flying it in 12kn was great, really positive and reactive flying, no back stalling and very easy to place the kite where I wanted and keep it there.

It did flutter quite a bit through turns when depowered- I don't have any experience with single strut kites before this one so I don't know if this is common thing with them or not

Other than those few points, I'm really happy with my, under $900, purchase and think it will make a great trainer kite for lessons, easy to control and not prone to falling back into the power zone like some kites, which was the case with my 2013 Best  Kahoona.

I haven't flown it in the water, am going to need a a high wind day to get a 6.8m kite up and out in the ocean.

The bag is great, I really like the sand vent in the bottom, the useful pocket, straps and bungees on the sides and especially the PLASTIC zip. Who'd a thought- what a novel idea to put a zip that's not going to corrode on a bag that is by the ocean a lot. How many times have I wished the big brand kites that I've had in the past would've done the same. Genius.

The bridle is pretty standard- Ronstan pulleys, one on each side. There is a couple of adjustment places for customizing the flight and bar pressure characteristics, one by moving where the bridle attaches to the leading edge via three knot settings and one on the wing tips like most kites, by moving the steering lines to one of three loops. I'll probably not mess around with these and just leave it on the default settings as it seems to feel and fly just right there.

I used my standard Naish bar with 24m lines for it and it seemed perfect, even colour matched the lines of the bar-lucky.

I'll add a bit more to this or a separate review once I've had a chance to put it through it paces on the water.

 

 

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  • 7 months later...

I only got to Fly the 6.8m Gong kite, I think it was last week.

I was a little under powered, flying in about 20 knots so had to work the kite quite a bit. I'm really out of practice flying LEI's and for half the session made the mistake of being easy on sheeting in as I've got use to thinking this will stall the kite and am not use to a high bar pressure, I use the Soul 12m exclusively these days. Then I figured it out and yanking that bar right in with a massive amount of bar pressure, and viola, suddenly lots of power for such a small kite. It was hard work staying up wind and had to do the walk of shame a couple of times but I had a fun session. As to be expected the kite was super quick to turn, throwing it around to ride waves in was great especially after riding big foils for a couple of years. The flutter also completely disappeared once fully sheeted in. I'd would love to get this kite on a mid 20s day with nice waves, I think it would be brilliant. I'd say it's good value for the money, well worth it. The build quality is good and the bag is really well designed, I love the plastic zip.

I also think this will be the perfect kite to give lessons, if I ever do any again.

Yep, really happy I bought it. I don't think it'll get used a whole lot, but it's nice to know that if I do fancy going out on those days where I would be starting to feel over powered on the Soul- well at least I have the option to take this little pocket rocket out for a blast. I also think it'll make the ideal foil kite once I get riding a foil nailed, hopefully this season!

I someone is looking to buy a new kite but isn't wanting to spend the big bucks for the popular brands like Naish, Duotone, Ozone etc, then I would recommend this kite as another option.

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That's impressive. It did seem like quite powerful for it size, the 6.8m I mean. But I couldn't handle that kind of bar pressure for long, which I hand to have in order for it to be truly powered up.

Still, makes me wonder if Gong can get that kind of performance, why aren't the big brand kites doing the same- or maybe they are and I'm just out of touch with LEIs and what they can do these days.

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Pari I noticed from your profile you are in Kingscliffe and wanted to let you know of a repairer right in your neighbourhood who does the best repairs I've seen. His name is Adam Hochmuth and has a business called Adams Kite Repairs aka The Kite Loft Unit 14, 27-29 Morton St
Chinderah NSW 2487 mobile 0459 416 816‬

If you ever want to demo some Ozone, F-One, Ocean rodeo kites, then Adam sells those brands and can always grab extra demo kites from me as I'm also nearby in Lennox Head.

Regards

Steve

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