Airush Varial X 2012 Review

Flight characteristics:

The Varial X is a variant of the first super-popular Vapor X and the Varial.

The Vapor X is characterized as a high performance SLE kite that is stable to hook out without getting you pulled away downwind. A kite that flies quickly in the wind window with even power throughout the whole wind range.
Then we have the Airush Varial from 2011, a kite that stays steady in the air, and which doesn’t “dance” to the right or left in the sky. It is a predictable kite that do what you tell it to do. In addition, the water relaunch and depower is as good as it gets which is typical for this type of kite.

The Varial X was designed in an attempt to combine the good features from both the all-round Vapor X with its SLE performances, and the performances from the Varial.

Varial X was the result from this fusion, a kite that wants to be in the air, a kite that flies and turns predictable. The Varial X provides a smooth bar pressure, so you can always feel where it is, which is something not all SLE kites are that good at. (The bar pressure can be adjusted if you want more or less).

The Varial X is superb for unhooked tricks, just like its predecessor VaporX, which definitely was the type of kite that made me progess fast a few seasons ago, since I was much more comfortable to sail unhooked with the Vapor X than I had been earlier with other SLE kites.

I wanted good depower and a large wind-range as the SLE kites give you, yet at the same time get rid of that mega pull you often get when you unhook and pull the bar to the bottom. I got that from my Vapor X from 2011 and fortunately this is something that has been retained in the Varial X, so I feel very confident with unhooking.

Tricks & Jumps

As already mentioned the Varial X is great for unhooking. It is stable without coming forward in the window or backstalling and falling back into the power zone.
It has a lot boost when you pull the bar in, so even if you are not timing it exactly in the right moment with the take off and pulling in on the bar pulled, you can expect massive jumps anyway.

Keep holding on to the bar when you jump and you can enjoy a pretty good hang time! The good hang time performance is a heritage from the Vapor X,which also has a very good hang time. I have previously experimented with some oldschool tricks, one-footers and such, but I must admit that the idea of ​​not having both feet in the straps have held me back. However, with my Vapor X I felt a sense of security and predictability, when I was hanging in the air and I have the same feeling with the Varial X… I know how long time I’m airborn, and I can come down whenever I want,  I just sheet the bar out, giving me the time to get used to putting the feet in and out … The rest is practice, especially mentally for me – where the equipment I know and trust helps a lot.

Depower and water start

The Varial X is doing roll-over relaunches, which most other SLE kites also make … This means that you pull on one back line, then rolls the side of the kite up and you can wait until it is horizontal at the side of the window, or just roll it over and let it rush up through the power zone.
It has gotten a little more curved tip compared to the Vapor X that in light winds could have a little harder to get rid of the water, and therefore required a little more water-start ability of the rider. The Varial X water starts just as easy and straight forward as a bow-/SLE-kite should do. (Or to say. All kites should be easy to water start, some are just easier when others require a rider with more experience).

Depower, it’s fine and as a good SLE kite it allows you to ride within a large wind span. I have been riding with my 9m Varial X kite in extremely strong wind, without feeling uncomfortable with it. Full depower and you can ride it in 35-40 knots/s. When you reach the upper limit the kite will get deformed due to the insane air pressure on it, then you´re overpowered! Then it’s time to go in, or switch to a smaller kite :)


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