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Tkb Review: 2019 AIRUSH Wave V8

On March 26, 2019   |   By thekiteboarder.com

Sizes Available: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12m
Sizes Tested: 9, 12m

Airush Says:

Wave and strapless riding have come a long way since we first introduced the Wave kite, but through ongoing development, we continue to take those driving turns, big strapless forwards, and smooth power delivery to a new performance level. The Wave V8s updated shape is focused around refinement, while customization through bridle options give a fresh perspective.

With the optional fixed bridle, riders can pick between more direct steering and on-off power delivery without pulleys or a smooth and progressive ride with amazing gust response with pulleys. This fixed bridle has been designed specifically for each size of kite in the V8 range, giving the rider the most efficient and precise bridling.

The benefits of the unique construction of Airush Kites is evident in the Wave, where the Load Frame, absolute premium materials and years of construction refinement deliver the perfect balance of light weight drifting capabilities and precision turning with durability and reliability.

Visit for more info: www.airush.com/kites/wave-8

Our Testers Say:

Love this kite, does almost everything with unbelievable boosting on a wave kite. Comfortable from the get-go. Slightly heavier bar pressure, good turning speed, great bar design (best QR reconnect system). // Micha Dassler

Pulled when I wanted and let off when I needed depower, drifted with ease, going downwind was a joy. Stable with good upwind ability. // Kiter Mike

Felt instantly comfortable, stable, easy to fly, surprisingly fun to jump for a kite that sits back in the window. Great turning wave kite with jumping fun. // Marko Bartscherer

Meet Our Testers

TKB Says:

The Airush Wave is a medium to low aspect 3-strut kite with fairly sweptback wingtips that testers gave excellent reviews for its drifting ability, user-friendly turning and surprisingly fun boosting. The Wave comes with two bridle options, one with pulleys, the other without. We had the bridle with three pulleys which is designed to offer a softer, more progressive sheet and go feel. The wingtips offer three attachment points to adjust bar pressure and the front bridle has pigtails with loops and the wingtip attachment points end in knots. The construction on this kite feels lightweight with a noticeably thinner diameter leading edge. The Wave uses a Boston valve which requires the larger of the standard fittings that come with all pump hoses for quick and easy inflation. The Wave features fairly responsive steering input and in terms of turning, its steering arc is a tight pivot style turn that is very easy to control. The in/out sheeting on the bar feels fairly progressive, although in underpowered conditions we had to tune the kite with the power cleat to avoid over-sheeting and stalling the kite. Testers rated the bar pressure between medium and medium plus and all commented on this kites extensive drift capabilities as well as stability in the wind window and noted that it likes to sit a little deeper in the window. As a surf kite, you wouldnt expect the Wave to score strong in the boosting department, but all testers commented on how fun this kite was for user-friendly and fun jumping. In terms of lift and pull, the Wave actually has a nice medium pulling power which is smooth through gusts, and seemed to have good range the canopy completely depowered during gusts. When it comes to relaunch this is one of those kites that when its nose down in the water at the bottom of the window, the Wave will turn and hot launch for a quick relaunch. This is a great feature for a wave kite when you need to get it up before the next set wave chunders the canopy into a bowtie. Testers highlighted the Wave for its drift capabilities and user-friendly power and steering, as well as its quick relaunch, but also commented universally on its fun jumping potential with good boosting lift and middle of the road hangtime. The Wave is a kite that will excel mostly in the surf realm, but its characteristics make the Wave also an excellent candidate for foilboarding and the all-around freeride kiter who mixes waves, with big air and the foil.

The Wave came with two types of bars, the Core Bar V4 and the Core Cleat Bar V4. The Core Bar comes with the above the bar power straps for adjusting depower and the Core Cleat Bar which features an above the bar cleat for adjusting power. The Core bars are largely the same except for the power management mechanism for powering and depowering the kite.

The Core bar V4 is an adjustable length bar (50-60cm) that features a single center-line safety flag depower with a low V and a reduced diameter PU-coated depower/throw line for durability and longevity. The center lines end in knots (color coded blue) and the outside lines end in loops (color coded red and white). This bar features a sliding stopper to adjust travel, yet there is no adjustment for changing the overall length between the quick release and power control. The Cleat Bar features Velcro on the power tuning toggle to keep extra slack in place while riding and the above the bar power straps are always kept in place and within reach. These bars feature a below the bar hand swivel integrated into a push away quick release with a quick release travel guard. To trigger the quick release simply use one hand to slide up the square shaped release handle but when it comes to resetting the quick release it is a two-handed process. One hand has to hold the release handle in the open position, the other hand has to thread the pivoting gate through the end of the loop and then back into its closed position before releasing the handle to slide back. Last year we felt the swivel wasnt that easy to move, yet this year the swivel seemed much more easy to rotate.

You can adjust the length of the outside lines by folding over the integrated floats and removing the internal leader lines out through a hole in the floats. Riders can adjust the outside line lengths by connecting to one of three knots (the stock setting is the shortest setting). The bar diameter is thin and offers medium density cushiness it has a ton of texture with ridges, and grooves that create a grip pattern that is fairly diverse. Your hand will get accustomed to the proper feel of the bar in your hand and likely discourage accidental bar reversal. In addition, the smooth aluminum insert is labeled with an Airush logo when the bar is properly held, and when the bar is reversed you see ‘wrong way.’ The bar ends are rubbery for accidental facial contact and the floats are integrated into the bar ends and very helpful when grabbing extra tension on the outside lines. New this year, the bungee is tucked into the float and is semi retractable which means the bungee stays out of the way while riding and wrapping, but are useful for clean stowage when the bar is not in use.

Visit for more info on the bar: www.airush.com/kites/#kite-bars


With the help of 14 testers from all walks of kiteboarding, Tkbs staff assembled detailed gear reviews with objective performance criteria of the latest 2019 kites, twin tips and foilboardsall packedinto one neat and tidy 180-page digital package.Get all the reviews in convenient digital guide here:https://www.thekiteboarder.com/product/2019-freeride-gear-review-guide/

Read the full article: Tkb Review: 2019 AIRUSH Wave V8