WAINMAN MANIAC 2015 TEST REVIEW
The ManiaC is Waiman’s latest addition to their unique kite range. This all out freestyle, no compromise C kite has one purpose and one purpose only: to get rad with freestyle! Available in two colours, with awesome menacing-eyes graphics the ManiaC comes in stealth black, or my personal favourite, flouro orange. TESTED AG
Build // Construction // Graphics
As with the Rabbit Gang Series, the ManiaC is well built, well finished and has top quality construction. The reinforcements around the top of the leading edge and wing tips mean it can take the beatings of a high performance freestyle kite without any issues. The fifth line, pigtails and multiple attachment points are tough and solid. Double stitching along the leading edge also reinforces the kite’s overall structure. The graphics can only be described as awesome; like a menacing Jedi it stands out on the water giving an intense look to every other kite around. It simply can’t be missed or ridden with anything but the most aggressive of attitudes to do it justice. We had the Orange version which is both bold and safe, easy to spot and never going to be missed in a heat.
Bar // Depower
The Wainman bar is narrower than most others for a similar kite. Its colour coded orange left hand side matches the kite beautifully. The chicken loop can be used with or without the donkey pin and has both suicide and standard fifth line settings. There is a good adjusting cleat which is easy to use on the move and necessary when unhooking. The safety flags onto the fifth line producing ultimate depower when needed. There is a whole collection of adjustment and attachment points to connect the lines to the kite which we felt was a bit over kill and can lead to incorrect kite setup. It is absolutely critical to connect the kite on the right settings; we found a few setting prevented the kite from steering properly. After a fair amount of adjusting our favourite setting was fast steering on the back, medium on the front and two notches in on the fifth line. One thing that we didn’t like about the bar was the bar end shape doesn’t allow for easy, tight line stowage and unless you get the bungees on immediately the lines can all fall off creating a bit of a mess.
Flying // Turning // Unhooking
It is extremely critical to get the ManiaC setup correctly but then the ManiaC is a brute with oodles of power, pop and lift. The kite has very dampened steering which is great for aggressive freestyle moves – it doesn’t wish to just rise up to 12’ or react quickly, but it is a serious arm work out! Constant aggressive steering is required to generate power to get the kite where you want it. Kite loops are possible if character building, but once you get the feeling and the pressure right they’re smooth and well balanced. Unhooked kite loops are solid and the kite continues to pull smoothly and doesn’t crumble even when the bar is pointed. Turning speed is progressive and predictable but does require very positive input.
Jumping // Hangtime
The ManiaC jumps and when pushed, very high! It’s height in jumps is not a strong point and it doesn’t boost as huge as other aggressive C kites however, what it does do exceptionally well is keep hauling you along at lower heights with stable power. This is a true sign of a no compromise, wake style competition kite. It can out-perform us mere mortals with its relentless low level power.
Upwind is not its forte, likewise cruising downwind requires management and effort. The ManiaC can go upwind and if driven really aggressively with huge amounts of edge, but prolonged up winders or downwinders are not the most comfortable. Across the wind is where it’s most happy, it still needs to be ridden with a positive edge and a reasonable amount of power but then it produces the perfect result of power and speed.
I enjoyed the learning curve or taming this beast into some form of order. The overall package of the Wainman oozes quality and attention to detail with brilliant features like the spares bag all wrapped up in a great looking bag. After a tempestuous start to our relationship I have grown to know the ManiaC well and pluck up the courage to ride it occasionally with the aggression and attitude it deserves!