DEMO 2016 Airush Union 9m Orange Kite Only

DEMO 2016 Airush Union 9m Orange Kite Only

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List Price: $1,369.00
Price: $645.00
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Demo kite is in great shape and practically brand new. Kite has only been flown a handful of times.  No repairs or damage. Comes kite only with bag and the option to add a new bar, lines, leash, and pump.

2016 Airush Union

6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 12 | 14 | 16m

By starting from scratch with the all-new kite model for 2016, the Union sets out to unite the key Freestyle characteristics of the Razor, with the key characteristics of our Industry leading Wave kite and the Freeride abilities of the Lithium.
  • Intermediate to advanced all round versatility
  • Direct and responsive steering
  • Unhooked performance

By starting from scratch with the all-new kite model for 2016, the Union sets out to unite the key Freestyle characteristics of the Razor, with the key characteristics of our Industry leading Wave kite and the Freeride abilities of the Lithium.

The next generation Dyneema Load Frame takes the biggest innovation in kite construction to a whole new level and is combined with the Technoforce D2 by Teijin, for the ultimate mix of durability and lightweight performance. For wave performance, this optimized weight is essential for improved drift stability, while the load frame makes all the difference when additional durability is required.

The result is a superbly balanced kite that excels in the broadest range of conditions, satisfying your demands no matter what the discipline.


SLC DESIGN - The Supported Leading Edge c-kite or SLC is dedicated to riders who want everything from a 5 line C-kite in a 4 line format. The SLC concept gives a C-shape arc and squarer wingtips, which delivers great turning and direct response in combination with the bridle that supports the leading edge, great range, depower and relaunching abilities.

NEXT GENERATION DYNEEMA LOAD FRAME - This premium fabric is used in conjunction with the Dyneema Load Frame for the ultimate combination of durability and performance. Ongoing testing has highlighted the lowest stretch and UV stability, along with highest long-term reliability of any materials.

V3 BRIDLE - The V3 bridle system contributes significantly to the feeling and performance of supported leading edge kites, in addition the total depower adds immensely to the safety benefits. The positioning of the bridle attachment points on the LE of the kite, combined with the V pulleys, give a range of movement. The result is steering that is light, but direct enough to feel where your kite is while riding. This also enables the kite to be steered and controlled when the kite is completely de-powered, which is ideal for wave riding.

HARDCORE CONSTRUCTION - All Airush kites feature the Hardcore Construction, a focus and commitment to structural integrity.

1. AIRUSH FRAME TECHNOLOGY - Airush Frame technology distributes the load off all stitched lines on all main panels of the canopy area on impact during a crash, while the outer frame features gradient load wingtips that integrates progressive density cloth in te high load areas radiating from the attachment points.

2. ONE PUMP VALVES - Increased wall thickness and oversized diameter of the tubing eliminates tube kink and reduces stress on your pump, which facilitates quick and easy inflation.

3. GRADIENT LOAD WINGTIPS - Gradient load wingtips integrate progressive density cloth in the high load areas radiating from the attachment points. Bomb proof trailing edge (TE) construction featuring a 3 layer tapering of heavy duty dacron material to increase durability of the te. Available on the DNA and Lithium

4. FOUR PIECE STRUTS - The new 4-piece strut has added a double folded straight stitch seam aligned with a 20mm wide webbing strip to reduce point of wearing. This increases durability and rigidness of the struts in all Airush kites.

5. STRUT CONNECTION - The Unity Strut Connection provides a solid point connection from strut to leading egded to create a stiff structure which helps in performance and relaunching. The Unity Strut Connection working in conjunction with the 4 Piece Struts allows for a thinner and lighter strut.

6. AIRUSH PULLEY - Made of tough Zytel material for high strength and resistance to abrasion and impact, the Airush Pulley has the pigtails hole directionally correct to eliminate bridle wear. With a breaking strength of 550 kg, the Airush pulley was designed specifically for use on all Airush kites.

7. LEADING EDGE SEAM - A Leading Edge connection seam with a slick 19mm soft webbing reinforcement to handle harder crashes. Increased mark cloth sections at the front of all canopy seams at the leading edge to stop stitching and seam wear points.

Tips & Tuning

The Airush UNION has been built from the ground up using components from the Lithium, Razors and Waves. It is a fantastic kite for any more aggressive or avid rider that is looking for an all-around kite. This kite is a favorite for those who go out on a surf board for an hour session, swap out for boots and a livewire ? have a freestyle or wakestyle session, then end the day off with big kite loops. It simply does a bit of everything from wave riding, unhooking and boosting. - Mark Pattison: Airush Kite Designer


2016 Airush Union KiteWorld Test




Straight out of the bag the Union is good looking and clearly a very well made bit of kit. The Aramid load frame is immediately noticeable in the canopy, supposedly vastly increasing a kite?s lifespan ? in fact, Airush claim that since implementing it they haven?t had a single leading edge to trailing edge rip on one of their kites.

Here?s an interview we did with Airush MD Clinton Filen at Surf Expo to find out more about the load frame idea.

There are all the bells and whistles you?d expect ? quick inflation, one pump, good fixtures and fittings, a series of set-up options and overall the design looks very neat. The kite was so fresh that it wasn?t shipped with the 2016 bar, so we used the 2015 system, which sits fairly wide in the hands and is at the grippier end of the spectrum. For 2016 Airush have apparently reduced the diameter and implemented a new colour scheme, so overall the Airush bar will remain very uncluttered, functional and durable.

Airush reckon that this brand new model brings together aspects from the Razor C kite, the Wave and the Lithium freeride kite and this year it replaces the Varial-X in the line-up. We are real fans of these three strut medium to high-aspect bridled C style kites as their general handling and design is so focused on the all-round riding that so many people want to do.

"Last year the 2015 Varial-X was less grunty and generally softened, and we?re pleased to say that the Union feels much more like the 2014 Varial-X in terms of power. It?s got the juice back, but the manageability is now better for more riders."

There are three attachments on the back lines and two on the front which provide a useful difference. In the light winds the closest attachment to the back helps manoeuvre for power and then as the wind picks up the kite settles beautifully on the middle attachment on the back and the most forward on the front line.

Julien Kerneur boosting huge on the Union in Mauritius / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide
Julien Kerneur boosting huge on the Union in Mauritius / Photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Sitting forward in the window, the Union creates good forward turning power. If you have efficient steering skills you can get going in relatively low winds and we were really impressed with finding power and getting out through a decent sized shorebreak in about 15 knots ? and Matt?s about 96 kilos ? so the low end is impressive thanks to the manoeuvrability. The Union also looks very compact for a nine, and people commented that they were impressed we had got going on what looks like an eight or even seven metre kite.

One of the Union?s most positive aspects is its? stability with smooth and progressive depower and powering up. The bar throw is fairly long but there?s good feel for the kite throughout its length and at the far end of the throw there is almost an absolute shut-off of power. For wave riding and for intermediate freeriders this is useful and inspires confidence.

"The medium bar pressure is greater than the Lithium but it?s not fatiguing and offers the positivity that progressive riders are looking for. Sheet in and there?s a nice surge in power when you need it. Relentless bar pressure, particularly when strapless, isn?t very helpful, but the Union offers the power when you need it as well as that nice shut-off availability."

It?s in the movement of the kite that we enjoyed the power generation the most, however. The kite also generates pull more deeply into the loop than many a hybrid kite but it doesn?t pull your arms off either. There?s a good level of feel and engagement throughout the performance. Getting on a smaller kite on a wave board and being able to generate power and feel through a turn is a really pleasing characteristic. When you?re working for power in waves ? particularly in a bottom turn ? the Union develops steady power through the turn that you can manage at the bar while the turn itself is responsive to positive input without being twitchy.

"Also, for freeriding and freestyle the Union?s combination of power, feel and intuitive turning reaction will feel natural to many. We were pleased with the performance when slightly underpowered on a surfboard, but the kite really comes into its own the more powered it gets and we also had a great flat water session fully lit."

The jumping is stable and dependable with the kite planted over head and there?s a decent trajectory to the hangtime too. While it?s not an aggressive freestyle machine and you won?t be wanging C-kite mega loops, for the typical riders wanting to punt about doing airs then the Union?s power delivery, maneuverability and steadiness makes jumping progression easy and fun for intermediates and the intuitive handling in stronger winds mean that good riders can really be rewarded by treating the kite aggressively at the bar.

In terms of unhooked abilities the Union gives you a solid feel, but it?s more difficult to get a genuine slack line for technical passes, but for the average rider looking to throw the more basic unhooked tricks then the combination that this also offers in a range of different conditions make it a winner.

The length of the bridles were a bit of a concern when crashed into the water and it got rolled by a couple of waves, but there were no tangles and it relaunched fine each time.

2016 Airush Union Orange  2016 Airush Core Bar


We enjoyed the 2014 Varial-X a lot and this Union has headed back in that direction, but we are now also really impressed with how adaptable the Union is in a range of conditions for general wave riding, freeriding and freestyle. We can?t comment on what the Union will be like across the range as each of the eight sizes are designed as different kites for different wind conditions, but this nine metre is really clean in terms of its performance with a very refined air frame.


Intuitive bar pressure, predictive steering and power and real performance in a variety of conditions.


The bridle is quite long ? some people are fussy about that, but it wasn?t an issue for us at all and certainly contributes to the large depower.


Build quality: 9
Full package: 9
Low end: 7.5
Top end: 8.5
Steering speed: 7.5
Turning circle: 5
Power through turn: 4.5
Bar pressure: 5
Water relaunch: 8.5
Drift: 7
Boost: 8
Hang-time: 8
Unhooked: 7
Cross-over: 9
Ease-of-use: 9

2016 Airush Union KiteWorld  Test Balance Points


16, 14, 12, 10, 9, 8, 7 and 6m


The Kite Mag Logo

TESTED: AIRUSH UNION 2016 Airush Union - Orange

As you can find out in issue #6 of TheKiteMag where we talk to Airush?s head of marketing, Marc Schmid, the Union is a brand new addition to the Airush range, and ? as the name indicates ? is a ?union? of the best attributes of a few kites in the existing range. If you had to pigeon hole it then it slots in to the ?high performance? freeride class, and you could see it as a ?do it all? kite or as an ?advanced intermediate? option for moving on to from something more forgiving.

Aside from the ?new kite excitement? the other innovation from Airush is the rolling out of the Dyneema Load Frame. Airush have had the ?load frame? for three years but this year it?s been on the steroids and is now a more noticeable and meatier feature. Essentially it?s a web which spans the canopy and provides additional support and strength. Anecdotal evidence from guys who have been riding the protos and using them in schools suggest that the results really are bombproof?

On the water and the first impressions for us were, ?this is a stunningly well-tuned kite??. On the stock settings it felt immaculately set up ? one of those kites that you just want to enjoy flying around for a bit. It flies very precisely but predictably, you?d hesitate to put a complete beginner on it ? it?s the kind of kite that you need to be confident in placing in the sky ? but it?s an undeniably well balanced bit of kit. The new Dyneema Load Frame promises improved response and delivers this, and the slim LE gives a very crisp and snappy feel through turns.

Boosting and it is ?quick? so you need to time your pop just right. As is the way with this new breed of three strut performance freeride kites, boosting technique needs to be well timed to get the most out of it. Then if you want to loop this can be relatively tight if you yank it, or a bit lazier and gruntier if you don?t. Either way the Union is happy. Unhooked and the kite remains very well balanced.

For waves and for cruising it is easy to place the Union where you want it and it doesn?t miss a beat. Placement in the window suits wave riding and the ability to spin the Union round without getting pulled off an edge and to depower quickly is a really plus, especially in onshore conditions. We have definitely tested pure wave kites which are less refined in the surf?

Bottom end is good, but not super grunty, and the top end is excellent.

So this is an ?all-round? kite at heart, but it will also deliver much more in your ?chosen discipline? if that is what you require?




2016 Airush TheKITEmag Test Graphic

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