Since 2009 Takoon has been working hard to make a come back on the market. Indeed, after leading the bow revolution with the Nova, the company went very quiet for a few years.
Back in September 2009, a friend of mine got a rider deal with them here in the UK and started to fly the Pure kite. In the meanwhile Julien Kerneur (France) started to score more and more podiums on the French race championship as well as on the world tour with the Chrono.
Therefore, I thought it would be a good opportunity for us at Hanglos to get our hands on the 2011 Takoon Chrono (10m) designed by one of the original kiteboarding company outhere. I flew the kite a couple of times in Kent on the Isle of Sheppey (UK) which is mostly a flat water spot with a bit of wind swell at high tide.
Takoon designed this kite to be the perfect freeriding & racing kite on the market which is now getting bigger every day. Julien Kerneur recent performances clearly show that they have succeeded in doing that whilst offering a top quality product at a very competitive price.
- Out of the bag: The Takoon Chrono bag is just a simple bag as they should all be really. You will not have any problem to fit the kite and the bar in on a windy day. When unpacking the kite for the first time you will notice the usual attention to details you would except from a market leader such as a one pump system without zip wire that will rip the canopy, reinforcement on the leading edge to protect the most exposed seams. (Chek out the video at the bottom the page) The bridles are very simple and will take you a few second to reconfigure if you want a slower/faster, more or less powerful kite.
The Diamond bar is really well thought bar with top quality Cousin Trestec flying lines. Takoon have design a diamond like shape bit of kit that will stuck itself properly in the center of the bar when unhooking. Therefore facilitating hooking back in after you trick. You will also be able to change the length of the bar by moving the back line either on the inside or outside of the winder. A simple Clamcleat sytem will allow you to trim the kite as required. As for the Quick Release (Velcro) it is AFNOR certified and still have a long life ahead of it as it could not be easier to use as well as being a one part system.
- Wind Range: 15/25 knots for 85kilos whilst riding a 136 Jimmy Lewis Park. I have not had the opportunity to ride it in stronger wind but would have been comfortable to fly it in more wind (up to 30 without doubt).
- Stability: The Chrono surprised me in the low wind range and was really stable whenever I was turning it aggressively to generate extra power. As the wind pick up the Chrono was just as solid in the air. Inflating it normally, I did not notice any jelly fish effect nor had the feeling that the kite was loose.
- Bar feeling: The pressure in the bar has to be perfect in my opinion. It is a perfect mix in between low and heavy bar pressure. Just pull/push the bar and the kite will turn the way you want. I was always comfortable whilst feeling where the kite was seating in the window.
- Flying characteristic/control: The 10m Chrono is a grunty kite. Infact, the first time I got out in what I would have considered a 13 meter wheather (less than 15knots and may be a bit more in the rare gust), I was able to plane really early by generating power by waving the kite up and down. Once I got going I was even able to go upwind and do some nice jumps in the gust.
In stronger wind the Chrono is a beast when in comes to go full speed as the kite goes very far in the window. For the hang time lovers, it will satisfy most of the rider whilst still being a very user friendly kite. The Chrono being very stable, you will love sending it across the window to generate extra power whilst being confident that it will follow you.
- Power: Flying a Chrono is like driving a Porsche 911. The kite goes so far in the window that it makes riding upwind very easily as well as allowing you to go full speed. Whether you park it or decide to move it around, the faster you go the more power the kite will deliver whilst still being able to depower when changing direction. The depower throw on the bar is really nice and will allow you to loose most of the power. Just let the bar go and the kite will nicely wait on the side of the window with a wingtip in the water.
- Relaunch: Relaunching the Chrono is probably easier than crashing it on purpose in my opinion. Just let the bar go and pull the bar gently and wait for the kite to relaunch easily.
Riding it! - Hooked: The Chrono is a fast and powerful kite and you will score some decent air time if you dare to go for it and will be the happiest kiter on earth. Should you catch a wave or some wind swell, just push the bar to depower the kite and you will start surfing on your own!
- Unhooked: Just depower the kite and go for it. The kite is still really stable and powerful enough for you to throw all the basic unhooked move. This kite is clearly not designed for unhooked freestyle but will still satisfy most riders. If you really want a more freestyle oriented kite go for the Furia.
I liked: The grunty nature of the Chrono that allowed me to have fun underpowered as well as flying upwind as soon as the wind picked up.
The speed you can get out of the kite if you want to go for it as well as some very good performance when it comes to go for some big air ( it was not that windy!). But more than anything else I have really liked how user friendly and would be perfect for people at a good beginner/intermediate level rider thanks to its depower.
I disliked: The fact that we had to send this kite to Takoon as it is a keeper as far as I am concerned! It is not for unhooked riding but not designed for it...
Thanks a lot to Takoon for lending us the kite.
For more information on Takoon, visit www.takoon.com or download the 2011 Chrono PDF here.