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  • .Joel Pansh A15 Review

    By .Joel

    By far Pansh's best built kite to date offering a lot of new features. 

    Positives
    Stable & Predictable
    Incredibly Powerful
    Excellent Value For Money
    Negatives / Considerations
    Turning Speed
    Narrow Pulley Line
    Blow Out Valves Unconvincing

    Pansh’s latest closed cell depower foil is called the A15, this is a multi-sport kite aimed at Land, Water and Snow Kiting.  Originally the Pansh A15 was released as a 15M kite, it’s now available as a 9M, 12M and 18M and additionally in custom colours.  This review is focused on the A15 15M in Standard Colours.

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    Kite Bag
    Pansh supplies two bags with this kite, the original Grey & White bag is what it comes shipped in.  The Blue kite bag is for after you’ve opened the kite and flown it, due to its increased size makes packing the kite away a much easier task.  I quite like the simplicity of these Pansh bags, and people travelling with their kite gear will love them as they’re super light but add that layer between your kite and other gear in your travel bag.  

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    Profile
    The profile of the kite is a Mid-High Aspect Closed Cell with a curved trailing edge adding slightly more depth to the profile ending in squared/straight wingtips.  The total cell count for the 15M is 33, once inflated the kite is quite thick between the top and lower skin holding a large volume of air.  Once in flight there is quite a pronounced arc from wingtip to wingtip.

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    Bridle
    Pansh’s bridle work has improved dramatically over the years, the A15 is their next step in moving forward with some new additional features.  First of all the bridle itself is fully sewn and sleeved, reducing knots and tangles when laying it out. The tabs on the A15 are re-enforced by distributing the tab inside the kite to spread the load point.  Between the tab and the bridle are their new “bridle knots” which are identical to Flysurfer’s LCL’s (Little Connection Lines).  These are generally a lower-spec dyneema of around 30kg to 45kg each so that if you snag your kite or overload part of it on an object they will break away before tearing the tabs out of the kite’s sail.  Their pulleys seem adequate, however their new UHMWPE braided lines through the pulleys is a little on the thin side.  I have no doubt the load of the line is adequate however the reduction in line diameter may lead to the line wearing a rut in to the pulley much quicker.  A slightly thicker line would distribute the load over more area reducing pulley wear. The line connectors on our test kite came with metal rings, however Pansh have updated this and are now using “ELC’s” or more commonly known to those familiar with Flysurfer kites “Easy Line Connectors.”

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    pansh_a15_kite_review-009-bridle_pulley.

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    Sail Features
    The gaphics of the sail itself look stunning in the sky, it’s a really nice pattern.  Pansh also offer a range of alternative custom colour examples, or you can choose your own combination of colours.  Presently this is free for Bronze members and above, otherwise there’s an additional fee for standard memberships.  

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    It’s beyond the sail colours that things get rather interesting, the kite itself has 5 vent intakes and utilises Pansh’s new “DAIS” system which is their “Dual-way Alternate Inflation System.”  The concept behind this is to split the air intake to two, an upper and lower intake on the same position of the kite.  As a kite changes angle of attack the angle of the air intake changes, by splitting the air intake to an upper and lower they change the pressure of the air being fed in to the sail via the air intake.  It’s effectively like driving with your car window down and sticking your hand out, as you change the angle of your hand you feel more or less pressure push against you. In its very basic form it’s the same concept they’re applying to the air intake.  

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    Pansh have now included a velcro opening in the middle of the trailing edge which is used for “drainage and dirt-outs” to allow sand and water to escape the middle of the kite.  They then have the standard dirt-outs on the wingtips of the kite for drainage and dirt.  Now interestingly to the left and right of the middle dirt-out there are two “blow-off” valves, or as I prefer to call them “blow-out” valves.  These are magnetic and sewn in to the trailing edge and do add some weight to the trailing edge.  One thing I did notice in flight that the centre of the trailing edge was never uniform and smooth like the rest of the trailing edge.  The “blow-out” valves seemed to induce a slight deformity, overall personally I don’t like the design and positioning of the “blow off” valves.

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    Moving away from the centre of the trailing edge and looking at all the cells along the trailing edge there’s another improvement, and not done with the acronyms yet it’s called “DCTE” or “Double Cell Trailing Edge.”  They’ve take the full cell width, and split it directly in the middle sewing in an additional piece of material giving the trailing edge twice as many cells as the leading edge.  The result being in the air with exception to where the blow-off valves are located the rest of the trailing edge looks like on of the most uniform and cleanest trailing edges i’ve seen on a closed-cell kite.  It seems to hold its trailing edge shape incredibly well.

    pansh_a15_kite_review-011-trailing_edge.

    Just in case you thought there weren’t enough openings, there’s also a huge zipper on the back of the kite which for packing up is excellent.  I found it was easier to pack this kite tightly than my other closed cells due to the size and position of the zipper all the air flowed out as you rolled it up.

    pansh_a15_kite_review-014-zipper.thumb.j

    The kite is internally built really well, with folded and sewn edges where usually they would be hot-knife cut and fray over time.  However they continually use some material to re-enforce parts of their kite, I'm not sure what it is however I've seen it before on the Pansh AceII in "gold."  On the A15 it's frequent in White.

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    Finally now that we’ve gone through a glossary of new acronyms that Pansh has introduced with this kite we move to its spectacular flying characteristics.  

    Low Winds
    I initially setup the lines and took it out in about 4 to 5 knots of wind, it was a slight morning breeze where I saw the opportunity to setup the kite in light wind in anticipation of the afternoon breeze coming through.  After setting up the lines I had the kite directly down wind of me, gave a few tugs on the front lines to pop up the leading edge and the kite started to inflate slowly.  At about 30% inflation I gave another pull and got the kite just off the ground, it then started to climb slowly as I walked backwards and after about 10meters of walking and swooping the kite left to right it was inflated.  The kite sat at 12 o’clock in the window and was stable, moved it to the left and right of the window and again stable at the edges.  I didn’t do much more however I could feel it was quite grunty.

    Moderate Winds
    Over the rest of the trip we had decent afternoon winds so on the beach in about 10 knots of wind I setup the kite, giving the kite a tug it immediately took off and started to inflate.  With less than half the kite inflated I had ample control to bring the kite up and move it around instantly fully inflating it.  Immediately I could feel the kite had noticeably more power than in the morning, however with more wind it seemed even more stable.  It literally sat in the window like it was anchored to that position whether that was above me or to the edges of the window.

    In the Kite Buggy I had a straw hat on as I didn’t imagine I’d be doing much in the way of speed with this kite.  However once I was moving and the apparent wind kicked in it instantly delivered an incredible amount of power for its size.  It literally sat at the edge of the window and just pulled like a tractor, there was no stalling, no falling backwards and jumping forwards, it just pulled consistently.  Soon I realised on the slightly down-wind run as the wind increased slightly I was moving over 50km/h and thinking to myself “excellent choice on the straw hat for protection.”  On the downwind run I never felt it a struggle to keep the kite in the window.  

    Going back up wind with the kite it pointed well and again continued to haul me back up the beach.  As the afternoon went on the wind did shift and blow more down the beach, this meant working the kite more and at the very end required me to tack a few times back up the beach.  It didn’t have the upwind reach of a full race kite such as the Peter Lynn Vapor, however I didn’t feel at any point it offered less upwind reach than my old Speed3.  Overall it was consistent both in upwind and downwind performance.  

    The kite is incredibly grunty and pushing hard against the kite didn’t invoke it to surge to the edge of the window then stall, it literally just steadily kept hauling the buggy.

    Turning however on the A15 is not as quick as the Speed3, there’s certainly a noticeable initial delay in initiating the turn before it starts to increase in responsiveness.  I also feel that my old Speed 3 had a greater range of depower on the bar throw, whilst the A15 offers an exceptional amount of depower I feel the old Speed 3 and especially the Speed 4 offered far more depower on the bar throw before requiring you to adjust the trim strap.

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    Conclusion
    Overall I am very impressed with the build quality and flight of the kite.  I think this is by far Pansh’s best built kite to date offering a lot of new features inspired by other manufacturers and also offering a number of new features inspired by their own research, design and implementation.  Pansh is clearly looking at the competition now and raising the standard of their kites to fit in amongst them.  In flight I felt I could trust the kite completely, it was stable, well behaved and predictable.  There was plenty of power when I wanted it and ample depower.  The kite itself not only represents great value for money, however removing the price point that attracts many people to Pansh I can confidently say even with a higher price tag it would still represent a great purchase.  It’s not only a kite that makes people’s first entry to closed cell kites a great choice, for those with much older closed cell kites that are starting to deteriorate it offers a good update path.  In a word, impressed.

     



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    User Feedback




    socommk233

    Posted

    Superb review. 

    Being a Pansh fan/flyer and using their kites to race it is good to see such well written reviews. Pansh are long over due for reviews like this. Their kites are some if the best value for money. They have also introduced some of the design features Back to the Aurora such as the easy connect system on lines. The quality is spot on and I believe Pansh will soon enough be a thorn in the sides of other manufacturers.

    I hope to do a review of the Aurora when uk weather allows.  

    IMG_20160128_193827.jpg

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    andy666

    Posted

    Great review @.Joel. I was impressed with the 12m aurora and it sounds like with the a15 pansh have fixed the few small issues that kite had. I can't wait to give the kite a test fly and hopefully compare it back to back with my 15m speed 3.

     

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    .Joel

    Posted

    3 hours ago, socommk233 said:

    Superb review. 

    Thanks!

     

    Quote

    They have also introduced some of the design features Back to the Aurora such as the easy connect system on lines.

    One thing I do like about Pansh is that instead of releasing a new model every year, whenever they see a small improvement they just add it to the current model of kite.  This was evident in the first Ace I purchased and then 6 years later flew a new Ace and the difference between the two in construction and finish was significant based on that evolution over time.

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    agriarte

    Posted

    Great review. Everything seems Pansh makes big kites but poor bars

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    jhn.holgate

    Posted

    Excellent and absolutely thorough review. :round-thumbs-up:  I had to wonder about the straw hat when you went past me with one hand on the kite and one on the hat.......

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    Northern Kites Australia

    Posted

    That was awesome work @.Joel. Thank you so much.

    Just something I've noticed. On the 3rd pic of the kite in flight, it looks like the middle area of the leading edge is slightly kinked inwards. Was it like that all the time, if you could tell? I wonder if that's the 5th line pulling? What bar did you use and were all lines set to equal length?

    I definitely want to order one (any chance of them doing other sizes?) and maybe be a Bronze member to order a few for resale here. The only foils we get here are Speeds, R1s and Chronos. A good PANSH here will definitely change things a bit.

    6 hours ago, socommk233 said:

    The quality is spot on and I believe Pansh will soon enough be a thorn in the sides of other manufacturers.

    I am certainly hoping too. I agree, the quality is great, and unlike the standard cloth Speed 3, there is none of this wax coating, which over time is visible and flaky. The material is bomb proof, as I've crashed my Aurora a couple of times and only once did I repair an inside strap. Since then it's been amazing.

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    .Joel

    Posted

    1 hour ago, Fernando said:

    Just something I've noticed. On the 3rd pic of the kite in flight, it looks like the middle area of the leading edge is slightly kinked inwards. Was it like that all the time, if you could tell?

    I can't see the kink you're talking about in the leading edge.

    Bar was the Core bar, no 5th line pressure.  

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    jaysmith

    Posted

    Excellent review Joel.

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    Kiter_from_Germany

    Posted

    Very nice review, Joel.

    You are the first in Web, how described Pansh's A15 in an appropriate manner.

    Mine (an A15/18m) is cleared in customs, so it will reach me in a few days.

    Happy to hear that is well invested money!

    The thing with the low turning speed versus good depower is strange.

    I don't really think, the 65cm bar will help with that, but I will report (I ordered mine with the 65cm pansh bar, which should be reasonable good, until the pansh (felt like from 1990) Quick Release system. I will change it to a North type covered push away safety if it is as on the pictures.... .

     

    QuickRelease.png

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    agriarte

    Posted

    1 hour ago, Kiter_from_Germany said:

     

    I don't really think, the 65cm bar will help with that, but I will report (I ordered mine with the 65cm pansh bar, which should be reasonable good, until the pansh (felt like from 1990) Quick Release system. I will change it to a North type covered push away safety if it is as on the pictures.... .

     

     

    This is my bar ( in my opinion is poor ). Last december I ordered an Aurora 15m and 65cm bar. Please, could you show me a picture to see how your mount the safety line?

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    Chook

    Posted

    Awesome review Joel.

    I was very impressed with the presence of this kite while you were flying it. Looks fantastic in those colours.

    Quality and workmanship is first class too.

    At Kingston John H, lent me the Pansh Ace 2, for a few hours. I covered 59.4 kms with it and loved it. Pulled me to 72.1 kmh that day. I was well impressed with it's ability. I did back off the brake lines 100mm but that's how I fly.

    How could you not love it for US$ 99 (when on special) compared to the cost of a PL Vapor. It was only just slightly down on the Vapor's "traits" but only by just "half a gear" speed and upwind wise.

    It looked great in it's "wildfire red" cloth too. Thanks Mr Holgate for the fly.

     

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    Goz

    Posted

    Very thorough review Joel, I think you covered all the points on the kite well and the photos really show off all the features.

    Sounds like Pansh have really lifted their game in the last couple of years when it comes to kite construction. The magnetic blow out valves sound like they could do with a bit of a redesign/rethink and they would have a really great kite. I only hope they get around to updating the bar that is currently offered with their depower kites as it is a bit lacking from what I have seen. At the very least they could update that chicken loop.

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    Kiter_from_Germany

    Posted

    4 hours ago, agriarte said:

    This is my bar ( in my opinion is poor ). Last december I ordered an Aurora 15m and 65cm bar. Please, could you show me a picture to see how your mount the safety line?

    Perhaps you missed to inline a photo?

    The fifth line is not loaded - so you just lay it through the Bar and the Release System. Usually it just hangs out there, because it MUST be avoided to get load on it due to fixed to short in the clamp system.

    Modern Quick release Systems like North don't have fixing clamps for the Safty line at all (although they have a loaded fifth, but solution for that is 13m above the bar :o)

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    Northern Kites Australia

    Posted

    Could we please have more pics of the bar, safety, lines, and line ends that are offered by PANSH? Anyone? If worth it, I'll order one as well with their longest line set

    On 2/10/2016 at 0:07 PM, .Joel said:

    I can't see the kink you're talking about in the leading edge.

    Bar was the Core bar, no 5th line pressure.  

     

    pansh_a15_kite_review-023-kite_flying.thumb.jpg.7c922cf5c8f21b61f0f682c06fd85049.jpg

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    .Joel

    Posted

    From the review...

    Quote

    These are magnetic and sewn in to the trailing edge and do add some weight to the trailing edge.  One thing I did notice in flight that the centre of the trailing edge was never uniform and smooth like the rest of the trailing edge.  The “blow-out” valves seemed to induce a slight deformity, overall personally I don’t like the design and positioning of the “blow off” valves.


    There's a discussion topic in the forum with the bar and lines in @agriarte's Aurora topic.

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    kiterr

    Posted

    Hi, be careful with the pansh bar ! I tested the quick release in low wind .... in my view it could be very dangerous in higher wind with this system. So buy the bar and change or take another - Safety first.

    original:

    20160213_161536.thumb.jpg.1d8f82be877107

    (Maybe for example) upgraded with fs parts...

    20160213_182955.thumb.jpg.86bc4e3b1fd75c

     

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    Northern Kites Australia

    Posted

    Ahh I see. PANSH's bar set up is very poor quality for the price their asking too. Your modification is way better.

     

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    andy666

    Posted

    4 hours ago, kiterr said:

    Hi, be careful with the pansh bar ! I tested the quick release in low wind .... in my view it could be very dangerous in higher wind with this system. So buy the bar and change or take another - Safety first.

    original:

    20160213_161536.thumb.jpg.1d8f82be877107

    (Maybe for example) upgraded with fs parts...

    20160213_182955.thumb.jpg.86bc4e3b1fd75c

     

    there is nothing wrong with the clam cleat depower on the pansh set up, so it is really only the chicken loop that needs replacing. The flysurfer gear good, but a much cheaper option is the Switch gear.

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    Mfwetu

    Posted

    Excellent review @.Joel. If i was looking to buy a closed-cell foil this would be the info I'd be looking for.👍

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    Pari

    Posted

    I had the first proper flight of my 12m Pansh A15 this evening. It's great to be back on a big foil again after almost two season without one and I had a big grin on my face as soon as my wheels started spinning.

    I'm not really a reviewer of kites and I couldn't really add anything more useful or tech speak about flight characteristics etc than Joel has already said, more of just the feeling I had after flying it.

    I have to say I was really impressed with what Pansh have come up with. I did get it set up and up in the air a few days before static flying only, but it was quite windy and there was no beach to speak of. Like Joel said about the trailing edge, and I thought the same before I read his review, that it looks really clean and I wondered how much that helps with the aerodynamics of the kite. It certainly pulls like a truck. I think I made the right decision in getting the 12m and this evenings session on the mountain board in what must have been 10 to 12 knots confirmed that I had more than enough power. I tried a couple of jumps and it took my breath away how instant the pop was and how floaty the decent, I don't think I could have pulled off those kind of jumps that easily with the Speed 3.

    I love the feel of the material, very silky and stuff just falls off it.

    I don't expect a big kite like that to turn fast so I didn't really find it to turn any slower than I've been use to with the Speed 3.

    The sand was a bit soft and only a narrow strip of the harder sand so I wasn't being that adventurous, but the few times I did drop the kite into the power zone and pull it the bar the speed was quick and progressive and I had the biggest grin, leaning back against the pull of the kite going very fast for the amount of wind there was. One thing I did notice was how much power it generated when lit up. The bar can feel quite spongy until I was leaning against the pull of the kite and all the grunt could be felt every time I pull in the bar and accelerated.

    Man I am super happy I bought this, and it's great to be back on the beach with a big, grunty, fast floaty pulling machine. And all up $750, a real steal. I only wish I'd bought it at the beginning of the kite season so I could have been enjoying it much longer.

    My only real gripe was the 5th line. The bloody thing is to long and the weight of my leash pulls it though the bar so that the end of it was hanging round my knees. I tried to find an ideal length were it should be shortened to by pulling the trim strap in and out as far as it would go so that the 5th line was tight enough but without putting any pull on the center of the canopy and I reckon it is about 600 to 800mm to long. But I still wonder if I shortened it, if the weight of my leash would pull it through and pull on the canopy. Does anyone have any advice on this...how does Flysurfer handle there 5th line? I don't remember it ever being an issue with the Infinity 2 bar. How to shorten the line, i have no experience with messing with line lengths.

    Also, I know that Pansh don't want to add unnecessary cost, and so only offer a drawstring bag, but the bag is the wrong shape. I didn't get the inner smaller bag, just the big blue one. But it's pretty much square so when I put the folded kite into it it just sloshes about in there and all my careful folding is undone....so Pansh make your bag longer and narrower. And add a very simple single shoulder strap so you can sling it over your head and carry your other kit hands free. This is a very small gripe and and not a big deal, just something I noticed that could be easy to make an improvement on.

    But really that's it, it's a great kite....well done Pansh. Awesome.

     

    I forgot to add that the blow out valves don't have the full strip of magnets that the 'prototypes' had, mine had a row of tiny little magnets. They seem to work fine and must be really lite.

    My kite came 'ready to fly', so there are some little ribbons and masking tape around the lines and bar etc that you take of when laying it out for the first time. Sorry about the crappy video, I'd tried to land the kite with the pull strap but it was so powerful in the wind I was in that I chickened out and got scudded which was fun but not planned. So the video is me trying to show the 5th line in action shaky camera style with my phone.

     

     

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    Kiter_from_Germany

    Posted

    On 14. Februar 2016 at 1:55 AM, andy666 said:

    there is nothing wrong with the clam cleat depower on the pansh set up, so it is really only the chicken loop that needs replacing. The flysurfer gear good, but a much cheaper option is the Switch gear.

    Hi,

    married pansh 65cm bar with north 5th element....

    image.jpeg

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    andy666

    Posted

    @Kiter_from_Germany the bar looks great. Replaced the questionable parts with quality gear and have created a brilliant bar for a fraction of the cost.

    @Pari, flysurfer (and most other manufacturers) put some elastic inside the dyneema of the safety line to create a bungee section in the line to take up the slack. Much like your safety leash would have. 

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    Northern Kites Australia

    Posted

    @Pari - that's a great video, especially of the bar and line setup. Thank you for doing that.

    Not sure if it's the way you've intended to use the bar, but the break line, shouldn't that be behind the lines and not in front facing you?

    And was the full price you paid including the bar & lines? Did you go for the longer lines or the shorter ones?

     

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