Product Review: Caution Answer

May, 2006
Product Review: Caution Answer

We have had time now for ourselves and customers to extensively ride the 12 meter and 16 meter Caution Answers as well as a few days on the 9 meter Answer. Testers in this review are of weights 195 and 160.

Our initial assessment:
The kites are built with the usual Caution durability, and the graphics are not overdone yet stylish from testers gathered opinions. A standard Caution style extendable kite bag is employed with the external bar holder and dual shoulder strap backpack.

The details:
Caution's Answer bar is a departure from other SLE and bows we have tested in that it looks like a standard C LEI bar but with a leash line running through the depower strap mechanism, which allows the unit to be pulled tight during a release to leash, thereby providing looser back lines and depowering the bar. This does not allow full depower as on the Sonic free sliding bar , but once the kite is released from the spreader bar hook via quick release or the usual method, there is an "OH SH%^!! handle to grab on an outside line to totally flag the kite out. The bar is straight forward and simple with sheeting range modified by two adjustable stoppers and very much like a nice C leading edge inflatable bar with a swivel above the chicken loop.

Flight characteristics of SLE's differ greatly and the Caution Answer stands out for its remarkable turning with power feel of a classic C, yet incorporating a fair amount of gust absorption inherent in the SLE design platform. This kite absolutely rocks for wave riding and provides turning speeds of a much smaller kite while providing the power of a kite two sizes larger when needed in lulls. Like all the SLE's, these kites benefit greatly by letting them run on a bit looser rear lines than you would with a classic C as to generate apparent wind and the concomitant power. Snap the bar in for a turn and then let it out for kite acceleration and then sheet in a bit to catch that power. A shorter travel on the bar limits this ability a bit but does prevent a rear line slack "overfly" scenario to a large extent.

The lower aspect than the Globerider Sonic and the more C-shape makes a Hindenburg or "overfly" an occasional event in the worst of wind holes, etc. The trade off is a kite that C-kite users immediately feel comfortable using and a kite with phenomenal turning performance. This is a kite that rewards the intermediate to advanced rider with feedback/power/gust absorption that many have never experienced. Ferrel, one of our lighter testers and Answer owner just said, "This is the best kite I have ever tried in a large size!", in reference to the 16m Answer. It has so much bottom end when used with a proper fast rockered board and worked properly, it will replace many peoples’ huge C LEIs. Its turning feels like a really good 14m C kite or smaller. The top end is equally good , though not as high as some other SLE's. You will still be riding the same Answer size while your C kite buds go in to change sizes a few times. This makes light wind riding with a good directional in the waves a very fun thing to do. So, this kite gives up a tiny bit of stability and overall depowerability to provide a more C-kite-like feel and incredible turning. Not a bad compromise at all and the "overfly" is something that is only evident in extreme wind gust ranges with a bottom end lacking which constant kite flying at the edge of the window can eliminate to a large degree.

Boosting is straight forward and much like a standard C except for the usual SLE benefit of being able to sheet in during launch and landing to substantially effect speed of accent and especially decent. Wave sailing is its forte and de-power is far adequate enough to kite loop the heck out of it on the way down a wave for top to bottom controlled depower or powered off the lips. The nine meter kite absolutely astounded us with the amount of apparent wind that could be generated and the potential for a 9 m to 16 m quiver is an option though of course a good sized and flat rockered surf directional would be nice to fill the mid ground. The 12 m is a great one kite quiver for most average weight guys and can be worked to remarkably low winds once the proper technique with a bit looser back lines during passes through the window is mastered. These kites love a fast board and to be flown aggressively.

Water relaunch is a no brainer as the kite generally just walks to the edge of the window and C leading edge inflatable type techniques are applicable in worst case scenarios with the kites more c kite shape. The C kite shape also allows typical tip sanding for self launch and standard landing techniques. There is no question that there is significantly more projected area with this kite as the bottom end would attest to, and it eats up gusty conditions very well as all testers have raved. Some SLE's have a lighter bar pressure and more de-power, however Caution has found a great balance between an all-out-high-performance wave ripper and an every guys kite in the Answer. Way to go, boys!!!

In conclusion, if you are a C LEI user, you will catch on to this SLE in no time with its C kite feel. If you come from the Venom, Peter Lynn background, you will maximize this kites performance with your style of kite handling (even more so on flatter design SLE designs). The power through the turns sets this one apart from many other SLE's for us heavy guys on waves and especially for those who would rather chase a kite in the surf on a twin tip or a board that does not conserve energy like a good low rockered surf directional.

This one is definitely worth testing.

More questions about the Answer? Contact us if you're interested in purchasing one of these babies.