At A Glance
While Armstrong doesn’t have the years of experience that some of the kite brands have had it doesn’t show. The V2 A-Wing is a robust high-performance wing with all of the features we’re looking for when on the water. It comes complete with a carry bag & leash in five different sizes: 2.5m/3.5m/4.5m/5.5m and 6.5m. Here on test is the 4.5m, a good size for covering most conditions.
The A-Wing V2 has a thick leading edge designed to give structural stability and increase airframe stiffness. On the strut, it has two forward handles & two rear, and to give you more options the ‘V’ handles connect to the leading edge. These can often be used for increased control in aerial manoeuvres. Finally, it has a front handle for free fly mode and carrying the wing. The wing has fast pump connections on both the leading edge & strut.
Out of the bag, it looks well finished. Armstrong has mirrored their attention to detail as in all of their products. The leading edge has anti-abrasive patches to protect it from the beach, the canopy has a crisp feel and the stitching is of high quality.
On The Water
I used this 4.5m wing with the HA925 & 39L Wing Surf Board in conditions ranging from around 15 knots up to 30. I took it out on flat days as well as in the waves. First impressions were great, the handles are well placed making for a balanced feel while riding. It does indeed have a stiff frame that makes pumping up onto foil effective. The low aspect shape means that you’re unlikely to catch your wingtips and flip the wing. The canopy is tight, resulting even in the gustiest conditions, a wing that doesn’t flutter too much or feel uncontrollable.
I loved jumping with the A-Wing V2, the hang time is and the loftiness of it are unreal. This is most likely due to the above-mentioned stiffness in the frame but also the thickness of the leading edge. I won’t pretend to know much about aerofoil design but I do know that the nose radius, in this case, the leading edge, plays a key part. In this instance giving the wing more power!
In free-fly mode when riding bumps or waves the A-Wing felt very well balanced. It was easy to forget that the wing was even in my hand, allowing me to focus on my wave riding & glide. If I had to choose something that wasn’t to my liking in this wing it would be a lack of a one pump system, making it slightly slower to rig up. This is however personal preference, the Armstrong system makes repairs to your bladder in the result of a puncture much easier.
Armstrong has created a high-quality, powerful & stable wing that is an absolute pleasure to ride. Whether it be wave riding, freestyle, or cruising this wing will do the job and do it well. However, without a doubt, a stand-out feature for me was the hangtime! Make sure you get your hands on one of these weapons and try it for yourself.
This review was in Issue 10 of Tonic.