The Takoon Nova 2 is one of the first second generation bow kites to be launched this year. The Nova 1 did fairly well, and what Takoon did with the Nova 2 was to listen to feedback from riders around the world and improve on the areas that needed improvement rather than redesign the whole kite from the ground up.
The Nova has a typical French kite feel to it with very light steering and a huge top end. Bow kiters looking for a light steering kite will be delighted to hear that this kite has exceptionally light bar pressure even by c shape kite standards.
The Nova 2 improves on the Nova 1 in two areas: turning speed and bar pressure. Turning speed have been increased considerably and the bar pressure as mentioned above is very light. We found that the kite lacks feedback - the light bar pressure on the kite is great but the kite feels so light that you often don't know where the kite is. Turning speed is great once the kite gets going although we found that the response is not as instant as we would want it to be.
The kite feels very soft through the air and handles gusty conditions superbly, making it ideal for people who often kite in gusty conditions. The kite performs best in the mid to upper range of the window and requires a bit more wind to get going.
The Nova 2 handles strong wind easily, allowing you to de-power the kite a fair bit - but at a price - more than a few cm's of de-power and the kite starts loosing turning responsiveness. That being said, normal de-power allows you to take the kite out in plenty of wind without feeling the need to de-power the kite to such an extent where it starts loosing performance.
Build quality on this kite is superb - leader lines are twice as thick as what you will find on most other kites, with plenty of padded enforcement all over the kite which makes it wear proof. All the extra quality adds weight though, as we found the kite to be rather heavy for a 9 sqm kite.
The bar has been improved by replacing the Velcro stopper with the new Takoon Nova Tune System which is an adjustable stopper system. The stopper system worked well, and you have the option of disabling the system which means that if you let go of the bar the kite will de-power and drop instantly.
The rest of the bar is pretty much the same as the Nova 1 bar. We found that a bit more work could have been done on the bar to clean it up - the line floaters often came undone on the sides of the bar, and the de-power rope got uncomfortably long when you de-power the kite.
The lack of feedback was the biggest concern that people had who flew the kite, but this is something that you can get used to after a while. The lack of low end shouldn't be a problem for lighter riders or those who ride in predominantly strong wind conditions, but heavier riders kiting in lighter winds might find that they have to rig one size bigger or wait for the wind to pick up a bit.
The increased turning speed and exceptional light bar pressure are welcome changes to the Nova 2. Good gust handling and strong wind capabilities, along with the one pump system and an improved control bar makes the Nova 2 a well rounded kite.