Kitelement has not paid me to do this review. I purchased a discounted board because I was genuinely interested in their split boards and my review is 100% my honest and unbiased opinion, as recommending bad products would only hurt Global Kite Spot’s reputation in the long run.
Disclaimer 2 – 2020 update – IMPORTANT PLEASE READ
After posting this review and logging more hours on the board I started noticing a menacing crack in the surface, next to the joint screws. This crack grew larger with each session until it became so big that the board lost all its rigidity around the joint.
I reached out to Jakub of Kitelement who apologised and offered a new board without questions asked.
Hoping that my board was an edge case with a factory fault rather than a design flaw I accepted and received the same model, although the larger version this time.
I rode the 140 cm Re Solve with straps instead of boots thinking this should reduce the risk of causing the same issue. After only a couple of sessions, my new board showed exactly the same issue with the joint system.
Again, Jakub apologised and told me that issues like this one were rare but could happen. He offered me a refund or I could try their new, improved 2019 Re Solve which had an improved joint system.
I’m a huge ambassador of split boards and really want this to work, so again I took Jakub up on his offer. When I received my new board and took it out to try (with boots), it lasted one session.
It was the same issue as before, except it happened immediately. A crack in the joint system that make the board flimsy and unrideable.
Kitelement’s customer service has been extremely professional and accommodating during this whole process and by now they must’ve lost way more money on me than if they would’ve issued a refund.
The reason I’m still open to try their new models rather than take my money and run is because of this great customer service and the fact that I do think it’s possible to make a split board that doesn’t break. And I want that in my life.
So now I’m waiting for their 2020 model to be finalised and sent out to me. Fingers crossed. Jakub has told me that they know of the issue and have a solution for it in the materials they use for the joint system.
I feel that it is my obligation to my readers to provide this update and not keep anything in the dark.
Kitelement is a great company with lots of potential and I hold no hard feeling towards them. They still have my support. But naturally with a product at that price point, it has to be a premium product that lives up to the marketing copy.
If the 2020 Re Solve solves my previous issues I’ll be posting a separate review of it which I’ll link to here. This is planned for spring 2020.
About split kiteboards and Kitelement
A split board is basically a kiteboard you can split in half. The reason to do this is twofold. Anyone who has ever checked in kite gear on a flight know how hefty the fees for sport equipment can be, and it’s also a lot easier to travel with all your gear in a suitcase rather than a large golf bag.
The re solve is to my knowledge Kitelement’s third generation split board so they’ve had time to iterate and improve on previous designs. Their latest version is a beauty. When I first heard of these boards I knew it could make my kitesurf trips a lot smoother so I crossed my fingers and hoped that they would be as good as they seemed on paper.
Kitelement re solve features
- 3.2kg board only
- 136 x 41, also comes in 132 and 140
- Carbon reinforced wood core
- 4cm G10 fins
- Super slick graphics
- Deep channels for grip and smooth landings. You can even ride finless, but not hit obstacles
- Boots compatible
- The split is held together with five screws, and when assembled joins the halves seamlessly
- Big rocker, but due to the flex pattern it flattens out a bit when you ride
On the water
I’ve tried a lot of boards over the years but never a split board, so it wasn’t without a mix of excitement and anxiety that I took the Re Solve to the water.
Would it hold for the high forces of the boots? Would the screws come loose mid-session? Would it be a noticeable wobbliness due to the joint in the middle of the board?
I can honestly say that as soon as I got up riding and made my first jumps all my concerns were replaced with pure riding joy. This board performs just as well as any other freestyle board I’ve had the pleasure to ride in the past.
My most recent boards Tona Pop and Crazyfly Bulldozer are stiff, explosive freestyle boards. The re solve had no problem delivering pop, smooth landings and upwind capability on par with these boards and at the same time be a bit more playful on the water, probably because of the slightly shorter size (136 instead of 139/140), but also because it has more of a springboard type snappy flex to it. I assume this flex pattern evens out the high rocker a bit once you’re riding.
On my second session I took off the fins to play with some tricks like tail and nose presses and surface passes. Without fins you get an expected slippery feel, but the boards also locks in on landings and does a decent job of riding upwind. I assume the super thin rails and the bottom channels help here.
Overall this is a great board I don’t mind having as my normal ride, but with the bonus of being split-able for compact travel. As not to wear it out too much (the mussel beds here in the UK can be grim on your board) I’ll probably save it for my trips and go back to my Bulldozer for local sessions but I will certainly look forward to my next session with the re solve. Read more and get your own split board at Kitelement’s online shop.
Packing and travel
Bringing your gear on trips is the main reason to get a re solve, re volt, or any other split kiteboard on the market. Ditch the bulky golf bag and pack all gear in a suitcase. Suitcases usually weight roughly as much as a golf bag though, or even more, so I went through a bit of desk research to find the perfect bag to pack your gear and split board in. You can view my final list here, or watch the review of my top pick in the video below.
Bottomline: With a split kiteboard you can save both weight and size with some clever packing and not loose any performance from your board. That’s good news for all kitesurfers planning their next trip.