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Since the new WOO 2.0 is now out on the market we've decided to put it to test and pit it against its older brother. For those unfamiliar with the device, it allows you to measure your jump height, hang time and G's on landing (i.e. how hard to you hit the water). The new iteration of WOO also measures your freestyle moves both using kite and in the wake park. We'll look at this in a separate review. All photos are courtesy of Scott Williams. And a quick disclaimer - this is in no way scientific approach - just a very hands-on comparison on a nicely windy day!
We have attached both devices to one board and asked one of our big boosters to have a crack at it at one of Scotland's most epic kitesurfing locations - Wig Bay near Sands of Luce Caravan Park. There aren't many places in the UK with such a close proximity of a spot for any wind direction. Hence why we have chosen it to host this years autumn Big Air Weekender - a full overview of the event will come soon so keep an eye out!
One of the irritating issues with trackers is that they don't cope with chop very well. We have always had a feeling that in our choppy waters the first WOO was missing some of the jumps or not reading the start of the jump at the right moment.
As you can see from the table below, the WOO 2.0 has picked up more jumps than WOO 1 but on most jumps the results are a bit different - both in terms of height and hang time. And it's not that WOO 2.0 always recorded higher jumps. It is a very much mixed bag here. As you know these readings are based upon an algorithm and many different factors have to be taken into consideration. It may be the role chop plays in this. The way we've launched off the back of a wave. Or even positioning of the sensor on the board - they were attached next to screw holes for the handle on both sides.
There will also be discrepancies - just as with Xensr, PIQ and possible other players looking to get into the kitesurfing trackers category. However, we have to remember that most of this is just for fun. The WOO's kiteboarding community has grown immensely over the last year. And with that in mind it makes the whole jump recording craze to make more sense. Being able to compete against mates on the local spot, country and the world makes this gamification of our sport more fun.
We have also been assured that WOO 2.0 is more robust than its older brother so this time around we should expect less or, hopefully, no more water getting inside the tracker. This has been addressed in the latest batch of WOO's 1.0's too.
WOO 1.0 Results:
WOO 2.0 Results:
And here are the end results of the WOO 1 vs WOO 2.0 comparison:
Of course it's not everyone's cup of tea. It might be down to the fact that for most of us kitesurfing is a way to distance ourselves from being tracked all the time. No calls, texts and Facebook on the water. And that's cool, a lot of us just tries to get away and enjoy kiting. But when it's properly pumping most of us wonder how high do we really go? The new WOO isn't perfect but it's definitely getting better. And with a large community of riders behind it's a no brainer when it comes to choosing your kitesurfing tracker. Oh, so this also means that loosing with your mate by half a meter isn't a big thing. Or so we will tell ourselves from now on!
Many thanks to John Barber for boosting huge and to WOO for making the test possible!