Rider: Weight,Level 105 kg, experienced rider
Style: Surf and "try hard" jumps
Weather: 15-22 knots
Build Quality: 9/10
Disclosure: I sell kites including these
I have been anticipating this kite since I first suggested that Chris add one to his range . Having been a user of the griffin and liking it i figured that with a few tweaks and lower AR the Griffin would have a brilliant stable mate .
I have been a fan of low AR "delta style" kites since they came out ,particularly grunt,waveriding and relaunch( a particular bug bear of mine as over the years pump up kite companies have lauded the importance of having a pump up kite because of their relaunchability ,HA!!).The jumping has been surprising as well in all of them .You have read the reviews for the delta style kites and it would be a crime for me to suggest that this kite is streets ahead of anything else out there ,basically I am a fan of this style of kite regardless of brand. I also gave it to a couple of other guys to ride .one is a well known sponsored rider .Very happy with the freestyle/wakestyle (or whatever you want to call it ) performance including unhooking .One rider who tried it is a well known destroyer of borrowed equipment (kind of like that guy in a couple of movies that I have who works in the valet service and takes the ferrari for a spin and sees how well it corners at 200 km/h) It had been a while since I had lent a kite to him (soemthing I rememebered just prior to him slammin the kite on the reef) Yep while doing a super low flat double backspin eyes shut at terminal velocity after not riding a kite at all for 9 months and never riding this type of kite slams it fully powered ,bar all the way in (the bang alerted the local police thinking it was someone illegally firing the guns at fort scratchley).The deflate valve released but the good thing is that the kite survived even when it went through the wringer getting repeatedly smashed onto the reef with the rider still hooked in (didn't relalise it's not a bad idea to release to one line to avoid a mincing in the surf )I really though that the day had come to an agonising end .
Another feature that I enjoyed about this particular kite was giving me the best ride I have ever had in the smallish conditions (2 ft) .This pleasurable experience had given me enough good vibes to survive the above mentioned experience .
Earlier when I was riding it I really liked how when I completely misread a left breaking wave where i had the kite low and then screamed across the face into what you could almost say was a barrel ,racing at the kite the kite still drifted really nicely and I could control it . I did this again this time ditching the kite when I turned it the wrong way after forgetting entirely about the kite and riding the wave (an old PL habit )but yanked hard on the back line and the kite relaunced while I was still planing and before a wave was about to eat it
One thing that we all found was that the power that comes from this particular kite is amazing .I am a lug and was out in winds that I would have a much bigger kite for and similar size guys to me were turning up with 13 and 15 m kites well into my session where the wind had picked up
So why would you buy one of these ? Basically it is a solidly built ,tough ,well perfporming kite in this style and the price and value for a single point infation kite is excellent .I and others have found the designer and owner of Griffin Chris Vanderplatt (based in Sydney NSW) very helpful and professional .
Negatives .if I adjusted the trim and didn't ensure the rope was really jammed into the cleat it would slip , kind of annoying .the cloop line on this was pretty old and worn though.When the kite crashed the deflate valve popped out .Perhaps this saved the kite from even more damage though ,plus I don't uber velcro these things usually.