Rider: 95kg, Experienced rider (+7 years)
Style: Freeriding, Surf, Freestyle. Note that I ride a twin tip always, not a surf board.
Weather: 15-25 knots
Build Quality: 8/10
Disclosure: Friends with the owner. No commercial affiliations.
My Comments: Out of the Bag
Laying the kite on the ground, the delta shape is very apparent.
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The bridle connections have a variety of connection points for complete customisation, a total of 20 on the kite! I originally thought this might be a pre-production kite, but I believe this is normal.
Luckily the kite has the default and light bar settings stamped on the kite, so you can always return the bridle settings to default without consulting a manual (or phoning someone)
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The bridle itself has six pulleys in total, but the rear lines connect directly to the kite (something I seriously like)
Once pumped up, the kite looks the business. Four struts (no center strut).
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The one-pump system is simple and effective. The isolation clips have a soft cover on them, I assume this is to prevent possible damage to the canopy.
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The whole kite has scuff pads and reinforcement sewn into useful spots
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I thought this worthy of note since the bag seems to be well designed. (At first glance it appears similar to the Slingshot 05 Fuel bag, but is in fact very different)
The bag is a "courrier bag" style, the top is actually one of the longer sides and the kite slides in rather than being stuffed in from the top. Inside the bag is a compartment for a kite bar, and several smaller pockets that I have stuffed a repair kit into. The bag comes supplied with some stickers.
The magic happens when you completely unzip the bag and a very functional carrier, for a kite with the struts still inflated, appears. Normally kite bags have the meshing system, but the kite is either sticking wholly out of the top of the bag or, worse still, out of the bottom. This is the first time I've seen the carrying straps at the middle of the kite.
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I'm using my own Slingshot bar and lines as I'm used to them, so I didn't order the new Griffin lines. So I can't review the bar setup for Griffin.In the Air
It's not often that I can say that a kite has an immediate effect on my riding ability, I think the Rhino V is the only kite 'til now, but the 9m Argo has had an immediate noticeable effect.
My session started at 20-25 knots, dropped dramatically to 15 knots then built up again to 20 knots. In all that time, I was going upwind which, for a fat knacker like me on a twin tip, is unheard of.
Smooth : This kite just glides through the air. Turn it as tight as you want, or not, the kite responds and the pull changes accordingly. No power spikes with this kite, it's very predictable.
Upwind : I'm not sure how this is working, the kite doesn't appear to sit at the front of the window but I'm simply trucking upwind. Even when the wind dropped to 15 knots, I could cruise upwind.
Boosting : Pull the trigger, up you go. It's easy to get the timing right and it boosts about as well as any other. Not as well as the Griffin I have, but good enough for the winds I'm planning to use it in.
Wave Riding : Ok, ok, I'm using a twin tip so pure surfers can look away now. The kite just drifts with you, the lines never went slack for me no matter what I was doing and the kite turns quickly and with enough feedback that you know exactly where it is. For me, this is the kite's strong point and it affected my wave riding immediately (for the better).
Turning : Pull the bar hard enough and the kite pivots on the spot, but the kite can still be worked to generate more power. The turning speed is very fast, but very dependent on the bar pressure applied. The direct back line connection is noticeable and the kite responds very quickly
Unhooked : Ask someone 15 years younger and fitter than me
Self Launch and Landing : So easy it's not funny. Self launching was a doddle, landing just as simple. I only had to water relaunch once but it was simple. Conclusion
This is a fun kite and a perfect compliment to my 12 Griffin as the wind ranges overlap extremely well.
Wave riding is simple, the kite is very predictable and performs well, and the construction looks solid.
A very happy customer.