I just received brand spanking new Griffins and have spent the whole week testing them, they are really the fastest most smooth-flying kites I have ever flown!!
Spent most of my time in the 9m. In 14-21 knots. Using a 6.1 surfboard and a 136 Recoil with bindings. I weight around 73kg or 155 pounds.
The kites have seen such a great improvement from last years, the guys at Griffin sure put a lot of thinking and testing with them. They have made a superb kite, with what I believe unmatched flying characteristics when compared to other kites in the market.
-Bar feeling: The bar pressure is perfect for my taste. The feeling is super direct with no delays. It keeps the same bar pressure all the way in the windrange and even when pushing the bar away and depowering the kite significantly the kite still responds and turns how you want it. This made it perfect for waveriding! I could put myself just where I wanted in the way to make that perfect drop and still have good control and feedback. The kite is very predictable and doesn't make any weird stuff in the air.
-Turning: Awesome clean loops and turns with no flapping. I believe this has to be the most smoothest and fastest turning kite in the market right now. Unhooked loops felt so nice, almost easy, the kite recovers super fast and gives you nice smooth and fast landing. I like to loop with the kite lower at around 45 angle, just because I think they look much better, and they felt so nice and powerful, no twitchy power at all, everything very smooth throughout the whole turn.
-Range: The kite has a very nice windrange, I havent had the chance( or wind! ) to test the top end but its low end is very impressive. I would have to give this to the smooth turning of the kite. Moving the kite is super efficient I think mainly because of the smooth turning of the kite. One good dive I was up and planing early. Upwind is also very nice.
-Wake: I tried the kite for some wakestyle (a la scoop) kite low and powered and the kite works very nice, once unhooked it has lots of grunt and still keeps that direct smooth turning. Loves the way it handle and the pop and stop I got, but personally I prefer the way C kites work. For those like me Griffin is testing a wakestyle bridle to make the kite perfect for us that want THE perfect SLE wake kite, the bridle will make the arc much more C and offer the ease of unhooking with no trimming needed C kites have. Im personally giving input to Christian, the designer, he'll be sure to release a great wake performance kite for powered, unhooked riding. The bridle is really just to give the kite more ease of use when unhooking, the smooth turning and bar pressure is perfect as it is and I believe all will agree once they test the kites out. More info will be avaiable soon.
-The performance of the kites is just so good I cant believe they are priced this competitive. I don't think I have found anything I didnt like about the kite. Everthing from the single point inflation systems to the way it behaves in the sky was perfect.
-Quality: Contruction wise the kite looks bomb! They have put so much attention to detail, it really says a lot about the quality. Multi panel layout, molded rubber bumpers in each bridle connection point, thin struts, compact and low drag bridle lines, quality bridles, kook proof connectors, fast-slow settings, bar pressure settings, single point inflation with neoprene covers, everything is top notch and still very light weight. I received a prototype fo the bar wich didnt have all the features of the 09 bar but still everything was very simple and clean. Could see some improvement in the chicken loop and release but they are working on a new pushaway that will be perfect for unhooking, so wont say much about the bar right now. Will post another review once I get ahold of the real 09 bar.
-I think this is the first kite in the market that offers two separate setting for bar pressure and turning speed. This is a huge plus for everyone and makes the kite perfect for a huge range of riders, types of riding and personal preferences.
I like strong bar pressure others dont, I like slow kites others want super fast kites. This kite fits every need and flies perfectly evry way you set it up, something that is very hard to accomplish.
The kites should be at all shops in no more than 2 weeks, be sure to try one before buying your next kite. Im sure you'll love them. Great kite for those looking for a one kite quiver or a two kite quiver to kite pretty much all year long. Definitely THE kite for waveriding, boosting, freeriding, and course racing. And the perfect kite for hardcore wakestyle with the upcoming wake bridle.
Here are a couple pics of the kite in low wind! Next Ill post more action pics on bindings but I need more wind!
Feel free to comment and ask any quetsions!