Nice to see some real world pics jinx.., we are expecting kites in the UK mid November, ready to demo at www.triple9kitesurfing.co.uk
in S Wales in the Winter winds!!
Here's all the info on the Blade 2013 gear to date from the guys at KSW
A few extra notes that we have had in the UK from Blade and some testing pics from tenerife.
The boards are staying with the Elan factory in Austria, same as last year. The quality they are putting out is a few bars above the likes of the commonly used far east factories, which i have noticed a few other brands moving away from too. Im glad to see this , as despite the cost increase , the finish and quality difference is really noticeable. Ive one deuce left from 2011, if anyone want to have a look at the quality finish of the 2011 boards.You can attempt to make the same board design in 3 different factories, but each board will ride differently as the methods and equipment used to apply and compress each layer have a great influence on the total outcome. The engineering geeks out there among you are likely nodding in approval to that. I know i was when i read about those developments last year. Other notes , are a wider 6" gap between the inserts , which suits the wake style stance better.
was always been the board meant to be ridden along with the Prime (or similar direct feel performance kite). The main quality being to try to achieve the direct feel between rider and board. This is something i know Blade worked hard to achieve although it can come at the cost of trading off some comfort and ease of use. Last years design of the 2nd generation Deuce was for sure a little too similar to the more all round Sanchez, so blade have added Kevlar-carbon strips, to stiffen the board in key areas. Blade have also changed the outline shape to give it a better performance in choppy conditions rather than just the flat-ideal conditions the previous model was best for. The sizes of the Deuce have also changed a bit this year. In numerous testing blade found the newer and more rectangular shape works much better in a broader range conditions. Therefore, they have decided on having two sizes: 135 x 41 and 139 x42 . I find this size choice strange myself. I would have expected a 131 + 135 combo, . For use with wake bindings blade recommend this board over the the Sanchez due to the stronger construction.
of course was designed to be ridden with the Trigger ( or similar all rounder kite type). Being a forgiving and easy to ride board for all conditions , blade have made it really popular for us and blade riders around the globe. This year’s model is similar to last years. It still features a double concave finish at the tips which helps power through the chop and the channels next to each fin are a convenience feature for less board spray. The balance of flex and comfort really make this board fun to ride especially because of its forgiving nature. The one thing Blade improved this year was to make it faster as they felt it was not fast enough for the Triggers performance before. The Sanchez sizes this year are 130 x 40, 134 x 42, 138 x 43.
The Kites & construction this year i hope will be well received. Blade are still a relatively small brand, but increase their market share every year as more and more riders try their equipment. Smaller brands come and go, but the ones who really put the extra effort into design and quality builds will of course have more chance of success. Now into their 8th season of kites, where blade came from seems to be a million miles from where they are now. One thing i have enjoyed with blade is being involved and seeing first hand the thought process behind improving the range every year. Taking on board the good and bad, and seeing how blade react to it. This year seems no different. Some things have remained the same. Some things have changed.Last years kite presented very few problems in terms of all the things that can go wrong with a kite. (bladders popping , materials ripping , etc etc.. ) All kites go though serious stress in the air and when they come crashing down to the beach or in surf. Blade try to improve strength in key areas every year. This year blade have changed completely the way the valves are connected to the bladder material. First they changed the type of glue. The new glue has been specifically developed for kite construction to give the best bond between the PVC valves and the TPU bladders. What it does is make a chemical reaction so both the valves and the bladders melt a bit and the connection is permanent. Additionally, a green thermoplastic patch has been applied, which seals the top surface of the valve to the bladder.
A second improvement Blade made in kite construction is to the leading edge. Although they did not have any problems with it in the past, the new Trigger kites require extra hard inflation of the bladder so they have upgraded the construction. Another insignia tape has been added to each of the attachment points so the seams have less stress on them. Blade have also changed the closing seam of the leading edge by removing the tape that was on it before and have replaced it with a dacron tape so the seam that is applied on the dacron gives a double seal to the total closing.
has been blades performance kite this last few years. its always attracted great reviews and rider feedback , and being a great kite blade have made few design changes. Some tweeks here and there , including a squarer tip (even more C shaped) improving the direct feel between rider and kite. Some construction upgrades as above making it tougher still , with out compromising the weight or over building.
is a complete redesign this year.Of course every year brands overly pimp their new design; saying it can jump higher, go upwind
better, turn quicker , this year blade told us that you will see it for yourself. (implying bigger better anyway.. ). But in general what they did is completely redesigned the wing tip and profile, the leading edge of the kite has been narrowed down even more to give better aerodynamics and a more efficient profile shape. Due to this, the kite structure has to be super strong at all times and as a trade off for the extra performance , some extra hard inflation is need to to get the best out of this kite. We've yet to try it , but from what ive been reading from the testers , those extra few pumps are very worth it.
The Fat lady
has been on the market for less than 18 months and has received impressive feedback to date.On the 1st generation FL,the main goal was to have a fun low wind kite with a big emphasize on capability to perform tricks in light winds. Blade for sure succeeded in doing that based on the great feedback as well as great reviews by everyone who has tried it. When Blade began working on the 2nd generation Fat Lady they wanted to further improve the upwind capabilities, but at the same time maintain the quick handling, great low end power and the great jumping characteristics of the 1st generation. It took Blade numerous prototypes to get it just right as almost every prototype was not able to get that quick turning that was loved so much. It eventually resulted in redeveloping the profile shape and a new bridle system to achieve a one of a kind light wind kite. When comparing to the previous model, the new Fat Lady has much better upwind capabilities and improved pop. Blade seem really confident this kite will be a stand out kite for light winds.
The New Bar as been talked about by blade for 2 years. It was expected to be out about 7-8 months ago but the more blade worked on it the more improvements they decided to make. In the end they have changed probably everything that could have been changed; a completely new chickenloop system with moulded parts for the donkey dick and double injection for easy activation of the QR. They have made a completely new and super light bar stick, which consists of 3 layers (aluminum, synthetic-thermoplastic nylon, and their new monster grip on top). Additionally, the swivel has been moved away from the chickenloop and has placed above the bar and using a super reliable plastic bearing that is rust free and works better than any other bearing blade had tested on the market. You will be able to use the Uni bar on all previous Blade kites and it comes in one size only. The size is 44/52 cm and it has two options for line placement. The flying lines come with 19m+4m extension. For bigger size kites (Fat Lady or other) you add another 4m extension to get a total of 27m. It looks quite sexy too.