KITEWORLD SUMMARY: This kite performs better at its low end, although in the higher winds, if you can handle it, it's an absolute boost machine. It's very tunable on the fifth line and we got the impression that after just two sessions we were only reaching the beginning of its capabilities. Overall it handled well, turned powerfully and would be a good bet for riders that like life in the skies.
The Blade team wanted to develop an amazing flat kite that feels like a C shaped kite and would accommodate both freestyle and wave riders, uniting both styles in the ultimate in performance functionality. The Vertigo was the result and has depower similar to a flat kite, manoeuvres like a C kite and is especially designed for the extreme riders who crave fast turns, big jumps and killer kite loops.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
MIKEY: No one is going to miss you on that! I really like the look and the shape of this kite was pretty unusual. It instantly looked and felt very flat, but at the same time had the wing tips that came down much further than other flat kites.
WILL: The bar has quite a small feel and the stopper locks really well, and it releases easily, too.
ALEX: It's got the classic pull quick-release and is nice and easy to put back together. Good quality design, the chicken-loop has a donkey dick that actually works and doesn't come out of your hook. You can also detach it if you want. The depower pull-pull webbing is a proven, classic system. Nothing is too complicated on this kite.
MIKEY: One of the straps ended up really long and got wrapped up but that was because we had it depowered so much on the first day. It still performed and handled well, though. Good functional range on that kite.
TIM: Nice bar and line-set that's easy to use and with a nice friction stopper, saving your back.
WILL: It was really stable in those winds. I remembered thinking that when I took a hand off on the beach and when I was jumping. You need to play around with the fifth-line though; it's so tunable. Pull the fifth-line in and it really flattens off the leading edge like a bow kite. Let it off and it's got C shape looks and qualities. Turned with grunt and was fast.
TIM: I enjoyed sailing it. It's extremely lively and has buckets of vertical pull when the kite passes anywhere near the top of the window. It really wants to take you high.
WILL: There's a lot of power but you can dump it fairly well and just cruise, too. But yeah, by far its best asset is nice, lofty airs. It's got a sort of raw nature to it. It's not super-refined but it's a really fun ride and puts a huge smile on your face. ALEX: I have to say that I think the kite performs better at its bottom end than its top end, so you can ride a smaller size, which a lot of people like. I did get overpowered on it, but these were tough conditions to test in; everyone else was on eights.
WILL: Today it was great though strapless in the lightwind. When you wanted power for transitions or whatever, it was right there. Good fun.
8, 10, 12, 14 and 16m
Blade Vertigo 10m (Aug/Sep 07: Issue #28 Kite Test)