The GP from Best will take you back to the future, back to when all that mattered was raw performance and nailing every new trick you tried. The Reflex leading edge design (Patent Pending), unique to the GP, works just like suspension for your kite; giving the best unhooked feel you've ever ridden, especially in the turns, and helps to soak up every gust. The Reflex LE design also gives the GP an extended canopy lift area giving you more lift for jumping and effortless drive for staying upwind in the competition zone. The GP's Twin Tune feature gives you multiple front and rear attachment point options so you can dial in more pop, better upwind ability and more responsive handling for competition heats or detune your GP for practicing your latest tricks, switching between new school and wake-style in seconds.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
You may have realised that we tested the Best GP earlier in the year, but we were relishing the opportunity of trying it for much longer out here in Cape Town's challenging conditions. Best build high-quality kites and the GP is no exception. Well built and good looking, one of the first things you notice when you pump the kite up is how true it is to C kite roots. Not just the profile of the canopy, but the depth is very mid-aspect; it's deep and stocky. The shape is really pronounced, broad and deep, not just in the middle of the canopy, but extending down to the tips as well. It's definitely a pit bull of a kite.
The bar is very comfy with big, chunky bar ends that make winding your lines up easy to keep them neat and tidy. The chicken-loop is a fantastic size, it's just perfect. We don't know why all chicken-loops aren't this size. The chicken finger keeps you hooked in if you want to be and makes no difference for the beginner or expert. Lots of bonus points for that. Safety activation is a push away collar which is really easy to reset. Again, there's the option of riding with dual suicide and safety at the same time. There's a self-keying system for the chicken-loop when unhooked, although this doesn't stop the chicken-loop from swivelling. The depower throw is a sensible length but there's no stopper limiting it. The trimming system is a very easy pull-pull set-up and there's a nice velcro loop to stop the trimming strap from flapping about, although when fully depowered it ends up sitting on top of the bar. It's not restricting or annoying, it's just not perfection. All in all we always enjoy using the Best bar; it's comfortable, easy, reliable and uncomplicated.
The bar pressure is quite heavy and firm, but that very firm feel at the bar just lends itself to unhooking so well. A seven metre is always going to be a fast kite, but the GP doesn't wander off around the window when you're doing a trick. It's rock solid and steady in the sky. You put the kite somewhere and it stays there, requiring more than a slight input to get it to move, which is nice in a small freestyle kite. It's rigid and solid in the sky and doesn't get knocked about in the gusts. The very rigid canopy gives you the impression that nothing is going to bother it and the air frame is so strong that it stays on the flight path you want it to be on, depowered or flying forwards. When kites drop back and misbehave it really affects your ride. There's none of that with the GP and is the difference with C kites of old. We could have thrown another 20 knots at it and it would still have retained its posture. The depth of canopy also helps it relaunch as there's more leverage on the trailing edge, so most of the time we didn't even need to touch the fifth line, it just popped back up.
There's nothing pivotal about the GP, so to initiate the turn it needs a certain amount of input. The turns are very C kite ? very drawn out and powered. It's got a huge amount of beans under the bonnet and you can almost hear it snarling in the sky. The GP holds a huge amount of power and generates among the most power through the turn of any kite in this review. Good lift and float too and it also has that great, constant feel at the bar. For some it will feel a bit heavy, but then those people probably shouldn't be looking at a C kite. Unhooked it just pulls and pulls all day long and its standout features are that it's just so rock-solid and stable. There's lots of power delivered at the bar but there's also lots of depower on demand so you can be comfortable in challenging conditions. The GP has fantastic low end torque but you can still give yourself a breather rather than having to just use your board's edge to depower the kite.
Incredibly direct, the power delivery on the GP is very precise - it's a true C kite, nodding to C kites of old but now with all the aspects of a modern kite and is quite tunable too. A very physical kite to fly, but that's what C kites are all about and the GP is very involving and exciting. Kite loops are supremely exciting and the GP is just very content unhooked, making it very easy to set-up for tricks and behaves itself impeccably throughout, being right where you want on landing. It's a seriously cracking kite at the manly end of the C kite spectrum.
A very reliable and controllable freestyle kite even in the seven metre size. Oodles of grunt, very powerful loops and very balanced unhooked performance.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
The GP will be too much for some people to handle. It's a machine.
13, 11, 9, 7 and 6m
Best GP 7m (2012)
Kitesurfing Test - Boards 2013
Kitesurfing Test - Kites 2013
Kitesurfing travel directory