Home Gear Blade Prime 9m (2011)

Blade Prime 9m (2011)

THE HYPE:
Advanced riders pushing their physical and mental ability, laying down movement with pristine, technical precision ? the Prime Type 152 is designed for you. If you aim for your personal best every time the wind blows and define your presence on the water as harder, better, faster, stronger, the Prime is your ideal platform for exponential progression. No compromises, the Prime is about delivering high-end technical performance. Fast through the window and very direct, you can put the Prime exactly where you want it, when you want it. The wing-tip axis turns are very quick and generate steady power, the newly developed tip shape contributes to the Prime's smooth power delivery, both hooked and unhooked. Up in the air it's a wide-open playground with huge pop and scalable hang-time at your command.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Performance-wise, this kite is right up there with the best models of the year. Surprised to hear that from a relatively small company like Blade? All the hard work that Yaron and his team have put in over the years, slowly and quietly making really flyable and engaging kites, has paid off and the Prime is an exceptional, modern kitesurfing tool. First of all it's a great looking shape, and the definition of a hybrid / C shape. Flying through the air with good speed, it gets to the front of the window quickly, but not so far that it wants to fly out of it. It's pitched at a lovely position to tow you upwind like a train, but also so that it can drop back a touch when you need it to. The bar issoft and comfortable and very clearly marked green and red for port and starboard.
The steering is light and extremely responsive and the Prime requires very little energy on your part to fly. The chicken-loop is average size and fine for hooking in and out of and has a plastic pushaway quick-release system. Not the most robust, but it has no issues. The kite itself has a very powerful air frame and has virtually no distortion in the canopy when it's up in the sky and being turned aggressively. Great looking, the design and shape of the kite is quite aggressive with the handling agile, quick and with a lot of energy. It's like it's had a Red Bull before the session and gone, 'Woo hoo! Let's go kitesurfing!'; exactly what you'd expect from a performance C kite. Although it is very quick, what is really nice is that you can retain a good element of control through the turns.
The turning is pivotal for a C kite, but there's nothing unruly about it and it doesn't run away with itself. Turning more like a seven than a nine, when you come out of a trick and the kite is in the wrong position, it will down loop in an instant to where you want it to be. Loads of fun to fly, there are no hidden issues. A solid performer that's stable and quick, but not twitchy as some kites this fast can be. Importantly for a freestyle kite with performance ambitions as the Prime has, it is great off the hook. There's a nice, direct feel and loads of pop. It's also got good lift for hang-time. Blade have always made incredible boosting kites with good handling, but what they've managed to do is develop an extra dimension to their kite's personality, opening it up to riders with varied tastes in performance characteristics. Good intermediates and above will have a lot of fun on this kite.
SUMMARY:
A really well-made high-performance freestyle kite that easily matches the performance and handling of the models from big name brands. This kite should definitely be considered alongside those. If you want a reactive kite, with great jumps and fast flight and turning speeds, then this is the definition of that type of all-round performance machine.
KW LIKED:
High-energy performance and exciting handling.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
The strap trimming system has clearly been proved over the years to work well and, although we like the system being where it is, above the bar, it is a bit on the dated side now. We'd like to see a nicely tweaked and clean system, finishing off an otherwise fantastic product.

SIZES:
13, 11, 9 and 7m
www.bladekites.com

kw_51


This test is inissue #51


blade prime
blade prime
blade prime

Added: 2011-04-27

Category: Gear

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