The fifth generation Trigger went through a bold reconstruction of the profile shape, which positions the kite to sit further towards the edge of the window, causing more vertical pop, a significant increase in hang-time and much better upwind performance. Still maintaining its reputation of ridiculously quick turning speed and powerful delivery, the Trigger gives an edge to riders who want to go all out on the water. Don't expect a park and ride kite. The Trigger would be insulted if used in such ways. The high-performance characteristics let you position this kite exactly where and when you want it. There is also a setting on the front bridle connection on the kite to be moved into an 'advanced wave setting'.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Blade are now producing some nice looking gear. The kites look good in the sky, they've obviously put a lot of work into their new bar and the riding team is expanding. It seems like a lot of the hard work they've put in as a company at the grass roots level in Israel is starting to pay off and people have been enjoying their fun kites all round the world. So what for 2013?
Nothing much has changed in the build quality of the kite. It's still quite well put together, although on the lighter side perhaps, there's also a neat one pump system with fairly thin tubes. It's all neat and tidy and perfectly up to the job. We featured the Uni bar last issue and the story of its two years in development. A big step forward from their previous bar, the Unibar looks lovely, clean and very good in yellow and black. The rubber grip is very grippy, but isn't as soft on the water as you first think and some people may prefer something a little softer. We are fans of the above-the-bar cleat system and this is quite a good example of it. The chicken-loop keys in nicely and isn't a bad size. The release works well but does require a bit of force to eject, so make sure you practice that and there are two bits at the top of the collar on the chicken-loop that are angled out and these can catch on your fingers when you've got your hands butted right up to the chicken-loop as a lot of unhookers like to ride.
We tried this Trigger nine metre in a range of conditions, from very light winds when barely anyone else could get going on a ten, to around the 28 ? 30 knot mark. We tried it on both the advanced wave and the normal setting.
What we've always enjoyed about Blade kites is how much fun they are on the water and one of the strongest points about this kite is its bottom end. It's very strong and we were up and riding and having fun when most other people on nines and tens were struggling. It really is strong in the lighter winds, and you're not just limited to mowing the lawn as it doesn't need much wind to start throwing some nice, lofty, floaty jumps. As the wind increases the Trigger really does become a beast in the air. In the lighter winds from around 15 - 20 knots were when we found it at its most comfortable, really well behaved and cruisy for practicing rotations with some kite loops thrown in as it does like to keep you up and off the water nicely.
There is a lot of projected area in the shape, so it shows a lot of itself to the wind and yet also has quite small wing-tips. So in these conditions it packed a lot of power and was light at the bar, but on the advanced wave setting as the wind picked up we found we quite quickly reached the kite's top end. The wing-tips didn't seem to be able to hold the forces and the air pressure seemed to move from front to back. Switching the kite back to normal mode opened up the leading edge and the Trigger regained a much more solid air frame. We have used the Trigger in the smaller seven and five metre sizes a lot last year and the advanced wave setting worked well on those sizes, making them really fun, throw-around wave kites, so much so that KW editor Jim got a five metre for himself.
In its regular setting on the front bridle this nine is really well balanced and has excellent freeride qualities. It spins and downloops nicely for carving around and sheeting out at the bar as you carve means you don't get pulled all over the place. Jumping is loads of fun. Send it over your head, pull down and you really do shoot up high. The bar sits at its optimum about halfway up the range, so there's always plenty of power and depower on demand. The Trigger is a fast, light and nimble kite, so when you get it right it will go really high. It kind of has that slightly older feeling of raw power in its jumps, nothing is dumbed down, which makes it really exciting and it's very easy to start making progress with things like transitions just because it creates so much lift in your harness around the top of the window and has a lot of juice at the bar. It does take some piloting down when you've really nailed your take-off, but it's a lot of fun in the sky. There is no doubting the upwind ability on this kite and in 15 ? 20 knots with plenty of trimming it's also a fun kite to unhook on and, as long as you're not too over-powered you can pretty much do what you like. We hope to get our hands on a smaller size to try in the waves as it was very good last year.
This kite is great in lighter winds but tends to become a bit of a handful at the top end of its wind range. Most people wouldn't need much bigger than a nine metre and you could pretty quickly be down on your seven metre. If you're looking for a kite with plenty of poke and to spend as much time over the water as on it, the Trigger is a lot of fun.
Superb light wind performance and being a fast nine metre then you're not just left mowing the lawn. There's lots of performance in this under 20 knots.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
The power delivery will be a bit much for some used to that ultra-modern soft-as-silk freeride kite, but this doesn't seem to be designed for fairies. Having said that, fairies like us would probably increase its top end a bit.
SIZES: 14, 12, 10, 9, 7 and 5m
KITE BALANCE POINTS
Build quality ? 6
Full package - 6
Low end ? 8
Top end ? 5
Steering speed ? 6
Turning circle ? 4
Bar pressure - 5
Water relaunch ? 6
Jumping / hang-time ? 7.5
Unhooked ? 6
Easy of use ? 6
For more product images, head to: www.bladekites.com