Designer’s Corner: Globe Sonic 2010
Originally Published in the December 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine
Name: Mat Pendle
Location: Le Morne, Mauritius
Job Title: GlobeKites Designer and Owner
Designing: 13 years
Kiteboarding: 13 Years
Product name: VSonic 2010
Product category: SLE
Sizes available: 6, 8, 11, 14, and 17m
Release date: November 2009
For the 2010 Vsonic, designer Mat Pendle almost totally eliminated the kite’s V shape. The new GKVDelta shape is more like a high aspect ratio delta, closer to the original ‘06 Sonic and faster then the ‘09 Vsonic, as the central profile is shorter. By adjusting the A-KPO bridle to F4/F5, riders will have the same performance and feeling as the original Sonic ‘06, but will be able to use the A-KPO bridle for more bar pressure and reactivity. Mat said the Vsonic 2010 is for sure is a mix of the most efficient parts of design from the GKSonic history, combined in one kite. GK is offering two kite models for 2010.
Why would a rider prefer the VSonic over the Trix?
The Vsonic and Trix have two different programs. The new Vsonic has a higher aspect ratio; it will build more power when the kite gains speed. It is also perfect for cruising fast, going upwind, and going for big jumps. The power is huge as soon as the kite accelerates.The Trix is perfect in the waves and freestyle without having too much power when the kite flies across the window. The upwind performance is still very good, but you cruise with less speed, and feel safer to try out new stuff.
What was your biggest challenge in developing this product?
Probably after getting the profile right, as we do not have the option to change it once the kite is built, is then to get the bridle right. I have always wanted to have the bridle as minimal as possible, giving the maximum options possible to riders so they can adjust their kites to how they want them to feel. I absolutely hate having huge bridles hanging everywhere under the kite. If you could choose one standout performance or new construction feature to highlight, what would it be? The Vsonic construction and performance is built according to years of experience. Today, each part of the kite, the sewing method, the reinforcements, the bridle, the bladders have gone through a long process, and have been proved to be absolutely reliable.
What are some of the other key product features and performance characteristics?
The key features are to make the kite and the bar as easy to use and reliable as possible, I just want GK riders to feel comfortable, safe and have fun when they are on the water.
Did the control bar change?
In 2010 I will keep going with the bar used in 2009. I got a lot of positive feedback and the push-up quick release, based on an improved pin system, is very safe as no stainless steel pin will fly out when you release, and it is very fast to reengage. The depower strap and line are very simple. Without undoing any knots, you can change the distance of the depower strap to the bar in a few seconds. The stopper ball is also super light and easy to use.
What is your warranty policy on this product?
We will cover all manufacturing defects. I follow up personally as claims are getting low, and quality is higher every year. All GK riders should sign up to globespirit.com, our community website, where they can contact other GK riders for help and contact me and the globe spirit staff directly.
What do you think differentiates this product from what else is available in the marketplace?
When I am in China building the kite, I do not compromise; I just use the best options there are to build the strongest and most reliable kite possible. This is not always what I see in the marketplace, looks like for most it is better to put money in the marketing rather then in product.
TESTED: Mario Verloppe, GK Team Rider
I have tried the 2010 Vsonic 8m here in Mauritius with 15 to 25 knots of gusty wind. I am used to the 2009 Vsonic 8m. I also use it in our school. The first difference I felt was the kite was faster and more rigid when landing on the edge of the window. The original low bar pressure was kept and the kite turns good with a lot of power — even in the gusty wind I felt very comfortable. Unhooked performance is good, mainly in the medium wind range. In the high wind range, the power is huge. You really feel the high performance for upwind and jumping. The bar is very simple to use with a straightforward depower strap, stopper ball and a simple QR that is very easy and fast to reengage. I also use the 9m Trix. The program is different; I would say the Vsonic is for fast twin tip riding, big jumps and radical freestyle, while the Trix is better suited for waves, cruising, and easy freestyle.