After 11 years, the Trigger remains Blade Kite’s solid all-around performer. Focusing on high performance kite only products, owner Yaron Barlev tells us about the evolution of this design as well as other changes he has made to Blade’s 2019 line.
BLADE LAUNCHED THE BRAND WITH THE TRIGGER KITE A DECADE AGO, WHICH HAS CONSISTENTLY RECEIVED GOOD REVIEWS FROM TKB’S ANNUAL FREERIDE GEAR TESTERS IN BAJA. FOR 2019, THE KITE RECEIVED A MAJOR REHAUL. WALK US THROUGH THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGES.
The Trigger has been a favorite over the years for a reason. It excels as a freeride kite but also meets the criteria for a go-to freestyle kite for all conditions or skill levels. The 11th Generation (11th Gen) Trigger got some fine-tuning adjustments that led to increased stability in lighter wind conditions and less bar pressure than previous generations. We also added a new wavy-shaped double ripstop layer on the trailing edge, similar to what we had put on the Skinny Boy. This new shape helps to evenly spread the force between single to double layers which results in less wear overall on the kite. We also replaced all the strut valve connections with the new Blade MAD 3 strut valves which will allow the kites to inflate and deflate with more efficiency.
THE FAT LADY, ONE OF THE FIRST LIGHT WIND-SPECIFIC KITES THAT DIDN’T PULL LIKE A ONE TON TRUCK AND HELPED MAKE LIGHT WIND RIDING MORE FUN THAN SIMPLY ‘MOWING THE LAWN,’ ALSO GOT UPDATED FOR 2019. WHAT WILL FAT LADY FANS NOTICE THE MOST ABOUT THE UPDATED MODEL?
The basic objective of the new 5th Gen Fat Lady over the 4th Gen was to create a kite with more power and a better direct feeling. We felt that over the years this kite had lost the great direct feeling we initially had with the first Fat Lady and it was mainly lost to gain extra power. The goal was to get that great direct feeling we used to have and at the same time have even more power. We used a profile shape that is not common with big kites but since we have a very small leading edge compared to the size of the kite, we were able to use a very aggressive profile that gives the kite a much crispier feel.
Because the Fat Lady is a 3-strut kite and this kite is so big, the distance between the struts is huge. The problem with this distance is that without extra struts to stabilize the kite it often translates to not being able to utilize 100% of the efficiency. To address this we used a similar wavy trailing edge technology that was used in the Trigger and as a result the construction is much more crisp, which translates to better efficiency.
WHEN IT COMES TO WAVE RIDING, THE SKINNY BOY QUICKLY ATTRACTED FANS. CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT WHAT DRAWS PEOPLE TO THIS KITE?
The Skinny Boy is in its 3rd generation now and has been around for over four years. We have always tried to really push it to the extreme in terms of providing all the features needed for a pure wave experience. While many wave kites out there are generally all-around kites with a few wave characteristics, this kite has been designed to be a 100% wave kite since day one. The huge depower throw, the quick handling, and endless drift make it an ideal ride for kitesurfers in any wave condition.
These characteristics are also the reason why the Skinny Boy has been chosen to be one of the better hydrofoiling kites out there. The combination of drift and huge depower throw makes hydrofoiling super easy. Make sure you notice the Skinny Boy Double Connection option which gives the rider the ability to decide between the all-around wave and the ultimate wave. The ‘all-around wave’ setting is considered a more laidback setting for average wave, freeride or hydrofoil sessions, while ‘the ultimate wave’ setting is a hardcore setting that sacrifices just a bit of the handling in favor of mesmerizing drift and depower features.
LAST YEAR WE SAW A NEW BAR FROM BLADE. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE 3RD GEN UNIBAR?
Our latest 3rd generation Unibar is designed with many features. The bar is super light with the weight of only 318 grams which gives it a very direct and easy bar feel. Another feature is the Line De-Twister which automatically straightens the front lines after any rotation through a simple downward pull on the bar. The swivel is below the bar and is part of the QR system. The bar’s ergonomics has a double grip layer to provide a softer feel, which is especially effective during longer sessions. The Uni cleat has a magnet in it so the depower strap is always neatly attached and does not wrap around the lines. All bars come with 19m lines with 4m extensions which means riders can choose a 19m setup or 23m setup depending on individual preference or discipline.
BLADE IS DEDICATED TO DESIGNING AND PRODUCTING KITES ONLY. ARE THERE ANY PLANS TO ADD BOARDS TO THE LINE?
We get asked this all the time. Our primary focus is kite design. We have had some great boards in the past, and may continue to create some new shapes down the road, but right now our focus is in new kite innovations.