Mar 18, 2011
Author: Shane Thompson / SBC Kiteboard Test Team
• Good low-end power and direct steering control and input
• Aggressive boosty lifts even in light winds
• Improved depower levels
The Griffin Chimera is the new all terrain sportster of the expanding griffin kite line. Since 2002 the original Griffin has inspired riders to hit the water with gear that offered great value and performance. The Chimera sets the bar at a new level of performance for beginners and pros alike.
Control Bar and Safety Systems
The Griffin bar shows some improvements from previous years with a below-the-bar trim system with the clam cleat trim adjustment centered at the trim loop. The push away quick-release features a metal pin-in-sheath style that is reliable and re-loadable with two hands. Secondary safety with flagging safety on both bar ends complements the primary safety that flags a single front steering line. The aggressively smooth and tapered grip has no texture or finger molds and is soft to the touch for those with more delicate, weekend warrior hands. Not flashy or over-the-top slick, but marked improvements in quality and construction, give the Griffin bar top marks of safety and performance.
The Griffin Chimera 10.5 had great low-end power for its size and test riders appreciated the direct feel and control of this kite. It did everything that you wanted it to with good levels of reliability and consistency. The steering and feedback is very direct with no pulleys to relay steering or power control through. The flat canopy shape combines nicely with compact, pulley-free bridles and gives the Chimera good amounts of low-end power, direct steering, instant and aggressive boost character. The Chimera has a ton of hangtime and glide to it during powered-up boosts. This kite is also no slouch in the depower category, making it a capable wave companion. It has easy water relaunch with single steering line pull. Good upper-end wind range and lower-end make this an ideal travel companion if you’re cramped for space. On the wave, the Chimera can get you where you need to be. It’s not as smooth as the likes of the Nomad or Havoc but it has a more crisp and direct feel that will appeal to advanced riders. Packed with value and performance, the Chimera can handle waves to freestyle boosting without compromising the fundamentals.
The depower is not as clean or instant and while the kite is totally depowered it lacks some control and refinement, which is perhaps the trade off of no pulleys.
Griffin continues to produce kites that deliver reliability and performance that provide unrivaled value for the weekend warrior and the progressing rider. Its direct steering, good-boosting capability and full capacity wind range make it a suitable choice for freestyle and wave enthusiasts alike.