Jan 11, 2007
Author: by SBC Kiteboard Test Team
The Monkey Griffin is an SLE design with just enough wing sweep to place it close to the bows. The Griffin’s bar can be set up in a 2:1 pulley bow-style mode or in a more direct-feeling 1:1 configuration. Monkey was one of the first brands to drop the use of the centre strut to help the kite breathe and flex.
With eight struts to inflate, we’re glad the Griffin utilizes reliable flapper valves. Setting up the four-line 2:1 pulley bar is quick and straightforward, but extra time is required to double-check connections because of the lack of colour-coded, kook-proof line connectors. Converting from 2:1 to the 1:1 setting takes just a couple of minutes on the beach.
The Griffin’s feel immediately appeals to bow aficionados. The Griffin has stable handling, and the 2:1 pulley bar provides the ability to achieve a large range of sheeting and aggressive turning with a short amount of bar travel. In the 2:1 setup, the Griffin has better overall wind range but with more bar pressure in the lightest conditions. For light winds, the 1:1 setup is preferable because it allows way less bar pressure. A special sliding stopper is provided to give riders a break or to perform grabs and spin the bar back. Relaunch is much easier than with the previously tested C-style Monkey Tribe and on a par with the other SLEs tested.
The 2:1 bar and below-the-bar depower cleat give the Griffin a big wind range. A nice, oversized quick release is positioned on the chicken loop for emergency exits and is easy to operate. Because of the 2:1 bar, no leash options or grab handles are available on the rear flying lines.
With convertible 2:1 or 1:1 performance, solid bow-style handling and huge wind range, the Griffin is a great value for riders looking to maximize their kiteboarding dollar.