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Apr 3, 2010

Author: SBC Test Team / Shane Thompson

Size Tested: 10 m
Style: Four line SLE hybrid

Control Bar and Safety Sytems
The 2010 Griffin four line control has a smooth EVA grip with black and colour coding. The long trim line runs through a smooth rolling ronstan pulley and adjusts below the bar through a cleat adjustment centred on the new quick-release trim loop. The pull-down release is opposite of most push away trim releases and is located on one side of the molded top portion of the loop. The trim loop design ensures the trim loop is easy to hook in and out of for unhooked freestyle. The primary safety uses the long length of the trim line to depower the kite by pulling in both front steering lines. Emergency release handles also add safety and are located above the long foam floats. This bar does the job and is simple to set-up and has a smooth working cleat and trim system.

On the Water
The Griffin kite has always been a value leader with a congregation of devout followers interested in the highest performance-to-price ratio. This season the Griffin steps up the build quality with Tejin canopy cloth, reduced paneling and a dacron reinforced trailing edge. The bridles on the Griffin have been tweaked and leading edge optimized for less drag with good results. The 2010 Griffin has improved wind range, and some additional tunable performance of the kind commanded by a variety of skill levels. Compared to last year’s Griffin, the depower is accessible at arm’s length, the steering speed is faster and the kite has more direct steering with smoother control through gusts. The Griffin is a powerhouse for jumping and delivers good lift and solid drive with plenty of hang time. The kite also pulls smoothly off the front lines and sits well parked, which offers good feel and control for unhooked pop. A good All-Terrain Freeride kite, the Griffin is poised to appeal to the more advanced rider this year that likes to park his kite, boost some air and unhook. The steering speed of the Griffin isn’t as precision oriented as some might like, but this is overcome by some smooth power through transitions and has a combination of pivotal style turning with some power generation in the second half of the turn. The combination of good depower, and grunty pull make the Griffin a top choice for the value conscious progressive freerider.

Reality Check
The pull-down system of the release of the chicken loop is opposite of what most are used to so it takes some effort to switch the mindset.

Bottom Line
Great improvements from last year’s Griffin make this kite more suited to intermediate or advanced freeriders that want a versatile All-Terrain design with optimum value.


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