If you're the type of rider that likes to strap into the pilot seat and rip through active, dynamic sessions with a powerful style, the Trigger Type 107 is designed for you. Geared specifically for playing hard in all conditions with lively performance characteristics, the Trigger is all about active control and usable power. The handling is very dynamic, yet provides exceptional stability as a result of sharp refinement to the highly-efficient LE shape and bridle. Steering is noticeably crisp and direct and, like all Blade kites, the Trigger is designed to fly fast through the window. You'll feel connected to the Trigger at all times and the depower is direct, providing access to a solid top-end that is extended this year by 3 – 4 knots. The low-end continues to be excellent, performing when most kites are laid out on the beach. Further development in the wing-tip shape delivers predictable turns with impressive speed, generating smooth power through the low-centred centre-axis pivot turns. The Trigger's solid pop will get you up in the air with a clear sense of purpose.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Let's start at the bar: there's nothing revolutionary, we've seen all the elements before, but that's because they work. The pull-pull trimming straps operate cleanly and smoothly above the bar with a big loop on the power-up strap and a red webbing tab on the depower strap. There's a good stopper that is within easy reach and the kite depowers well, not 100% (retaining power so it sits above your head nicely all the time), but the throw isn't so big that it leaves you with a bent back when fully sheeted out. The bar itself is comfortable – not the most grippy – but nice and smooth and the chicken-loop has a self righting system for hooking back in. The push-away release works well, and our only comment on that is it's quite a rigid, hollow-sounding plastic piece and probably not the most robust, but unless you're driving over it or dropping it on concrete, should last well and it's easy to reassemble on the water. The build-construction on the kite is good, nothing extreme, but solid and the one pump system is fairly narrow, but works well and has exposed little plastic clips.
Again, perfectly adequate and there's nothing unnecessary cluttering things up. We love these three strut design kites; they all seem so user-friendly and easy-to-use. This Trigger is no different. When you first put it up (we set the kite up on the knots closest to the kite on the back lines) you feel immediately involved with the kite. The bar's sweet spot seems to be just beyond the mid point on the bar throw, so you have a comfortable arm position (you're not riding with bent arms with the bar pulled down to the chicken-loop all the time) and can therefore pull in for more power and still sheet out for depower. This gives the kite a great feeling for boosting. Get the kite in the sweet spot above your head and pull down and you get a lovely springy feeling to your boost that seems to hold you up there for a good few more seconds than you might expect. There is a slight softness on the handling, but only very, very slight, and the handling is direct enough that you can pilot yourself back down nicely.
The loop is also very tunable – pull hard and pivot it or more gently and send it on a wider arc for more punch in the pull. What was really surprising though was how little trimming was needed for unhooking on the kite. The sweet spot on the bar means that the bar still had a bit of distance left to travel to the chicken-loop to unhook, but when you did pull down, the kite doesn't way oversheet and drop back. Sure you have to trim it down a little bit, but when you do, you can ride around very comfortably unhooked, picking your point to trick. It's not a powerhouse unhooked, but for raleys, S-bends and the like, it's very easy to get used to and knock out most tricks.
Overall we loved the comfortable riding position on this kite. You really do feel connected with it and it absolutely tanks upwind when ridden with the bar at it's regular sweet spot. We had the 10m out in the standard 18 – 20 knot ten metre weather, but also got a nice little 14 – 16 knot session in up the Garden Route east coast in Knysna and were perfectly powered when riders on twelves were starting to call it a day. Agile, fast and with good steering, this is a super-fun kite with a very simple one line pull relaunch to get you back up and riding in no time. We really are big fans of this three strut all-round, simple kite design for most riders. A lot of people seem to overlook brands like Blade because they're not in the famous five, but these guys have been producing excellent kite fliers' kites for some time now and deserve more than a quick read of this review.
The surprising pop you get on this from very little kite movement above your head. You feel like you've got springs in your shoes.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
The bar is very comfortable, but we'd add a little more grip for more aggressive manoeuvres.
SIZES: 10, 9, 7, 5 and 3m
This test is in issue #50