At A Glance
The Skinny Boy from Blade is a new dedicated wave kite aimed at the rider looking for pure surf performance. It’s a 3-strut design with an emphasis on low-end power. A deep draft in the canopy profile achieves this, and wide wingtips are a nod to tuning speed and manoeuvrability. The build quality from Blade has been getting better and better over the years and these days the team really do a top-level job on the kite. One-pump is standard and there are numerous reinforcement areas to help the kite handle the inevitable beatings in the surf. Plenty of attention to detail can be seen when you look closely and lots of care and a keen eye has been put into the manufacturing process. A simple six point connection bridle uses pulleys on the front lines to ensure good laminar flow over the canopy regardless of the depower on the bar.
The UniBar was launched last year and is one of the best kite bars on the market right now. It features a quick release that is compact, neat and simple and, above all, very easy to release and reconnect. The trim for the kite is looked after by an above-the-bar cleat system. There is a swivel for the front lines and the set up uses high quality Teufelberger FL series lines. These lines have a much better stretch resistance without being any thicker than normal lines. At the heart of the bar is a solid billet of aluminium to ensure stiffness and this is wrapped in a special nylon shell to give the bar its shape, and finally wrapped in a soft EVA grip.
In The Air
As a wave rider at heart I always get excited when we receive wave kites to test. All-round kites are great in the waves, but when you get a dedicated tool for the job it really makes a difference. A few brands have dedicated wave kites these days so we were keen to see how the Skinny Boy stacked up. On the water the 8m certainly has plenty of low-end power; it sits a little further back in the window than a high-end freeride kite might. On the waves you can either set the kite to drift if it is cross offshore and gun it down the line, or you can engage the bar and make the most of the responsive handling. The drifting capabilities of the Skinny Boy are excellent, it hangs in the window and has good slack line ability to stay in the air. When you engage the turn in more cross onshore conditions the kite comes alive and delivers a smooth powerful turn. Depower is excellent too, when you push the bar out you can dump the power instantly to suit whatever is happening on the wave. Relaunch is good, the kite rolls over quickly and the few times we did drop it in the drink and it got washed it always came up smelling of roses.
A dedicated wave kite with impeccable handling and drift capabilities, it’s fun to ride and delivers plenty of feedback. Upwind is good too meaning you can quickly get back to the peak after riding down the line. Great build quality and an excellent bar add up to make this a definite wave kite to consider.
Not a kite for freeriders really, obviously as it’s a wave kite! Whilst some kites do have a crossover capability, the Skinny Boy is a dedicated tool for the job in hand.
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I loved the Skinny Boy and found myself reaching for it whenever the waves were pumping, I’ve not used much else in the surf of late, it’s certainly up there with the top wave kites we have tested and should be on your wish list if you are in the market for a new wave kite.
This review was in Issue 46 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Blade Kiteboarding
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By Rou ChaterRou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!