At a Glance
We have been getting more and more impressed with Blade Kites as the years have gone by, the build quality and finish rivals some of the top brands and the kites themselves are always exciting designs. The last time we saw a Vertigo it was a strange 5th line with bridle affair that to be honest we weren’t really fans of. The 2010 Vertigo is a different beast altogether though. A three strut flat delta design the kite has a noticeably wider arc than last year. The bridle is short and simple and has a direct connection to the rear of the kite. Three struts make the kite really light and the wing tips have changed slightly as well. The kite is pitched at the wave and freeride market boasting great turning ability and on off depower in an instant to enhance your wave riding.
The bar is a clean functional design that drew a few positive comments on the beach. The grip is 3D moulded and extremely comfy to hold. There are O’Shit handles for added safety and a stopper ball should you wish to use them. The trim strap is made up of a pull-pull webbing affair, which is situated above the bar, whilst the chicken loop is very impressive too, an update to last years swivel and ropes to ensure maximum durability. The entire system also swivels so you are able to untwist your lines if you choose to spin one way with your rotations.
In the Air
The Vertigo has a very light bar pressure, and you’ll notice this instantly when you launch it. It isn’t so light that you have no feedback but riders who are used to a heavier feel may find it takes a little getting used to. Round the window the kite flies with speed and purpose. Crank on the small bar and the kite will be pivoting round its axis on demand. The Vertigo is also very stable and deliberate in it’s steering. This isn’t a kite that will go wandering off line without rider input. Instead it sits there well behaved waiting to be given feedback from the rider before it does anything untoward. In the waves this is a great characteristic when you want the kite to drift down the line and allow the rider to take on the wave using minimal kite input. The kite is also happy to drift back and not stall, another quality that lends it self to more surf orientated riding. Get it into freeride mode and it is sure to put a smile on your face. The Vertigo jumps well and delivers a solid pull off the water when you send it back through the window. Just be sure to redirect it, with the light bar pressure it is easy to get out of time and end up swinging under the kite. Once you are used to the light pressure though this ceases to become an issue. The small diameter canopy profile penetrates the window well which enables you to quickly get back upwind after smacking a few lips.
Great for wave hungry riders looking for a well-behaved kite that has good drift characteristics and will allow you to surf the wave.
Some riders won’t enjoy the light bar pressure, others will love it.
More than just a wave kite the Vertigo offers simple stable flying and real plug and play kiting. 3 struts means you’ll be on the water faster than most too!
This review was in Issue 21 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Blade Kiteboarding
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!