Mar 18, 2011
Author: SBC Kiteboard Test Team
Ranked as most versatile kite of the SBC Kiteboard head-to-head surf tests. (Issue 12.1)
• Adjustable steering speed and bar pressure for different disciplines
• Large span performance that suits a variety of skill levels and kite disciplines
• Built surf and beginner tough
The GK Trix is the do-it-all wave and freestyle kite of the line and continues in 2011 to offer optimum and long-lasting performance for a wide range of skill levels and kite disciplines. The key feature of the Trix is its highly tunable AKPO bridle system, which allows each rider to give the kite a custom feel for bar pressure and turning speed by quickly changing the bridle’s leading edge attachment points.
Control Bar and Safety Systems
The GK Click-n-Go bar has some good safety features and intelligently engineered parts. The bar grip is smooth with some nice finger molds and taper. The highly mechanical push-away trim loop releases easily under load and reassembles with less hassle than many of the pin-in-sheath style trim loops. It can even be done one-handed with some practice. The safety system uses a two metre mini fifth-line that flags off both centre lines at the swivel. There is also the option to connect to one front line, which increases safety and is ideal for beginners or schools. There’s also added secondary safety with full flagging handles on both steering lines. This is an ideal feature to have when the shorter primary safety is used to flag from both front lines. The above-the-bar trim straps are colour-coded and smoothly adjust the kite’s power while providing a visual cue as to how much depower is engaged. The length of the throw can also be adjusted by moving the whole system closer to the bar with the circle depower line. The solid functionality and industry exclusive design features put the 2011 GK bar near the top of the leaderboard.
Once you have the GK Trix inflated it’s clear that this kite is built to withstand the abuse dished out by beginner mishaps or advanced-rider punishment. The Dacron framing, extra seam stitching and heavy-duty scuff pads give you confidence that the Trix can handle the abuse of the pounding surf. On the water the TRIX has a chameleon-like changeability that makes it suitable for multiple disciplines and skill levels.
With the AKPO bridles set closer to the outside of the kite, the GK has less bar pressure and slower turning speed that outfit it for some park riding sessions and unhooked freestyle. The Trix has excellent stability with no back stalling or reverse flying tendencies, even when the bar is sheeted. In the surf, the GK has reliable and smooth performance. The solid frame handles gusts well and the kite is well balanced with good drift capability to help link turns down the line. It has constant power through its fast pivotal turns and gives smooth pull for Kite Loops and freestyle. In the fastest turning mode, the GK Trix has smooth, quick pivotal turning, with more bar pressure that gives ideal positional feedback for wave riding. With faster pivotal turns, the Trix holds its own in the waves and dishes off good amounts of pull when depower is needed. It has aggressive pop and good access to good jumps with more controlled float and less glide than some of the flatter shaped bridled designs.
It takes some time to understand where to set the kite for different feel and performance. The heavy-duty build and freestyle-oriented performance take away from low-end power and some and upwind performance.
The GK Trix has evolved to be one of the most versatile all-terrain kites available today and it might be the only kite on the market that can last and perform from the learning the basics right through to advanced level wave riding.