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    GAASTRA GAASTRA Phoenix

    Gaastra are calling it a revolution with the release of the Phoenix 21! This light wind kite is going to amaze with its performance and sure road holding. Gaastra have hit on a high performance formula for light wind with a new leading edge concept that goes some way to explaining its speed, its range, its power...

    Extras
    Manual, repair kit, double fitting high debit pump for the double valve leading edge (you can do them one at a time if you like), adjustable carry bag.
     

    images/reviews/phoenix01.jpg

     


    Manufacturer's recommendation
    Use with a 60cm control bar, 50cm for expert level riders, 30 metre lines in light wind, 27 metre in medium wind.

    Design - Finish
    5 inflatable battens as well as the leading edge tube which extends to form the tip battens. Gaastra's 'Fluid Drive' system. The leading edge contains two bladders opposite each other in the leading edge tube with 4 valves altogether for inflating / deflating. And there's a 'lock' attachment on the valve so you can pump two hands and two feet properly! There's a strap handle on each wing tip, these are your safety handles. The kite has three attachment adjustment options for the front lines and 2 for the rears. Beautifully reinforced, the shape and stitching of the whole sail is very detailed, notably in the centre of the sail, diamond shaped.

    Control bar
    Not supplied for the test.

    Design brief
    Designed as the most advanced kite on the market today, combining speed, power, control and an incredible wind range!

    Actioning the safety system
    Not able to test as the kite came with no control bar.

     

     

     

    images/reviews/phoenix02.jpg

     


    Re-launch
    Difficult, you have to swim hard towards the kite and then still have the correct technique. But it's a 21, what do you expect?

    Power
    Powerful enough but doesn't rip you to bits, progressive traction. Pulls hard in a good wind of course.

    Stability
    The Phoenix is very stable in the sky. We did get the occasional feeling that it flew over-flew us at the zenith but anyway it didn't luff! It's very stable when cruising and jumping too, no bucking.

    Handling - General comfort
    Very comfortable ride! Easy to get the feel of, steady handling. Quite fast and no great effort needed to make it pivot for getting into a jump. Seems to pivot gently with good pressure on the bar, then accelerates fast into the window again. Doesn't feel as big as it is in terms of manoeuvrability.

    Lift
    The jumps are both high and long and it's got great lift! Beware everyone else!

    Wind range
    Our heaviest tester managed to ride it up to about 18 knots but he was really ripping and getting massive air. Smaller riders were up and planing in 8 knots.

    Conclusion
    A 21, a real monster! But this one here is accessible and comfortable to fly and has top performance too. Nice and rigid and stable in flight, easy to steer, absorbs wind surges well (beware not to go out too over-powered, it is a 21 remember!) and lifts like a crane! It's got enough grunt for you to have fun in light wind and really send it in anything decent. You don't have the impression of such a big kite in your hands, it's easy and responsive enough to fly. Except when you realise you're planing in 7

     

     

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