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Comparison 9m GK Trix and 9m Switch Method

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Re: Comparison 9m GK Trix and 9m Switch Method

Postby Tightlines » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:42 am

Sounds like a pretty fair review zigzag,
I read it a few days ago and was going to reply in respect to a few of the negative points you had noted but have only just got around to it now and others have pretty much covered what I was going to say.

Most of your negatives basically sound like you are using too big a kite for the conditions

"over reacts"
"gets overpowered easily"
"I like a kite that depowers when I turn on a wave the Method doesn't do this"
"Under these conditions, the Method pulls the board off its edge"
"The depower line has a tendency to wind itself around the centre line while kiting, meaning that you have to spend a few seconds unravelling it before you can make an on-the-fly adjustment".

All of these issues would be resolved if you were on the 7 in the same conditions.

Maybe they are a bit of a handful when very overpowered but I find that I generally use a kite a couple of metres smaller than everyone else for the conditions and have no problems getting upwind or going as fast as everyone else.
I hardly every touch the depower, I just ride them fully powered almost all of the time and make adjustments for different wind strengths by the way I fly the kite i.e. when turning if overpowered just sheet out a bit and bring the kite around a bit slower/higher than normal.
I will say that I do have a full quiver of Methods 5,7,9 and 12 so always have the right size for conditions.
I love the way that they keep the power on through a turn but if you are overpowered or not used to flying the method I can see how it could shoots across the window and pull you off the board.

"On the Method, the leading edge distorts when sheeting out while flying through the wind window in strong gusts."

With the right size kite pumped up reasonably hard I never have this problem.
Once or twice it has happened and I simply land the kite and pump it up a bit more and it's all good again.

"The kite does not sit flat when sanded on the beach. The centre strut sticks up like a weather vane, and the wind causes the trailing edge to flutter excessively. The Trix is very flat when sanded, and there is hardly any flutter"

I don't spend much time with my kite sitting on the beach but one of the things that I like about the Method compared to a lot of other kites is how well it sits on the beach without any sand on it.
I use a surfboard 95% of the time so if anything I just lay that across the canopy on one side of the centre strut with the fins hanging over the leading edge and find that it doesn't flutter much.

As I said a good review I just wanted to point out that when you get used to the way a kite behaves (e.g. that you can drop to a smaller size) some of the negatives actually become positives.

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Re: Comparison 9m GK Trix and 9m Switch Method

Postby ZigZag » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:43 am

Thank you both for responding. I was wondering when I would get constructive criticism from the Switch camp! Both of your analyses were very perceptive.

The mistake I made the first few times I used the Method, was to use it as a direct substitute for my 9m Trix, in the same wind range. I now know that this is wrong. I would take out the Trix when it was blowing 18 - 20 knots on the beach. The wind beyond back line would be a few knots stronger, maybe 22 - 24 knots. This is too much wind for the 9m Method.

For the past two days I used the Method when there was 14 - 16 knots on the beach. Under these conditions, you need to fly the kite a bit in the mid break section to generate power, but once beyond back line there is enough wind to go upwind again. And when I go downwind on a wave, the relentless bar pressure dissipates, and it actually becomes quite pleasant!

I think the Method was designed with Felix Pivec in mind. The Method suits his skills and his local beach. (He says "I'm very fortunate to have great down the line conditions where I live"). I have put together a mental checklist of the conditions that need to be satisfied for me to have a good time on the Method at my local break.

Wind: Steady 14 - 16 knots
Tide: Preferably high tide, with waves breaking in deep water.
Waves: Head high and crumbling.
Wave period: At least 10 seconds
Smooth water in mid-break area
Upwind current.

We have conditions like this about 1 day in 10 days of kiteboarding weather. So the Method is going to last me a long time!

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Re: Comparison 9m GK Trix and 9m Switch Method

Postby naishdude » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:52 am

Hi Zig Zag,

Let me first tell you that I am a switch team/PR rider.

I recognised your critics immediatly as some of us had the same problems in the beginning..
I was flying C4 before I went on Swictch, one day a friend of me gave me the 7M method, but I was flying a 9m C4 he must have seen my worried face..but just unhooked and gave it to me...

I was surprised of the power of the 7m compared to the 9m I had to fly, I have 79kg and he is around 70kg..
My experience is, with my weight and always on my old 6'1 waveboard, I fly 2 numbers smaller than I would have with the C4's I have owned.
I have the 9M 7M 5M and the 9m gets me going in 12 knots
I think it is a matter of time and adapting to totally new kites to what you were used too, I had the same problems in gusts etc...but you will get used to it, and finally enjoy it.
Barpressure, I found out that if you pull your bar till you feel the resistance, that is far enough, you have reached the sweetspot of the kite, with me that is lets say, holding the bar15 to 20cm from the QR...
Anyways I do hope you will in time enjoy your kite ,as I do, I like to fly as small as possible.
Good Luck !
I have SWITCHed...u2?

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Re: Comparison 9m GK Trix and 9m Switch Method

Postby Tightlines » Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:35 pm


Whilst prefect down the line conditions are alway great I can assure you you don't need them to have fun on the Method, direct onshore is often very challenging to kite in but this is one area that I think the Method handles very well.

Whenever I have changed brands it takes me a while to dial in the new kite and the Method is no different, when you get used to feeling for the sweet spot and flying the kite to suit the conditions you will find you can get out in a lot wider range of conditions than you might think.

I have had the kites for nearly a year now and I know I can now extract a lot more performance and range out of them than at first. I recently bought a go pro and it is interesting reviewing footage and seeing the subtle little things you do (sheeting in and out and positioning the kite etc) with out even thinking about it at the time.

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Re: Comparison 9m GK Trix and 9m Switch Method

Postby kitehi » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:21 am

I've be riding 9 & 7m Methods for couple months now, as LC813 said for those that like to "push it" they are a dream. At 85kg + surfboard ,I just recevied my 5m :thumb:

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Re: Comparison 9m GK Trix and 9m Switch Method

Postby L0KI » Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:29 am

ZigZag wrote:Other kiters on this forum have also noticed the buckling of the leading edge. On my Method, it happens when the back lines are momentarily slack for any reason. I think the kite tips forward and loses its positive angle of attack. The wind now pushes the top of the canopy, causing the LE to distort.
At the top end of the windrange, I have to pull so much depower, that the angle of attack is very shallow. The kite is that much closer to where the air wants to push on the top of the canopy instead of the bottom. All that is required is a gust followed by a lull, the back lines go slack because you sheeted out during the gust, and the next gust causes the buckling. All of this means that the Method has a limited wind range in which it behaves properly. The Switch web site says "If you need to pull de-power you should be on a much smaller Method"
This is what I experienced on the Method 7M, but I did not have any depower rope pulled. It happened just from sheeting out to arms length in a gust. The kite backwinds and then LE crumples and then... POW it pops back to normal shape. First time it happened, I did a double take and thought maybe I didn't see it right. When it happened again and again, I got pissed off. I flew it back to back against some other three strut medium aspect kites, the Trigger, Rabbit and Renegade did not do all. All kites inflated to 9PSI, which should be enough for a kite to fly well. As was stated in an earlier post by Tightlines, he had to come in, put his kite down and inflate it harder to get it to fly reasonably well. I want a more rigid stable kite. A Wainman behaves very normally at 5PSI !! The Rabbit is not my kite anymore, but it works without issue at pretty much any PSI. I believe the too small leading edge on the Switch kites is to blame for the crumpling. Maybe I need to learn to pump kites up to 12psi, but I sure don't want to be crashing them at that pressure.
I believe the Method bridle lines being tied front to back has a lot to do with the backwinding and the high bar pressure.
I guess the way to test the bridle theory is to fly their new Element kite which I think doesn't have the front and back lines tied together, even though it is still a bit unconventional.
Seven Meter weather is always going to be pretty gusty where I fly, as is the case for any non coastal rider, so if backwinding and the leading edge crumple dance is what the kite does, it doesn't work for me. I rarely pull depower straps, most bars have a sheeting range that ought to be enough. Was on flat water with a twintip and powered at easy 7M range (26-28ish mph) and the Method 7M bar pressure was comparatively high, higher than Trigger 9M and Rabbit 9M. Don't ride in surf often. Generally only fly the big kites at the bottom of their range, on medium and small kites, I fly powered up way more than a strapless surfer would, maybe the Method is very, very design specific.
Some folks love 'em, which tells me if you keep riding something long enough, you adapt and get used to anything. I know my arms would be huge if I flew a Method 12M for a couple seasons. :)
Last edited by L0KI on Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:43 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Comparison 9m GK Trix and 9m Switch Method

Postby Dimitri M » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:10 pm

Poster: ZigZag
Hello Dimitri,
Thank you for your kind offer.
I'm the type of person who never sells kites. I fly them until they die. Even though I don't particularly like the Method, I will use it until it falls apart. When the Method is dead, I will gladly review (and possibly buy) a Renegade from you. I think it is in both of our interests to hope that the Method is not a durable kite. That way, you will get an early review, and I will get a different kite.
I admire your talent as a promoter of Epic kites. If your kiteboarding skills are anywhere near as good as your marketing skills, then you must be a very good kiteboarder indeed!
Hello "ZigZag". You are amazing for keeping your kite until the end. This is what I call 100% kiter addicted.
Let me know what size RENEGADE you are looking and I will send you one so you can put it to the test as a demo and then send it back to me once you are done. I just want to see your thoughts once you try the RENEGADE because I know the results. This is my email: Send me an email with your address and what size RENEGADE you want.

P.S. Concerning my "kiteboarding" got to see my 9 year old son Cameron Maramenides. :o

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Re: Comparison 9m GK Trix and 9m Switch Method

Postby ZigZag » Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:06 pm

Hello Dimitri,

I cannot accept your offer. I intend buying a 5m Method in May or June, in time for our windy season, which begins in August.


Follow up comments:
I have now used my 9m Method a total of 17 sessions. The first 10 times were awful, because I used it in the wrong conditions. I followed Tightlines' advice, and the last 7 sessions were very enjoyable. Two of those sessions were so magical, they will remain etched in my memory for ever.

If you have a conventional kiting background, the classic advice "Try before you buy" won't work with the Method, because you will make the same mistakes I made. I had to "Buy before you try", and I had to force myself to use the Method, even though I didn't like it. Now that I understand its strengths and weaknesses, I am in a much better position to tap into its potential.

I could start a new thread entitled "Marvellous Misunderstood Method", but I don't think that is necessary. There is enough information on this thread and other threads to guide potential owners in the right direction. However, I cannot resist the temptation to mock the Switch team riders with a new slogan:

I am a Methodist. R U?

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Re: Comparison 9m GK Trix and 9m Switch Method

Postby Tightlines » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:26 pm

Hey ZigZag
I'm glad you are starting to appreciate the 9 Method and if you thought the 9 was good wait till you try the 5.
I usually refer to the 7 as my favourite kite (it is my most used by far) and although they are still great kites I am not really a huge fan of the 9 or 12, (I guess I just love small kites).

I recently had a session on my 5mtr Method in clean head high + waves with a perfect cross shore breeze around 25-30 knots on a 5'9 strapless surfboard.

I had an absolute fantastic time and was stoked with the performance of the 5 but I noticed that there was another Method out and it was a 9mtr being flown by a girl that looked to be around 20kilo at least lighter than me and yes she was on a strapless surfboard too.
Now I don't think I would have enjoyed myself half as much at my weight on a 9 and can only imagine how overpowered she must have been, so I just want to say to others flying Methods, don't be afraid to try going out in lighter wind than you think you could.
I would much prefer to do that even if I have to work it a bit and possibly come in for a bigger kite if I have to than the other way around.
This of course is a personal opinion and others may prefer a bigger kite with lower bar pressure that you can just sheet in and hang on, which is fine if it suits the way they ride, we are all different so that is why it is great to have so many choices these days.

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Re: Comparison 9m GK Trix and 9m Switch Method

Postby POACHER » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:37 pm

All I'll add to this is that this year in Hatteras, Litewave Dave and myself were riding 9m Trix in winds gusting to mid 40's. It was nuts, but they were the smallest kites we had to was survival sailing, but it beat sitting on shore watching.

The Trix are tough kites, that's for certain.

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