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The Fat Lady is the lightwind beast from Blade. It’s a three strut kite and is available in one size only: 17m. The Fat Lady was one of the first three strut ‘big kites’ and is now onto V4 so Blade have had plenty of time to refine it, and many other brands have joined the ‘big kite, less struts’ game.
Out of the bag and the first thing that you notice is that this is a very light kite which has quite a lot to do with the super skinny leading edge (which is similar in size to Blade’s 12m Trigger). There’s really not much to it, which you also notice when it comes to pumping it up! We found that you wanted to pump it pretty hard and the Max Flow inflation enables you to do this pretty easily. Build quality is excellent – as it has been with the other Blade kites we have tested this year – with the Fat Lady having intelligently placed reinforcements to keep weight down without impacting on on-the-beach protection or on durability.
The Unibar V2 has been one of our favorites – very simple to use and comfortable to ride with. On the water and the Fat Lady delivers immediate power with a very solid low end providing excellent ‘pull and go’ performance. We found that – whatever you were riding – you were up and planing quickly and could then lock the kite in, ease out the bar, and expect solid and consistent power delivery. The upwind performance was good, we were out on some marginal days and never really struggled to get back to where we had started.
One issue with these bigger kites with less struts can be the amount of flutter you get when you put them into a turn, but the Fat Lady keeps this to a minimum and it turns smoothly and relatively tightly for a big kite. As you would expect there is definitely a top-end with the Fat Lady but then it’s time to head in and return to your quiver of ‘normal’ kites. For light wind days when you want to do more than just truck up and down, the Fat Lady enables you to continue pushing your freestyle skills.
In a sentence: Overall the Fat Lady delivered in all ‘big kite’ departments, with the super-skinny LE setting it apart from other three strut big kites and really offering performance benefits.