I have had a ‘little’ indoor kite sitting in my bag for too long and now it was desperately looking for an indoor location and hit some serious air. Thankfully it was time to hide from the wet and blustery weather and put the ITrix through its paces.
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The iTrix is – as you might know – the latest addition on the indoor kite range by German Drachenkiste. Wolfgang Siebert – the man behind the Drachenkiste brand – released this little indoor kite on the market earlier this spring and it has received its significant share of good reviews. Now it was time to find out what the kite really is like indoor.

Because this is a genuine indoor kite. Developed for indoor flying by indoor fliers. I’ve tested it outside in very light winds a couple of times with variable ‘results’ but is designed solely for indoor flying, I was excited to hit the gym to find out what the kite was good for.

Specifications

Let’s first take a quick look at the hard facts:

  • Wingspan: 152 cm
  • Height: 69 cm
  • Weight: 70g
  • Sail: Icarex
  • Framing: Avia 3-4mm Carbon fibre rods

Workmanship

The workmanship is as expected… immaculate! If you happen to have a kite made by Mr Siebert you know what I’m talking about. There’s not a single stitch out of line, every seam is spot on. All details are as close to perfect as possible!

The iTrix in the air
The iTrix in the air

Special Features

There are a few details – especially designed for the indoor gym flying – I’d like to dwell for a second or two. If you take a closer look at the ITrix’ nose, you’ll notice a small c-clip. This is a great protection preventing the spine to poke through the nose after an accumulation of nose plans to the hard gym floor.

Another nice feature is the protection on the backside of the sail at the standoff connectors. When you pull a kite on its back on a gym floor, these areas see some serious wear. However, with this protection, your kite will last longer. Period!

Off course the kite is also featuring covered upper leading edge connectors and yoyo stoppers. Yes, it does roll up and flies nicely rolled up s well!

iTrix in the middle of the action
iTrix in the middle of the action

Flying

So far so good. Pre-flight the kite looks really good and there’s nothing wrong with the quality material or workmanship. But what happens when the kite hits the air? Stay put and I’ll share with you my views.

If you happen to know the Sweety, another indoor kite by Mr Siebert, let’s get one thing straight immediately. This is NOT a Sweety. The Sweety is a very floaty and beginner-friendly indoor kite. The ITrix is definitely a step or two up and will find its fans amongst the more experienced indoor afficionados.

One of the objectives with the ITrix was to blend graceful floatiness with agile trick flying; on paper a close to impossible task. However, I must say Mr Siebert and his crew have come very far in combining these opposite features.

The ITrix will mix graceful 540’ies and Helicopters and fast and furious backspins and cometès! Yes, cometès!!!) …but only for any mediocre pilot. Practice, skill, timing and finesse is required, but when you get the hang of it, it’s surely rewarding.

Yes, this IS a great little indoor kite!
Yes, this IS a great little indoor kite!

OK, let’s do a quick rundown of a few of the tricks I pulled off the ITrix on Day One:

** Axels
Perhaps not the flattest in the world, but pretty nice nonetheless.

** Half Axels and Cascades
Easy peasy …. Better Cascades using counter pops.

** Slot Machines
Takes some timing and finesse, but pretty nice when you get ’em right.

** 540’ies
As with the Slot Machines, this trick takes some timing and finesse, but nice and reasonably flat when nailed.

** Helicopters
Surprisingly floaty and graceful for such a trickable kite!

** 2 pt Landings
Solid and distinct.

** Slides
Kind of nervous needs tending but will go the full 360 and beyond with a bit of practice.

** Pancake
Give slack and it will pancake, do not try to accelrate to speed up the flare. This will nose plant your kite

** Pancake to Fade
The pullback to fade is nice and predictable.

** Fade
Rock-solid and rising which allows for variations of up-and-overs.

** Backspins
They’re doable, however I found them pretty hard to nail. Big input seems to be necessary.

** Turtle
No yank and spank, give slack and let the kite roll over onto its back.

** Lazy Susan/MultiLazies
The most difficult is to get the kite o its back. Once there, it sits nose deep enough for comfortable Lazy Susans and MultiLazies.

** (Backward) Yoyo
More slack and the kite will roll-up, however, finesse is required.

** Forward Yoyo
Very difficult. I managed to nail only one. Seems like timing and finesse is really required and heaps of slack allowing the kite to roll up all the way. Start high up as the kite descends while rolling up.

** Throws and catches
A lot of variations are possible. Experiment and find out for yourself. It’s BIG FUN!

** …and then finally…. the Cometè!

On the Drachenkiste website, they say that the ITrix will do the indoor Cometè. Yeah… Really….??

Yeah!!! Really!!!

The ITrix surely does the Cometè guided by a skilled pilot. You will need to move backwards… pretty fast, and a bit of timing is required, but it’s surely there! At the most, I managed five rotations with recovery using running backwards a mighty 50 meters or so to keep the kite from hitting the floor!

I even have a video to prove it!

Conclusion

So what does all this boil down to? Well, seen from my point of view, the ITrix is a very agile kite that blends frantic trick flying with floaty and gracious stuff like no other indoor kite I have flown. And the best thing is that you don’t have to run like hell to keep the kite in the air.

So if you’re looking for an indoor kite that combines a floaty and graceful feel with the ability of radical trick flying and consider yourself a reasonably skilled pilot (or on a quest to become one)…

…you just might have found your next kite!


This article was originally written by Sven A. and published on AERIALIS-DOT-COM on December 20th 2006.

…and twelve years later it still delivers!

….twelve years later…

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