We just received our first shipment of 2012 Liquid Force Kites!
Time to re-vamp your LF quivers for the upcoming fall season….
Right off the bat, we had three questions:
1. What’s the “go-to kite” for 2012?
2. Where is the Havoc?
3. Who are the NRG and NRG Light Breeze for?
Luckily, we have Jason Slezak, Julien Fillion and Stan Radev from Liquid Force all in our backyard (literally) every day. They hooked us up with early release kites to test, both here in Cape Hatteras and also in Peru to try them in some of the best surf conditions in the world.
Here’s what Matt Nuzzo had to say about the 2012 Liquid Force kites after spending a solid month riding them:
Where is the Havoc?
All of the good things about the Havoc have been absorbed into a lighter, faster more-well rounded version of the Havoc in the new 2012 Envy. The two kites came pretty close together in 2011, and for 2012 they tuned up the Envy to make it faster and jump better, while being lighter than the Havoc, so there was not a need for the Havoc in the line any more. If you loved the Havoc and don't want to move away from that kite buy yourself a quiver of 2012 Envys and you will have the ride and feeling you are used to while being pleasantly surprised by the light weight feel of the 3 strut design.
Similarities of the 2012 Envy and NRG:
There are two main things that the 2012 Envy and NRG have in common: Rock solid stability over head and effortless water relaunch. These two features are the foundation of any quality kite on the market and both the 2012 Liquid Force Envy and NRG have very high marks in these categories. This allows the consumer to make the decision about what kites that they want based on performance features and feeling rather than going to the kite in the line that simply works.
Differences of the 2012 Envy and NRG:
These two kites in the LF line up are very different beasts. Both are very easy to use, safe and will fit a wide range of riders, but they have distinctly different rides.
2012 Liquid Force Envy
The 2012 Liquid Envy is a very smooth and lightweight performer. The 3-strut design with the pulley on the wing tip gives this kite an effortless feel. You maintain enough bar pressure to know where your kite is in the wind window, but the power output is silky smooth.
The Envy has more arc in the canopy and a full wing tip that offer you unmatched stability for down the line wave riding as well as unhooked wake style tricks. The full wing tip also lends itself to having very consistent pull through the turns.
The jumping and wind range have been improved on the 2012 Envy as well. Just like everything else on the Envy the arc of your jump is easy up and easy down.
Don't be fooled by the high performance characteristics of the Envy. What makes this kite a favorite amongst the LF team also makes it the right choice for most beginners on the market. If you want a no hassle kite that you can forget about and go kiteboarding, the Envy is the choice.
2012 Liquid Force NRG
The 2012 Liquid Force NRG is a new kite to the LF line up this year. The key features of the NRG that make it different from the Envy are power, wind range, and hang time.
The NRG is a flatter profiled kite that has a lot more low-end grunt than the Envy. Where the Envy rides true to size, the NRG rides about a size bigger than what the number says on the bag. The NRG still uses the Liquid Force Diamond Wing Tip, but they have removed the pulley from the wind tip and added it to the trailing edge bridal and leading edge bridal.
The first thing you recognize on the NRG is the low-end grunt. It has a lot of power and really rockets upwind. As the wind builds, you will find the NRG has a ton of depower too. The capability of this flatter kite to turn the power on and off is really amazing. That is also what leads to the great boosting capabilities of the 2012 NRG. When you send it big on the NRG, it takes a while to come down.
The turning speed was impressive on the NRG. It felt a lot snappier than most other kites in this category like the BWS Noise and Cabrinha Switchblade. Similar to other kites with a pinched wing tip, the NRG has more of a “pivot, then turn” than what you will find in the Envy which has a more consistent carving turn through the window.
The NRG will be a top seller and suitable for riders of any ability who are looking for a kite with a lot of horsepower and wind range for gusty or lighter wind locations. Big guys will love the low-end grunt and direct feel that the NRG delivers.
What is the NRG Light Breeze?
The NRG Light Breeze is an NRG that has been specifically designed to deliver max power in light winds. This kite comes only in size 14m and 16m and comes complete with 7m line extensions to maximize your wind window. Yes, that’s right, you can go MAX power with 30m lines! Liquid Force tweaked the bridle on the NRG Light Breeze to offer water relaunch even in the lightest conditions, as well as capturing as much of the low-end power that this canopy shape has to offer. If you live in a light wind area, or you want to maximize your time on the water, the NRG Light Breeze will put you on the water first every session.
“I rode this kite with Stan Radev last week in super light SE winds in the ocean. I rode the 14m and my fish surfboard when nobody else could even ride (I weigh 215 lbs). This kite makes its own power, so the faster you go the more powered up you get. I got so lit in no wind, it actually made my surfboard feel “big” which I’ve never felt before on that particular board. It was also a big reality check how much apparent power the kite created when I turned off the wind and there was no power at all. That was the indicator that this kite is serious light wind business!” – Trip Forman
Mix and Match Quivers
A lot of people think you have to have matching kites throughout your quiver. While this is true for segments of your quiver, it’s not necessarily true when crossing boundaries of how the kite will be used. We’re already sending out quivers to customers with Envys in the 7,9 and 12m sizes for freestyle and surf, and then a 14m NRG Light Breeze to max out their number of days on the water. Different uses, different kites. This same rule can hold true when pairing up Envys and the standard NRGs.
What’s the “Go-To Kite”?
For me, it’s the Envy. I really like this style of kite and performance it delivers. That’s not to discount the performance of the NRG because for just as many people, that will be their kite of choice for more power, mega jumping and more wind range. I think this year’s LF range of kites is less confusing and choosing the right kite will be incredibly easy compared to 2010.
2012 CPR Bar:
LF made one of the best bars on the market even better. This bar is the BOMB!!! The 2012 CPR Control Bar has gone through a series of makeovers to make the rider experience as safe as you can get as well as having a really plush ride. The internals of the CPR bar remain the same with the same below bar depower, below bar flagging safety line, sliding stopper ball and centerline swivel.
The big improvements come in the form of a new grip on the bar and new integrated bar ends and floats. The grip is ultra plush on your hands. If you work in an office for a living, you will love this bar. It is very soft on the backside of the bar and has a very soft finger ridge to give you grip with out tearing up your fingers. The bar end float is all molded soft foam that has elastic bands to hold the lines on the bar end.
The 2012 CPR bar comes in three sizes 45cm, 50cm, and 55cm and has unmatched safety, a very long depower range and a look and feel that is second to none.