Name: Julien Fillion
Location: US east and west coasts
Job Title: Kite Designer/Pro Rider
Designing: Almost 7 years
Kiteboarding: 5 years
Product name: Envy
Product category: 3-Srut Delta-Hybrid SLE
Sizes available: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 & 15m
Release date: August 09
Is this a new design or a next generation on an existing design?
It’s a completely new design with a 3-strut platform.
As a new design, where does it fit in your product mix and what were you main goals in developing it?
The idea with the Envy was to create an easy to fly, all around pure fun kite! The Envy is a delta-hybrid, or as we like to say, “beyond delta.” The delta Hybrid incorporates the popular benefits of a delta kite, such as ease of flying, wind range and instant relaunchability, with the proven LF SLE technologies, such as our Diamond Wingtip and USB 2.0 Bridle configuration.
What was your biggest challenge during the prototype phase?
To make the Envy the lightest and strongest kite LF ever produced.
If you could choose one standout performance or new construction feature to highlight, what would it be?
The 3-strut, high performance lightweight design. We came out with a 3-strut design without compromising the kite’s shape, performance and reliability. The 12m Envy is one pound lighter then our normal 12m SLE kite. This is a big deal, and you feel how light it is instantly when you launch the kite and fly it for the first time.
What is the biggest advantage of your control bar?
The biggest advantage of the new LF CPR control bar is the Center Push Release and 100% depower flag line option.
How does self launch and self landing work on this kite?
The self launch and landing is effortless! As long as you have flying line length clearance downwind, you can launch and land the kite alone with no assistance at anytime.
What are some of the other key product features and performance characteristics?
Other than being one of the lightest and strongest kites on market, the Envy features all of LF’s proven kite tech such as ultimate reliability, a simple and proven bridle system, our signature Diamond wingtips and overall quality construction that we are renowned for.
What style/level of rider will most enjoy this product and in what conditions?
Everybody! We created this kite for pure fun riding which is what kiteboarding is all about for us. It’s fun in waves, fun for freestyle, easy and fun for beginners, and it’s surpassing all the other kites we have seen for overall freeriding!! The Envy is the most stable kite we have ever produced and excels in difficult conditions.
What is your warranty policy on this product?
Liquid Force stands behind all of our products 100% and kites are covered for one year against any manufacturing defects.
What differentiates your product from your competitors?
At Liquid Force we refused to simply copy existing delta designs like other kiteboarding companies. Instead, we took the best features of a delta, as well as the best features of our proven LF kites to create what should come after: Beyond the delta design. This is not a delta — it’s the Envy of all the delta riders!
TESTED: Pepi Gerald, 2nd Wind Sports
Our dream kite has finally arrived! 3 Strut, high-end quality, low-end price, and packaged with a new easy to use push-out quick release. First time out, we immediately noticed an improved quickness in the kite’s upstroke, transitions and relaunch from last year’s SLE’s. The HR Sandbar regularly delivers conditions from 10 to 30mph, exactly what we were given on our test day, but the Envy’s light weight kept us powered through the lulls and the tuned canopy kept us in control during the heavy gusts. I rode strapless for most of the session, so can’t vouch for boosting power, but when cutting back and forth on the river swell, the immediate and direct responsiveness of the kite made me think that the Envy would not disappoint in the airtime department. The new safety on the quick release was very easy, even under loaded, and very easy to snap back together.
Originally Published in the October 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine