Designer’s Corner: Liquid Force Havoc 2010
Originally Published in the December 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine
Name: Julien Fillion
Location: Montréal, Hawaii, US East/West coasts
Job Title: Chief Kite Designer, Athlete
Designing: 7 years
Kiteboarding: 5 years
Product name: Havoc Generation 4 Kite
Product category: Pure SLE
Sizes available: 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16m
Release date: Available Now
Is this a new design or a next generation on an existing design?
The Havoc is a completely re-engineered 4th generation SLE design.
If this is next generation design, what were the main goals in developing it?
We wanted to give one of the best SLE kites ever built a major face lift. We envisioned the high demand in 2010 for a no-center-strut design, so we redesigned the Havoc on a 4-strut structure, giving room for a much deeper and more powerful profile in the center of the kite where it’s really needed. The Havoc was already renowned for its exceptional high wind range and capacity. For 2010, we drastically increased its low end raw power, lift, hang time and the turning speed on the bigger kites.
What was your biggest challenge during the prototype phase?
Redesigning the internal structure of the kite based on a 4 strut, no-center-strut platform without losing the proven and popular stiffness and stability of the Havoc. We did it!
If you could choose one standout performance or new construction feature to highlight, what would it be?
The 4-strut, high performance lightweight design. Most of our competitors have come out with a with a no-center-strut design based on 6-strut platform: We did the Havoc on a 4-strut platform. It made the kites a lot lighter; half a pound less on the Havoc 12m compared to last year’s model — in kiteboarding, this is a lot!
What is the biggest advantage of your control bar?
For 2010 all LF kites can be depowered 100% (a real 100%), and also 90% (better for riders trying new tricks and letting go of the control bar).
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 when needed.
What are some of the other key product features and performance characteristics?
Other then being one of the most reliable and strongest high performance kites on the market, the Havoc features all the LF proven kite tech, such as ultimate reliability, simple and proven bridles, LF signature diamond wingtips, and an overall quality built product that Liquid Force is renowned for.
What style/level of rider will most enjoy this product and in what conditions?
The Havoc is for everybody! It excels in a variety of different conditions around the globe. Just look at LF team riders like Slezy and Brandon that put the kites through hell hitting rails and kickers all day long while guys like Moe pull into solid 8-foot barrels at Chopes. It doesn’t get any more diverse that! But the Havoc is truly made for the rider that demands a little bit more of their kites. The Havoc is the quickest turning kite, the highest jumper and offers the most wind range in LF’s 2010 kite line.
What is your warranty policy on this product?
What differentiates your product from your competitors?
While many other brands push their design through R&D quickly by adding onto current models, we always try to improve by simplifying kiteboarding. It would have been easy to make the Havoc a 6-strut design, but instead we worked twice as hard to come up with a higher performance 4-strut kite. At Liquid Force, the reliability and the over friendliness of our kites are key. To everybody at Liquid Force, the best days kiteboarding are the ones where your gear doesn’t let you down, which is what we strive for everyday at Liquid Force.
TESTED: Andy Holmes, Bellingham Kiteboarding
2010 Havoc = totally redesigned = agile, quick turning, and lofty. Moderate bar pressure gives the rider a good, direct feeling, and turns initiate faster and much more lively than prior models. Turning speed was significantly improved making this one of the fastest kites I have tried size for size. It has the familiar grunt and unhooked stability, but the kite does what you want it to the instant you tell it to. Jumps were predictable with an aggressive upward yank, while a quick redirect on the descent made for cushy soft landings. My first three jumps on the 10m were all 30 feet + according to the Shadowbox GPS unit attached to my board. The 4-strut design looks aggressive in the air, and keeps the kite feeling light. In lighter winds, the 12m delivered a steady pull ideal for wakestyle riding, offered a strong low end and was a very easy to relaunch.