Home / Gear Reviews / 2011 Reviews / Liquid Force 2011 Envy Analyze This Kite Review

Liquid Force 2011 Envy Analyze This Kite Review

Liquid Force Envy

TESTED: 9m

AVAILABLE SIZES: 5, 7, 9, 12, 15m

TESTED IN: Central California, 18-26 knots, small-medium waves

FROM THE MANUFACTURER:

Rock solid stability, directional float, pivotal turning, and effortless re-launch highlight the Envy’s “beyond delta” design for all around performance. This ultra lightweight three- strut platform gives light, responsive bar feel with impulse pivotal turning. The Envy’s flight characteristics blend to produce a distinct “set it and forget it” feel. This makes it the perfect kite for everything from progressive wave riding to kite low freestyle domination. Land a jump a bit too hot or under run the kite in a bottom turn? Forget about it! The Envy’s lightweight design allows the kite to float directionally, enabling you to forget about the kite and concentrate on the important issues: making grabs, spotting landings, and reading waves straight into the pit.

THE KITEBOARDER REPORT:

Out of the Box: The first thing we noticed on the 2011 Envy is the all-new MaxFlow inflation system. The valve opening is huge! We were a little skeptical of this new valve when we first heard about it, but after using it, we’re sold! This was the easiest kite we’ve ever inflated by far. The Envy is a three-strut one-pump kite with a bridle that features one pulley per side. The rear section of the bridle can be adjusted to change the turning speed of the kite. The Envy’s construction is beefed up in all the right places and one wingtip has two pieces of Velcro that allow you to store your bar attached to the kite, which is great for leaving your lines attached to the kite when you put it away.

The 2011 CPR Control System is similar to last year’s and features a push away quick release, below-bar depower cleat, kook-proof connectors, adjustable stopper, and multiple leash connection options. When you unhook, the harness loop automatically aligns itself to make hooking back in much easier. The CPR Control System is a very clean control bar. Our 9m test kite came with 23m lines on a 45cm bar.

On the Water: The Envy is a very smooth and predictable kite in the air. Handling is quick and direct with light-medium bar pressure. The kite feedback is excellent and it’s easy to tell where the kite is without looking at it. The Envy is very stable and has a very light and responsive feel to it. This kite sits back in the window and delivers a very stead pull. Depowering is smooth and we had no problems getting the Envy to relaunch. Compared to last year’s kite, the 2011 Envy feels slightly more powerful and the handling feels more direct. Jumping is easy and predictable, but this isn’t the highest boosting kite available. Unhooked, the Envy remains stable with no tendency to back stall.

PROS:

  • The MaxFlow inflation system makes the Envy the easiest and quickest kite to pump up that we’ve ever used.
  • The Envy is a great all-around kite that will equally suit beginners, freeriders, wakestyle riders, and surf kiters.

CONS:

  • When the depower line is at full power, the rigid end of the line points straight up at the rider. During forward rotations, it can get really close to your eye.
  • The front line swivel doesn’t unspin the front lines while riding and is too high to unspin by hand.

THE VERDICT:

Overall, the Envy is a great all-around kite. It’s very easy to fly and has quick and responsive handling that is predictable and easy to control. The Envy is stable, relaunches easily, and drifts downwind in the waves well, making this kite well suited for both beginners and wave riders. The Envy’s unhooked stability and smooth power delivery means it works well for riders who like to unhook a lot. If you want better boosting and upwind performance, you might want to look at the Liquid Force Havoc or HiFi, but the Envy is an all-around kite that applies itself to a lot of different situations really well. The MaxFlow valve really works and makes the Envy very easy to inflate and deflate in a hurry.

TIPS:

  • As long as the depower line is cleated, the rigid end of the line doesn’t stick up.
  • To make the Envy as easy as possible to inflate, make sure you reset the flapper in the MaxFlow Valve before you start inflating it.

TESTER COMMENT:

“The Envy is a fantastic all-around kite that never does anything unexpected. Because of the MaxFlow valve, it feels like it takes about half the effort to inflate this kite compared to others.” –Paul Lang, 200 lbs., Surf Kiter

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One comment

  1. Great review.

    I haven’t flown a Liquid Force kite before, but it sounds similar in some ways to my F-One Bandit 4.

    I noticed that you guys reviewed the Bandit 4 in March. Are you able to tell me how the Envy compares to the bandit?

    Thanks.

    Brendon

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