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TKB Review: 2013 Airush Lithium

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2013 Airush Lithium
Sizes Available: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16m
Sizes Tested: 7, 10, 12m

Airush Says:

After winning numerous magazines tests and extremely positive feedback from our Airush customers, the 2013 Airush Lithium was going to be a challenge to make better. Staying as the front-runner in all-terrain kites, the Lithium is focused on being the do-all kite for the everyday rider. Due to its wing tip and strut positioning, the Lithium has a direct and agile feel through the turns, essential for wave and freeriding. The sweep of the Delta Hybrid design of the wingtips guarantees a hassle free and quick relaunch. The Lithium is ideal for riders looking to do a bit of everything, whether it’s your first day, cruising, freestyle or riding waves!

Our Testers Say:

“Good lift, good hang time, fun to ride, but a little too much bar pressure for me,” Andy Sologub.

“Smooth kite. The many adjustments on the bar might make it good for a multi-brand kite quiver. Bar pressure a little high on the larger sizes,” Joe Bharat.

“Beautiful looking kite with really smooth turning. Easy relaunch but the trim straps were not that easy for me to use,” Walid Jomaa.

Meet the 2013 TKB Test Team.

 

TKB Says:

The Lithium has been a popular kite for the past few years and remains a fairly low-aspect 3-strut kite targeted as an all-around performer for 2013. Overall the kite is very similar to the 2012 model with some small refinements including flexible trailing edge battens to address trailing edge flutter and bridle adjustments to change the kite’s turning speed and bar pressure.

The TKB Testers liked the fast, responsive handling, easy relaunch, and good jumping performance. The Lithium is very stable and is an easy, forgiving kite to fly that most riders will be able to jump on and immediately feel comfortable with. Compared to the Airush Varial X the Lithium is more user-friendly and is a better all-around performer, but the Varial X has better upwind and jumping performance.

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The Lithium uses the Airush Smartbar 4 which features a push-away quick release, below-bar swivel, double plastic-covered depower line, adjustable stopper, and multiple line length options. It also features an above-bar depower strap that some testers felt was a little difficult to use.

The Smartbar 4 is adjustable from 45-62cm and adjusts by way of a unique quick release as well as adjustable bar ends. To extend the bar, you remove both ends and add extensions to the bar itself before reattaching the ends.

Pros:

  • Great all-around performance – the Lithium is a kite you could use for just about any style of riding.
  • Fun and easy to fly kite.
  • Extremely adjustable bar is able to be configured for almost any kite of any size.

Cons:

  • Bar pressure might be too high for some users, especially on the larger sizes.
  • According to some testers the trim system was difficult to make small adjustments with.
  • The adjustable bar is a great feature, but adds additional parts to maintain.

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