Liquid Force 2010 Envy Analyze This Kite Review
Originally Published in the December 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine
Type of kite: Delta/SLE
Sizes available: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 15m
From the Manufacturer:
The Envy has power on tap but is manageable, due to the Delta profile, it has great low end but due to the design, great depower also. The Envy blends the popular benefits of the Delta type kites but adds the proven *LF Diamond Wingtips and USB- 2.0 Bridle system to improve them beyond anything currently on the market. The Envy works with a 3 strut configuration and inflatable wing tips, the reduction of the struts reduces the overall weight by a whole pound (0.5kg) in the 12m size, this is really noticeable when flying as the kite is far more reactive and quicker through the sky. The Liquid Force Envy is around 20% lighter than the average SLE which provides a fun light feel. The reduction of the struts reduces back stall to a minimum in light winds, encourages better drifting and offers superior stability, it is also faster to inflate/deflate. The reduction of weight is completed from removing the struts but has meant the construction has not suffered from the ‘diet’.
THE KITEBOARDER REPORT:
We had a chance to see Liquid Force’s new Envy at the AWSI Demo in Hood River as there was a lot of curiosity about their new 3-strut delta/SLE kite. First off, the bar is all new for 2010. The control system sports a new quick release added to the chicken loop called the CPR System. It’s a push away release that can be activated with either hand from the front or back of the chicken loop. The new system also offers a flag line safety option giving you 100% depower when engaged, or 90% when connected to the main line. The overall bar system is simple yet comfortable and efficient and the thinner chicken loop line also helps to offer a smoother range of travel with the bar.
The Envy is a very easy and fast kite to inflate due to the Union single point inflation system and the fact that the Envy is only designed with 3-struts. By taking away the 5th and 4th struts, Liquid Force was able to make a lighter kite. We’re not sure if this helped our test team ride through lulls with ease but the new Envy did have good low-end power. The Envy’s overall construction is solid and visually it has very cool graphics. Upon close inspection, you will see that LF beefed up the high wear and tear areas and incorporated Dacron along the LE to ensure the kite remains stable and rigid after multiple smack downs. We tested the Envy in 20+ knot conditions and definitely crashed it a lot. The Envy relaunched effortlessly every time with little input.
The Envy isn’t lightning fast but it has a really nice direct feel and is quick and smooth, even though the bar pressure is extremely light. The Envy’s long chicken loop throw also allows it to offer a huge wind range, especially towards the top end. An upwind machine, we noticed it performed better with back line tension, so make sure you tune it properly before your session. The Envy jumped well, especially when powered up. Boosting wasn’t as big as with the high performance Havoc, but still very nice and floaty with solid lift and a very gentle feel when jumping.
Overall, the Envy is a great kite for riders progressing from the beginner to intermediate/advanced levels who just want a super fun, easy kite that turns efficiently with good feedback through the bar, boosts high, offers light bar pressure, has super reliable relaunch ability, and provides a wide power range.
- Inflation System: Union single point inflation: Above Average
- Control bar: Small diameter, comfortable hold: Excellent
- Control bar accessories: Easy below the bar depower: Excellent
- Safety system: New push away “CPR System:” Excellent
- Bridle: Medium length bridle, simple to rig: Excellent
- Stability: Performs best with some back line tension: Above Average
- Power: Smooth range of low end power: Excellent
- Turning: Efficient turning with good feedback through the bar: Excellent
- Pop: Strap on your seat belt, likes to launch high: Excellent
- Bar pressure: Easy to turn with good control: Light
- Depower: Excellent wind range, especially near top end: Excellent
- Relaunch: Nearly effortless!: Excellent
- Durability: Well built kite with reinforced LE: Excellent
- Kitebag: N/A
- Pump: N/A
- Keep your hands close to the middle of the bar during jumps to keep from over steering.
- Trim the kite as needed before unhooking for tricks.
CONSUMER FEEDBACK: tommyb, www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=52940
I had a go of the Envy the other day at Wello, it was insane. So fast and stable. It is great for unhooking and would be good for riding in the waves. The graphics look awesome on it as well. The bar setup has changed completely and it looks great. I would definitely recommend this kite. I cannot wait to try the new Havoc and HifFi Comp as well. All I need is some wind!!