LIQUID FORCE Messenger
Sizes Available: 4’10” (introduced for 2020 model year) and 5’2″ x 18.5″ x 2 3/8″ 24.7L
Sizes Tested: 4’10” and 5’2” x 18.5″ x 2 3/8″ 24.7L
Liquid Force Says:
Delivering confidence in the surf and high precision performance for strapless freestyle, the Messenger is more reliable than your mailman. This board has a blunt nose shape with a deep double concave that fades to a quad soft channel out the tail, allowing the board to handle down-the-line speed while keeping the board predictable and precise in the pocket. A 3+2 FCS compatible fin configuration rounds out the bottom design highlights, giving you a choice between a fast quad fin setup or a thruster for pivotal turning. The top deck shape features a slight contour under foot that delivers a non-fatiguing and controlled feel. Superior technical construction offers the best strength-to-weight ratio of any strapless kiteboard by utilizing an EPS precision-shaped core that’s laminated with S-glass and vector net carbon weave in critical impact zones.
Visit for more info: www.liquidforcekites.com/product/messenger-52
We tested the Messenger in La Ventana at our Freeride Test earlier in the year and testers gave this board a solid thumbs up for its durable yet light construction as well as its flat water surf-abilities. However, during out Surf Test this spring, we got another go around on the Messenger and were able to put it to the test in Santa Cruz’s waist to shoulder high side-on conditions. With its cutoff/Tomo/Modern Planing Hull design, this board does an excellent job of straddling the two worlds of surf and strapless freestyle. The Messenger delivers a solid balance between speed and control but is also playful for slashing waves from small to medium in size. When locked into its rail going back upwind on our way back to the top of the reef, this board felt fast and efficient through the water; the rail cut through the chop with very little chatter.
The sizing on the 5’2” is generous, so for light wind or bigger riders this board really keeps the fun going, especially through the lulls. The tail rocker and outline makes initiating turns really easy and predictable, and with the quad configuration and stock fins, the tail has plenty of hold for high speed committed bottom turns. However, when you get to the lip, it doesn’t feel so locked in that you can’t blow the tail out or get creative. The overall flex pattern of the board feels fairly forgiving and feels good on the feet for those longer tacks. It doesn’t have that tinny jarring feeling that you get from an all carbon construction. The board transitions quick and effortlessly from top to bottom turn and was always nimble and ready for our next move. The Messenger shined in small and medium size waves with the perfect balance between control speed and playfulness.
When it comes to strapless freestyle, the Messenger feels fast and smooth through the water for efficient load and pop. The wider tail has plenty of surface and rocker for a clean but powerful release for strapless freestyle and amplitude. The carbon stringer and kevlar weave on the deck offer a solid construction that can take a good beating at a weight that makes the board easy to throw around for rotations, while staying plastered to your feet during the bigger airs. We rode both the 5’2” and the 4’10” which will be introduced for 2020, and for a 160lb/72kg rider, the 4’10″ felt like a slightly better fit particularly when we mixed surf with strapless freestyle. The extra volume in the 5’2” is recommended for bigger riders or lighter wind locations, giving you a little bit of extra volume and surface area.
The deck grip comes with a two-piece split pad that gives you excellent coverage with a nice diamond grip that delivers a good balance between plushness and hardness that makes your foot’s inputs into the board very crisp for solid control and a connection that gives you superb response and feedback from the board. Overall, the Messenger gives you the best of all surfing worlds in a solid, well-built construction with an all-around performance-based design that will keep you slashing waves with confidence and tons of fun.