At A Glance
It's all in the name with the all-new Airush Lift. The Lift V3 is a kite that is purpose-built for going big, with a 5-strut design that anyone can enjoy, but with performance characteristics that the budding big air rider will really sink their teeth into!
Comparing the Lift V2 to the newly-released Lift V3, you can see that this is a brand-new design and a big departure from the previous model. Airush is clearly going in the right direction with this kite, however, because it's already earned itself a strong reputation, even in its pre-release phase.
South African big air pro, Jason Van Der Spuy, uses the lift V3 as his go-to kite, and his results in recent big air competitions speak for themselves. It's clearly a megaloop machine that can offer impressive height and hangtime, and the smaller sizes are absolutely capable of double looping.
Looking at the build, this kite is built to last, with reinforcements and protective patches throughout in the places that need it. It's not the lightest kite on the market, but that's the last thing you'll be thinking of while soaring through the sky. Extra durability is a bonus in a kite that you're going to use to push yourself to another level because, as we all know, there are a lot of crashes along the way!
Sizes: 7m, 8m, 9m, 10m, 12m, 14m, 17m
In The Air
We had a few different riders try out the Lift in a variety of conditions, from a light rider going out in 15 knots with massive swell to an average-sized rider going huge in 20-30 knots with clean kickers - what we would call an ideal big air session. The first thing we noticed was the stability of the kite. It sits nicely in the sky with the little flutter, thanks to its boxy C-like shape.
The steering is very fast on the 9m that we tested. You can whip the kite up into the window without getting pulled forward as you might on a lower aspect shape, allowing you to hold your edge for longer, and whip the kite harder when you're ready to take off. The kite accelerates quickly through a loop and makes its way back up to 12 o'clock very fast.
On the water, this kite felt compatible from the get-go. It is, to put it simply, easy to fly. We felt connected and straight at home very quickly - the bar pressure was just right. Older big air designs were often very heavy on the bar, but this modern design is comfortable to fly. You know where the kite is at all times.
We sent several jumps and loops on the new Lift, and the only limiting thing about the setup was the rider. For first-time users of this kite, it can take a good 15 minutes to adjust to the timing and find the confidence to really send it. But skilled kiters can get on it and send it straight into a megaloop with no worries; the kite will catch you.
There was a noticeable steady pull through the harness, which can help in marginal conditions, like heavy waves where you never want to lose power. If you're a rider that doesn't like the constant pull, a 3-strut option like the Lithium might be a better choice. Stay tuned to our next issue for a detailed review of the Lithium.
This kite does require more rider input than your average freeride kite, especially if you want to squeeze every bit of performance out of it. Yet, even a beginner would appreciate the ease of use of this kite. If you're getting into big air and on the fence about which kite to try, this one should be on your list.
The Lift V3 will do everything well and even more once you start to push your riding level. Everything you have to throw at it, it will do. The loops were incredible on the Lift V3, and the upwards lift was mental; it is a real big air specific kite for sure!
This review was in Issue 98 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Airush
By Crystal VenessEditor at IKSURFMAG, Crystal Veness hails from Canada but is based in South Africa. When she isn't busy kitesurfing or reporting on the latest industry news for the mag, she is kicking back somewhere at a windy kite beach or working on creative media projects.