DUOTONE Neo 9m 2019 Kitesurfing Review

DUOTONE Neo 9m 2019

Reviews / Kites

DUOTONE 98,047

At A Glance

The Duotone Neo needs no introduction, but I’ll give it one anyway, this kite has been at the forefront of wave kite design for a long time. It’s won countless events and titles and is the weapon of choice for all the Duotone wave team. Think Airton Cozzolino, Matchu Lopez, Sebastian Ribeiro and Patri McLaughlin. It’s perfect for slaying down the line One Eye, yet can handle being thrown around in Euro onshore conditions too. Let’s not forget it’s strapless freestyle credentials either!

If you want a pure wave kite, the Neo is the choice from Duotone, built with their near legendary construction techniques in Sri Lanka. It is tough enough to survive a bomb or two, yet it can still float like a ninja and sting like a bee when you want it to.

Using the Trinity TX canopy material ensures the kite has a long life and there are plenty of reinforcements on the kite elsewhere too. The bridle is fully tuneable to offer different feelings at the bar and also to tweak the characteristics of the kite. You can set it up for pure wave riding mode, or a more freeride orientated feel which offers good boost for big jumps.

The Neo also features Flex Segments in the leading edge, these allow the kite to really twist and turn dynamically. It can be flown on a 4 or 5 line set up with the Click Bar as the recommended partner.

On The Water

The handling on the Neo has long been raved about, and before this sounds like a love in, I write this with good reason. The steering response on this kite is near instant, even when fully depowered. A lot of kites lose the ability to steer when they get near the top of the wind range as the rear lines end up so slack they become ineffectual. Duotone have managed to keep a similar turning feel and characteristic regardless of the amount of depower you have on the bar.

This is important, and it allows you to concentrate on riding the waves and not get used to changing handling characteristics as the wind increases. The steering is lightning quick as you would expect from a wave kite and perhaps the Neo’s trump card is the ability to fly around the window at speed in onshore conditions, yet also to hang and drift effortlessly in offshore conditions.

The bar pressure can be tuned, and the bridle tweaked too, in the freeride mode setting the kite jumps higher, has more depower and also chucks a hefty kiteloop. In the wave setting, you’ll find the kite a touch tighter in terms of handling with better drifting characteristics.

The range on the Neo is massive, although it is the bottom end where the kite really shines. It’s been said before but this year Duotone tweaked the profile a touch to increase the low end over the 2018 version. You can usually get going a couple of sizes smaller than other kites, depending on your skills.

To give you an idea, with a foil, I can ride the 9m Neo in about 8 knots, basically, if the canopy flaps and I can hot launch it and keep it moving, then it’s easy enough to generate enough power on the water to foil. I weigh 82kg, and with the 9m Neo, I really don’t feel the need for a bigger kite.

Talking of foiling the Neo is fantastic in this regard, the low-end couples with the drifting abilities and dynamic handling and you have a really fun to fly package. The kite is easy and intuitive to fly and will suit a range of different riders, especially if waves and strapless is your main passion on the water.

In previous years the Neo has been hailed as a great freeride kite, it still is, although if you aren’t a wave head, then the Dice arguably offers better performance for boosting fun jumps. Beginner right through to World Champion wave riders can get a lot out of the Neo!

Overall

The Neo is still one of our favourite wave kites on the market, the lightning-quick handling, coupled with a huge low-end wind range makes it compelling. The steering when fully depowered is fantastic, and the drifting in cross-offshore conditions is sure to impress. Perfect for waves and hydrofoils if that’s where you do your riding, then be sure to consider the Duotone Neo for your quiver!

Videos

This review was in Issue 75 of IKSURFMAG.

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By Rou Chater
Rou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!

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