At A Glance
One of the most successful wave kites in the business is back again, the Neo really needs no introduction, but I’ll do my best anyway. The choice of champions, Airton Cozzolino and Matchu Lopes as well as the rest of the Duotone team the Neo has some pedigree.
It’s still a three strut design packed with features like the Trinity TX canopy fabric, adaptive tips to tune the bar feedback and an adjustable front bridle to dial the kite into the way you ride. For 2020 a lighter combination of materials have been used to reduce the overall weight of the kite, and an updated trailing edge profile aims to reduce flutter.
The build quality is exceptional as we have now come to expect from Duotone, lots of neat features are built into the kite, and only the best materials are used. The finished product feels incredibly polished in your hands, and you should expect the Neo to last a good few seasons with ease.
The larger sizes have also been reworked to make them faster through the turns and the feedback so far from riders is that the 12m and 11m are valid wave kites now. We’ll be getting a ride on a 12 as soon as possible as traditionally kites over 10m haven’t worked in the waves, certainly in onshore conditions.
Sizes: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12m
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On The Water
Launching the Neo these days feels like meeting up with an old friend. We’ve spent so much time on this kite over the years it’s always a pleasure to ride. This year the power is still there, lots of low-end force but the kite can still fly forwards in the window when overpowered allowing you to have a huge wind range.
Upwind the Neo flies, and this is useful for getting back to the peak quickly. We’ve ridden it now in a variety of conditions from underpowered running up the beach to maxed out thinking the Click Bar was broken only to find it was already fully depowered.
At every stage of the wind range, the kite is impeccably well behaved, reacting to steering input instantly even when fully depowered. This is one aspect of the Neo that we enjoy; its ability to feel the same in the hands right through the wind range, this means you can concentrate on riding waves rather than trying to fly the kite.
Bar pressure is about medium on the Neo; this lets you know where the kite is at all times, and the turning response is instant. The kite goes where you want it to every time, and there are no nasty surprises of the kite drifting off course. Talking of drifting the Neo is happy to float down the line in offshore conditions too. Just park and ride.
For strapless riders, the Neo offers plenty of punch too, great for jumping and with a powerful loop it will put a smile on the most discerning of riders. You’ve only got to see what Airton and Matchu can do with it to see the potential. You definitely can’t blame your kite if you aren’t nailing those back rolls yet!
It’s a very easy kite to fly and very intuitive in the hands, suitable for a wide range of wave riders. The Adaptive Tips allow you to tune the turning speed and bar pressure and the Adjustable Front Bridle lets you set the kite up for freeride and waves depending on what the conditions of the day offer.
We loved the Neo once again, and it’s another great wave kite from Duotone as you would expect, well built, fast, dynamic and happy to drift too. A perfect tool for foiling and wave riding, you can get away with a smaller kite than some of the other brands too, thanks to its low-end power. However, the top end of the Neo is equally impressive too. With excellent feedback at the bar, it’s a kite many wave riders will love!
This review was in Issue 77 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit DUOTONE
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By Rou ChaterRou 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!