At A Glance
Last year the Envy took a leap forward in terms of design, the kite has been in the line up for 6 years now and Liquid Force promised even more changes to the latest addition to the family. The focus for this year was to make the kite lighter and even more responsive. Miraculously they have reduced the overall weight of the kite by a quarter! The struts and leading edge are thinner to make the kite lighter and faster and there is increased sweep in the wingtips to help with turning and relaunch.
Whilst the kite is lighter, it is still built with the usual high quality materials we have come to expect from Liquid Force. The canopy uses their new Dura X material, which is double laminated for durability. Their Layered Frame construction puts added protection at stress and wear points, and internally they have used a 0.1mm TPU bladder material that is the strongest on the market. All this is topped off with the fantastic Max Flow inflation system that ensures you will be one of the first riders off the beach.
The Envy is a three-strut kite with a shortened minimal bridle with no pulleys - there is a direct connection on the rear of the kite. It’s aimed at the rider looking for a do-it-all kite that can handle itself in whatever conditions you throw at it. Used by the likes of Brandon Scheid for wakestyle, freestyle, waves and foiling it’s a kite that a lot of riders should enjoy.
There is a new bar for 2015, but sadly it wasn’t available at the time of this test. The new bar features above-the-bar depower and, from what we have seen, looks set to be one of the best set ups on the market with every detail carefully thought out and looked after…
The 2014 CPR control system comes as a 4-line set up and looks solid and uncluttered. Holding the bar is very comfortable due to the EVA grip and the whole set up is very clean and tidy. The non-mechanical push-away quick release uses its simplicity to avoid any complications and it works very well. There are two options for attaching your leash, if you are unhooking then you can attach to the trim strap, which depowers the kite mostly all the way. If you want 100% depower then you can attach your leash to the safety ring. There are three size options for the bar, 45, 50 and 55cm. The lines are German engineered and stretch resistant, 20m in length with 3m extensions.
In The Air
Wow, this kite is a bit of a revelation! If you’re familiar with the Envy of old this is about as far removed as my tenuous link to being Obama’s cousin. Last year they improved the handling of the kite greatly, this year it has got even better and for the first time since I have been testing these kites I would say I would happily use it in the waves. The turning speed and handling has been improved hugely with the thinner struts, leading edge and reduced weight.
Fans of the Envy’s stability won’t be disappointed however, it’s still got that classic feel to it, but when you crank the bar this year you are rewarded with near instant response. This handling has improved the kites jumps too, you can really get some serious vertical lift to go with the hangtime the kite always delivered.
Upwind is improved as well, the thinner leading edge and more dynamic flying characteristics helping the kite to penetrate towards the edge of the window. Relaunch has been improved; the more swept back wing tips allowing the kite to release itself off the water. The new Envy is going to suit a variety of riders and abilities, if you can get a ride on one we recommend it.
We honestly weren’t expecting this much of an improvement to a kite that had a major shake up last year, but it’s improved handling makes it a solid contender for waves, freestyle and freeriding. The build quality is excellent and when coupled with the new bar, which we can’t wait to get our hands on, this should be a very polished package indeed!
This review was in Issue 47 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Liquid Force Kites
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!