Liquid Force Kites Solo 12m 2020 Kitesurfing Review

Liquid Force Kites Solo 12m 2020

Reviews / Kites

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At A Glance

The Solo has been the stalwart of the Liquid Force light wind line up for some time, while many brands now embrace the one strut design, Liquid Force were among the first. Aimed at the rider looking to get out when the wind is light and for those travelling on a limited luggage allowance, it’s a do it all freeride design with a penchant for a bit of hydrofoil action.

For 2020 the kite had quite a lot of work put into to, almost a complete redesign from the ground up the centre arc has been flattened to offer more power and low-end grunt. The canopy profile has been tweaked to make it faster through the sky and more playful, and the wingtips have been widened to improve the handling and wind range.

Finally, the bridle has been shortened and features two aluminium sliders; the goal here was to increase the usable wind range and also to improve the feeling at the bar. Overall the weight has been reduced too, lightweight bladders and minimal Dacron ensure it’s one of the lightest kites on the market.

Sizes: 5, 7, 9, 12, 15.5m

In The Air

We’re big fans of these light wind one strut kites, although some brands definitely do it better than others. The trickiest thing is adding wind range to the low end of the kite. All too often you’ll be out riding on a mere zephyr, and then the wind picks up.

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Suddenly, your great session on the water becomes a battle with a kite that is overpowered. If you are on a foil, then this becomes even more of a struggle. Needless to say, the light wind power delivery from the Solo is exemplary, the lighter build combines with the new shape and profile, and you’ll find yourself cruising in winds that previously wouldn’t be possible.

What really stands out is the kite’s ability to fly in almost nothing, it’s very stable in the air and doesn’t seem to want to back stall or overfly no matter how hard we tried. This is testament to the new wingtips, which were purposely designed to reduce the affect of back stall when the rear lines are under tension. All in all, this makes the kite easier to fly, especially in light winds where less experienced riders have a tendency to over sheet.

In terms of handling, it’s dynamic and playful, which is saying something when you consider it’s a 12m kite. Of course, the wingtips are prone to the classic “one strut flutter”, when turning the kite really hard, but it’s not too noticeable and has been reduced over the previous design. As the wind picks up the kite actually handles it really well, flying forwards in the window and producing plenty of drive.

Upwind the kite is fantastic and coupled with a foil in 8-10knots it’s an absolute weapon and a joy to be underneath. The handling is engaging, and you’ll be cruising around with a smile on your face. The relaunch is OK, as ever with a one strut there is an element of technique required if the cards don’t fall favourably. The shorter bridle prevents the kite from rolling through itself, so that’s a welcome development.

Overall

There are many one strut kites out there, but there is only one Solo, with a decent pedigree behind it the crew at Liquid Force have really got this kite dialled and we love the way it handles. The low end is incredible, and the high end is much improved.

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This review was in Issue 80 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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