The Liquid Force WOW has been around for a few years now, billed as their go-to wave kite; it’s aimed at the riders out here looking for the perfect kite to help them get the most out of every wave. The V3 for 2018 has undergone quite a few changes, the goal of which was to make the kite lighter, faster and give it a more dynamic turn.
The bridle has been changed, it’s a simpler layout now with connection points drawing further back along the leading edge. This reduces the weight at the very front of the kite and helps airflow in the middle section where power is generated. The trailing edge profile has been changed too, the rear wing tips are now effectively further back than before to increase the turning speed of the kite.
Depower range has also been increased, thanks to the updated bridle you can now dump more power, faster. The leading edge also sweeps into the wingtips a little more this year with less of an angular feel, again helping with turning speed. The leading edge diameter is again really thin, further reducing weight, and the kite itself, while reinforced, is very lightweight overall.
Liquid Force buck the norm and don’t use Teijin for their canopy material, instead they use triple Ripstop from Challenge Sailcloth, this material has a different coating, which is quite unique to the touch. It’s long lasting, highly durable and exceedingly UV resistant. Integrated Synergy Struts ensure a smooth profile while adding strength and Dacron is used to spread loads in key areas.
There are three attachment points on the trailing edge allowing you to tune the turning speed and the bar pressure. Max Flow inflation ensures you are first on the water too, with One Pump as standard and low volume struts and leading edge the kite is extremely quick to inflate. Less time pumping equals more time shredding!
We flew this kite on last years Mission Control Bar, there is an updated version coming for 2018 which features cosmetic updates and a few tweaks. We’ll get a test of the new bar when it becomes available, for now here is the write up on the 2017 bar.
Named ‘Mission Control’ or the MC bar for short, it now has a very grippy, but smooth coating and an effective insert for the PVC centre line to slide through. The bar ends are neat and compact with short floats attached.
The bar itself is adjustable between 49 and 55cm for personal preference and kite size. Simply by popping out the capsule at the end of the bar, you can set the leader line to one of three positions.
The chicken loop is relatively small, with a sturdy chicken loop and a push-away release, which is incredibly simple to reload. An effective swivel connects the chicken loop to the centre line, which is in turn connected to a simple cleat system for the depower. All in all, a simple and effective bar, which is refreshingly clean.
The changes made to the WOW V3 were very evident right from the first flight. First up, the bar pressure is incredibly light, similar to last year, but the turning speed of the kite has increased dramatically. This is really a kite you can take out in onshore conditions and throw around the window with ease. We also enjoyed the excellent drifting ability, the WOW V3 is very light, allowing it to hang in the air.
10m wave kites can be a real love or hate affair, some wave riders won’t ride anything bigger than a 9m kite as they find them too sluggish and heavy, that’s not the case with the WOW V3. It is nimble and light, with lots of low-end power to get you going early. We had some light conditions during the test, but with good flying skills the kite is very adept at generating power.
The depower throw on the kite is what we would class as medium; it’s not so short that you lose all power with just a few inches of movement. Equally, you aren’t putting yourself in contorted positions in an effort to lose power from the kite - people with shorter arms certainly won’t struggle here.
“Dynamic, fast, powerful and fun to ride!”
The kite behaves excellently when depowered, you don’t lose too much speed from the handling and the canopy flutter is reduced to a minimum. Upwind on the WOW V3 is excellent too, the thin leading edge profile allowing the kite to fly really far forwards in the window and drive upwind.
This year Liquid Force are keen to push the WOW as a pure wave kite, it would be unfair though to not mention it’s potential for boosting and foiling. The fast nature of the kite and the power it delivers allows you to drive it back through the window for some impressive boosts. In addition, the drifting nature of the kite lends it well to foil duties, plus its upwind drive will also impress.
Re-launch is very good on the WOW V3, a quick pull on a rear line has it dutifully marching to the edge of the window for an easy relaunch.
The V3 will impress with its big wind range, great low-end power and dynamic handling. Good drift and a lightweight nature lend it well to wave riding duties and it will suit both onshore and off-shore conditions. It can also boost some big airs too.
When underpowered at the low end of the wind range the kite needs good flying skills to get the most out of it. A few times we noticed a bit of back stall, which can catch out inexperienced kiters. Pulling an inch or two of depower can negate this, preventing you from over-sheeting or you can adjust your technique accordingly. If you are an experienced kiter with good flying skills this won’t be an issue and you won’t notice it.
The WOW V3 is another step forward in the development of this kite, the changes are very noticeable the instant you get the kite in the sky. It’s a more dynamic experience, fast, powerful and fun to ride the WOW has got the wow factor for 2018.
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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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