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Liquid Force Solo kite - anyone have any comments / reviews?

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JimmyRyder
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Liquid Force Solo kite - anyone have any comments / reviews?

Postby JimmyRyder » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:58 pm

Hi guys,

I just saw the new Liquid Force SOLO pictures but no info on the net about it.
Did anyone had a chance to try this kite and see?!

A single center-strut kite would pack quite small and weight less so it would be great for traveling.

Please do share your comments and info on this kite based on your impressions after you ride this, it would be appreciated.


http://www.thekiteboarder.com/wordpress ... banner.jpg

http://epikoo.com/sites/default/files/i ... es/lfs.jpg
Last edited by JimmyRyder on Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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dyyylan
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Re: Liquid Force SOLO kite - anyone have any comments / revi

Postby dyyylan » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:25 pm

I don't think a lot of people have gotten a chance to ride it yet. Here's what someone said on another forum:
I have been pretty sceptic about this solo kite since I saw this thread and the marketing BS..what is this kite it supposed to do and for whom etc...??I don´t want to comment on the PDF about the solo, but I have to say that I have turned to be freaking amazed about this kite after trying it out!

Yesterday I just came back from Cape Verde, unfortunately no swell this time but a lot of head high wind waves on kitebeach and secrets in everything from 12 to 30 knots.


I got to ride the Solo 6.5 on my surfboard a lot and all sceptism about this kite dissapeared instantly after pulling it up - the marketing might be pure bull shit, but already now I know that this kite is by far the best I have ridden with a surfboard.

It is super direct and turns very fast if you want it to, yet its easy to keep steady and it drifts and float very well. The windrange (where the funfactor remains) is really incredible. Especially I was amazed to be able to go upwind on a 6.5 while others were just staying upwind on Envy 10.5 and even bigger kites. I swapped with my friend on Envy 10.5 and the low end range was pretty similar although pointing towards the Envy.
Somehow the less struts and clean canopy makes it really efficient for upwind in very light conditions even when you don´t have much power. The feedback in the bar is super good so when you´re choking it you feel it instantly and can sheet out a bit and keep the power up.

Unhooked it works very well on a surfboard also, if it is sheeted proper. It stays and floats with you when you drop in on the wave, it can be yanked around just with one hand in the centre of the bar without generating a lot of power, but the amount of oversheeting this kite will allow while riding hooked will make it just fall down if unhooking with the same setting. I still need more time in higher winds to know how it works in Denmark where the winds are nuking when we have waves and is cold and gusty, but it seems to eat gusts easily, it makes some weird noises when the canopy flutters during a gust when the bar is sheeted out, but you dont really feel it and shortly after the canopy has full tension again.

On a TT it works, but I would not bother really, just ride my hifiX instead - I might work to some extend, can´t tell really.

I did not think anything of this kite before I tried it but now I just can´t wait to get my hands on my own in 4,5 and 6,5 and maybe even 9. This kite is pretty much my dream for a wave kite. On the 6,5 I could go upwind in 12-14 knots and it was a blast in 25-30 knots still, it turns on a dime even heavily depowered so the usefull windrange is really huge....


LF local teamrider Tik Tik was also in no doubt about the solo. The best waveriding kite from LF ever by far - he rides a completely different style than me, always hooked in and doing everything from rail to rail down the line to thick barrels to surfboard freestyle in big or small waves. I would not bother riding the kite if it does not work unhooked in waves even in shitty onshore windblown crap.

I´d say try one and judge for yourself...

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Re: Liquid Force SOLO kite - anyone have any comments / revi

Postby John Doe » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:09 am

I may be one of the few that has ridden one, I believe it was a prototype of one a few months ago. A couple caveats; #1 I'm not associated with LF in any way, #2 I'm not a big tech-gear guy-I don't get too into all the bells & whistles etc., #3 I have been kiting since the beginning of the sport so I somewhat know gear-waves well.

I was on Maui & was chatting with Julien about kites. He came in on his kite later & said, "here, try it & tell me what you think of it". I went out on the 6.5m in pretty light winds, most others were out on 9's or bigger. I rode it for about 20 minutes on a Cabrinha Wave board. The thing worked great, smooth power, smooth everything, quick turning. It did seem to have a lot of power for a 6.5m for sure. Sheeting in brought smooth powering up. I have some Cabrinha's & another brand or 2, compared to them the thing was noticeably smooth all around. It had medium to light bar pressure.

Julien had it rigged so that the throw on the bar was pretty close to your body. Meaning your arm isn't fully extended when you completely depower the kite. I like having my arm out all the way, reaching for the bar at max depower. Clearly this is rider preference.

Some of the strutless kites I saw did have relaunching problems. I saw one guy give up trying to relaunch a strutless, swam to it & flipped it over. Then he got it back up in the air.

That's my review in a nutshell. I was impressed with Julien as he seemed genuinely interested in what the average Joe had to say about his creation. He asked me about all my other gear, why I bought it, what I liked, anything I didn't like & all that. Fun day.

JD

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Re: Liquid Force Solo kite - anyone have any comments / revi

Postby tekko » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:33 pm

I am the west coast LF rep. We air freighted some early SOLO kites in prior to last weeks PISMO Kite Expo in California. Our eastern and midwest reps received their SOLO demo's as well, so these are the only production SOLO's in USA at the moment.

First shop demo SOLO's (also aired in) are due to arrive in our warehouse today, and will be shipped this week out to our key retailers who have ordered them, so there should be more available for demo through your local retailer starting next week.

The rest are on a boat and we are on track for mid may release!

That said, I will share some insight from my experience sending people out on them for demo's last week.

First, I will say hands down the best response I have ever had in 8 years with LF showing a new kite at a demo!! Nothing but positive and surprised positive reviews from those who rode it.

It's lightweight super efficient design especially helped at onshore light wind Pismo as it has a great amount of power and pull at the edge of the window, making it easy to get off the beach and upwind.

Some long term LF riders said while a good kite, they wouldn't trade their ENVY's for it, which was good to hear, as it was not designed to replace or displace the ENVY.

Multiple people tried our SOLO 15.5 proto (going into production now and 15.5m avail for summer) and commented that they could get going in the same wind as the Turbine 17, but that it turned much quicker and felt less like a huge light wind kite. Also had people ride it directly after the trying the new Airush no strut 16m and 1 strut 14m and consistently heard that while those kites have pull, they pull super downwind which made the SOLO easier to ride and get off the beach in light wind pismo.

What surprised me most though, was the people I know who have never liked an LF kite feel and also those who resisted trying a 1 strut kite- as they thought it was too weird. In each of these cases I was met with surprise and smiles as people commented that this was 'best LF kite I've ever flown' and 'wow, I was hesitant about the 1 strut, but that kite was fast, precise, had good power, etc... might have to consider LF'

SOLO demo's are available now in The Gorge/ Hood River, Cape Hatteras and Michigan with out reps. I know based on the instagram shots that we all had wind and were able to get multiple people out on them last weekend, so hopefully as more people ride them more reviews will be coming in!
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solo-demo.jpg
Solo headed out for demo at Pismo Kite Expo

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Re: Liquid Force Solo kite - anyone have any comments / revi

Postby norcom » Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:04 pm

What's the retail price supposed to be on these?

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Re: Liquid Force Solo kite - anyone have any comments / revi

Postby edt » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:03 pm

The strangest thing about the solo for me is that you can't megaloop it, I mean you can but there's no yank because the air spills out the side. Not a lot of power on turns either. Boosts really nice though. could be a safety feature for those that don't like kiteloops or surfers that don't want to get pulled off a turn, but it's not for me.

I've never tried the cloud so I don't know if this is a feature of all these kites without many struts.

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JimmyRyder
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Style: FreeRide; Snowkiting;
Gear: 2019 Liquid Force - NV - 10.5m
2019 Liquid Force - NV - 13.5m
2018 Liquid Force - ELITE - 15m
2019 Liquid Force - P-1 - 16m
2019 Liquid Force - SOLO - 17.5m

2019 Liquid Force - RADNIUM - 142cm
2018 Liquid Force - LIBRE - 150CM
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Re: Liquid Force Solo kite - anyone have any comments / revi

Postby JimmyRyder » Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:06 pm

I don't think we suppose to expect this kite to react like NRG which is a jumper because maybe L.F. intended this one for another segment not to compete with the mega loops and jumps of the NRG.
Could be a kite intended for lighter riders,... or maybe a small-pack kite for traveling,... or maybe a light kite for Light Breeze,... or maybe all of the above.
So far what's certain is that there are no detailed info on the kite but in spite of that, the kite did well in the demos from what I understood from the guys who posted previous replies.
Anyway my interest in this kite was for that 15.5m Light Wind performance - is it worth or not (since is such a light weight kite) :D

The smaller sizes (12m & under) IF they work as good as they have been presented, that would be a bonus as far as I'm concerned since they pack small - I could have 2 kites in the same pack for traveling and with a NOBILE splitboard would fit all in one smaller bag (cheaper and easier for the plane traveling). :D

From what I understood this SOLO responds faster and pulls 20-30% better then the other kites.

My only concern been a single central strut would be in gusts:
a) does it flutters badly having all that canopy and only one strut?
b) does it holds its shape in gusts or its canopy twists and have shape distortion?
c) does it hold its shape when riding a 210 lb (95kg) rider?

Question for the riders who could ride and make a difference with other kites, is this SOLO better, the same or worse compared to ENVY, NRG or other brand kites ?
(so we know is it worth buying or we're wasting money?)
:)

edt wrote:The strangest thing about the solo for me is that you can't megaloop it, I mean you can but there's no yank because the air spills out the side. Not a lot of power on turns either. Boosts really nice though. could be a safety feature for those that don't like kiteloops or surfers that don't want to get pulled off a turn, but it's not for me.

I've never tried the cloud so I don't know if this is a feature of all these kites without many struts.
Last edited by JimmyRyder on Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Liquid Force Solo kite - anyone have any comments / revi

Postby edt » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:16 pm

Yes it flutters all the time, in a turn, throwing out the bar redirecting the kite in a jump. it's kind of weird, but I don't think its a big deal. You get used to it pretty quickly and I don't think it will wear out the kite. It's not like a kite flapping on the beach all day, it will flap for a few seconds and then pull together. But for sure! yes it flaps a lot. You can always hear the kite flapping when someone is walking with it in the air out to the beach with the bar out. I felt that the shape was really solid and no problem with heavier riders. I am down a bit in weight to about 190 pounds, but never felt any distortion no matter how hard I flew it. It is definitely different, not at like the envy. this kite is not "better" not "worse" just different.

I wanted to tomahawk this kite really hard just to see what would happen but it wasn't my kite. It has split strut so it seems like it should be able to take a really good slam.

I don't know if you want to buy this kite without getting a demo first.

It's such a pretty kite tho. Just not for me I need the C kite feeling.

It has no pulleys so it has a nice direct feel.

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Re: Liquid Force Solo kite - anyone have any comments / revi

Postby tobikites » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:02 pm

I tested the Solo during the Kite Expo in Pismo a few days back. It was a pretty light wind day and I first went out on the 12 m solo but had a hard time getting going. I walked around the beach to Slingshot and tried the 17m turbine with a big board. Had an easier time staying upwind, but it was not much fun with the kite. It felt like driving a big truck and moving that kite around was just painful. I walked back and saw the 15.5 Solo and gave it a shot. What a difference. The kite felt so much better than the slingshot turbine. Besides the good responsiveness on the bar, I was also able to stay upwind maybe even better than on the larger slingshot. Having the ability to move the kite around a bit in the low wind conditions seems to work better than just having a big sluggish kite like the turbine. I spent quite some time on the 15.5 solo and really had a great session considering the light wind that we had that day. I did notice some flapping on the canopy but it didn't translate to any issues for me on the water.

The wind was a little better on Sunday so I also went out on the 12m solo as well as on a bunch of other kites from different vendors. The strutless RRD was probably the best compared to the 12m Solo. Both had some canopy flap but the RRD seem to have more and that was noticeable during launching and landing on the beach. Again, it didn't really translate to much difference for me riding them. Even though they were both 12m the Solo had a bit more grunt than the RRD.

I did a few jumps with the solo and it stayed and floated well in the air. I really like the lightness of the kite and that was noticeable in the air. The wind wasn't good enough, so I didn't try kiteloops.

Overall I was pretty impressed with the Solo for it's feel, lightness and responsiveness. They did a really great job on the kite. The design looks great on the kite. I was pretty excited about the solo when leaving Pismo. The fact that it rolls up really small, and you can fly a smaller size compared to other kites, makes it a real deal for packing light for travel etc.

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Rhodos - Greece
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2019 Liquid Force - NV - 13.5m
2018 Liquid Force - ELITE - 15m
2019 Liquid Force - P-1 - 16m
2019 Liquid Force - SOLO - 17.5m

2019 Liquid Force - RADNIUM - 142cm
2018 Liquid Force - LIBRE - 150CM
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Re: Liquid Force Solo kite - anyone have any comments / revi

Postby JimmyRyder » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:33 pm

Thank you Tobikites, :thumb:
Also thank you all for your feedback and info, please do continue posting your thoughts as you ride this new SOLO kites in any size (with goods and bads).
This way each of us can judge based on the info if this kite is or is not ok for what we intend to do with it.

I am still debating which I should buy next for myself:
1) 10 or 12m ENVY compared to 9 or 12m SOLO ?! :?:
2) 15m ENVY or 15.5m SOLO ?! :?:

What do you guys think? :?:
(I was on Ozone before but want to get me some Liquid Force this time so that is why I need the advice)
:)

tobikites wrote:I tested the Solo during the Kite Expo in Pismo a few days back. It was a pretty light wind day and I first went out on the 12 m solo but had a hard time getting going. I walked around the beach to Slingshot and tried the 17m turbine with a big board. Had an easier time staying upwind, but it was not much fun with the kite. It felt like driving a big truck and moving that kite around was just painful. I walked back and saw the 15.5 Solo and gave it a shot. What a difference. The kite felt so much better than the slingshot turbine. Besides the good responsiveness on the bar, I was also able to stay upwind maybe even better than on the larger slingshot. Having the ability to move the kite around a bit in the low wind conditions seems to work better than just having a big sluggish kite like the turbine. I spent quite some time on the 15.5 solo and really had a great session considering the light wind that we had that day. I did notice some flapping on the canopy but it didn't translate to any issues for me on the water.

The wind was a little better on Sunday so I also went out on the 12m solo as well as on a bunch of other kites from different vendors. The strutless RRD was probably the best compared to the 12m Solo. Both had some canopy flap but the RRD seem to have more and that was noticeable during launching and landing on the beach. Again, it didn't really translate to much difference for me riding them. Even though they were both 12m the Solo had a bit more grunt than the RRD.

I did a few jumps with the solo and it stayed and floated well in the air. I really like the lightness of the kite and that was noticeable in the air. The wind wasn't good enough, so I didn't try kiteloops.

Overall I was pretty impressed with the Solo for it's feel, lightness and responsiveness. They did a really great job on the kite. The design looks great on the kite. I was pretty excited about the solo when leaving Pismo. The fact that it rolls up really small, and you can fly a smaller size compared to other kites, makes it a real deal for packing light for travel etc.
Last edited by JimmyRyder on Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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