A complete look at the Duotone Neo
In years past we’ve often touted the Neo as more than just a wave kite but also an awesome freeride kite. While this is true, it occurred to me that we’ve almost done this kite an injustice in regards to its surfing capabilities. This year, I’m committed to going the extra mile with these reviews. We’ll be diving in to everything you might want to know about the Neo, and why this may or may not be the right kite for you.
The Neo is a good fit for a specific type of kitesurfer.
If you’re dedicated to your discipline and you’d choose a surfboard over a twintip any day. Or maybe, you just live somewhere with conditions that are always wavy and that's just the hand you’ve been dealt. The Neo is a good fit.
New Progression for all around kiteboarders
Another possibility is that your knees might just be getting tired of jumping and you’re looking for something new to progress at. Lastly, and most likely, you’re someone who likes to do it all but doesn't want to make any sacrifices when it comes to your wave riding.
You’ve probably been looking at a range of kites. Some claim to be pretty good in the waves, some are dedicated wave kites like the Neo. One thing's for sure, I’ve never experienced a kite quite like the Duotone Neo. I don't mean this is the fluffy feel good review way. What I mean is it has a unique blend of characteristics that absolutely put the Duotone Neo into a category of its own.
I hadn’t spent much time on the Neo before, seeing that I usually fly big air and hangtime kites. I never thought it was a kite that fit into my quiver. The fact that I don’t live in Michigan and get to ride all the gear at the shop I am limited in the amount of gear I test. However when I gave it a try at the distributor meeting, I was pleasantly surprised to say the least.
One of the first days of the trip there was a light wind morning where I was on a 10m Neo and was the only person on the water. I was shocked, after riding a kite of that size with so much power it made me want to rethink my choices. Rather than foiling with a massive 17m like I usually do, why not just use a Neo.
The Neo has an unbelievable amount of power for a kite its size and slacks really well when carving or going downwind on the foil. In addition, being able to jump, loop and flip all sorts of ways, is much easier when riding a smaller kite. The steering and bar feel of this kite wasn’t like anything I had ever flown. I remember thinking, “no wonder Airton, Matchu and Sebastian are so good,'' equipped with a kite like this, one handed kiteloops, smacking the lip of a wave, or landing your first backroll on a foil is made much easier.
This kite is clearly designed for wave enthusiasts, world champions, foilers, but at the same time works great for your everyday rider or as a school kite. I am really liking how diverse all the kites are becoming. You can have one kite that can win a podium, then take the same kite and go teach a lesson.
Hilary and I were in Saudi Arabia teaching kiteboarding to a local community on the Red Sea. We had a variety of Duotone kites and the Neo was our instructors top choice for lesson. Our second choice was the Dice, which also works well as a teaching kite but lacks the same relaunch of the Neo. This kite is extremely responsive, fluid and instantaneously dumps power with the release of the bar. After flying this kite it made me want to find some swell and jump into strapless freestyle and wave riding!
I found that the Neo handled really well in all wind conditions and doesn’t flutter even when you think it should. Ken Winner used a new cloth material this year which allowed him to reduce the overall weight. This change resulted in less flutter of the canopy and extra durability when dropping your kite in the waves.