I test rode a 2010 Liquid Force Envy 10m last season and liked it a lot. Bellingham Kiteboarding [aka Kite Paddle Surf Bellingham] lent me a 2011 Liquid Force Envy 12m kite to demo in La Ventana.
This worked out ideally as the wind dropped when I got the 12m Envy. I don’t have a 12m kite I love in my quiver so having a big kite that rocks was perfect. The 2011 Envy is even nicer looking than the 2010 model I tried last year. The graphics and colours work together well. Some people don’t care what their kites look like, but I figure if I have to look at my gear for hours and hours I want it to be a pleasant experience…=-)
The first thing you notice when grabbing the Liquid Force Envy as you walk down to the beach is the killer bag they provide. It’s super burly and very comfortable if you have a long hike from your car to the launch. Again some people don’t care about kite bags, but my kites spend a lot of time traveling from kite beach to kite beach and get thrown into my garage between trips. Having a tough bag means I don’t have to worry about my kites getting damaged by something sharp or from UV. These are the best bags I’ve seen in the kiteboard industry.
Out of the bag these kites are extremely well made with an eye towards durability. Many companies reinforce the edges of the wingtips, but Liquid Force uses uber beefy fabric for the whole wingtip. Sewing and reinforcements including leading edge bumpers are all first class.
Pumping up the kite is easy with only the leading edge and 3 struts needing air. I self-launched and self-landed the kite using a post on the beach. Like the 2010 model this kite is very user friendly and doesn’t cause you any drama.
On the water the 2011 felt a lot like the 2010 Envy. That’s a good thing! It’s easy to fly and very stable. The light 3 strut construction means that the kite will just float back in the window if you ride under it. If you have an epic crash you’ll come up and the Envy will be floating there waiting for you.
One thing I appreciate now that I didn’t in 2010 is that since I am more into riding a surfboard and cranking out turns on a wave it’s great to have a kite you can forget about and focus on your wave. If you ride towards it too much it just floats back into position….nice! It’s also great to have a kite that isn’t going to crash on you easily so that the chance for having an “incident” in the waves is way less than a nervous kite.
Like the 2010 Envy the 2011 model isn’t the fastest turning kite, but that buys you stability and confidence. I’d buy Envys for Sharon as her first kites because they are so user friendly for a new kiter and so I could use them when I wanted an idiot proof kite in the waves!
Click on the photo above for a nice video review with more details about the Envy.
“Rock solid stability, directional float, pivotal turning and effortless re-launch highlight the Envy’s “beyond delta” design for all around performance.This ultra lightweight three- strut platform gives light, responsive bar feel with impulse pivotal turning.
The Envy’s flight characteristics blend to produce a distinct “set it and forget it” feel.This makes it the perfect kite for everything from progressive wave riding to kite low freestyle domination.
Land a jump a bit too hot, under run the kite in a bottom turn… forget about it! The Envy’s lightweight design allows the kite to float directionally, enabling you to forget about the kite and concentrate on the important issues: making grabs, spotting landings and reading waves straight into the pit.?