If you read my previous posts about the Liquid Force Envy you’ll see that I liked it a lot when I demo’d two kites a couple years ago. So much so that Sharon bought a 9m Envy last season and got fully stoked on it.
Talking to Andy at Kite Paddle Surf Bellingham we found out he had a 7m Envy in the same colours as Sharon’s 9m kite. Having matching kites is ideal because everyone knows who you are and can look out for you.
On my drive home from Baja I stopped in and picked up her new kite.
The old Naish kites I learnt on and that I lent Sharon to learn on had a crappy inflation system. It required you to inflate 6 different bladders one at a time and you had to try and put the plug back in without losing too much air. Inevitably you had to inflate a few of the bladders multiple times before you got the kite ready to fly. That does not put a smile on your face!
The Envy by contrast has a huge inflation valve that allows you to pump up the whole kite in less than half the time of a normal single point inflation kite – let alone the 6 point inflation system on the old Naish kites. When we pumped up the new 7m it was ready to go so quickly I assumed I had overlooked something. The valve is 100% secure when you pull the hose off and doesn’t lose any air. Let’s just say I will be very jealous of how easy it is for Sharon to get her kite pumped on the beach every time we head out for a session!
An added benefit of the huge inflation valve is that it allows for very fast and easy deflation of the kite which makes packing up at the end of a session very convenient.
One thing I really like about the Envy is that it combines bomber construction in critical areas with a light weight overall. That’s not easy to achieve, but it means that the kite stays in the air with less attention and less wind if you crash and need a second to get yourself back together. At the same time it can take some abuse on the water and on the beach without needing repair.
Reinforced wing tips allow for self-launching again and again without issue.
The leading edge is reinforced with a double layer of Dacron where it counts and protected with EVA bumpers. When you inevitably tomahawk the Envy you’ll be happy Liquid Force took the trouble to design in these features.
The Envy’s 3 strut delta-C shape make it a simple lightweight kite to fly. The lightweight pays off in the kite’s ability to simply drift backwards downwind when line tension disappears rather than crashing. More than once I’ve crashed hard expecting to come up to the surface and seeing a kite fall out of the sky like my usual kites would do, but the Envy is just floating up there in the sky waiting for me to get back on the board.
The C-shape allows the Envy to pivot on its axis fast which delivers a nice constant power delivery in the turns – something I really like when riding a surfboard strapless.
The Envy is the perfect first kite for a rider who is beyond lessons and now wants to get some drama free time on the water to hone their skills. Having a quiver of Envy kites will be great for Sharon both because they are some easy to use compared to my old Naish kites and because they offer lots of performance for her natural progression the next few years.
The Envy is such a great strapless surfboard kite that I am considering buying a 12m kite to complete the quiver to share with Sharon.
I figure I let Sharon use my kites for a couple seasons so she can’t be upset about me borrowing hers right?…=-)
Although I suspect that’s why she got hot pink kites thinking I might not want to use them because they look girly – wrong!