Jun 9, 2011
Author: SBC Kiteboard Test Team
The Lithium’s a Delta hybrid design that’s slated as the high performance all-around freeride powerhouse of the extensive Airush lineup of kites. It suits a wide range of rider with pivotal turning, direct bar feel and performance that suits a wide range of conditions and riding styles.
• Biggest low-end power of the test
• Big booster in light winds with plenty of hangtime
• Stable, solid and flutter-free canopy shape
On the Water
The Airush Lithium delivers solid performance that is easy to access and becomes comfortable with quickly. It has high-end performance that any rider will appreciate and learn to adapt to without any issues. The first thing you notice when the Lithium is in the sky is how stable and predictable this kite is. The solid canopy shape drives quickly through the window and gives perfect feedback of the kite’s position through the moderate levels of bar pressure. The 13 metre was one the gruntiest kites of the test and was the go-to kite for getting extra power in lower wind sessions. This kite can boost high with big hangtime even in lighter winds. Compared to last season the Lithium’s overall stability and power delivery has improved with smoother pivotal turning that offers constant pull through the turn. This is a fun kite for freeriding and ripping into powered carving transitions. It pulls through the whole down loop with consistent and smooth power. With a slight adjustment to the front lines the Lithium sits back in the window nicely and pulls smoothly, granting admirable access to unhooked pop. The Lithium is as capable of delivering performance for good levels of unhooked wakestyle riding as any Delta hybrid on the market today. The Delta shape also makes water relaunch a breeze, with a simple pull of the steering lines the kite is up and away. For boosting, the kite offers excellent positional feedback whilst overhead, and responds to aggressive bar input, keeping landings soft, powered and controlled. Although, bar pressure is constant and moderate, it is even throughout the arc when turning the kite, and there is no misstep in steering control at any angle. The Lithium is well suited for intermediate to advanced riders that want extra low-end power in light winds and a versatile freestyle kite for all conditions.
The 13 m could benefit from slightly more nimble input control but the power is appreciated and the 10 m is close to perfect.
The smooth power delivery, good boosting capability and solid unhooked performance of the Lithium make it a top choice for the well-rounded freerider and part-time freestyler. Solid low-end power, smooth and predictable pivotal turning and excellent positional feedback will inspire riders to push their riding to the next level.
Control Bar and Safety Systems
In its second incarnation, the Smart Bar II has a raised its IQ with a ton of new refinements. At the centre of the Smart bar resides the redesigned Brain quick-release trim loop. With ergonomically improved molding that releases easily under load and is hassle-free to reset. The Brain also houses an added suicide safety setup and features a removable swiveling locking tube. There is also swivel at its top for manually untwisting front lines. The Smart bar remains the only bar with a fully adjustable length bar system, which uses push-pin extensions between that insert between the removable bar ends. If you’re into switching up line lengths, then the Smart bar will excite, as it is equipped with 16, 6, and 3 m line sections. This allows you to fly with 20, 25, 17 or 10 m line lengths. You need not be a genius to comprehend why the Airush Smart Bar II is one of the premium bar setups available today.