Feb 5, 2009
Author: Shane Thompson
Size Tested: 8 m2, 11 m2, 14 m2 / Style: Closed-cell depowerable foil / Wind range: 15-28, 12-24, 9-20 knots / What’s new: Crossover foil kite for water or snow, depowerable with easy water relaunch
New from HQ-Powerkites, the Neo has been designed as a true crossover kite for those who like to snowkite but want to try the water too. The Neo is an easy-to-fly foil that offers predictable turning speed, good depower range and the ability to reverse launch off any surface.
Key kite features
The Neo was designed in cooperation with Tom Bourdeau and is packed with new innovative features like Y-shaped front lines for less drag, internal drainage systems and double-stitched seams with Dacron-reinforced profiles. Additionally, each size of the Neo has a unique aspect ratio to ensure the most efficient flying characteristics.
Although most of the testers were not used to flying foil kites, they had fun testing the Neo. One of our testers even used the kite for some unhooked wakestyle riding. The kite turns at moderate speed and generates good power while diving through the window. It doesn’t boost huge air but has good float to practise standard aerial manoeuvres and transitions. It has some decent depower as well, although we didn’t get to try the small kite in a lot of wind.
The benefit of using the foil kite comes in its ability to pack up small and quickly. No need to pump up and no grumbling about whether it’s a one-pump system or not. The Neo is a great choice for the first-time kiter who wants to learn to snowkite in the winter and then try out the summer program.
Packing up takes a little longer than an open-cell foil, but it still packs up nice and small. If you’re an inflatable user who wants to kite in winter or go backcountry, look to HQ’s dedicated terra firma foils.
The Neo is an innovative design that aims to get more riders on the water and on the snow. It has simple performance that suits the snowkiter who wants to expand his skills to water.
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