Jun 9, 2011
Author: SBC Test Team
In its second incarnation, the 2011 LF Envy embodies the ultimate ease of use and high-end performance for any rider, every day in any situation or kite discipline. This is a hybrid Delta-shaped kite that fuses the forgiving character of the Delta shapes with consistent pull and control of the highly evolved LF USB 2 bridles and diamond wingtips.
• Ultra stable in the air
• Simple performance for any level rider
• Smooth power delivery for unhooked park style
On the Water
Packed with LF industry-leading features and construction, the Envy has a ton of innovative features that set it apart from the competition. The new one-pump system, Max Flo, definitely allows for quicker kite set-up, especially with just three struts. Great graphics and colours, solid Dacron framing, and perfectly tuned bridles ensure this three-strut design remains rock solid and turns heads in the skyline. This kite might eclipse the LF Havoc as the go-to freeride kite this year. The Envy was an impressive kite last year, but it lacked some high-end precision, and some low-end prowess. This year’s Envy is beefier and more performance focused with better low end, and improved feedback from the kite. The steering is quick and reactive but not lightning fast and the pivotal turns provide smooth power throughout. The 15 m had great low-end power and smooth control. This size is a perfect choice for any rider that wants to practice unhooked freestyle on lighter wind days. It sits back in the window, and even if it back stalls slightly it finds its way forward again after the drift. No worries when crashing this 15 m monster as the water relaunch was incredibly fast and easy. Also impressive is how stable and predictable this kite is overhead; it just wants to stay in the air and won’t stall and fall from the sky even in extremely gusty conditions. Gusts are smoothed out and power delivery remains constant, as gusts are easily tamed with some bar sheeting. It might just be the easiest kite for newbies to advance skills quickly because of its easy-to-access low-end power and when the wind picks up it doesn’t get unruly like most jumbo kites. Quick pivotal turns with smooth and consistent power generation through the arc, gives the Envy an edge in a ton of disciplines. Kite Loop transitions, unhooked and boosting, there are no faults to the Envy’s performance to speak of. With a quick trim adjustment, the Envy can unhook and feels comfortable for wakestyle and freestyle riding. Its beefy central canopy, combined with that cutaway trailing edge, and famous diamond wing tips seem to work magic for this kite. The smaller sizes are also wave-capable with great pivotal turns and consistent control. Although the Envy isn’t a huge technical booster or a super-glide, high altitude freestyle kite, its lightweight three-strut design, and ultra smooth power delivery let the rider focus on nailing that next trick or riding the perfect wave.
High-powered, high-altitude freestylers, that want to aggressively fly a faster pulling and more technical pivoting kite should look to SLEs that focus on that style.
The 2011 Envy has all the performance characteristics to be a go-to kite for any rider in any discipline that wants simple power, smooth pull and superior stability. Freeriders, freestyle and wave junkies alike will love the overall wind range, easy flying character and high tech features that drive this Envy.
Control Bar and Safety Systems
The LF CPR Control System hit was a test favourite last season with some great new design features that deliver high levels of safety and functionality. At its centre, the CPR trim loop is three-piece molded design which has no metal or moving parts. Although the loop detaches entirely from the system when engaged, its superbly easy to reattach with one hand. The CPR also houses the cleat at its centre to adjust trim line length for depower. With this long centre trim line, the CPR offers two options for flagging safety. Attached to the mainline the kite will depower 90 per cent and is the best option for re-ride capability. There is also 100 per cent flagging from the mini fight line attachment which flags off a single front line. Streamline floats and an aggressively narrow, textured grip round off the LF CPR Control System. Great levels of safety and functionality match this bar well to the high performance of the Envy.