TESTED: Liquid Force P1

The P1 is an all new kite from Liquid Force. Suffice to say that it slots itself smoothly into the performance freeride and boosting sector and is targeted at day-to-day kiters who want to enjoy accessible performance, as well as hooked in freestylers and guys who want to boost big! Oh, and foilers… So, yeah, it’s very much a ‘do-it-all machine’ and – like much of the delta C shape designs on the market – the kite packs a lot of punch and ground pull for its size. Construction wise, the huge inflate valve makes pumping fast and effortless. The T3 canopy material is very silky and, even with five struts, build is lightweight with a minimum of Dacron in the wingtips – some of the knowledge borrowed from the Solo here. This lower weight lets the kite fly quite early and keeps it stable enough in light air to be a reliable partner for foiling. The Mission bar system is clean, with the safety running up the inside of the CL rope under PU tubing, so there should be a minimum of parts under friction minimizing wear long term. The rope throw is enormous, allowing a lot of sheet at the bar without the need for any trimming.

On the water and the P1 is a real sheet and go number, and in the air the first thing you notice is how lean the kite is. It has a wide span with a generous amount of projected area and the leading edge and strut diameter are minimal and efficient. Turning of the P1 is relatively pivotal – more than you would expect for a higher aspect kite – then the turning speed is predictable for its size. Bar feedback and pressure increases noticeably with wind strength, and can get a little remote at the kite’s top end when it’s time to come in and pump up a smaller size. Above 25 knots on the 9m, and you can really huck some impressive floaty jumps. Then, with a well-timed down loop, the P1 returns you to earth at a nice pace. For us, the P1 really shone in its low end performance. It drives efficiently upwind and boosts reliably. In its lower wind range it’s definitely beginner friendly with super simple relaunch, and will do you very well for your first floaty jumps and rotations. For foiling, the lighter weight and smooth on/off power will deliver all you need to maximize fun – particularly on the larger sizes where the lighter weight will have you shredding around with confidence.

In a sentence: A solid entry into this competitive sector – the P1 brings in many of the lessons that Liquid Force have learnt from evolving the other kites in the range and have produced a super-fun and predictable freeride machine.

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