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So, the WOW is now onto V4 (which is pretty crazy in itself – four years. Really?!) and it has carved itself out a solid niche in the waveriding scene with its lightweight construction and driftability proving it a to be one of our favorite kites in cross-offshore conditions where it would sit downwind and effortlessly glide down the line with you. You can immediately see that this latest version has had a lot more changed than the V2 > V3 transition, and the profile and tips of the kite are different with an altogether boxier shape bringing it more into the style of some of the other surf-specific kites. The weight of the WOW is, again, exceptionally light, with minimal Dacron (we may say this regarding other kites, but this is exceptionally minimal!) and a skinny leading edge keeping the weight right down. Inflation is via Liquid Force’s it-needs-a-special-adaptor inflation system which can see you pumped and ready to go in under 20 seconds with the skinny LE and struts and friction free pumping.
In the air and the WOW feels solid – Liquid Force have tweaked the tip design to increase rear line tension and which does make the kite more stable on the beach (and we had a couple of super sketchy launches with offshore wind) without needing to keep moving it to keep it in the air. Once again the lighter weight makes the kite super maneuverable and you need to work it to get yourself up and riding, although the deeper profile and wider tips provide improved low end when compared to the previous version. These also translate into more pivotal turning and the WOW really does spin around on its axis but without then overflying out of the window. We found that this resulted in a kite that was super fun to ride in onshore conditions and – once you were on top of the quick performance – you could place it perfectly where you wanted it to be to continue providing enough pull through weaker sections but then switching off nicely when required. In cross-offshore conditions, the WOW’s light weight ensures that it is still a drifting machine and you can follow it down the line and have confidence that it is not going to drop out and – even with a good amount of slack line – it is more likely to recover than to end up in the water.
In a sentence: A serious reworking provides improved maneuverability and performance in onshore conditions without compromising the supreme drift abilities.