Style: Freeriding, Surf, whatever
Weather: 20-25 knots
Build Quality: 10/10
Disclosure: part owner Liquid Surf Designs
The buils quility is second to none, and the materials used seen to be top quality.
There ar some heavy duty scuff pads over the stuts were needed. The bridal looks a little messy when setting up but is not at all difficult to set and there are some velcro tabs to fasten it to when packing up to keep it tidy.
One pump system is as good as any and the use of O rings instead of cable ties to secure tubing to the stuts seems to work well and is easy to remove/replce without tools.
The lines are 20m +5m and i used the full lenght lines on this day.
The bar system is great! excellent spring loaded QR although I think the spring could be a little heavier as i may be accidently released?? I had no problem with it.
The bar is similar to the core systen in that the lines can be easily attached outside or in side to effectively shorten the bar. There is a movable stopper above the bar like the Best kites have so you can sheet in and set it for those big down winders or doing dead men.
So how did it perform?
Fantastic! Its VERY fast. I like fast flying and turning kites. the upwind ability is the best of any kite I have flown and in the bigger gusts (25kn) I was using about a third to halve depower and getting some massive old school boosty jumps (its what I love). The kite is very stable and the bar pressure I would class as medium (more then the 08 edge ozones but less then the 09 RRD obsession, if that helps?)
The kite was so easy to fly that after 1/2 an hour I started doing some silly things like big boosts way to close to shore and got tripped up on one take off landing backwards at the ways edge with the kite head down toward the trees very quickly! even then the kite was easiy stopped before disaster.
negatives? The depower is the strap type and after have pulley and cleat style depowers on my last few kites I think the strap type is a little out dated and harder to reach. Apart from that I think the whole set up is top notch and I can not wait to try the 10m and the 8m.
Have 12 and 8m Eras. The 8 is simply awesome (stability, windrange and speed) and makes me wish my 12 were faster and had bigger range (I start at 13 knots and at 20 knots I am on full depower). Compared to my previous 12 (same/2008 vintage) the Era 12 still rocks (solid steering, massive power). Did have a valve failure (peeled off, but easily replaced for $20-25).
Intend to purchase a 6m (for 30+ knots) and maybe also a 10m next season.