Kite: 2020 Airush Lithium V11 - 8m
Conditions: 18-20 knot Perth seabreeze with occasional 25 knot gusts.
Disclaimer: I change kites annually and pay for all my own gear.I rode Airush for 4 years before changing to North/Duotone Rebels for the last 3 years. I demo a few brands of "freeride" kites each season prior to making a purchase (Airush, Core, Duotone & Ozone).
Key requirements: Weighing in at 75 kg I prefer a one kite quiver (8m) that will cover the 15-30 knot wind range. I use a larger light wind TT to cover the low end then swap to a smaller TT once the wind kicks in. The kite needs to cover boosting, occasional wave riding and whatever else I attempt i.e. Backroll transitions, jump transition with loop etc.
Previous generations of Lithium's have always been grunty park and ride kites with good low end power. They have traditionally sat fairly deep in the wind window making them a handful at the top end of their wind range. The bar pressure was fairly heavy and similar to previous generations of Core XR's, this was a factor in deciding to move to Rebels. The new Lithium V11 is a definite step up from previous years. The most notable change are the flying characteristics. Unlike previous models it seems to fly further forward in the window, hunting the edge of the window in gusts rather than providing raw downwind pull.Bar pressure is noticeably lighter without losing any feedback or responsiveness, wingtip pigtails were on the standard "middle" setting and not adjusted to the "lighter" bar pressure setting. The kite looped well on the standard settings and I would assume slightly quicker if I made the wingtip adjustments. Loops are not as tight an arc as say the 2020 Duotone Dice 8m, but it holds it own given its a freeride not freestyle kite. Jump height and float is similar to my current Duotone 2019 Rebel making this a good all round kite.
If you are in the market for a new freeride kite add this one to the list for a demo. All the technical blurb is available here airush.com/kites/lithium-v11/.
Airush along with most large kite manufacturers have introduced a few design changes this season that are worth looking at so demo, demo, demo.
Reviews are not my thing so take it for what it is, my opinion only and I make no recommendations either way.
Thanks to Kitebud in Perth for the demo kite.