Home Gear Latitude Prelude 11m (2009)

Latitude Prelude 11m (2009)

The SLE Hybrid Latitude Prelude is designed for riders with beginner to intermediate skills who enjoy a freeride style, creating smooth traction power no matter how gusty the wind. As a four-line kite the bridle is designed to give full depower and good response, utilising two heavy load Ronstan pulleys, connecting to the bridle and not the kite. The bar pressure is designed to be soft but maintains feeling allowing the rider to know exactly where the kite is at all times. Incredible stability ensures that the Latitude will not fall, even when fully depowered, instead just waiting patiently for the rider. The SLE Hybrid Latitude is a great all around kite that fits the skills and style of almost every rider.

We enjoyed this kite last year for it's lovely old school boost and hang-time, it was great fun. First impressions of the new kite is that the production level has been ramped up through the roof. Hats off to Latitude, no expense has been spared and this is right up there with the big boys in terms of build-quality. The canopy is fully featured with handles on the ends, one pump and all the trimmings and the bar is beautifully clean and simple. It's a great size ? not huge and not too skinny - with a wonderful feel in the hands. The swivel further up the lines works very well. Many have tried the Mickey Mouse swivel front-line system in the past, but this one really works.

The lines are very high-grade with a protective coating and look and feel like they'll last. The slider on the chicken-loop line is easy to us and provides you with the option of setting it low to take the load of the bar when trudging upwind. We've seen a lot of manufacturers remove this, usually for safety reasons, but if you're experienced, this one works well. If you're not comfortable with it, just push it up to the top of the line and out of the way. Pull it down though and you can do old school tricks like deadmans, but do be aware that when it's pulled right down it impedes the chicken-loop release. Good floats and oh shit handles on the end of the bar so you can launch and land by yourself rather than relying on the short fifth-line system. Above the bar depower webbing strap remains and as far as the bar's concerned, it's clean but nothing has been left off. Everything you'd expect from an '09 kite.

On the water the first thing that you notice is the light, power-assisted steering ? you're not going to get your arms pulled off with this kite. Speed is good and the kite likes to fly forward in the window, making shooting upwind a piece of cake. The soft but rapid turns add to the freeride qualities that this kite has. The way it turns doesn't make it the ideal partner for a kite loop king ? there isn't a big balls feeling down at the bar, but that gliding and sweeping nature of the kite, rather than biting and driving turns, make it fantastic for big floaty airs. We were pleased to find that the hang-time aspects of the kite were still packed in there while its overall nature has been incredibly refined. Unhooking is fun without being the electric charger that competition riders would look for. Comfortable power delivery, no back stall and a lot of fun and very stable.

The Latitude is allergic to the water. No joke. Watching Chris try to get it to sit downwind on its leading edge was comedy. It just wouldn't do it. The effortless relaunch is incredible. Wow.

If you put your ego aside, forget about getting the most powerful machine out there and are honest with yourself, you can't beat a good, fast, boosty, hang-time kite for putting a grin on your face. This kite will suit absolutely everyone apart from competition riders. If you're worried about relaunching you need to buy yourself one of these.

Fantastic, smooth handling, freeride performance and build quality. Not to mention the automatic relaunch.

If you're a kite loop maniac you'll want a bit more grunt.

14, 12, 10 and 8m

Latitude Prelude 11m


This test is inissue #39

Latitude Prelude 11m
Latitude Prelude 11m
Latitude Prelude 11m
Latitude Prelude 11m
Latitude Prelude 11m
Latitude Prelude 11m

Added: 2009-05-06

Category: Gear

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