This was the biggest of the bow kites we had and unfortunately two of the three days we were testing them was spent at the top end of the smaller kites' ranges. A 12 was too much. It did go brilliantly in the light winds, though - planing at 10mph at times! It was good unhooked, but again, it was in lightwind. What we can say is that it's strong, has the spider inflation system, and when only the most powerful of the 14m C kite brigade were getting us up and going in the light airs, the 12 was pulling as much any. Unfortunately we can't really comment on the top end. You'll just have to try it for yourselves!
Hold up! Big promises from the Liquid massive - they claim the 2006 Assault is the most innovative 'bow style' high performance kite design in the world. The stability and predictability of the Assault make it very user-friendly and safe, so whether you're spinning that first 360 or riding waves, you have complete control. The wind range is huge too - you can be riding a 12 when other riders are out on 9's or 16's!
TEST TEAM NOTES:
WILL: When I was setting the kite up and taking the product shots I was so impressed with the finish on this kite. It's amazing. I reckon I could crash that a few times and it would be fine. Built to last with neat effects and graphics all worked into the details. The bar was good, everything was kept to a minimum and everything that didn't need to be on display was covered up by covers with cool graphics on. It's also got this two pump system. You can pump up the struts
together and then the leading edge separately. Good idea if you want to leave your struts inflated.
NEAL: Looked evil didn't it? The bar system's all tidy and solid and feels good in your hands. It was less heavy steering than some of the bow kites, but also wasn't as stable and it did seem to stall. It was bigger than the others and very light wind when we had it out though, which would help to explain this stalling. The smaller kites must be more efficient.
WILL: Liquid Force have a strong wakeboard heritage and although the steering was quite heavy on this, the kite was a real powerhouse. You could bust out some moves on this and you've still got the bow element for depower.
NEAL: Essentially it was powerful but it was big. Turned nothing like a C kite, was all bow. Went upwind well and planed in about 10 mph! That's great bottom end.
6, 9, 12, 16 and 19m
This test is in issue #21