LF P1 review

Liquid Force P1 Kiteworld Review

We review LF’s high aspect freeride kite

 

THIS TEST FIRST APPEARED IN ISSUE #94 IN JULY, 2018

 

Liquid Force P1 Kiteworld Review

 

TEST TEAM NOTES

As the Liquid Force NV has progressed into becoming a very tuned three strut hybrid all-rounder it left a gap in its wake for a good beginner to intermediate and above sheet-and-go kite that could also hang with the big freeride players when it comes to easy boost and hangtime. 

The P1 is bow-like and broad shouldered with swept back tips. Liquid Force fans will find this a welcome addition to the quiver that is essentially very easy to use and predictable in its handling. 

Liquid Force P1 Kiteworld Review

The power delivery is quite soft and not snatchy when compared with some of the super-tuned freeride boost machines on the market. There’s lots of sheet-and-go performance, great stability, intuitive turning and compared to the NV it’s less sporty and high maintenance. The thicker leading edge adds a calm feeling, whereas the NV now has such a thin leading edge profile that it’s a far more racey, keen and eager specimen. Fantastic for learning kite loops on for sure, but the NV doesn’t have that same secure and dependable feeling that the P1 now offers to first time buyers and intermediate market. 

That being said, the P1 also packs impressive freeride performance, especially when it comes to hangtime! There are no gaps in the sheeting range and when you send it overhead and sheet in the take-off is smooth and doesn’t yank you unnervingly. Bags of hangtime give you great flight sensations and lots of time to not only get used to air time, but for advanced riders this is a wicked board-off machine. It’s a sky hook and is hard to oversteer and put in the wrong place. 

The P1’s ratio of boost versus hangtime is a little more geared towards hangtime. Where some more powerful and boost focused bow-shaped kites can really rip you off the water, the P1 is a little softer, which will suit lots of riders. This isn’t as direct as the Slingshot Rally, it’s closer to the Core XR in terms of its soft and clean feel, but where it differs to the XR is that the P1’s hangtime gearing is more dominant than its boost height. Where this helps of course is in your transitions, so there’s no need to send the kite hard for a transition, or be really accurate; just drift it overhead, sheet down and you have so much time in the air at an easy altitude to get comfortable and style out your airs when you’re changing direction. The soft input makes it easy to redirect the kite as you come back down and land with good, smooth forward momentum. The P1’s responsiveness also makes it a huge amount of fun to throw around in advanced hands. 

 

Liquid Force P1 Kiteworld Review

 

In terms of range the P1 is very constant with smooth torque at its low end that isn’t too aggressive for anyone. However, because of that low end and generous hangtime, the top end of the kite becomes a handful in much over 25 knots. Although there are no gaps in the sheeting range and the P1 smoothly applies power as you sheet in, you may want to set it on the lower back line knot in mid winds and upwards to ensure the kite keeps flying forwards as you become more aggressive with your sheeting. For us, we’d ideally want a knot between the factory setting and the lower knot for all conditions (which you could do). 

For absolute boost height the P1 is a few rungs off top spot in this five strut, powerful freeride category, but it’s an easy package, low maintenance, light in feel and fun. Oh and the hangtime will make you feel like a bird. Just watch out who is downwind of you. If you’re looking to learn to kite loop then the NV as a three strut hybrid is absolutely brilliant for that progression, whereas the P1 is the option for hooked-in boosting, cruising as well as adding elements like downloop transitions into your riding repertoire. 

The LF Mission bar is fully featured, but lacks some of the final finesse of some other brands, but it is smooth in your hands, has a plastic coated depower line cover, can be altered in width, has a smooth sheeting cleat and ticks all the boxes. We’d appreciate a more compact set-up though. 

Relaunch is like child’s play, adding to the freeride and early intermediate credentials of this kite and it comes equipped with LF’s excellent Max Flow inflation system. 

 

Liquid Force P1 Kiteworld Review

SUMMARY: 

Filling a gap excellently in LF’s kite range, where the NV has been allowed to develop into a fast and potent all-round hybrid, the P1 has come in for the hooked-in masses who are looking for an uncomplicated, fun and progressive ride offering lots of floaty hangtime. Simple, easy to use, soft power delivery and easy sheeting mean you can ride this all day long with ease. 

 

KW LIKED: 

Easy, comfortable kitesurfing with accessible performance on tap when you’re ready to send it.  

 

KW WOULD CHANGE: 

If we’re looking for absolute Woo stat performance, we’d trade a little less hangtime for a bit more aggressive lift for a greater boost peak. The P1 then however probably wouldn’t be so comfy in your harness. We would however be excited to try the 12 metre as it should be a lovely 15 – 20 knot freeride tool to progress your kitesurfing on. 

 

P1 BALANCE POINTS 

Build quality: 8

Full package: 8

Low end: 8.5

Top end: 7.5

Steering speed: 7

Turning circle: 5

Bar pressure: 6

Water relaunch: 7.5

Drift: 7

Boost: 7.5

Hang-time: 8.5

Unhooked: na

Cross-over: 6

Ease-of-use: 8

 

SIZES: 16, 14, 12, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4m 

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE P1 WITH BRANDON SCHEID

 

www.liquidforcekites.com

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