DUOTONE NEO 2020
The wave kite test
Kite: Duotone Neo 2020
Size: 10 square meters
Test conditions: several days with light winds (from 14 to about 18 knots) during our kite trip in Tarifa plus some days of strong wind (20 - 25 knots)
Duotone Neo 2020 features
The Neo is the Waveriding kite par excellence, chosen by Airton, Matchu and Co. to compete in both wave and freestyle strapless races. A very light three-strut kite, a single pulley, designed to be fast and float in the air. The Neo has been the Duotone's kite for the waves for several seasons now, the novelty is that it now has the adjustment for those who engage in freestyle strapless.
We used the Neo with both Trust Bar and Click Bar, both with 24-meter lines (bar tests will be published in a dedicated post).
The Neo has 2 types of adjustments.
1. Adaptive tip (back setting): here we have 2 nodes one yellow and the other blue. When the V is set on the yellow node the setting is SOFT. This translates into a lighter feel on the bar, a faster kite that turns tighter, softer power delivery, even in loops.
The blue node corresponds instead to the Setting HARD which means greater pressure on the bar and greater feedback and better precision, wider and more powerful rotations and more agreessive loops.
2. Front Pigtail setting (front setting): once again we can choose between two settings identified by colors.
Attack between BLUE and BLACK means more depower and better jumping skills.
Connection between YELLOW and BLACK means better floatation in the air and more precise rotations.
The Team athletes told us that they prefer the BLUE - BLUE setting that makes the kite more direct and radical, even on the waves.
"Airport Valve II" inflation valve that connects directly to the Duotone pump tube and can also be used to deflate the kite.
How is the Neo 2020?
First of all, two premises:
The first is that the test concerns the YELLOW - YELLOW setting that we used most of the time because it is the most used and multi-purpose. The impressions of the exits with the BLUE - BLUE setting are at the bottom of the test.
The second is that this is the 10mq test ... but for a more accurate test of the wave sail we wait to use the 8 and above all to use it on WAVES, because the ones we found to try the 10 were more chop than waves.
On the bar the Neo transmits a rather light but precise and not insensitive pressure. A little lighter than the Rebel, similar to the Dice.
The first sensation you perceive by raising the kite is manageability. Move the bar and the kite reacts quickly, without delay in the controls. Direct and precise. At any time you know where the kite is. The perception of power is soft and progressive.
The stability in the air is remarkable, even with very light winds, even with the backs loose or slack, the Neo floats in the air moving forward and following you always.
The Neo immediately gave us a good feeling. It absorbs the gusts well, delivers the right power when you pull the bar, it never tugs you. In short, a nice kite to ride, relaxing but not too "nailed", fast but not "nervous".
When you move the sail through the window the Neo releases the power without excess or jerks and you can always put the wing wherever you want without having to think about it.
The beauty of the Neo is that when you need it you can almost completely cancel the power.
The wind range is very good. We sailed quietly with scarce 14 knots, and with 25 we were still pretty calm and with some more margin. Even the bowline is very good.
We used NEO mainly with directional board, both on waves (mediocre conditions) and to do some freestyle strapless.
With a surfboard the Neo gives the best of itself. Quick change of direction, prompt and direct response to the controls and great floating even if you inadvertently go too far.
Progressive power management helps you never get carried away from the table.
In the kiteloop and downloop the Neo turns tight and does not give you the blow but a push not too aggressive.
Those who are used to kites that are a bit more aggressive or look for the feeling of being pushed to be more radical on the waves, maybe they will find it too "moderate" ... that's what the BLUE setting is for!
We come to jumps. Surely it has fewer hang time and lift capabilities than Dice or Rebel, but it still allows you to make good heights and keep control: unobtrusive lift and good support without explosive peaks.
With the twint tip the Neo behaves like a maneuverable freeride sail. Ready to start, with excellent power management and gusts. It does not win by lift or hangtime but still allows you to jump.
Relaunch from immediate water.
In conclusion, the Neo turned out to be a handy and more versatile kite than what we expected, easy to drive and with an immediate feeling not only for those used to wave kites. Of course we recommend it especially to those who mainly use the directional table, because it is with that that you can appreciate all its qualities, but not only. Its uniformity in power delivery, its predictable behavior, its discreet but not excessive speed, are all qualities that make it very suitable not only for wave seekers but also for beginners.
In addition to us at Tabularasateam.it, they tried sailing with their impressions: Luca @ Sapotour and the kiters who participated in the September 2019 kitetrip in Tarifa
Here are some testers' opinions:
"Nice kite, I found myself very well. Easy, soft. The gusts could hardly be heard. Thanks to Neo I enjoyed it even with little wind" Giada
"The Neo on the waves is perfect. Progressive, fast, immediate. With the BLUE setting it gives you that boost and that extra panache to be even more radical" Marco
Thanks to Duotone @soulridershop for availability and collaboration and thanks to @Sapotour for collaboration in the tests.