What are the main technical/geometrical changes compared to the previous model? ( Arc, Outline, Sweep, Aspect Ratio, Angle of Attack, Tow Point, Cone, Leading Edge diameter, canopy profile, strut profile.)
We made changes in three cohorts of the Neo range:
1. The cohort of smaller kites, sizes 3 to 9 have the biggest changes. Here we changed:
2. The cohort of large kites sizes 11 and 12, saw the least amount of change. Here we changed only the outline in the forward part of the LE below the tip strut.
3. The cohort including only the 10-meter Neo saw changes similar to those of the 3-to-9 cohort but less extreme.
The change in the outline below the front of the tip strut causes the front of the leading edge to open more under a steering impulse - to assume a higher angle of attack on the side of the kite that is at the inside of the turn - and to thus permitting quicker turning. We did this on all sizes with the bigger change in the bigger sizes. There is the risk with this type of change that the bar feel will become erratic, so we tried different amounts and settled on a change that kept the Neo feeling quick but comfortable.
The change in profiles applies to sizes 10 and smaller. Here we went a little deeper in the centre and at the tip struts (stations 1 and 6) while going a bit flatter at stations 3 to 5. Keeping or increasing depth in the centre helped to ensure that we would keep power while flattening at stations 3 to5 helped reduce the slightly luffing that accompanies turning the kite. That luffing can slow turn completion, so this change helped improve Neo turning ability.
Increasing profile at the tip strut while reducing slightly above the tip strut exaggerated the effect of reducing profile above the tip strut while also reducing the potential for luff and flutter below the tip strut.
For people familiar with the previous model, how do the known characteristics of the kite change?
Riders familiar with the Neo will notice a more refined ride. Smoother, more consistent bar feel, quicker turning.
What are the setting options and air pressures?
We pump all Neos to 7 psi.
Sky, Patri and I use the “medium” setting on the backline bridle. Lighter riders and hydrofoilers may prefer the “soft” setting. And, as I mentioned above, strapless rider Airton uses the “hard” setting. We mostly recommend 22-meter lines, though the smaller sizes for me personally work best on longer lines, like 24s. Using a 4 on 22s gives a very short power stroke and overly-quick turning while using it on 24s gives a noticeably longer power stroke and a more relaxed turning speed.