The 2020 Neo remains true to its roots and its purpose in life.
Fantastic drifting abilities, responsive steering-powered or depowered, 4 and 5-line setup.
It’s the go-to surf kite for all good and gonnabe-good wave riders looking to get the most out of every wave session.
Works well as a good kite for freeride and foiling kiteboarding.
– Great kite for Canterbury kiters who spend most of their kite on surf boards, but still want to foil & muck around on flat water. Easy relaunch, amazing drift & packing a punch for its size..
In 2019, Neo creator Ken Winner, made sure that this design never lost its central purpose of being the go-to surf kite for top level and hardcore wave riders like Airton Cozzolino, Matchu Lopes, Sebastian Ribeiro and Patri McLaughlin.
By tweaking and adjusting the minor details, he found the ultimate combination of power, turning, drift and intuitive bar feel.
WHAT WAS YOUR VISION FOR 2020 NEO?
For the 2020 Neo development, my vision was not to change it, but enhance it.
The foundations were all there; incredible handling and excellent drifting capabilities for wave riding, as well as a good performer in freeriding and foiling.
I looked for inspiration in innovations that had worked in other models and saw what the outcome would be.
WHAT WAS THE PROCESS?
Allow me to detour slightly. When designing the 2019 Mono we managed to achieve a lower aspect ratio than in the past. Bigger Monos have AR 4.1, smaller Monos have AR 3.7. This has worked really well delivering better drift, more engaged turning and less flutter.
With the Neo, aspect ratio isn’t something we have played with much. Most Neos have had an aspect ratio of 4.5 and since we had so much success in revising the AR of the Mono, we decided to see what we could do with Neo so tested prototypes at AR 4.3 and AR 4.1.
There were attractive qualities in these protos and we were encouraged enough to try quite a few of them. In the end the 4.1 and 4.3 AR protos gained qualities we wanted, but lacked in the qualities we wanted.
Not abandoning the whole concept, we tried minuet changes in aspect ratio – 4.5 to 4.4. Even with such small
adjustments, we were unable to make the prototypes match up to the previous production Neo in terms of performance. In the end, we decided that the place where we knew we could get a better kite without any loss or compromise was in the area of materials and panel layout.
HOW DID YOU ACHIEVE THIS AND HOW DOES IT TRANSLATE INTO PERFORMANCE?
Our longstanding partnership with our cloth suppliers and combined expertise, verified the implementation of our new 70 g Trinity TX canopy and Trailing Edge material with the new, more subtle Trailing Edge wave pattern which is lighter, reduces flutter marks but remains as strong as the previous Dacron reinforcement.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN DESIGN AND PERFORMANCE UPDATES FOR THIS YEAR’S MODEL?
The new cloth material and lower weight has enhanced the Neo’s nature and aerial performance.
The new Trailing Edge wave pattern which is lighter, reduces flutter marks but remains as strong as the previous Dacron reinforcement.
In addition, the applied and newly developed 75 g Ripstop material has similar stretch and ageing characteristics to the D3 canopy material. The reason for these updates is to have a more harmonious transition between these two materials.
WHO WILL ENJOY THE 2020 NEO?
It’s clearly the kite for dedicated wave riders, wave intermediates and wave-curious riders.
Furthermore, it has easy relaunch, an intuitive feel and sheet-go performance that makes it versatile and attractive to more all-around riders.
WHICH LINE LENGTHS AND BAR DO YOU RECOMMEND WITH WHICH SIZES?
This is an issue of personal preference, but Sky and I use 22m lines a lot on sizes 5m2 to 10m2.
WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE DIFFERENT SETTINGS?
The Adaptive Tip adjustment gives a light bar and a more direct bar choice.
A lighter bar is easier on the arms but gives less direct eyes-off feel for the kite. The front bridle adjustment gives the choice between a more surfy feel and more drift as well as a more depowered Freeride feel.