AIRUSH LIFT - 10M
TESTED BY: Bully & Jim
TESTER BIOS AND TEST PARAMETERS: Here
TEST TEAM NOTES: In the early 2000s, the original Lift was widely hailed for offering easier access to explosive boost and hangtime than had been seen before. The Lift returns this year, aiming to deliver a modern twist on the same promises.
The ‘Load Frame’ means Airush don’t have to beef the kite up in other areas because their canopy is so strong, so the Lift feels nice and light. Looking up at the kite from the rider’s position the kite looks neat and compact, but in reality this is a wide, high-aspect bow-style kite with very swept back tips. As the shape suggests, it delivers exceptionally clean forward drive and upwind performance. Do three big jumps in a row and in one easy tack you can be back upwind ready to send another set to the skies.
TURNING AND POWER Although the turns are very pivotal you’ll still enjoy good connectivity. For a bow kite the response to input is effortlessly quick, reacting smoothly to aggressive steering and sheeting, but is also easy to dial into as it never feels heavy.
When you’re nicely powered, the Lift gets you up to a rapid board speed very quickly, which really helps maintain control in and around white water, so in difficult waters you can arrive at your kicker of choice at pace and in control. The Lift will appeal to riders who like riding fast and fluidly.
The clean forward flight is largely where the immense top end range comes from. We don’t think it’s wise to encourage riders to take big kites out in strong winds, as that’s when most accidents happen, but honestly, to us as riders of above average experience, in 28 knots the Lift felt like it had acres more range left in it.
Send the kite more aggressively and hang it out to the side of the window no problem; the Lift remains responsive and with light but evident feedback at the bar. You have loads of stability and plenty of response to then bring the kite back forward into power for a soft landing.
What’s also nice is that the Lift isn’t overly weighted towards hangtime, like many bow kites. There’s more zip in the handling, but bigger riders should be aware that the Lift doesn’t have the most powerful low end performance.
PROGRESSION BAR The Airush Progression bar continues to do the job very soundly without being flashy and features Airush’s slick IQR quick release. While not the tidiest looking option, the pull-pull trimming tabs allow the bar to sheet out further; excellent for strong wind performance. We didn’t have to touch the trimming once by the way, even close to 30 knots.
"The Lift is fast and responsive with enormous top end range. All the easy boost and hangtime of a bow kite without the cumbersome brutality of many."
SUMMARY: The Lift is fast and responsive with enormous top end range. All the easy boost and hangtime of a bow kite without the cumbersome brutality of many. This has to be one of the best pure big air kites for mid- and lighter-weight riders, therefore. You should be looking at this ten metre as a nine when building your quiver. KW LIKED:
Pure big air performance but now mixed with lighter and more reactive handling for throwing around the sky KW WOULD CHANGE: Heavier intermediate riders would benefit from more low end grunt and should look to the Lithium.
LIFT BALANCE POINTS: Build quality: 9 Full package: 9 Low end: 7.5 Top end: 9.5 Steering speed: 7 Turning circle: 3 Bar pressure: 5.5 Water relaunch: 9 Drift: DT Boost: 8.5 (9.5 in strong winds) Hang-time: 8.5 Unhooked: 3 Crossover: 6 SIZES: 17, 14, 12, 10, 9, 8 and 7m