The new Lithium Zero 18m from Airush Kiteboarding is here! After four years in development Airush felt the kite is finally ready for release. The Zero features a NO STRUT concept, meaning the kite has no struts at all. The idea behind this was to build an 18m kite that weighs only 3.4kg (7.5lbs) which is equal to the weight of your average 10m kite. This allows the kite to fly and be responsive in extremely light wind. We’ve been spending some time flying the Zero and the kite certainly does what it was meant to. It stays up in extremely light winds.
Here’s the dirt: The Zero doesn’t have good top end, it’s not supposed to. It’s ideal wind range is 6-12 knots. The Zero is meant to get you going when your friends are standing on the beach waiting for the wind to pick up. It’s grunty. It’s got pull. Who doesn’t want that when it’s blowing 10mph? Not much depower. Again, what do you need it for in 10mph?
Here’s the details: The Zero works. It’s one of the best options available for 6-12 knots. The kite turns surprisingly quick for what it is and handles lulls very well because of it’s light weight. The kite has decent pull and when you sheet out the bar it speeds up giving you more forward pull. If you really want depower you can trim in the depower strap. Though no kite is going to relaunch easy in 6 knots, the Zero relaunch is decent due to the positioning wingtips giving high exposure of the canopy, allowing it to roll over and relaunch easier than most kites its size.
Here’s the wrapup: The 18m Lithium Zero can certainly be flown with a Sector or a Slayer but the idea is to maximize the fun by allowing you to ride your regular freeride board in the lightest of conditions. In the past many kites that are designed for racing could double as a lightwind kite by featuring optimal upwind performance with super high aspect shapes but the Lithium Zero’s purpose is to give the every day rider a fun session without being too technical. We can assure you the Zero has plenty of pull in 6-12 knots. Anything less than that… well, there’s always bowling.