Airush Lithium (2012) Hot
Maintaining the characteristics that made the Lithium such a successful kite in 2011, the 2012 Lithium introduces a new three-strut platform with more power, increased range, decreased bar pressure, and improved hang-time. The Lithium 2012 possesses the fast turning-speed, easy relaunch, and power house low-end that has made it a proven all-around performer. Standing out as the easy choice for all levels, from beginner to advanced, excelling in all conditions.
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Average user rating from: 6 user(s)
My favorite so far
It's my first full year and learned how to ride with Cabrinha Switchblades and demoed the North Rebels - 011's and 013's (another great kite btw). My impression of the Lithium, well I bought one. I demoed a 10 meter Lithium and rode my newly purchased 9 meter. The winds were 15-20 mph in medium waves. I weigh 72 kg (158 lbs) and I had just enough wind on my North Crossride tt.
The Cab SB's are nice, no complaints, but the Lithium felt like perfect fitting glove - yes, it's so easy to fly and almost intuitive in the way it responds. It has plenty of power, but unlike the SB , it feels more like continuous torque as opposed to grunt = controlled power wherever and whenever you want it. On the flip side, I could shut off the power almost instantly, and within arms length. This is not the case with the SB. Unlike Jason, I didn't experience heavy bar pressure. I did change the setting, per recommendation of a friend however, and the bar pressure was actually on the light side, but I didn't lose any feel of the kite - settings: light setting on the front lines on the bladder and medium setting on the wingtips.
The Lithium's turning quickness and relaunch are also superior to the SB. It's quickness was again, likened to the Goldilock's analogy, not too fast and not too slow - just right. :) Given my relative weak skills in the waves, the faster turning Lithium made it an enjoyable experience, while keeping me out of trouble for the most part. I'd give the Cabrinha Switchblade an advantage in upwind ability, stability while overhead in high winds, a better wind range in the upper register, and is a little faster in a straight line while cruising upwind. That isn't to say the Lithium is weak in these areas, it isn't it works just fine. It suffices to say that the with all designs there are strengths and weaknesses, but for me given my experience with the Cabrinha's (wouldn't be unhappy if I still had one either), the North's (the Rebel is another very nice kite and my second choice), the LIthium just felt right. It really is a feel thing, and I can now understand why it received the accolades it did from several tests in the publications. It is well deserved and a kite that most, at the very least, newer riders could be very happy with.
BTW, I also demoed the 012 and 013 Cabrinha Vectors - 9 and 7 meter. They are also worthy of consideration and I really liked those and were very close to the Lithium in terms of "feel" likability. They turned just a bit slower than the Lithium's however.
At A Glance
Last year the Lithium caused quite a stir, billed as a ‘do-it-all’ kite it was well received amongst riders and journalists alike. This year the airframe has been modified to leave it with just thee struts, but the designers at Airush have tried to maintain all the characteristics that made the kite so popular. The bridle is very simple and short and there is a direct connection to the rear of the kite. You can trim the rear settings to tune the bar pressure, which is a nice touch. The Lithium is a hybrid delta shape, with quite a wide chord and a deep profile at the leading edge.
The SmartBar III is a culmination of development and design, and is packed full of features to ensure you enjoy your session. It features the Brain Quick Release, which is very easy to activate and equally simple to reset. You can also extend the bar length so if you have a couple of kites you can get away with just the one bar. There is a pull-pull trim strap above the bar and the depower line is encased in a PVC tube to avoid any wear. It is a 4-line set up for the Lithium with a "mini 5th line” total depower system.
In The Air
We really appreciated how well set up the Lithium was, it came from the UK distributor rather than the factory so he may have had a hand in it, but it isn’t often a kite pops out of the bag and the lines are set up exactly as they should be to give the kite perfect trim in the air. Quite often we are left trimming and adjusting the kite to get the most out of it. However;, the Lithium was spot on straight out of the bag. In the sky when you look up you will notice the low aspect ratio of the kite and the deep chord the Lithium has. It looks like a chunky beast for an 8m that’s for sure. The low end power this shape generates is impressive, the 8m really packs a punch for it’s size, but the clever bridling and line connection points allow it to depower and retain good steering characteristics. There is a good amount of throw within the bar, so you can instantly ditch power when you need to, without the need for long arms. That said if you have short arms the above bar depower strap can be a little hard to reach, especially if the pvc tubing has curled from being wrapped around the bar. The bar pressure is tuneable, so while we found it a little heavy for our liking on the medium setting a quick switch on the kite and it was reduced a touch. It is great to have these options on modern kites and will allow you to trim your kite to your style of riding. Through the window the kite is very direct and fast, this means you can be very precise with your steering and generate good lift for jumping, the Lithium is more of a glider than a rocket ship though, providing nice floaty airs with gentle landings. The Lithium would suit a lot of riders looking for a dependable freeride kite, it can turn its hand to just about anything, waves, freestyle or jumps. Beginners will enjoy the stabIity and easy relaunch while more advanced riders will appreciated the simplicity of the set up and the ease of use.
Solid construction, excellent bar set up, consistent performance even when depowered, large wind range with lots of low end power and extremely easy to use.
As an all round kite the Lithium excels, the low end grunt needs to be respected though, especially by beginners and those new to the sport. Also if you have short arms you may find the trim lines a little bit of a stretch.
An excellent kite from Airush, we loved the direct handling and responsive performance. Small inputs into the bar had the kite exactly where we wanted it. The low-end power was great for riders looking to have smaller kites in their quiver and the depowor range available at your fingertips still made the kite a contender when the wind picked up.
the best freeride machine
it is the most multipurpose kite on the market today, bomb proof quality, easiest relaunch, huuuuuge depover, super light wind perfomance
i love that kite)))
- Light Wind
Litium Surprise !!
the best kite I've ever owned!
Established excellent power and speed. Relaunch incredibly easy.
Modular Cable System bar very practical.
Airush Lithium 9m
I actually expected much more of this kite than what I did get. My expression in gusty wind conditions the kite is difficult to handle, it is slow to respond even if taking the line down to 20m. It is very good for water relaunch, alone landing but unfortunately this is only 5% which the kite is good for the rest of its 95% it is satisfying but not great. For beginners good in stable wind conditions for action junkies not to hot. The handlebar is good I like it with different rope lenghts and the handlebar itself can be made wider or smaller, but the handlebar will not influence the flying of the kite much so there is no realy need to mention it.