We have already got our hands on the new 2021 Duotone Neo SLS and this time, it comes loaded with new features!
The Neo is a kite designed for riders who uses a surfboard and it works exceptionally well both in waves and strapless freestyle. The Duotone Neo is a very powerful, easy to fly with super easy relaunch kite. That is why it is our choice to give our kitesurf courses in Tarifa and it is also the choice of many riders to compete in the world tour, having won several titles!
The new Neo 2021 comes with changes! The first thing is that Duotone, for this 2021, has changed the backpacks. This year they come with a horizontal zipper, and they are a bit small in our opinion!
Let´s move on to the important part, which is the kite! The first thing you notice when taking it out of the backpack is that its shape has changed in the tips, being now more boxy than in previous versions.
The most significant change on this 2021 Neo SLS is the material with which the leading edge and center strut are made. They have switched the traditional dacron for a material called PentaTx, which is a lighter and more rigid material.
Making a kite lighter means that it will be faster and will have more drift, being able to follow you better in the waves. To all this, we must add that PentaTx is a more rigid material, so the kite turns and moves faster, allowing you to jump higher..
For the rest of the kite, Duotone continues using Trinity fabric, which is built with 3x2 threads per square, making it more resistant and durable. For the trailing edge they keep the fabric of 3x3 threads per square. It also keeps the tubes of the one-pump system wide, which makes inflating and deflating faster.
Another novelty, which not only includes the Neo 2021 SLS but all 2021 Duotone kites, is a new and much thinner bridle lines, reducing drag and helping to make the kite a bit faster.
The new Neo 2021 offers three options in the rear pigtail to configure the kite between soft setting, medium setting and hard setting.
With soft setting you will find a faster kite with low bar pressure. With hard setting the kite feels more direct and has a heavier bar pressure. With the medium setting, you will have the most balanced option of the 3.
We have already tested the new Neo SLS in different sizes and conditions.
The first thing you realize once you lunch it is that you are still flying a Neo, feels like a Neo but it is just a much better Neo! The kite is definitely faster and its turn is more precise. Before buying a Neo, it is always advised to try in advance, as this kites are quite powerful.
The question what you are possibly asking yourself is... Is the new material noticeable? And the answer is yes, definitely. When you hit the wave on low wind, you immediately realize that the kite has improved the drift and you don't have to fight to keep it in the air, especially on onshore conditions.
Many riders have chosen in previous years an 11m instead of a 12m as their bigger kite, as the 12m has always been a bit slow and too jerky. This year, the new Neo SLS in 12m feels much more reactive and its turn is very dynamic compared to previous years.
In small sizes, using it on levante, which is gusty, the kite works very well and you notice the stiffness of the kite, which absorbs the gust and does not lose the shape.
One of the virtues of this kite is that it develops power in a very progressive way and its low end is very very good, being correct at the top.
The new 2021 Duotone Neo SLS is very reactive, direct and with a lot of power at your disposal. Its relaunch is easy, simple and fast. It is a kite that behaves in a very noble and simple way, making it a kite suitable not only for surfers, but even beginners.
As we have already mentioned, the most significant change has been the substitution of Dacron for Pentatx, making it lighter (Duotone says 0.5kg) and this is quite remarkable! Kite tips have also changed, being more boxy than in the previous version.
The general feeling of the kite is still very similar, but it has improved in every aspect. The evolutionary leap has been quite large compared to previous years.
The Neo SLS 2021 is the best option for those who want to take their sessions to the next level. Works better in gusty wind, jumps better and feels much more direct and precise!
If you come from an older Neo, you will find a kite that feels very similar, but that has improved and polished all the details. To those who come from other kites, you will find what is probably one of the best kites for wave riding out there!
In short, the Neo SLS is still the same kite as always, powerful, easy to use, easy to relaunch and with the new material, super compact and that works very well in gusty wind.
If you use a surfboard, then this is the kite that will work best for you of the Duotone range and if you are just starting, it is a kite that will help your progression! That is why we use it in our kitesurfing courses in Tarifa!
If you are looking for second hand Duotone Kiteboarding gear you can take a look in our website!