LF WOW V4 review

Liquid Force Wow V4 action

LF’s wave kite gets fully reworked for V4



LF WOW V4 Kiteworld Kite review



In the past the WOW has been a kite capable of good, floaty big air performance but also delivered as a wave kite. Those two performance boxes are opposites in terms of how a kite should deliver power and move through the window. Somehow it worked, although you had to size down quite quickly when you were using the kite in waves as the WOW was grunty at the bar for a wave kite and quite hot to handle. Unless you were heavy or really tuned into it, there was often a chance of getting pulled over the front if you sent it too hard across the window for a bottom turn. Matt in fact still has a WOW V1 7m and has noticed a lot of progression… 

The new WOW V4 is a pure bred wave kite! The first thing is the initial bar feel. There’s way less obvious heft at the bar and the feedback is far more manageable than in previous years. It’s a kite that lighter riders are going to get along with and there’s still a decent drive at the bar but it’s been massively toned down. The WOW V4 has therefore become very usable across more conditions. 



Once again the leading edge is narrow, so you need to pump it up super hard to get the best performance, but when you do the canopy is now more stable. The V4 behaves far better in gustier, punchy winds as there’s fairly consistent bar pressure, even when the kite’s getting blown about a lot. The obvious low end grunt feel at the bar has diminished and yet the WOW V4 does develop power reasonably efficiently through movement (helped by the fact it’s light and spritely) and we found that we could get more juice out of it in lulls than even the Ozone Reo, for example, and if we’re comparing the two, the LF is generally softer and more accessible. 

Don’t read softness as a weakness, it’s just a different taste, but the WOW has really stepped up its appeal to lighter riders. With great sheeting range and light response, the WOW can really be thrown around the window and chased. There are no peaky surges in drive and it now really suits strapless riding. Those that like more of a seat-of-the-pants ride and a spikier power delivery should look elsewhere, but the WOW V4 is definitely dependable, easier to tune into and solid in shifty conditions. 

It goes upwind well and has a forward flying position and this is a kite that you can really rag through the corners without worrying about getting spanked, so does inspire confidence. Jim is just 70 kilos and really enjoyed it. Matt is 95 kilos and enjoyed it, but found the lack of surging power a bit hollow for him.  

If you’re also crossing into foiling, the WOW V4 will be a brilliant freeride foil ally for that reason. Soft to turn, stable and with loads of depower, you can really whip it round into position but also get a smooth uptake of power through sheeting at the bar. 

The WOW isn’t the most heavily reinforced wave kite, but it flies well because it’s aerodynamic and light. That lightness also makes the WOW an excellent drifting kite for good riders, allowing you to connect tight turns in sequence on the wave while the kite sits quite happily. Hard to have it all. And it looks the nuts on the water. 

The Liquid Force Maxflow valve has a super-wide inflation opening and pumps up super quick, like really quick, but you do need the specific LF pump valve attachment. If you don’t have it, there is the back-up option of pumping the kite up through an old school original narrow valve, but it’s hard work, and the WOW does benefit from being pumped up hard, so will take some time and effort (we did it by the way). 


LF Mission Control Bar review


Last point: the Mission Control bar is no-frills but functional. It comes in two sizes – standard (49 – 55cm and compact (40 – 46cm), but all our test kites have always been delivered with the standard size, which does always feel quite long when used with a small kite compared to some other manufacturers, but the good thing is that feel is always constant within your quiver. The sheeting is very smooth with the PU covered centre line and feels good against your fingers. There’s also a decent depower cleat, adjustable bar ends and below-the-bar swivel. This isn’t a visually mesmerising piece of design mastery, but it’s easy to use, the safety system is clean and everything works. 



The WOW V4 is now a super-fun performance wave kite that is also very accessible. There’s a decent low end that’s not going to hammer you if you put a foot wrong and good riders will be able to take advantage of high levels of agility and softer turning. For strapless riders, it’s now far better. Great power control and manoeuvrability for foiling, too. 



Moving it for good low end performance or thrashing it around in difficult conditions, the WOW V4 let’s you get as radical as you want without hauling you off balance. 



The relaunch isn’t by any means bad, but with the super thin leading edge it’s just a bit slower than it might otherwise be. 



Build quality: 8

Full package: 8

Low end: 8

Top end: 8

Steering speed: 8

Turning circle: 4

Bar pressure: 4.5

Water relaunch: 7.5

Drift: 8

Boost: DT

Hang-time: DT

Unhooked: DT

Cross-over: 7 (Excellent for foiling)

Ease-of-use: 8


SIZES: 14, 12, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5m



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