Leuk verhaal over hoe airush tot bepaalde shapes komt.
The widebody revolution.
Airush introduced a sweeping line of what they term “widebody” boards for the spring. We caught up with designer, Clinton Filen, to get some background on the ideas and inspiration behind the project.
Where did the Widebody concept start?
The widebody concept started for development in our Surf and Kitesurf crossover. Firstly, I have never been a great small wave surfer and getting drive out of the board and not “dogging” has always been big challenge. At the same time watching some of the better riders on an SUP, it is clear that you cannot get caught up in the idea that, if something is over a certain width you will not be able to turn it. The Choptop LW is not a wide board when you start to really look what is out there beyond regular surfboards. But it is the widest short board (including Fish style boards) I have ridden or seen, by a significant margin. If you want a significantly different outcome, you need to take bigger steps. I also feel you need to view board design more from a balance of area in relation to body positioning (among many other factors) and move away from the idea of length as one of the more critical factors.
As you move towards the middle ground of Freeride or Freerace, the Sector 60 was the first board that we took to market, as we felt it would appeal to the broadest group of customers. At this stage the light wind advantage you can get from a direction are significant, and the increase in width combined with the larger fins offer a combination of extreme early planning and upwind ability.
In parallel we had been working on the new Monaro program and I would say this shows the biggest leaps in comparison, as racing is pretty much about being first to the mark. We had to do a lot of work on rocker and fin configurations to get something that is really manageable downwind, so the difference between the Monaro V1 and V2 is significant in every aspect.
I read some comments that they look like windsurf boards, how much of the inspiration came from that area? Of course you look at every sport and as a brother windsport, there has been significant development in windsurf boards. But if I am trying to make kiteboarding into windsurfing, I would say absolutely not. I feel the beauty of kites is that the design limitations on the boards is very little and it comes down a lot more to style of the rider and what will work best in specific conditions. This is what got us to the Widebody, nothing works better in light wind.
Why 60cm (23 ½), is it a magic number?
We did a lot of prototyping at 70cm (27 ½”) wide but felt that 60cm (23 ½) showed the best overall performance with a big useable wind range. And it still fits under my arm. (I have long arms) so yes maybe it is a magic number.
What are technical differences between the Choptop LW, Sector 60 and Monaro V2 as they cater to very different markets?
IF you compared the boards directly you would immediately see significant differences in the rocker and outline, but there are a lot of details in each product that enhance it more specifically. The Choptop LW has the narrowest tail with the most curve in the outline, along with around an inch of tail rocker. By using it with our Surf style fins (Quad or trifin option) this is a pure surf board really.
The Sector and the Monaro share a similar rocker (petty much flat in the tail) with progressively wider tails and more parallel outlines, Intermediate width tail in the Sector enhances control and improves the boards speed on a reach. The Monaro V2’s ultra wide tail optimizes the board for upwind. In addition the Monaro V2 has a full carbon construction, which increase the stiffness.
What kites are ideal for the widebody boards?
I would not say it is that kite specific, but as a very broad rule you could match the Choptop LW with the Lithium 12 (or any kite that offers you good turning for surf). On the Sector you could look at a dedicated Lightwind freeride kites such as the Lithium LW (the 13m has incredible range).With the Monaro it would be very specific to your race preferences, we use the Airush Varial’s in development as they have great depower, range and sit quite far forward in the window.
Where to next?
Besides ongoing development in the widebody boards, the impact of such an improvement in the low end of the boards is also impacting on certain key fundamentals in kite design. You will see some significant steps in the kite design that will enhance the direction of the boards even further.