The all new design in the Airush range is the Airush Wave. Quite an obvious name for a kite that exceeds expectations within these elements. The design philosophy around the Wave is a mixture of common practice and a whole new approach to find a balance of performance whether it be in direct onshore slop or down the line and barreling! Airush International sat down with the brainchild behind this feel good kite, Mark Pattison. (pictured below)
AI- The wing tip shape is quite different than any bridled kite in the Airush range. What does this flat wingtip shape achieve?
MP- The wing tip is pretty similar to the Razor, adding a different steering characteristic and allowing it to keep the speed through the turn. The most noticible aspect of the turning is that it doesn’t slow down on the up stroke as much, keeping it more fluid and continuous. Because the tips are so fat, it also allows us to have a lower aspect ratio and a shorter wing span giving it more of a ball effect. This ball or compact design allows for a tighter performing kite. In addition, it helps with the relaunch by giving an increased lift on the top tip when its on its side.
AI- The bridal is seems to be longer than the Lithium. Why is this and what would happen if the bridal is shorter?
MP- During testing we tried short bridles for the Wave but it lacked the characteristics that we were looking for in a dedicated wave/surf kite. We wanted the kite as an extension of the wave board being more fluid like a surfer would move. A shorter bridle, static bridle or a 5th line would give a more locked in and on/off feeling when riding the wave which becomes more uncomfortable and not as natural.
In addition, the larger bridles add a much more progressive, smooth feel when you sheet the bar in and out. It also allows a smoother turning speed that most wave specific customers demand.
AI – We have heard from testers and current customers that the wave is “a cross between the Razor and Lithium” – What does this mean and in what way?
MP- During development the feedback was to have the windrange and relaunch of the Lithium but flying further forward and characteristics of keeping speed through the turn that the Razor has. A lot of tweaking and technical thought went into this idea. A lot of “What Ifs” and “How about we try this instead”. We were able to get these qualities into this one kite.
AI – The struts and leading edge is noticeably thinner than many of the other kites in the Airush range. Why is this?
MP – The unique shape and low aspect ratio of the Wave kite allows the kite to have a thinner LE while still providing the structural rigidly that the kite needs to perform. It also allows it to sit a bit forward as well as keeps the kite really fast because of the reduced weight.
AI – What is the Aramid Load Frame and how does this effect the performance of the Wave?
MP- Aramid, found in bulletproof vests, is strategically placed throughout the kite to create a frame that improves the kites structure and response. This construction absorbs impact throughout the canopy, minimizes stretch and reduces the area between each stitch point, further increasing the strength of the kite. Not only does the frame create a solid structure but also increases performance. The Aramid Load Frame makes a more solid link throughout the entire kite, which enhances the response from rider to kite.
AI – People talk about the Drift Capabilities of a Wave kite – What does this mean? How does it work and why is it important to me as a wave rider?
MP – The “Drift” means that you can park your kite at a bit higher than 45 degree while you ride the wave, the kite can drift back staying balanced without having a tendency of falling out of the sky. This is extremely important when you are riding a wave because your direction usually goes down wind.
On the Wave kite the low aspect ratio and a massive reduction in weight attributes to the drift characteristics allowing the center of gravity to be low and further backwards compared to other kites in the range.