Exciting times await the kite industry, how do we produce sustainably, the trade dispute between the US and China, global warming, spot closures in Europe and finally kiting becomes an Olympic sport. In addition to the hydrofoil boom of recent years, perhaps the next trend, wingsurfing?
But does innovation benefit the customer? We at FLYSURFER took our time and sent our athletes on a European road trip with the WAT crew to have fun again! Isn’t that whats’s it all about? The R&D team and I met them halfway in Spain, where I interviewed our SOUL kite developer Benni Boelli to talk about the new sizes 9 & 7.
Hesina:”Hello Benni, two weeks ago I gave our team the new SOUL sizes for their road trip. What did you change on the additional sizes and did you design them?”
Boelli: „Hello Chris, let’s rewind time a few months. Last fall, we wanted Olly Bridge to take part in the “King of the Air” with a closed-cell foil kite. For the competition, he needed a finer selection of sizes. Especially the SOUL 9 had to have less lift and a narrower turning radius compared to the 10m. Among them, as a high-wind kite, the SOUL 6 would have been logical, but jump height is the main criteria in the KOTA. I built the SOUL 7, because it carries better for riders with 85kg. Originally the SOUL was created so that my wife and I can have fun with the same kite. Easy to control and awesome to jump. “
Hesina: „You have succeeded very well. It always sounds so utopian for me to unite all these demands in a closed-cell foil kite product. Because, when I think of high stability and user-friendly performance, then the word: LEI kite jumps in my head.“
Boelli: „That’s why I build kites and you write about it (laughs)!“
Hesina: „”… then explain it to the unsuspecting 😉… what makes the difference? Why is the SOUL so smooth in many places?“
Boelli: „Good-naturedness and his enormous field of the application make the kite, outstanding in light wind and sufficient depower to cover the widest possible wind range. The weight per square meter is very small and the ratio of the projected area to the flat area is larger than that of an LEI kite. Of course, a lot also depends on the aspect ratio, the shape of the kite and the materials used.“
Hesina: „What does this mean in action? If I am riding with the SOUL, then the basic traction that arrives at the harness is always higher than in direct comparison with a STOKE for example.“
Boelli: „If the wind speed remains the same, more power will be transmitted because the base weight will be lower. The advantage is that the kite is more stable in the air in light wind and with the increasing wind, the force increases proportionately stronger. While depowering, soft kites like the SOUL, SONIC or VMG fly further to the edge of the wind window. A tube kite begins to flutter quickly when reducing the angle of attack (Depower), the power is directly reduced. Therefore, the soft kite feels calmer, the tube kite rougher.“
Hesina: „I would say more comfortable or sporty. The lift and the jump performance of the small SOUL’s is immense. When I take off, I still get that adrenalin rush and feel so stoked.“ Boelli: „About 70-80% of the flat area is the projected area of the SOUL and this creates the actual buoyancy (flows and can generate lift). The rider feels the high basic traction as soon as the kite is used in the main wind area and especially before the jump. The benefits of the tube kite are definitely their reactivity and direct depower, where about 50-70% of the flat area is efficiently put into effect depending on the shape.“
Hesina: „Thanks for the explanation, now I realize why I love the SOUL while foiling!“
Boelli: „Yeah, higher stability and more power due to the lower weight in light wind 😉. The perfect complement to a hydrofoil. Grab a SOUL 9, a foil and a twin tip and fly on vacation.“
Hesina: „There is always talk about the famous ‘one-kite quiver’ myth, I keep hearing this on the beach next to a few other classics: What line length do you ride? Which area does your front wing have? I think the ‘one-kite quiver’ is always a compromise. Personally, I kite with SONIC 15, SOUL 9 and STOKE 6, Levitaz Shaka or Aspect with Exo and the RUSH 137.“
Boelli: „I prefer to go racing and have different front wings, 5 VMG’s and SOUL’s with me. Always depends on the discipline. I recommend the following line lengths for the SOUL: 17m for kite loops, 20m for freeriding and 12-17m for foiling depending on your personal preference.“
Hesina: „Thanks Benni, I think it’s best to convince yourself of the product. Our FLYSURFER Demo Tour is still in full swing, Armin is on his way to California. I’m back in SPO this year, where will we meet you meet on the beach in the near future?“
Boelli: „I have holidays for now. But I think San Francisco, where I will support our race team.“
„We were kiting upwind close to shore to see the towns and scenery, which was so beautiful: waterfront homes painted all different colors, iconic churches on the hills above the towns, classic cobblestone streets, and towering green mountains all around.“ describes Daniela Moroz her #soulsession.
Kopfschüttelnd kommt Theo vom Wasser „It’s unbelievable how versatile this kite is. No matter what I want to do, I’ll just take my SOUL!“
Gisela Pulido and Daniela Moroz cruising around in front of Sant Pere Pescador:
Gisela: „First time I tried; I fell in love with it! It has the energy of a big kite, but behaves like a 9m you can ride with any windddddd!”