Why have you released this brand-new kite?
We want to win competitions and give our riders the chance to get the best out of themselves. In addition to dominating the Olympic Formula Kite Racing format, we have decided to build Big Air as a second pillar. FLYSURFER has a long history of successful performance products that have dominated the market in the lightwind segment. Our ambition to break this narrative and usher in a new era led to the ERA project decision.
Now is the time to inspire enthusiasm among the next generation of kiters.
What are the requirements for the ERA?
Our development team has worked intensively on the topic of what I call ‘Modern Big Air’. We are witnessing a golden generation of young people pushing the limits in incredible ways and pushing the boundaries of sport. Over the past twelve months, new tricks have been posted and altitude records have been jumped almost every week.
The equipment plays a significant role and the list of requirements is highly complex. Currently, a kite must withstand extreme weather conditions, remain controllable, generate the lift to catapult itself almost 40m into the air, and have the agility to pull double and triple kiteloops. Meanwhile, the riders rotate around their axis several times with the board in their hands. They must steer the kite with one hand and maintain control to land gently with downloops. The coordination of these complex movement sequences requires, in addition to incredible fitness of body and mind, complete trust in the material. The ERA meets these requirements and is truly outstanding in all aspects.
What are its flying characteristics?
The excitement element is the kite’s acceleration. Our athletes often talk about the quick turning speed and the short time it takes for the ERA to shoot through the wind window. The kite converts every gust into performance and efficiently changes the angle of attack with the pulley on the six-point bridle to generate maximum lift. The feature allows the kite to accelerate again immediately after the loop and generates the famous “second lift”. I have observed that our riders, especially with 6m, gain height again, essential for S-loops and doubles.
Is the ERA only recommended for Big Air fans or is it also suitable for freeriding?
We want to specifically appeal to young, ambitious riders hungry for competition, needing a kite with no limits. But for riders who are not pushing the limits and are more interested in freeriding and foiling, the ERA is still suitable and is a sporty, incredibly agile kite that feels smooth and constantly pulls forward. Its hang time will help riders glide through maneuvers, with crisp and direct bar feedback. The ERA is the perfect complement to the SONIC and pure fun from the first minute.
How does the ERA compare to BOOST and STOKE?
The ERA is our jumping machine and high-performance freerider, impressing with speed, agility, and still easy to control with an enormous wind range, while the BOOST is our progression freerider with the best lightwind performance. It has consistent pull with high stability and a fantastic relaunch.
The STOKE is our all-rounder with excellent wave properties, depower, drift, and comfort. It is progressive when steering and depowering, as well as energy-saving and playful to ride.