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2014 Buyer’s Guide: Epic Kites

Photo courtesy Epic Kites

Photo courtesy Epic Kites

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Get full 2014 gear info from 28 brands in the TKB 2014 Buyer’s Guide.

Epic Kites does not release new products annually like most brands and refers to their products by generation rather than year. Right now Epic is getting ready to release their fourth generation (4G) products along with a new bar and a brand new surf-specific kite. Epic Kites founder and owner Dimitri Maramenides filled us in on what to expect from Epic in 2014.

The Epic kite line seems to grow with new models every year. Who is the target rider for each of the 2014 Epic 4G kite models?
Yes, Epic Kites has become a well known brand and we get many requests from dealers all over the world. We are very strict with who we want as dealers and we like to work with them to develop new products they need. We don’t believe in product years. When we have something better then we release it. This is the reason why we refer to our products by generations. We have different models for different types of riders.

The Renegade is for the all around rider that wants to do almost everything. In a few words the Renegade is good for teaching, jumping, surfing, and wakestyle. I like to use the Renegade in the waves. We also have the Screamer which was designed for riders who are looking for big jumps, big boards offs, big handle passes, and big kiteloops. It’s an amazing freestyle kite, but it’s for more advanced riders especially in the 7-10m sizes. We have the Judge, a C-kite designed for new school moves. We also have the Racer for those who like to race and the Junior Pro, a kid-specific 4m kite designed by Cameron Maramenides. And finally we are working on our latest model which is the Surf kite. The name says it all. The Surf will be dedicated only for the waves.

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Are you still not releasing the actual size of the Infinity?
Who cares what size the Infinity kite is? It was designed just for light winds, so if you want to kite in 7 to 12 knots then the Infinity is the kite you are looking for. I have taken the Infinity out in less than 5 knots on a SUP board. So you still want to know what size the Infinity is?

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How would an aggressive rider decide between the Screamer and Judge?
These two models are totally different from each other. If you want to be able to do a double or triple handle pass then go with the Screamer. The Screamer will be able to keep you up there longer so you can do more in the air compared to the Judge. The Judge will bring you down faster and will be easier to pass the bar because there is less pull compared to the Screamer. Both kites are amazing but the question is this: How high you want to go during your moves? The Screamer is for big air moves and the Judge is better for lower, faster moves.

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What makes the Surf a kitesurfing-specific kite?
That is a good question. Right now we have the Renegade which is my wave kite but I don’t advertise it as a wave kite because it works so well as an all around kite. Momi (our kite designer) and I decided to come up with a specific kite designed just for the surf. Will this kite work for other types of riding too? Yes, of course it will, but it was designed specifically for the surf.

How should a rider who rides in the waves decide between the Renegade and Surf?
You are asking some very good questions! Once again the Renegade has been my wave kite but it’s also good for jumping and wakestyle especially with the new setting we have on the leading edge. Now, if you are a surfer and you are dedicated to just kitesurfing, then the Surf will be the model to go with. This is the kite I am using now when I venture into the waves, but sometimes I still use the Renegade if someone else is using my Surf kite.

Photo courtesy Epic Kites

Photo courtesy Epic Kites

Will there still be LTD Models of the Screamer and Renegade? Can you explain how these kites differ from the non-LTD versions?
Yes, we always use the Screamer 10 LTD and the Renegade 13 LTD models as our test pilots for the next generation of kites. The Screamer 10 LTD is a mix of different ideas. It is a Screamer but has a few more ideas put into it to make it different. We do the same thing with the Renegade 13 LTD.

Has the bar changed for 2014?
We have been working on the new 4G bar for almost two years now. Yes, the 2014 bar has changed big time. I think you will be very impressed with the new Epic chicken loop that we came up with. I call it the 2-Second CL because it takes two seconds to put it back together once you engage it. Everybody that has tested it has been very impressed.

You’ve also got the Junior Pro kite, bar, and board. What’s different about these products that make them kid-specific?
My son Cameron Maramenides is responsible for these products. They were designed with small riders such as kids in mind. If you have kids and they are interested in kiting then these products will be perfect for them.

Any changes to the twin tip line for 2014? What type of riding is each of the boards meant for?
I have not changed the twin tips because many people have asked me to not change them since they are amazing boards. We have three different types of boards. The Spartan (129×39), the Droid (135×41), and the Oxygen (135×47) are all designed for freeriding but for different conditions.

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Will the Reef boards be getting an update for 2014?
The Reef 6’0” and 5’7” are great surfboards but I think we can make something better. Actually our shaper Jesse Fernandez is working on it right now.

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Are there any accessories you’d like to mention?
Yes, make sure to check the Transporter Golf bag, the Backpack bag, and the Overhead bag. All three have been designed for my traveling and believe me I travel a lot and need these bags to help get to the places I want to go.

Photo courtesy Epic Kites

Photo courtesy Epic Kites

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