Designer’s Corner: Caution Mayhem X 2010

Originally Published in the October 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine

Designer Profile:
Name: Peter Schiebel
Age: 33
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Job Title: Part Owner/Head of Kite Design
Designing: 20 + years
Kiteboarding: Since the beginning

Product name: Mayhem X
Product category: SLE
Sizes available: 5, 7, 9, 11, 14 & 18m
Release date: Fall 2009

Is this a new design or a next generation on an existing design?
This is a new design that has been in the pipeline for awhile, different from the Mayhem X 2009 release. We kept the name the same for the 2010 model, but made significant changes to the profile and wingtips, making some serious gains in efficiency and control.


Is a new design, where does it fit in your product mix and what were you main goals in developing it?
The Mayhem X (MX) replaces the Mayhem with a faster and more efficient, high performance air frame. In addition to increased performance, we made some materials changes and completely redesigned the control bar from the ground up.

What was your biggest challenge during the prototype phase?
The first two phases of prototyping were very positive; everyone liked the MXs across the window speed,
precision steering and balanced bar pressure. The following rounds were focused on detailing each size for bar pressure, stall characteristics, and turning speed.

If you could choose one standout performance or new construction feature to highlight, what would it be?
Between the new LE material, rebuilt control bar, and the MX’s efficient and decisive handling characteristics, it’s really all these things that make it stand out as one of the highest performance and well built kites on the market today.

What is the biggest advantage of your control bar?
After developing one of the most lightweight, functional and maintenance-free control bars in the industry, we went back to the drawing board, taking a cue from our core customers. We added an adjustable on the fly stopper ball, a cleaner OS handle release, spring-tensioned quick release, under-the-bar spinning capability, new high grade flying lines, and new bar ends that allow a rider to use one bar for any size kite with length adjustability from 45cm-55cm. Ultimately, my favorite feature of this bar/kite is the limited throw, allowing the rider to accomplish full depower at a comfortable arm’s length range, while keeping the power strap within range for easy adjustment.

How does self launch and self landing work on this kite?
The canopy flips into a take-off position really well for launch, and the MX’s short bridles minimize potential tangles. The MX’s canopy is ideal for self landing because it easily shifts into a controlled drop and will stay pinned to the beach. Check out our website for our self landing tutorial at


What are some of the other key product features and performance characteristics?
The MX is a C-style hybrid designed for quick flying and swift turning performance. The one pump inflation system uses new bombproof hardware, utilizing thicker dual walled inflation tubes and PVC valve collars. Our new LE material offers increased durability. We put a lot of effort into fine tuning the airframe, and as a result there are no battens to compensate for poor shaping, making the MX more durable and easier to fold up for travel.

What style/level of rider will most enjoy this product and in what conditions?
The MX is stable enough for all levels of riders, but intermediate and advanced riders will really appreciate the MX’s high performance characteristics in all riding conditions.

What is your warranty policy on this product?
We warranty our kites against manufacturing defects and run our own repair center which allows up to keep a tab on any failures and potential improvements.

What differentiates your product from your competitors?
We build functional, high-performance, industrial strength products backed by a team of solid riders, with the expectation that what we do speaks for itself, without all the hype.

TESTED: Kelly Strachan, Team Rider
I rode Mayhem’s all last year and was really stoked with the performance, but when Peter loaned me a 9m and 11m Mayhem X, I was really impressed with the new kites. With our wind direction in Santa Cruz, I spend a lot of time riding toeside and the Mayhem X flies upwind really well. The Mayhem X has a zippy turning feel, just the perfect amount of bar pressure, and the bar is always close, making it super comfortable. I give the Mayhem X two thumbs up!

Originally Published in the October 2009 Issue of The Kiteboarder Magazine

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