2011 Wainman Hawaii Kite Line
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Wainman Hawaii 2011 Kiteboarding Gear Preview
Wainman Hawaii has a unique philosophy when it comes to releasing new products. They are against developing and releasing new products based on a calendar and instead focus on constant improvement and only release a new product when they feel it is ready.
There are no planned changes to the Wainman Hawaii Rabbit kites and there may or may not be new kites coming soon. In answering our questions, R&D Manager Mike Husky hinted at the possibility of some new Rabbits and even a single size of the long anticipated Wainman C-kite, but is keeping the details vague.
Wainman Hawaii is revamping their board line with a new and more durable Blunt twin tip, all new Joke twin tip, and an entirely new surf line shaped by Sean Ordonez.
Wainman Hawaii releases product a little differently than other manufacturers. What drives the Wainman Hawaii product release schedule?
Does the world change every year? We can’t let the falling leaves and changing of the season determine the release of a new kite or product line. We do need to evolve, that`s for sure. At Wainman Hawaii, we aim to constantly improve our wind tools so they become simply better, but the rat race isn’t good for sports gear.
It would be a pure shame to rush through changes just to pump out a new kite every year, which could result in a tragic detuning of the magic feeling between rider and equipment. Most of the existing pro toys, for many different sports, stay the same for many years, just like the wheel…
Will there be updates to the Rabbit kites for 2011?
There will be no updates to the existing Rabbit kites, at least not until this era ends. The Rabbit kites will stay exactly the same as they are for now and they will not be given any new dates from our side, don’t worry. When it comes to aesthetics of the kite and not performance, I will tell you that maybe some crazy guy from the Gang will decide to change some paintings on `em.
Timing of this? Let`s pretend time does not exist. Knowing how Rabbits multiply, we can anticipate some new arrivals to the Gang. There might be a few offspring in the size gaps for some really demanding kiters next summer, but only Rabbit knows what exactly will happen.
Will we be seeing the highly anticipated Wainman Hawaii C-Kite this year?
A good and proportional C-shape is a beautiful thing, but also definitely a kite for very advanced riders. For example, square tips demand a traditional technique of relaunch which is not as simple. A C-kite can deliver unique performance but the optimal wind and functional range is really very narrow. At WH we were all raised on C–kites, but we strongly feel that the versatility of the Rabbit kites makes the addition of the C-kite rather unnecessary due to the fact that it has many characteristics similar to a C-kite and more. But for all you C-kite connoisseurs, don’t worry, a limited edition single size C-kite is something that we are still considering, but let`s act like we live forever…
Wainman Hawaii is about to release a new version of the Blunt. How is the new board different from the last version?
When releasing the original Blunt boards last year we didn`t anticipate such an immediate global demand. Without much hesitation, we decided to make the existing Blunts – super light boards in full custom construction – available for all riders. However, it wasn`t really meant for hardcore riding. The new Blunt is produced in a different facility and is just slightly heavier but now totally bombproof.
Still, this is the same great skinny board. It’s as dragless, smooth, edgy, and sick for strapped freeriding as the original Blunt was. The only other little change is the range. We discontinued smallest size of 120 and added a new 135 board, a scale up of the last year’s popular 130. The old 135 – a low rocker, wide, light wind board is now replaced by a 137, which has different proportions than the current 125, 130, and 135.
We heard a rumor that Wainman Hawaii has a new surfboard shaper. Who is now shaping the boards?
In order to constantly progress our surf products, we were looking for someone who could commit more time to us and who could also work with the nuclear energy and open mindedness to modern technologies and shapes that is the lifeblood of WH. Through Bertrand, we found out that our good Maui friend Sean Ordonez was enthusiastic about cooperating with Wainman Hawaii.
As Sean had already shaped many sick boards for Lou in the past, I didn`t wait even a minute and we started working on new projects together. Sean is a great guy with an unbelievable sense of humor and a huge experience of crafting many thousands of hand shaped boards. Most important of all, he is an active kiteboarder, riding Rabbits! The result of our first winter together is three great new surf shapes from Sean’s magic hand.
The Magnum is a beautiful classic surf shape available in 5’7”, 5’10”, 6’0”, and 6’2”. The Gambler is a new school progressive shaped board with more width and a cosmic shaped 3D bottom in 5’7” and 5’10”. The Passport is a world traveler kite and surfboard, also wider but with flatter rocker that you can take with you for any trip and can paddlesurf or kitesurf. It is available in 5’8” and 5’11”. Sean is in full charge of the surf shapes at Wainman Hawaii and I am taking care of the twin-tip development.
The entire Gang is always involved in R&D of our products, especially Lou who inspires us with his unique ideas and observations, but Niccolo, Franz, Bertrand, and all others are also involved. It is always teamwork with a wide spectrum of different points of view.
What riders will prefer the Joke over the Blunt? Is the Joke meant to be ridden with boots and the Blunt with straps?
The New Blunts have the same shape that was developed by us last year and are now being produced with a new bomb-proof technology. The Blunt is a superb hooked-in toy which will excel in choppy conditions. The New Blunt also offers amazing all-round features for occasional unhooked riding or twin tip wave carving.
It lands jumps very nicely, but is aimed more towards in-line landings with less momentum carried by the rider. The Joke is a totally different board but is also a great freerider that can carve insanely. Like every good board should, it handles the chop with comfort.
The main difference between the two boards is the fact that due to its magic 3D bottom shape in it, the Joke will land the hardest and most awkward landings you can imagine and has insane upwind capabilities. These features make it a first choice for the wakestyle riders and freestylers. While designing this board I was working very close with Niccolo, who is a very progressive rider. Many times after his multiple rotations, while carrying huge energy and pretty much free-falling, he was catching the edge or slowing down. This resulted in a disturbing of his motion.
Landings on the Joke are ridiculous as you can land absolutely everything, but of course you have to know how to land, as this board will accelerate when touching water! Both boards can be ridden with straps and with bindings, however you are right that those riders who prefer bindings will definitely prefer the Joke. The more mellow freeriders who don’t unhook or rotate that much and use the kite to slow down the landing would probably prefer the Blunt.
What can you tell us about the still-secret Cruizer board?
A secret is a wonderful thing for the imagination, so maybe let’s just say like the name implies: by the time we will release it, it will be a sick board for riders who are preparing to learn to ride.
Will there be any other new Wainman Hawaii products for 2011?
The WH Production Department, directed by its fearless leader Tommy Lee, has even more secrets up its sleeve. They are preparing a few really nice surprises for The Gang very soon. I hope Mr. Lee will not hunt me down for revealing this, but there will be new pads, straps, fins, a t-shirt collection, rash guards, shorts, and other things available in the near future.
Will the 2011 boards still ship with board bags and everything you need to get the board ready to ride?
For sure. Good boards need good homes and it is a shame when a board gets damaged outside of its natural water environment. For all of our boards, the package will include a board bag and required hardware to get you out on the water.