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Photo Quincy Dein

Visit Wainman Hawaii for more info.

Wainman Hawaii strives to provide the highest quality gear so riders can maximize their fun and stoke in each session. They do not feel the need to release new gear every year for the sake of saying they have something new and shiny to check out but instead release products when they are 100% confident that they are ready for market. WH’s Drew Fargher tells us about what the company has to offer for 2013 and what they are working on for the future.

Kite Name Sizes Stock Line Length Target Date Available
Big Mama 14.5m 24.5m Adjustable, wave/freeride/freestyle Now
Boss 12m 24.5m Adjustable, wave/freeride/freestyle Now
Punch 10.5m 23m Adjustable, wave/freeride/freestyle Now
Smoke 9m 23m Adjustable, wave/freeride/freestyle Now
Mr. Green 7.5m 23m Adjustable, wave/freeride/freestyle Now
Gypsy 6.25m 21.5m Adjustable, wave/freeride/freestyle Now
Bunny 5m 21.5m Adjustable, wave/freeride/freestyle Now

Wainman Hawaii releases products when ready and doesn’t pay attention to traditional release schedules. How is a customer to know when a next generation or new product might be coming out?

To us, designing high quality products is of the utmost importance. Fitting that into a schedule of only a year can often mean cutting corners and details may be overlooked. Customers then end up buying something that is either not ready in terms of quality or no different to last year’s model.

Here at Wainman Hawaii we work with our heads down on our own schedule and as a team hands on with each item until we’re all happy with its development and feel that it is 100% ready for the market. Sometimes it can take up to two to three years but the result is hopefully something truly special.

When WH updated the Rabbit to the Rabbit 2.0, more sizes were added to round out the size offerings but no one pump was added. Does WH have any plans to release a next generation Rabbit and possibly add one pump as an option?

A great deal of thought was put into deciding whether to include one pump or not on the 2.0s. We aim at producing a kite which is not only performance driven, lightweight, and fault proof, but also easy to maintain. We’re always listening to our riders and customers (irrelevant of riding level) and always take into account feedback to help decide the features of our products.

It is true that some people want the ease of a one pump system, but the majority of Rabbit riders including most of our pro riders love simplicity. Since the new Rabbits only have three struts, the lack of a one pump system is not such a bother, so we decided to continue without the system. There’s no sign of 3.0 yet but a limited edition white series of the Rabbit 2.0 is just round the corner.

Tell us about the Carrot Control Bar system.

While designing our new Carrot Bar, we focused on absolute simplicity of our rider-driven version one bar while adding a consumer-driven and user-friendly safety system. We came up with the idea of how to use a hollow-sectioned PU tube to sleeve both the central depower line (reducing wear) and a hidden flag out safety line. It runs all the way from the chicken loop to a front line on the end of our very own ceramic bearing swivel.

We are proud to have kept the bar absolutely clean and clear to satisfy all riders from beginners to professionals, so they can be confident that once in serious trouble a full flag out safety system is ready for activation. Other features include the clam cleat adjustment for ease of use, floating chicken loop, and adjustable line lengths. By assembling it in sections, we ensured each part is easily replaceable in case of damage.

Additionally, our Carrot Bar is designed to be completely modifiable to offer flag out safety, double depower, a school specific safety option, and two different “suicide” connection points. This is to ensure that personal preferences are available for every rider.

WH offers the Joke, Blunt, and Cruzer twin tip boards. How can a rider best choose what board will be best for him or her?

Each of our boards has been designed to give a very different feel to satisfy the riding styles of different riders. The Blunt is our flattest, slimmest, and softest board in the range with a deep single concave that runs through the base from tip to tail. These characteristics create a locked in feel even in the most over powered and choppy conditions.

This board lends itself very well to overpowered riding and boosting big floaty airs. It’s a freeride board designed to have an aggressive bite to work well for air style riding.

Board Name Sizes Type Target Date Available
Joke 130, 134, 138, 142cm Twin Aggressive freestyle and wakestyle Now
Cruzer 131, 136, 141cm Twin Freeride and freestyle Now
Blunt 125, 130, 135, 137cm Twin Freeride and airstyle Now
Magnum 5’7”, 5’10”, 6’0”, 6’2” Surf Performance wave riding Now
Gambler 5’7”, 5’10” Surf Small and onshore waves, lighter wind wave riding Now
Passport 5’8”, 5’11” Surf First time surfboard, cross over kite and surf board, light wind wave riding Now

The Joke on the other hand has a relatively high rocker and curved rail out line which provide the short load and release movement of aggressive wake and freestyle riding. It’s a heavier board built to be bombproof even through the hardest of impacts with base channeling and a convex “bubble” which disperses the water on landing. It’s our top-end freestyle machine.

Our Cruzer board sits right in the middle with a mid-level rocker and flex and an outline which is square under the feet and curves in sharply at the tip and tail to create a feel which is loose, lively, and works nicely for just about all styles of rider. Whether it’s your first proper board or an upgrade to try first jumps or freestyle tricks, the Cruzer works well in flat water, chop, or waves. It pops hard, lands softly, and will carve in a way that will make riders of all levels happy.

Will there be any changes or additions to the twin tip line for 2013?

We are going to introduce a brand new set of accessories for our range of twin tip boards. For example, the pads will be thicker and denser to protect heels from impacts better and the straps will provide more hold. We are also looking into providing new fin options for our boards to optimize performance and to make them even more versatile.

The new wakestyle set of fins for our Joke twin tip were just released and we are looking forward to adding more to the family. The beginning of 2014 will see our new generation of the twin tip trio being released worldwide while still offering great performance of the current models.

Photo Tracy Kraft LeBoe

What is going on with WH’s surf program?

On our surfboard range we are working with Sean Ordonez, notorious across the surf industry for creating some of the very best boards. He worked closely with our team to create a kite-dedicated range of surfboards to suit all conditions and riders and mostly to provide the unique lightweight feel of the boards normally available only for professionals!

From our smallest high performance driven Magnum through our wide fish-tailed small wave slasher the Gambler to our large easy rider Passport, a lot of attention to detail has been put into creating not just a good looking board, but a board that will survive the forces coming from the pulling kite while feeling great to even a seasoned surfer. Our Hawaiian-based test team are forever testing new shapes and this year were content with what we had as far as the shapes but decided to beef up the construction a bit to ensure your Wainman stick will last you even longer while still maintaining its special custom feel features!

Wainman Hawaii Gambler

Rumor has it that the much anticipated C-kite from WH will be released soon. Can you tell us a bit about it?

We have been testing our C-kite for a little while now in the best spots around the world. Feedback from our pro riders has put a big smile on our faces and now we are working on those important details to make sure it will be something truly special to everyone once released.

As always from Wainman Hawaii you can expect something with stunning performance and graphics and full range of sizes to make everyone super stoked. It will be a high-end freestyle monster. As for the name, for now – we’re keeping it secret.

Can we expect any other new kite releases from WH in 2013?

As they say “slowly but surely” in 2013 we will release our brand new range of dedicated School Kites. We have put a lot of work into this project in order to get kites even more user friendly and easier to learn on. While learning, the fun factor is very important but safety has always been our priority. With this new range, together with the proven safety solutions of the Carrot Bar, this will be a great introduction for all beginners to our world famous Rabbit family.

Photo Jason Wolcott

Want 185 pages of 2013 kiteboarding gear info on 28 brands? Check out the TKB 2013 Buyer’s Guide.