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Wainman Hawaii has already rolled out a few products for the 2014/15 season with more on the way in the New year. The Rabbit got a serious overhaul with the RG 3.0 models and two new kites were introduced to the line before summer, the ManiaC and Rabbit School Edition Kite (RSE). Next year, the brand will be introducing an entirely new line of boards and surfboards produced at two new factories chosen for their quality control and accessibility. Wainman Hawaii’s Drew Fargher walks us through the line.
Now in its third generation, WH released a new version of the Rabbit this summer. What changed? Since the rabbit’s inception six years ago, the kites have always offered something unique and special to the rabbit connoisseurs that has separated the product from any other in the industry; something that completely changed many rider’s kitesurfing experience and/or brought it to the next level of fun and performance!
For 2015 we are offering seven proven and versatile sizes that overlap perfectly to meet the needs of virtually every wind condition and rider. The Rabbit characters have been streamlined and “matured” from previous generations to appeal to a wider audience and potential customer base but will be unique, exciting and a “head turner” as always.
In terms of construction and performance, the 3.0’s profile was redesigned resulting in a kite with enhanced hangtime, agility, and upwind performance while maintaining even better stability in the air. We also beefed up construction to further improve durability, reduced weight for more streamlined aerodynamics which seriously improved low-end capabilities, and refined the kite settings to cover the full spectrum of riding styles from hardcore freestyle to downwind to surf. Last but not least, all Rabbits now come with RAF (rabbit Air Flow) allowing for fast inflation/deflation of the kite. This is a result of specifically designed air flow channels, as well as a multiple pump system, which provides even distribution of air pressure in both the kite’s leading edge and struts.
What will previous Rabbit riders most notice in terms of features and performance? Similar to the prior Rabbit kite series, each size has its own unique profile shape and was designed individually in order to provide a similar feeling and maximize performance – this is the same for the RG 3.0 kites.
For the new 3.0 models, each has slightly lower bar pressure and improved lift and upwind capabilities. The Boss 12m underwent the most significant changes and improvements making him the potential “perfect” big kite. A huge wind range, excellent bar pressure, superb lift and hang time and great turning speed makes it almost a one kite quiver for a freeride, freestyle or wave session. The Big Mama 14.5m has proven to be a great light wind kite for the bigger riders and now she’s even better! After shedding some weight with our new construction, the wind range has improved with the same lift and upwind capabilities. She is now a perfect fit even for regular guys and girls who do not want to just ride back and forth in light breezes but actually perform all their regular tricks or have a wave session. At Wainman Hawaii we take pride in every detail and aspect of design to ensure the most comfortable, functional and quality products that separate us from the competition. the all new redesigned rG 3.0 kite bag is a testimony to our philosophy. It features an all new ergonomic design of the entire bag; a unique graphical scheme, colors and styling; updated system of kite bag opening and kite storage; and lock-up pocket for the bar.
Were any changes made to the Carrot control bar? Continuing on the success of the innovative Carrot Bar kite control system, we focused on quality, material refinements and ease of use to provide riders the perfect fusion of safety, simplicity and superb “feel” in flight. Reducing and replacing both hard and heavy components with extra soft, durable and protective materials, have enabled us to offer one of the safest, robust, and ergonomic bars in the industry. Our 2015 bar has all new components/ molds. The thinner bar shaft with our new ergonomic comfortable grip provides supreme handling efficiency. A precision-engineered metal center piece now has an even better fit of the buffer into the bar shaft and our harness loop system has the perfect blend of stiffness and flexibility for increased ease of use when hooking in after riding unhooked. We also redesigned the bar’s quick release (QR) with additional side crimping to eliminate hand slipping and provide better grip. the reduced size of the QR and buffer enables a considerably shortened distance between the harness loop end and bar shaft providing more comfortable steering, as well as easier reach of the depower trim line.
Additionally, we increased the durability of the depower main line section by double slicing the line and tightening the pu tube. The introduction of a simple and innovative new “dingy guy” eliminates the risk of losing it, as well as allows a rider to move it aside without taking it off – perfect for unhooked and hooked-in riding.
WH does not follow annual industry product release cycles. How does the R&D process work at the company and how can a consumer know when something new may be coming down the line? At WH, we understand it takes time to improve or develop on a solid product that we are passionate about and believe in, such as the rabbit series kites. So we never put a timeline on product releases as we follow a meticulous r&d process. We have absolutely no doubt that the consumer will be as enthused as we are with the new developments, improvements, performance, attention to detail and complete package we offer in all our products that separates us from our competitors’ product in the kite industry today. When we are stoked and confident with our product and have completed most of our rigorous r&d process, we inform consumers through our various media channels (website, social media, forums, magazines etc.).
This spring WH launched the ManiaC. Why did the company feel it was important to add a C-kite to its line up and how do you feel it differs from other C-kites in the marketplace? The ManiaC project was conceived and developed by our company masterminds to fulfill the requirements of the most demanding riders who aim at pushing the limits utilizing Wainman Hawaii products. It was initially conceptualized around the proven and classical C-shaped traction kite design. Re-engineered and tested to absolute perfection by the mystical and passionate touch of our product designers has resulted in an unparalleled final product. This innovative combination of old school and new-school performance characteristics is appreciated and respected by our best test riders globally, and the ManiaC is considered by them as one of the most complete and soulful designs ever developed.
The ManiaC is an unparalleled performer for freestyle and wakestyle, providing amazing stability and smooth power delivery. This machine generates amazing pop, direct feel and control, unhooked performance, hooked in boosting and freeride spirit, not to mention that the kite is an absolute megaloop machine! The design also offers a single inflation valve and stock direct connect four-line setup with superb SLE relaunch characteristics, but also has a five-line option too. Multiple settings on the kite provide riders the ability to adjust the kite to fit their perfect feel and performance needs depending on their preferences. The kite is complemented by a proven customizable bar system offering a streamlined reduced diameter shaft and custom setup up of line lengths trimmed for ultimate ManiaC performance, with a stylish and functional bag.
Also new for the company is the WH Rabbit School Edition. How does this kite differ from a regular Rabbit? Are they available to schools only? The RSE (Rabbit School Edition) is a brand new Wainman Hawaii kite based on the tried and tested Rabbit design. Developed by our design department in conjunction with some of the world’s finest kite instructors, we maintained the classic Rabbit shape, renowned for its stability, ease of use, effortless relaunch and bombproof construction. Efficient teaching methods, combined with dedicated and user-friendly gear are keys to success for everyone who is serious in developing a successful instruction center. These integral components will enable a school to provide their students the fundamentals and proficiencies of kitesurfing in a safe and friendly environment.
Will the new RG 3.0 bar come with either the ManiaC or Rabbit School Edition kites as well? No. Each kite model comes with a specifically designed bar for that model to ensure maximum performance and safety.
The WH website does not show any information for boards. Does Wainman have plans to offer boards in 2015? Yes, we will be going into production with our surfboard lineup in mid-november that should be available to the public in January 2015. We will also be unveiling a new twin tip line up in the spring. Stay tuned!