With a focus on surf-dedicated products only, BWSURF customers know that ideal wave riding performance is the design priority behind every BWSURF product. North American importer Dray Murray tells us about the big changes in store for the 2018 lineup.
THIS YEAR BWSURF HAS NARROWED THE KITE OFFERING TO THE AE2 MODEL WITH SOME DESIGN CHANGES AND CONSTRUCTION UPGRADES. WHAT ARE THE BIG CHANGES AND HOW WILL THEY AFFECT PERFORMANCE?
Yes, lots of big changes for BWSURF this year! We have a new factory, new kite, a new bar and new boards. We’ve really stepped up our game this year and have funneled all our efforts into the Æ2. We reevaluated everything that goes into the kite; weight vs. strength, pros and cons of different materials, along with sheet-in-and-go vs. depower. The goal on the Æ2 was to retain all the things we love about the Æneema, like that signature drift, high depower, large wind range and smooth power delivery, yet while solidifying our construction and beef up its upwind performance, turning speed, responsiveness and sheet-in power.
Our new factory in the Philippines is very close to our design team, which means we can test a kite, put it in the water and tweak its design in the space of hours, not weeks. The conditions in the Philippines are amazing for testing gear and we love the quicker and more efficient R&D process. In our search for perfection, we discovered a new material called 220 Gitter, a smoother, stiffer material we’re using in the Æ2’s wingtips that has a two-fold benefit. The first being a more rigid wingtip profile that transfers bar input faster for a crisp turn and fuller wingtip profile. Second is the smooth surface creates less drag and releases air earlier, therefore allowing sharper turns. Compared to the Æneema, riders will experience increased upwind performance, greater responsiveness, and more power at your fingertips by just sheeting in. The Æ2 is an incredibly stable kite with unmatched drift and a very smooth and consistent power delivery from everywhere in the window making it our most refined kite to date and the ultimate tool for surfing with a kite.
When we were developing the new bar we put together a long list of things we wanted; large adjustable throw, a clean and simple depower system, a coated centerline with an internal flagging line and a below the bar swivel. Among other things, we also wanted a clean look with as little rigging above the bar as possible so that it would really allow us to forget about the kite and just concentrate on the surf. The Blue Chip bar meets all of these demands.
The rear line depower cleans up the whole sheeting system by retracting into the bar so virtually everything above the bar has been eliminated. The sheeting system is clean and easy—simply twist the bar end for more power and push it out for less. The benefits are a massive bar throw, reduced weight and drag on the centerlines, no dangling depower strap, a single durable coated centerline, easy precise sheeting adjustments, and it comes with three sets of pigtails so it will work with any brand of kite.
What we are really excited about in the Blue Chip Bar is an incredibly simple system that really takes our goal of having an unobstructed view of the wave to the next level.
WITH A THREE-BOARD LINEUP, WHAT KIND OF CONDITIONS AND RIDING STYLE DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR THE STALLION, DRIFTER AND DHD?
The Stallion is a new board concept to the BWSURF lineup. It pioneered our new manufacturing process, which we love so much we’ve adopted to our entire line. I could go on and on about the Stallion; needless to say, everyone should try one so they can see for themselves. It surpasses the Tomo design as it can pivot as well as carve, whereas most Tomos on the market today tend to ride straight and turn in a pivoting style. It’s also super easy upwind, cuts through chop, and the aggressive bottom channeling gives it unparalleled speed and control. It’s really a joy to ride in small to mid-sized surf and is incredible for airs. However, it’s not the most hardcore surf design so we have two other shapes.
The Drifter was BWSURF’s most successful design ever. It’s a snappy and loose shape that has a great blend of broad nose, fishtail and early planing that is perfect for destroying small to medium sized surf. It’s proven to be a great everyday board that can be both playful and aggressive when needed. We’re stoked to bring this board back in our new production tech. We thinned it out a bit as it’s now designed to be a pure kiteboard.
The DHD is Ben’s large surf slayer. Designed for beach breaks to barreling waves, it’s Ben’s new signature model with an aggressive shape featuring a narrow diamond tail that can hold a rail like a much larger board yet holds its own in fast, steep, and hollow waves. Crafted for pure surf performance, it loves speed and is great for days when it all comes together and you need something that will perform when speed and power are critical.
Our new factory is a huge asset. We are freed up from following the industry norms to being able to push boundaries. Our close relationship, quick turn around and immediate proximity to testing grounds is the perfect incubator for R&D. As we are a surf-specific brand our gear often gets put through the harshest conditions. One of the main goals on the AE2 was to make a kite that can both perform and last. Our new factory has given us access to heaps of new materials and we have been able to test more in the last year than we had in the previous eight years. We are really happy with the AE2 and feel like we finally have a product that meets our expectations, not only for performance but also durability. You should definitely check one out for yourself.