Eleveight launched its brand this year, just in time to make the industry’s traditional 2018 release timeline. While new to the market, its players are all industry veterans with a strong belief in their collective vision. North American distributor Kevin Wade tells us about the company and its first product lineup.
ELEVEIGHT IS A BRAND NEW KITE COMPANY TO THE MARKET BUT ITS PLAYERS ARE NO STRANGERS TO THE SPORT. WHAT MOTIVATED ELEVEIGHT TO ENTER SUCH A COMPETITIVE MARKET AND WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE KEY BEHIND THE BRAND’S SUCCESS?
Eleveight is an employee owned and operated company. Designer Peter Stiewe felt that corporate influence was one of the things that has hurt the market over the years. His idea was to create a company that is run by true professionals, but puts the sport before the business. Eleveight believes that focus on transparency, quality, innovation and customer service will give us a brand that everyone can be proud of.
OUT OF THE GATE, ELEVEIGHT HAS FOUR KITE MODELS IN ITS LINEUP. EXPLAIN THE PERFORMANCE QUALITIES OF EACH AND WHAT TYPE OF RIDER AND CONDITIONS EACH IS MEANT FOR.
We designed the FSeries for ambitious and advanced riders. This performance open-C 4-line kite excels in freestyle and big air while providing the upwind and wind range qualities of a freeride kite. The advanced short bridle system enhances its stability and control. The tow-point is close to the wingtips, tuned to provide a tip turning character with a fast steering and an explosive deploy of power when looping while the moderate sweep of the wing tips adds to the performance: The kite generates a rapid vertical lift for big airs. Freestyle riders will appreciate the line slack and travel of the kite, which helps make even the most advanced handlepass tricks suddenly become achievable.
We gave special attention to the low-end and upwind capabilities of the FS to ensure that you can concentrate on jumps and tricks rather than on tacking upwind. The well-balanced aspect ratio of this kite has the ideal lift/ drag ratio to take you swiftly upwind even in light winds while offering crisp and agile steering speed. The RSeries is the ideal kite for performance riding in all styles and conditions. Its versatile crossover character adapts to the rider’s preferences, enabling him or her to boost big airs, throw spray off the lip of a wave or even land handlepass tricks. We placed the turning axis of this 4-line kite at its shoulder to create the perfect balance between powerful tip turning and pivotal center turning. This results in smooth turning velocity with a good amount of grunt, perfect to initiate big air jumps and old school tricks. The medium to high aspect ratio ensures you have a good lift/drag ratio. The RS provides a grunty pull and when triggered, it will take you up to massive heights. The design ensures that you’ll sail down gently as the kite easily catches you. Even in choppy waters or gusty wind, going upwind is easy. The combination of bridle set up, sweep and aspect ratio ensures a wide wind range, stability and a position in the wind window that pulls you upwind. In short, the RS is a very agile but stable performance freeride kite that guarantees fun!
The WSeries reflects our long journey and the search for the perfect wave kite. Everybody at Eleveight is passionate about surfing, with and without kite. Designing the WS was a matter of heart and is the result of our experience and hard work. The WS has the pivotal turning characteristics that are essential to a good wave kite. To achieve this, we centered the turning axis. This enables you to turn the WS on a dime. The narrow turning circle ensures a smooth power development that does not rip you off your surfboard. The extreme fast movements of the kite can easily be transferred into your riding to find your line, allowing radical snaps and smooth carves where you want them. Furthermore, the centered turning axis stabilizes the drift, just as if flying the kite in the center. This comes in handy when you park the kite in the wind window to fully concentrate on surfing the wave. The medium aspect ratio of this design is the key ingredient for the stable downwind drift of the WS. Even in gusty conditions the kite will follow you down the line. Everybody who has touched the WS has been impressed by its crossover capacity and what a fun kite it is to fly.
The PSeries is the ideal kite to get started with kiteboarding, mainly because we build it incredibly strong to withstand heavy beatings, designed it for easy handling and offer it for a very well-balanced price point without compromising quality and performance. The PS has smooth but powerful turning characteristics, as we designed the turning point to sit at the shoulder between the center and wingtip. To generate an easy to fly silhouette with automatic relaunch, we constructed the wingtips with a high sweep. This ensures predictable handling with a smooth feel. Furthermore, we designed the PS with a medium to low aspect ratio that ensures rock-solid stability—sheet-in the bar and the kite starts pulling. It comes with a huge wind range and going upwind is as easy as it gets. The kite is super stable and has very good lift. Jumping becomes easy as the PS smoothly elevates you out of the water and then acts as a parachute, resulting in crazy hangtime and soft landings. We reinforced strategic areas to decrease the wear and tear. For the needs of this target group we introduced an innovative pull in bridle system which decreases line tangle. This kite is very well balanced and heaps of fun to ride, no matter if beginner or advanced rider. It is easy to handle, tough and versatile.
AS A RECENT UPSTART, YOU HAVE A COMPLETELY BLANK SLATE WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR CONTROL BAR. WHAT ARE THE FEATURES YOU’VE DECIDED TO INTEGRATE INTO YOUR CONTROL SYSTEM?
The CS bar arose from our belief in clean, rider-friendly design. It is our 4-line bar, attuned for full performance with our whole kite range and comes in two sizes: 47 cm and 52 cm. The lines are 22 meters for the best speed/power ratio. The bar is as safe as it is functional. Its core piece is the newly designed Quick Matic quick release. The activation pressure is under 6 kg with a 200 kg load (French norm tested). Even when worst comes to worst, you will still be able to release with ease. Our kites are all designed with the most reliable front line safety. After releasing, the kite will instantly turn around and gently fall out of the sky. To get back going, simply click the chicken loop back into the system. No need to fiddle with the cuff; a simple click and the bar is ready to be used again. Assembling has never been easier.
The thin bar stick is designed to take the strain from your forearms. Around the center it is slightly thicker to ensure it is easier on the hand when catching the bar after a handlepass. The soft EVA makes it a most comfortable bar to fly.
ELEVEIGHT HAS DEVELOPED TWO DIRECTIONAL BOARDS FOR THE SURF. WHAT ARE THEIR CONSTRUCTION AND PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS?
Both surfboard models use carbon stringers, Inegra/Carbon vector net reinforcements and the Futures fin box system. This combination makes the boards durable and keeps them ultra-high performing. The Escape reflects the needs of a new generation of strapless freestylers. The no-nose shape together with the moderate entry rocker provide plenty of lift on the water as well as in the air. The shorter parallel rail line optimizes swing weight, ideal for aerial rotations, and minimizes drag while helping with early planing. The thruster fin set optimizes grip in carves, snaps or after sketchy landings. We’ve put channels in the Escape’s nose and tail to support grip and speed, providing control during tricks and maneuvers. In the surf, the Escape performs excellent in small to medium waves.
The Curl is a high-performance surfboard ideal for solid wave conditions. It is a hand-shaped board for advanced riders without inserts for straps. The thin rail profile together with the harmonic outline gives you excellent rail to rail performance. The bottom shape of the Curl has a single concave running all the length of the board, providing both grip and drive. The rocker line with a nice tail kick makes every top turn an explosion. Using carbon stringers, Inegra/Carbon vector net reinforcements and the Futures fin box system, these features make these boards durable and keeps them ultra-high performing. The Curl is shaped in Portugal. It is the best surfboard you will ride. THE PROCESS IS ELEVEIGHT’S DEBUT TWIN TIP PRODUCT. WHAT CONDITIONS WILL THIS BOARD SHINE IN AND CAN WE EXPECT ANY MID-SEASON ADDITIONS OR WILL WE NEED TO WAIT UNTIL 2019?
We are stoked about the twin tip lineup for Eleveight. It was important to introduce the Process first, as it is the board that caters to the majority of the market, so be on the lookout for two more models this season! The Process is our new performance freeride board made to have fun no matter the conditions. It cuts through chop, cushions heavy landings and drives upwind even in light or gusty wind. To achieve these characteristics we had renowned shaper Franz Schitzhofer come up with a revolutionary 3-D concept. He developed a Paulownia wood core that is fused with carbon reinforcements. This generates a well-balanced flex pattern; in choppy waters and when landing in the flats, the flex absorbs the impact and protects your knees. Smooth 3-D channels at the tips of the board combined with the box rails to provide plenty of grip and control without generating drag and due to the harmonized rocker line, the board starts planing early, making it easy to ride in a light breeze or going upwind.
Of course we paid special attention to detail and quality, hence equipping the board with the strongest inserts on the market. Used in snowboard technology, the board can be ridden with boots as well as with straps. The top sheet is ultra-durable and UV resistant, ensuring that the board will last for years. The Process comes equipped with high quality pads and straps for ultimate control and comfort. Additionally, the Process is shipped with 45mm G10 fins that are resistant to impact and provide enhanced control. In short, the Process is all about smooth and easy accessible performance that allows the rider to concentrate on what really counts in kiting—FUN!