The guys at North Kiteboarding caught up with Ken Winner to talk them through the new 2018 Mono. The kite has a simple, minimal design with an excellent ability to stay in the air no matter how light the wind.
What was your vision for developing the 2018 Mono?
The Mono has really come into its own this year for foiling. Its light weight really helps in the underpowered conditions that are so good for this style of riding whilst the smooth, soft bar feel is also great for the delicate balance needed when up on the foil. Additionally, gusts and lulls aren’t felt as forcefully through the Mono control bar when compared with other models.
What was the R&D process for the 2018 Mono?
Sky Solbach, Patri McLaughlin and I did a lot of twin-tip, wave board and foil riding in Maui. It’s a great place for testing thanks to the wide range of conditions so we were able to put the Mono through its paces in everything from light, steady and strong winds. We also have a spot where the wind is light and unsteady which we use to mimic conditions often found on lakes.
What design updates can we see on the new 2018 Mono?
The new Mono has a wider arc design which improves depower and softens the bar feel, both of which are good qualities for foil kites. However, it retains power and still works well with twin-tips and wave boards, just with a little less grunt and little more depower. It’s also more pivoty through the turns.
What settings are available on the 2018 Mono and what recommendations do you have for them?
All bridle options remain the same, the only suggestions I would have would be to do with line lengths. The smaller sizes of kite really work best on longer lines. For example, if it’s super windy and you want to ride the 3.5m and a foil then you should use 24m lines as anything shorter decrease the power stroke and the kite won’t deliver the power needed. But with longer lines and a longer power stroke the kite will produce more than enough power and be easy to ride. With the 5m it’s less clear-cut, but I would say that it should only be used with 22m or 24m lines. Personally I prefer 24m lines as they smooth out the power. Sizes 7m-15m are good with anything from 19m-27m lines, depending on what the rider is doing. A foil or wave rider might want to use the 12m or 15m Mono with short lines for a quicker response, whereas someone aiming to maximise power on the same size kite would use longer lines for an increased power stroke. It really depends on the style of riding. I generally use the 7m, 9m, and 12m with 22m lines as it’s a good all-round setup.
Sum up the 2018 Mono and who it is perfect for.
The Mono is great for those who like a simple, minimal design with an excellent ability to stay in the air no matter how light the wind. Wave riders who like a little less grunt and foilers looking for an ultra smooth ride will revel in the Mono. Easy to relaunch and comfortable all-round, its light weight also makes it the perfect travel companion.
This article first appeared on the North Kiteboarding Blog.