Product Development Manager Lars Moltrup is the man behind the scenes, ensuring the quality of Cabrinha’s gear: from design and development to testing and production. The guys at Cabrinha caught up with Lars with a quick round of questions before their mid-season launch coming this March.
Hey Lars, for how long have you been working at Cabrinha?
I’ve been with Cabrinha for the past 3.5 years, but in the industry for 7 and a half years.
When was your first time kiteboarding and how was it?
Back in Denmark in 2006, with my brother and 10 other people, 1 instructor and barely enough wind to keep a 14m in the air. Needless to say, there was not much actual instruction going on and the following solo sessions was a fairly interesting experience. In spite of the bad experience with an instructor, with some help of my friends, I was hooked.
What’s your favorite product in the range?
It’s always changing, usually, something that hasn’t hit the market yet, but with the wave season hitting Maui, the X:Breed and the Drifter get me stoked.
Who comes up with original ideas for new products?
New ideas can come from anywhere really, individuals within the brand, manufacturing, distribution or simply new trends, however bringing a new idea to reality is a team effort.
Are the Drifters 13 or 14 meter good for light wind?
It really depends on what discipline and board type you are looking to ride, your weight and the conditions at your spot. The dealers should be able to help you pinpoint the perfect size and model for each scenario.
What are your thoughts on the new Moto?
It’s one of my favorite kites in the range. It was a major project for us as we started from a clean slate, bringing together everything we have learned into an incredibly diverse performing product.
What’s the best beginner kite that will also work when your ability improves?
It depends on which area you want to grow: If you see yourself riding waves when you get good enough, start with the Drifter. If you see yourself boosting huge airs, then go for the Switchblade. If you see yourself doing a bit of everything, go for the Moto.
What education do you need to become a product developer?
There are many relevant approaches to working in product development. I myself took a rather unconventional route, starting as a journeyman toolmaker, then returning to school, studying Product Development and Design in Copenhagen.
The most straight forward approach, however, would be to study Mechanical Engineering, Design Engineering or Industrial Design. It is my clear conception that the majority of people today that are involved with R&D at most brands have some sort of engineering background, as the industry has evolved and become increasingly complex with regard to Product Design.
Do you have any tips for someone trying to get into the industry professionally?
Above all, you need to display passion, persistence, and commitment as the competition can be fierce. Start by applying for internships and get a foot in the door, show what you can do! If you’re studying at the moment, do projects which are related to sports products and showcase these when contacting brands for internships. We do accept internship applications, it’s best to contact us through our website.
What will be the next big invention to change the sport?
The latest big innovation is here and evolving rapidly before our eyes: foiling! It has changed all aspect of water sports, not just kiteboarding. What comes next, you’ll just have to stay tuned.
What would you tell someone who’s hooked on kiting and ready to buy gear?
Welcome to the sport, hope you’re having fun! There are a lot of good products out there in the market and it can be difficult to differentiate the brands and what might be a good fit for you personally. What you get with Cabrinha gear is performance, security and reliability. We deliver the best product in the market that caters to any preferences you might have in regards to riding style and even budget. We’ve been innovation leaders in the industry for the past 20 years with headquarters in the epicenter of the sport – Maui. Something that is truly unique to Cabrinha is that our products are manufactured in our own facility, which gives us unprecedented control over design and quality. Cabrinha has a worldwide retailer base ensuring that there’s always support, whether it’s questions regarding your first purchase or you happen to lose a fin during your first kite trip. We are never far away and will always help you get back on the water.