Having undergone a complete rebranding last year, Duotone has settled all questions about its market-leading position with iconic products such as the Rebel, Neo, and Evo continuing to dominate the skyline at beaches around the world. With one of the strongest teams in the industry claiming an armful of tour championships and a fistful of innovation and tweaks to the established Duotone product lineup, Colleen Carroll walks us through what’s new at Duotone for 2020.
THIS YEAR THE ENTIRE DUOTONE LINE OF KITES RECEIVED UPGRADES TO MATERIAL AND CONSTRUCTION. WHAT ARE THESE UPGRADES AND HOW DO THEY TRANSLATE TO PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENTS?
The biggest change that spans the entire 2020 kite range is the new 70g trailing edge dacron that has also received an updated pattern. The development of this new, lighter and stronger trailing edge material allowed us to minimize the need for a wide trailing edge pattern which you will notice along the trailing edge of all 2020 kites. In effect, this reduces the overall weight of the kites and you will also see that over time the kites will retain their shape even better than before due to the smaller difference in weight between the canopy and trailing edge materials.
HOW DO YOU STEER FREERIDE KITERS BETWEEN THE REBEL, DICE AND EVO LINE OF KITES? WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THESE MODELS IN TERMS OF PERFORMANCE, SKILL LEVEL AND STYLE OF RIDING?
We pride ourselves on having the best gear for every rider and this means offering a wide variety of options. While the Rebel, Dice and Evo are all versatile rides, the Rebel is really going to excel for those who want a highperformance kite that boosts better than the rest, is ultra-stable and flies upwind. The Dice is going to be another fine-tuned machine that shines in several areas but does particularly well for unhooked freestyle and kiteloops.
The Evo is incredibly reliable, has the easiest relaunch and is great for sending jumps. Its worth noting that the new Evo received some major design upgrades for 2020; it’s been spruced up and given a playful twist. The kite feels more lively than ever with the biggest and easiest jumping ability to date. Designer Ralf Grösel removed the pulleys on the bridle which allows for a more compact LE frame which can hold more energy and thus deliver a more enthusiastic feeling of flying the kite.
WHAT’S NEW IN THE TWIN TIP LINEUP FOR 2020 AND HOW HAVE RECENT CHANGES TO THE STRAP/PADS INCREASED CUSTOMIZATION? HOW DO YOU STEER SURFERS THROUGH SKY SOLBACH’S LINE OF SURFBOARDS? WHAT ARE THE BIG CHANGES FOR 2020?
For 2020, we decided to bring more high-end options to our twin tip line with multiple price tags to the table. Last year’s introduction of Textreme was warmly welcomed; however, we wanted to offer more options to those who demand a high-performance ride at a lower price point. For 2020 we offer many of our most popular shapes in two options: Carbon Web and Textreme Innegra to meet every rider’s needs. Other major design changes to the freestyle range include the new Suspension Flex Cap on the Team Series range which enhances torsional stiffness and nearly eliminates reverse flex. We have a full redesign of the Gambler and added a brand new concept to the lineup with the Ultra Spike for light wind performance.
We took our most favorite pad/strap combo and rebuilt it with an ergonomic EVA pad with a larger toe pad for better grip. We also added screw pockets to the outside of the footplate to store screws when traveling and last but definitely not least, for 2020 we now offer four different pad/strap sizes to find the perfect fit for anyone.
On the surf side for 2020, you now have the option to also ride the Pro Session (our go-to board for big waves) as a quad. For our best all-arounder, the Wam, Sky introduced a new size, the 5’3”, specifically designed for groms and lightweight riders. One of the most exciting changes is that Sky has worked closely with the team to develop a totally new board for 2020, the Pro Fish. This board bridges the gap between the Pro Whip and the Pro Wam, giving riders one more option for a board that rides well in all conditions. The wide point on the Pro Whip has moved forward and given more nose rocker, along with less total surface area in the nose—basically giving the board a brand new feel that you’ll have to try for yourself! Last but not least is the Pro Hybrid allows you to take one board for surfing and foiling; talk about a vacationer’s dream come true.
DUOTONE HAS MADE SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES TO ITS FOIL PRODUCT LINEUP FOR 2020. HOW DO YOU STEER RIDERS THROUGH THE FOIL AND BOARD OPTIONS IN THE LINE?
To choose between our Freeride, Carve, Surf and GT, it really depends on what you want out of your foil. We’ve dramatically increased setup options and the best way to figure out exactly what setup is going to work best for your unique style is by going to our personalized style finder at duotonesports.com. Rate different performance characteristics to come up with the foil setup that is ideal for your taste.
DUOTONE HAS ADOPTED SOME NEW ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES FOR 2020. TELL US ABOUT WHAT THESE ARE AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HEAD IN THIS DIRECTION?
We are striving to minimize our environmental footprint whenever possible by developing new environmentally friendly packaging, improving transport routes, researching recyclable materials and greener manufacturing processes, and supporting organizations that fight global warming. We take these efforts very seriously because we are responsible for future generations to be able to enjoy our amazing sports in incredible surroundings.
We now also offer climate-neutral products. This means we offset all carbon emissions caused by our products during manufacture and transport. Therefore we support a hydropower carbon offset project in Kuruwita, Sri Lanka, in cooperation with ClimatePartner, a leading solutions provider for corporate climate protection. This entire process is transparent and traceable thanks to the ClimatePartner label, ID and certificate. For more detailed information on these new initiatives, please visit our website: www.duotonesports.com/kiteboarding/climate-neutral