A French family-business that has been involved in kiteboarding since the beginning, Manera develops kiteboarding gear for demanding riders: “We believe that the product is the heart of a company, and as a result most of our efforts are spent on the research, development and testing of the collection. We create products so nobody has to get out of the water because they are cold or uncomfortable.” Julien Salles answers our questions about the brand’s redesigned luggage collection, additions to the wetsuit line, harness fit and more.
FOR 2020, MANERA REDESIGNED ITS ENTIRE LUGGAGE LINE. WHAT WAS THE MOTIVATION FOR THE CHANGE AND WHAT ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NEW COLLECTION?
With our sports constantly evolving, we now have new needs to transport and organize our gear differently, especially when traveling. With the introduction of our Biggie bag, we can now put our kites, bars and foil wings into a light bag which is treated by airlines as a suitcase. We have made a Surf 747 bag which can fit up to four boards with multiple pockets and a Chubby TT bag that can fit all your kites and twin tips. We have made the best board bag collection for all riders and travel lovers that wish to fit everything in a light and damage resistant bag.
HARD SHELL HARNESSES SEEM TO DOMINATE THE HARNESS MARKET YET MITU CHOOSES TO RIDE YOUR SOFTEST MODEL, THE UNION. WHY DOES MITU PREFER THIS HARNESS AND WHY WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THE ECLIPSE OR EXO HARNESSES INSTEAD?
We all have different body shapes and different expectations in terms of a harness. Mitu needs a light harness which moves along with his turns whilst offering enough support. He doesn’t use a rope sliding bar—he really wants the harness to twist around his body. Now some other people need more support and a harness which fits their back; if your back is flat then the Union will fit you best, if your back is quite arched then the Exo or Eclipse is made for you. The Eclipse is stiffer and low-profile; it has the perfect balance between stiffness and flex and adapts to most of the morphologies.
MANERA OFFERS TWO WETSUIT LINES IN VARIOUS THICKNESSES: THE X10 AND MAGMA, AND ALSO ADDED BACK ZIP WETSUITS TO THE 2020 LINEUP. DOES A BACK ZIP VS. FRONT ZIP SUIT MERELY COME DOWN TO RIDER PREFERENCE OR ARE THERE DISTINCT ADVANTAGES/DISADVANTAGES TO THE TWO DESIGNS? WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE X10 AND MAGMA LINES?
We decided to introduce a back zip to our range in order to offer products that meet everybody’s needs. The back zip had gone out of fashion in the recent past, although this entry design offers greater flexibility in the chest, which is often appreciated when holding a kite bar or paddling for a wave. Conventional wisdom is that back zip suits are easier to put on compared to front zip. We added a twist by using a shorter zipper so the back stays flexible and the water can’t flush in, and yet it’s still very easy to enter and exit. Our back zip models are built with the same material, constructions and technologies as the front zip ones. The fit is also the same, so basically only the entry system is different.
As to the differences of our two lines, the Meteor Magma is built for the cold and windy days of winter whereas the Meteor X10D is made for pure performance, flex and lightness.
THE BLIZZARD KITESURFING JACKET IS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER JACKETS OF ITS KIND CURRENTLY ON THE MARKET. WHAT MAKES IT SO UNIQUE? MANERA RECOMMENDS THAT THIS JACKET NOT BE USED IN THE SURF. IN YOUR OPINION, DOES THIS APPLY TO ALL KITEBOARDING-TYPE JACKETS OR IS THIS BECAUSE OF THE UNIQUE FEATURES OF THE BLIZZARD?
We wanted to create a jacket which can be worn on and off the water. The Blizzard is not just a windstopper, it’s a technical three layers jacket which is light, waterproof and windproof. It’s also breathable, so it can be used for paddling, mountain biking, or any outdoor activity. For kiteboarding, it has two side-pockets to let the spreader bar go through. We don’t really know about other jackets, but being washed up in the waves with a jacket on is definitely dangerous as it will block your movements and make swimming more difficult, so we don’t advise it.
THE POPULARITY OF FOILBOARDING ISN’T SLOWING DOWN. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FOIL-SPECIFIC ACCESSORIES?
We have all sorts of covers and bags for your foilboards and foils. Our foil boxes have separate compartments, pockets and elastic straps attachments so all the bits have a place. We have three sizes of foil covers which cover most designs on the market. With four mast covers, your masts and adjacent equipment will be protected.