Two of the world’s leading kiteboarding brands will provide the equipment for the new IKA one-design youth kitefoil racing class designed to inspire a new generation of young athletes to join the sport on the pathway to Olympic glory.
Ozone’s peerless Edge V10 tube kite in sizes 6, 9 and 13 m2 was selected by the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) for its proven ability to deliver on the race track, along with the company’s sustainable worldwide distribution reach guaranteed to meet the Class’ demands over the coming years.
The IKA Arrows Youth Foil Class for 11 to 16 year-old boys and girls (U17 age category) will provide a safe, stable and highly competitive one-design racing platform for young kiters who will go on to become Formula Kite racers battling on registered series production foil kites and hydrofoils that will be used at kiteboarding’s debut at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games track in Marseille.
The new Arrows Youth Foil Class offers an affordable way into racing for families, sailing and kiting clubs, and World Sailing Member National Authorities (MNAs). Its competitively priced foil and kite package will be fixed for at least the forthcoming four year Olympic cycle, giving equipment longevity to help keep cost to a minimum.
In doing so, the IKA anticipates to mirror the phenomenal success of windsurfing’s low cost and accessible youth Techno 293 “feeder” class that unlocked young athletes’ competitive drive, drawing a remarkable 168 sailors from 18 countries to last year’s European championships.
By choosing the Ozone Edge V10 — flown on 13m lines with 4m and 7m extensions available to adjust to competitors weight and wind conditions — and the Moses foil and board combination, all the young Arrows Class athletes of all sizes and weights will be competing on identical, “one-design” equipment, racing on windward-leeward courses just slightly shorter than Formula Kite tracks.
The Edge had already amply demonstrated its race pedigree and appeal to young athletes when it became the weapon of choice for many battling for gold at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
Perhaps ironically for a kite that proved such a hit on the course, racing was never part of the design brief. Ozone set out to build a kite with accessible high performance that would go fast and hard upwind, and jump well in the hands of the average free-ride kiter.
“We’re stoked that it does go fast around the race course too, of course,” said Ozone general manager, Iain Hannay. “For us, it’s about accessible performance, so that you don’t have to focus on the kite, but focus on other things that are changing on the race course. We’re pleased to be chosen and pleased there’s going to be a driver for more youth and a future class for racing. Anything that grows the sport for kids is great.”
Moses’ carbon T65 board with 31ltrs volume, slightly larger than Formula Kite boards for a greater margin of safety, was chosen with the all-carbon K91-590 foil. The carbon foil won out over slightly cheaper aluminium foils because of it’s longevity and the better possibility to repair damages. Together with the already existing world wide distribution it offers exactly the platform a new racing class needs.
The K91-590 has an 89cm mast, slightly shorter than most Formula Kite foils at up to 110cm, again for safety reasons. The 590mm front wing with its 630cm2 gives easy lift at slower speeds in light winds, but still has performance capable of more than 30 knots that will keep developing young athletes happy.
Based on the highly successful Moses Fuente, Moses is offering the foil and board complete to MNAs at an extremely competitive price that will help the Arrows Class grow in the same way that windsurfing’s Techno 293 mushroomed from small beginnings.
“It’s quite an aggressive price,” said Moses director and brand manager Jimmy Mazzanti. “This is something that at such a good price a small club can say it’s worth the investment. It’s perfect for young riders—an easy carbon board and foil that still has good performance.”
Mirco Babini, IKA president, is sure the Arrows Class is on to a winner, particularly after so many major kiteboarding brands threw their hats in the ring. The winners, in Moses and Ozone with their affordable and accessible performance kites and foils will certainly appeal to kids.
“Many kids in Italy—10, 11, 12 years—are foiling already because it’s safe now,” said Babini. “They can jump in the sea and start riding foils with just 6 knots. In those breezes it’s calm and it’s possible to give assistance and coach them. It’s really important to have a “feeder” class. It’s a lot like Techno 293, just slightly higher performance. Young boys and girls love it at the start, but they also want to go fast, racing, because it’s cool. Both of these foils and kites blend ease-of-use and performance.”
The first events for the new Arrows Youth Foil class are planned for summer 2021, held together with the Formula Kite U19 Championships in order to bring all young kitefoilers together for competition in a foil festival atmosphere.
The class website with class rules and contact details for orders will go online shortly.