One of the few brands to offer a deep product line of both LEI and ram-air kites, precision German-engineering and passion are the name of the game at Flysurfer headquarters. Glowing from the recent acceptance of their revolutionary VMG race kite by the IKA as a potential 2024 Olympic design for Formula Kite Racing, Head of Marketing, Chris Hesina, talks about the additions and changes for Flysurfer 2021.
Because of our success over the past few years we are in a restructuring phase. We are happy to announce the addition of new and highly talented people who are working, riding and representing us, hopefully for many years. I have three new colleagues next to me, Marie-Eve Mayrand, Sales Manager North America, Ines Rodlauer, International Marketing and Event Manager and Luke McGillewie who joins our R&D department. We will not change our international athlete roster in the upcoming year. I am very happy with the riders who are representing us and our latest addition to the team, Johanna Catharina Edin, was the missing link to the GKA World Tour. We are also excited to work with a new fabric, the TXLight, on our foil kites in 2021. The highlights in 2021 are going to be the introduction of a wing, a third LEI product line, a split board and the successor to our bestseller, the Soul!
IS THERE A SINGLE INNOVATION THAT YOU WOULD FIRST LIKE TO HIGHLIGHT?
Flysurfer’s revolutionary VMG has truly been an outstanding innovation and shows its success on the racecourse. We are convinced that this kite will be the first choice for the Olympic competition format and Flysurfer will be crowned as the best constructor. I’d like to invite everybody to check out the beautiful work of our talented kite designer Benni Boelli. A big shoutout to Theo de Ramecourt, Nico Landauer and Florian Gruber for pushing the prototypes to their absolute limit!
EACH KITE, WHAT IS THE INTENDED TYPE OF RIDING AND TARGET USER AND KEY CHANGES FOR 2021?
For our foil collection, the VMG is our specialized race kite for riders who love to go as fast as possible. A dedicated hydrofoil racing product, it’s perfect for those who want to enter any race competition or want to get there. The Sonic is all about performance freeride and is our best kite for jumping in low or medium wind speeds, perfect for lofty airs and board offs and the go-to hydrofoil freeride kite of our athletes. For 2021, we added a 21m. For all-around performance and reliability at its best, the Soul is perfect for foil kite newcomers and a true session saver. The ultimate travel companion with a huge range of use and the best foil kite for big airs and kiteloops, for 2021 we changed the fabric, some internal parts, inflation, ballooning and reinforcements. The best ratio between power and depower per square meter you can get on the market can be found with our Peak kite. It’s our ultralight kite that handles gust with ease and gets you going in no wind. Intentionally built to get you from the valley to the top of the mountain in no time, it is now heavily used by hydrofoilers all over the planet! For 2021 we added a 6m. The Viron rounds out our foil products and is the safest way to start kitesurfing with a foil. It features a limited lift concept that reduces power peaks in the power zone and is especially useful for teaching children.
We have three kites in our LEI collection. Starting with our Boost freeride kite, park and ride, jump and fly with unmatched relaunch ability, fly upwind and boost to the moon with this big air specialist. For 2021, we reduced the Boost’s weight, tweaked the bridle and attachment points, and added sizes. The Stoke is our allaround performance machine. If you want diversity within a product—freestyle, kiteloops or dedicated wave riding, the Stoke does it all! Rounding out our inflated kite offering is the Era, dedicated to senders and future KOTA riders that want to obtain massive altitude.
IF YOU ARE RELEASING A WING PRODUCT THIS YEAR, WHAT IS THE TYPE OF RIDING THAT IS TARGETED AND WHAT ARE THE KEY FUNCTIONAL AND PERFORMANCE FEATURES INTRODUCED THIS YEAR TO YOUR WING?
We would like to see riders progress on our new wing, the Mojo, our vision of surfing effortlessly down the line. The Mojo offers you great control, gets you upwind with ease and is very responsive for both waves, freestyle and distance riding. The Mojo features a swept forward outline, double inflation system, windows, multiple handles, and reinforcements in all the right places (handles, wingtips) for effortless riding with a high amount of control, thanks to its upwind ability and steady drift. Easy to set up and pack down, safety has always been a huge factor worked into our product designs. For the Mojo, we integrated well-positioned windows for the perfect overview while riding. There are also a few attachment options for a waist strap, an arm strap and a harness line.
WHAT ARE THE NEW AND/OR THE MOST POPULAR MODELS IN YOUR TWIN TIP LINEUP? HOW HAS THAT CHANGED FOR 2021?
We finally have our split board back in the lineup, the Trip, an easygoing and playful board that will put a smile on your face. We also introduced the Flow, a budget version of our bestselling product, the Radical. The Flow features a flat rocker curve, elliptical rocker and a durable surface finish. We haven’t touched the Rush, Radical or Flydoor at all to stay true to our product development strategy—only introduce a new product when you can improve it.
The Rush offers stiffness, edge control and a medium-hard flex distribution and is your best choice in high winds. It’s also perfect in choppy water conditions and a reliable board to improve your freestyle skills. The Radical was designed to make every session a great one and in our opinion, is the best freeride board on the market. Early planing, great upwind performance and high maneuverability are the ingredients that will make your session enjoyable. Our infamous Flydoor has been the go-to light wind session saver for many riders for years. It is surprisingly playful for its size and gives you great control even when the wind picks up.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ACCESSORIES OR OTHER PRODUCT LINES YOU WOULD LIKE TO BRIEFLY INTRODUCE OR DISCUSS CHANGES/HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2021?
Flysurfer offers four control bars to meet the needs of riders worldwide. The Connect is our 5-line control bar designed for our B-Safe System and only works with the Viron school and Peak kites. The Race is our competition control bar which features a 60cm depower throw, a 3:1 adjuster and 12+3m flying lines. We recommend this bar to all hydrofoilers who like a clean setup with an extra-long depower throw. Freeriders will appreciate the Infinity, Flysurfer’s 20th anniversary control bar has been completely rehauled. The Infinity still rocks its auto untwisting function and shines in deep black, but now has short front line safety, a durable bar grip, new floaters, QR 4.0 with a small chicken loop, and Dyneema covered adjuster lines. Finally, if you are looking for a high-end control bar to learn new tricks with, then you want the Force in your hands.