Launching a new windsports company amidst a worldwide pandemic wasn’t the plan, but ON Kiteboarding wasn’t going to be held back from casting its line into the waters of the kite world when they had products itching for consumer feedback. Now, one year later, the company stands on solid ground with two products under its belt and more in the way in the New Year. We find out about the new company and what went into developing their new products from Founder, Benoit Dargus.
WHAT IS THE ORGANIZATIONAL LAYOUT OF YOUR STARTUP KITE COMPANY?
ON Kiteboarding is a new company based in Canada with its R&D based out of Maui, Hawaii. Built from the ground up by passionate riders and individuals who above all else believe in following their dream lifestyle, our kite and wing designer, Alain Bernard, provides over 20 years of experience in kite design, prototyping 700 kites and over 1000 sails models. In 2000 Alain co-developed with Bruno Legaignoux the first commercially available 4-line LEI kite with depower.
We have been working together for a year now and we are developing a lot of new exciting products for the future. Our athlete team is growing with wing pro rider Steve Tobis and the legendary Flash Austin working on wing development along with Franz Olry from France, Niklas Huntgeburt from Germany, Jannah Puskar, Aussie Chris, Ziz Sekota and a local crew of Maui riders.
IS THERE A SINGLE INNOVATION THAT YOU WOULD FIRST LIKE TO HIGHLIGHT?
Yes, during our R&D, we tested several Noa wing prototypes consisting of seven versions until we were satisfied with our final design. Our unique anti-stretch window offers excellent performance in different conditions and is easy to fold without rolling the window—warm or cold conditions do not affect the window’s visibility.
WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND YOUR FLAGSHIP LINE OF KITES, WHAT IS THE INTENDED TYPE OF RIDING AND TARGET USER AND KEY CHANGES FOR 2021?
For 2021, ON kiteboarding debuts the Classic Series, the one kite for all riders and conditions. This is the one kite made for everything from a beginner’s first day to the most extreme wave and wind conditions. Our hybrid delta kite combines a futuristic touch and upgraded materials and fabrication techniques. It’s mid to low aspect ratio gives a solid pull yet lets the rider rocket upwind.
We are using Teijin D2 UV wax-coated fabric. This prolongs the life of the canopy and remains strong over time with bright colors. The wingtips come with low and high bar pressure setting tab that are easy to switch between. The kite’s lower aspect allows it to have massive power and de-power, almost like a brake. This combined with the Classic’s rounder shape allows the kite to turn smoothly with power and offer super accurate precision, even when riding one-handed. Our back-line pigtails come with six adjustable knots to allow for different wind strengths and rider preferences. A durable spectra V bridle sports the 6.3, and 7.5 models; the 9m and 12m models come with a spider bridle (more attachment points than the V bridle) that has been tuned for smooth rides and faster turning. The 9m can also be switched out for the V bridle if desired.
Only the proven and trusted light and strong Ronstan pulleys are used with our quality kites. The Classic line is super fun to ride and the range of each size is incredible. For instance, the 6.3, for example, has a range of 15-40 plus knots without taco-ing or other issues. When you let go of the bar the kite completely depowers and when you grab it again it offers instant lift. The Classics are super-fast and steady with a sleek bat-like look.
Our bars come in 46 and 52 cm lengths with 22m meter lines for a good combination of big air and fast turning that allow for that direct control feel. They have two lengths which are 8 meters on the bar side and 14 meters up top. They are also color coated with all loops on each end and the lines can be modified for knots if the rider chooses so. The direct control touch is easy to hold on to with its small diameter and lightweight feel and sports the standard safety with red grip on the left and black on the right to distinguish which side is which. ON’s chicken loop is safe and was tested over time with superior strength and ease of reset.
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?
The Noa series of wings have a structural T-frame; their rigid, thick profile helps to maintain their structure for direct control without compromising flexibility. The Noa’s anti-stretch window has a unique design without compromising the flex of a big flexible window. We use a reinforced Insigma tape around the honeycomb, dispersing the strength and minimizing canopy flutter. Easy to inflate with our Airflow inflation system, the Noa’s high-volume standard valve connectors requires no special nozzle—just twist on your pump hose and inflate it. The Direct Fusion control handles comes with three Velcro points to attach a SUP paddle for self-rescue. Kevlar reinforcement for protection can be found on both the wingtip and leading edge. All ON wings comes with a wrist safety leash attached to the center of the leading edge.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ACCESSORIES OR OTHER PRODUCT LINES YOU WOULD LIKE TO BRIEFLY INTRODUCE OR DISCUSS CHANGES/HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2021?
For 2021, we are working on a new wing, hydrofoils and new kite concept as well as a surfboards series. The revolution is coming!