Designer’s Corner

Photo Quincy Dein

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Wainman Hawaii

Wainman Hawaii strives to provide the highest quality gear so riders can maximize their fun and stoke in each session. They do not feel the need to release new gear every year for the sake of saying they have something new and shiny to check out but instead release products when they are 100% confident that they are ready for market.
Photo Paul Lang

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Underwave

Underwave was introduced to the US market in 2012 and is back with a refreshed line of softgood products for 2013. Some of the Underwave harnesses feature the unique Vacust technology, which allows you to create a true custom fit with your harness.
Photo Chuck Harlan

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Switch

Now in its second year in the market, Switch Kites is entering its first phase of next-generation gear and has added two new kites to its line.
Photo Lance Koudele

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Slingshot

For 2013, Slingshot further streamlined its product line up. Slingshot’s kite surfboard line will see the biggest changes with the introduction of EPX construction and Fluid X technology.
Photo courtesy Shinn

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Shinn

After growing up in the UK, Mark Shinn moved to the Canary Islands to pursue a windsurfing career. He discovered kiteboarding in 1999 and quickly rose to the top, competing on the circuit until 2005 when he refocused his efforts to start his own board company.

2013 Buyer’s Guide: RRD

For 2013 RRD is offering a number of refinements on it's extensive kiteboarding product line. In a unique move, RRD is offering two versions of the popular Vision kite.
Photo Jon Malmberg

2013 Buyer’s Guide: ProMotion

Based in the Gorge for 28 years, ProMotion Wetsuits was founded by waterman Dana Love. A surfer at heart, Dana got into windsports to extend his time on the water.
Photo Ian Alldredge

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Prolimit

The Prolimit lineup of harnesses, wetsuits, and travel bags has been freshly updated for 2013. New for this year is the C4, a kiteboarding-specific wetsuit.
Photo Abner Kingman

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Ozone

For 2013, Ozone’s Catalyst and Zephyr kites have been completely redesigned while the rest of the line received smaller modifications.
Photo Alan Van Gysen

2013 Buyer’s Guide: NP Surf

NP is a brand new line of technical softgood products from Neil Pryde. Besides a stand-out line of wetsuits, harnesses, and SUP paddles, NP has also release the S1 spreader bar, the first aluminum spreader bar designed for kiteboarding.
Photo Vincent Bergeron

2013 Buyer’s Guide: North Kiteboarding

The biggest changes to North’s lineup for 2013 relate to their control bar, Vegas kite, and Jamie Pro board. New products include the Pro Series, a surfboard shape with the most rocker and outline of all directional boards in North’s lineup, and the Spike Textreme, a new carbon light wind board.
Photo Lukas Nazdraczew

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Nobile

Most of the changes to Nobile’s 2013 line represent refinements that improve upon construction and performance. Additionally, Nobile switched kite production to Sri Lanka, which they say has afforded them higher levels of quality control.
Photo Rogier Jaarsma/

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Mystic

The popular line of Mystic harnesses has received a complete update for 2013 with the introduction of new models and a line of crossover harnesses that can be used for both kiteboarding and windsurfing.
Photo Aaron Loyd

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Loyd Surfboards

A surfer since the age of 4, California native Gabe Loyd caught the kitesurfing bug in 2004 and never looked back. Learning early on that surfboards work but often don’t stand up to the rigors of kitesurfing, he started shaping his own kite-specific boards.
Photo Stephan Kleinlein

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Litewave Designs

As one of kiteboarding’s first board companies, Litewave Designs has been passionate about the sport since 1998. Owner and designer Dave Turner is excited to introduce three entirely new board shapes to his 2013 line up.
Photo Erik Aeder

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Liquid Force

For 2013 Liquid Force is offering refined versions of the popular Envy and the NRG and is also bringing back the HIFI in the form of the HIFI X. The twin tip line has also been refreshed and all of the boards are lighter for 2013.
Photo courtesy JN Kites

2013 Buyer’s Guide: JN Kites

JN Kites was founded by Bernhard Jochum and Michael Nester. Both had industry experience at Cabrinha and North before breaking off to start their own company in 2003. Based out of Merano, Spain, JN kites are now available in North America.
Photo courtesy ION

2013 Buyer’s Guide: ION

ION features eight different wetsuits and 18 different harnesses to fit any budget, body type, and fit preference. Along with other accessories such as hoodies and booties, ION has got you covered from head to toe for all weather conditions any time of the year.
Photo Tim Hendrics

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Gaastra

Gaastra is now available in North America, thanks to former pro windsurfer Brian Caserio. The company has an extensive product line, but for 2013 only two kites, the Jekyll and Hatch, will be available to the American market.
Photo Giles Calvet

2013 Buyer’s Guide: F-One

F-One is releasing the sixth edition of the Bandit, the original Delta kite, and is sticking with the concept of one model of kite to fit most riders. The Bandit now comes with a unique bar that has been machined from solid aluminum.
Photo Richard Boudia

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Flexifoil

Flexifoil has many changes in store for 2013 including the introduction of the new Force and Shiva kites as well as completly new designs for their control bar, Hadlow Pro kite, and Hadlow Freestyle MK2 board. Designing products is a team effort at Flexifoil.
Photo Chuck Harlan

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Firewire

For 2013, Firewire has reverted back to their original product offering which includes reinforced strap inserts and fins, but no straps and pads. With the broad cross section of straps and pads available and the growing legion of kiters who ride without any straps, they’d prefer to allow you the decision of which pad, strap, or neither is right for you.

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Epic Kites

In anticipation of Olympic kiteboarding and the growth of kite racing, Epic is releasing the Racer kite as part of their 4G line of products. The Renegade and Screamer 4G models are still being tested and tweaked and a next generation Xtend bar is expected to be released in January of 2013.
Photo Michal Bukovcak

2013 Buyer’s Guide: CrazyFly

For the 2013 model year CrazyFly has made significant changes to their Sculp kite while the Slash and MooWii remain relatively unchanged. The Sick Bar also received a major upgrade and there were some changes to the extensive CrazyFly board range.
Photo Jason Wolcott

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Cabrinha

The Cabrinha line has received a major update for the 2013 model year, especially in the board department. The twin tip line has been completely redesigned and Cabrinha has also brought their production in-house.
Photo Carlos Moncho

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Best Kiteboarding

Best kiteboarding has made a lot of changes for 2013 with one of the largest being the use of their new Double Core RS canopy fabric on all their kites. According to Best this fabric stretches less and is more durable than other canopy materials. Best has also updated their twin tip line and is introducing a brand new line of directional boards.
Photo Elyse Gaynor

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Axis

Adrian Roper is now entering another phase in his life and career with the launch of his new company, Axis Kiteboarding. He is eager to share his new designs with riders and get feedback on his new shapes.

2013 Buyer’s Guide: Airush

For 2013 Airush has simplified their range of kites and boards, making it easier for riders to find the products best suited to them. The popular Lithium kite is back for 2013 as is the Sector directional board, which is now available in three sizes as well as a one-design version for club-level racing.
Photo Giles Calvet

2012 BUYER’S GUIDE:Underwave

Soft launched in North America in mid-2011, the full collection of Underwave apparel and water wear will be available at your local dealer in 2012. Underwave’s North American distributor Nicolas Ostermann explains why his distribution company is bringing the brand to the US market and highlights some of the key products he is most excited about.
Photo Jeff Pfeffer

2012 BUYER’S GUIDE: Switch Kites

Having just launched in June of 2011, Switch is a new kite manufacturer that only sells kites directly to consumers. We talked to James Overington about Switch’s product line (including the upcoming Element kite) and about how they differ from other kiteboarding companies.
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