With Concept Blue, Duotone has introduced products for the first time that are said to be more sustainable in terms of the materials used and production steps than anything we have previously known in the kite sector. It starts with three boards, but it is already clear from the market leader that this will not be the end of the line. KITE editor-in-chief Arne Schuber asked Antonio Destino, known as Toni, Head of R&D and Product Management, to find out exactly what Concept Blue is all about, how the products differ from previous ones in terms of construction and performance and what exactly makes them more sustainable Duotone, as well as from Kite product manager Malte Gesser.

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With Concept Blue you have created your own sustainability approach. Could one of you briefly summarize how this concept came about?

Toni: A few years ago we started to focus more on the topic of sustainability with the Save Our Playgrounds campaign. This is becoming increasingly relevant on both the hard and soft goods side. We also believe that there is a real demand for this from customers. And we see big brands from other areas pursuing similar approaches. That's why it was obvious that we at Save Our Playgrounds should take the next step and look at what we need to become more sustainable and develop a strategy for this. Concept Blue is part of this long-term strategy in order to be able to further develop the topic of sustainability on the product side.

What exactly does Concept Blue include? So what products are we talking about exactly?

Toni: Concept Blue means that we try to produce current products as sustainably as possible. This not only includes the downstream processes at the producers – for example, using solar energy or similar measures in the production process – it is also about focusing on the product itself. We looked at each product carefully and considered where it makes sense to replace existing materials with more sustainable alternatives – with the best possible performance without losing sight of the costs. Production may be a little more expensive here and there, but our goal was for the products to remain the same price for customers. At the same time, we want to produce as sustainably as possible. We started with the twin tips, which have been on the market for around half a year. The next logical consequence was to make Concept Blue surfboards, which we could also produce from many more sustainable materials. And then of course there will also be Concept Blue kites. We planned to launch it in March. The Neo and the Evo, two models from the Originals series in Concept Blue construction, will initially be launched.

Before we talk about the kites, let's go into more detail about the boards: What exactly is sustainable about the Concept Blue boards and how do they differ from conventional boards?

Toni: It's primarily about the construction. We replaced glass fibers with flax. So we are trying to use more sustainable raw materials. The surfboards use basalt instead of the previous carbon fabric, and the core is partly made of recycled EPS and bio resin is used. Of course, it was important to us to focus on performance for all boards. I think it's also the customer's demand to have a product that works just like one Product with a conventional design. If the performance were poorer, it would not sell. But if you know that you are doing something for the environment by buying a product that is made from more sustainable materials such as natural fibers and that works just like the others, then you will buy such a product. If we produce less glass, that will be positive for the C02 balance, that's quite easy to understand. Of course, we are all aware that it is difficult to disassemble boards at the end of their life so that they can be recycled. But there are still some interesting options, like what Jones Snowboards is already doing by taking back old snowboards to reuse them. There are ideas in this direction, but this is the subsequent step. We first look at which raw materials we use, where they come from and how we can replace them with more sustainable materials. And I think we have now succeeded in this initial step with the first Concept Blue products.

You have already touched on the topic of performance. Which of the construction methods you know so far is Concept Blue comparable to?

Toni: When it comes to twin tips, Concept Blue does not yet replace the SLS design. The Select Concept Blue, for example, is comparable to the Select in the original design. When it comes to surfboards, there is the new Volt exclusively in Concept Blue construction. The board is completely new in the range and compared to the other models, we do not have any different designs in our range. We will continue to roll out Concept Blue for surfboards next year.

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How much development effort goes into a Concept Blue board? Can you simply swap the materials or does a board like this have to be completely redeveloped?

Toni: Since the outlines are not changed, we have to re-check where we use which of the new materials. Just swapping material simply doesn't work. We have to re-tune the flex, the breaking loads have to be right, the rocker curves have to be revised. In addition, the material behaves differently in shape. We actually go through a complete development cycle until such a board works in a way that we are satisfied with. This is similar to when we developed the SLS and D/LAB construction methods with the kites. Here too we had to adapt each model individually.

»Concept Blue is part of this long-term strategy in order to be able to further develop the topic of sustainability on the product side«

— Antoni Destino

Since Toni already mentioned the Concept Blue kites: How will they differ from the previous kites?

Malte: Basically, the Concept Blue kites do not differ in any way from the original design kites in terms of performance or longevity. It's also about what materials we use for the kites and what we can change about them. However, this Kites project is older and began during the Save Our Playgrounds campaign. At that time, we asked our suppliers what more sustainable alternatives there were, also to raise their awareness of the topic. At the beginning of last year, we really set up the concept using all the resources we currently have at our disposal. We examined where the greatest potential for C02 savings lies in the raw material production process. And we wanted to find out what other materials we could exchange. This is not so easy because the materials used have to withstand high loads and external influences such as wind, salt water and UV radiation. We currently have the best materials on the market with Trinity TX and Dacrons.

So we filtered out what was possible with it and came up with three things: Firstly, we take the color completely from all the cloths, i.e. from the canopy and from the Dacron. Dyeing is a separate production step in the factory that uses harmful solvents and the cloth must be rinsed with thousands of liters of water to clean it after dyeing. We have completely eliminated that. Secondly, we use a bio-based bladder. The material is not 100 percent organic, but at up to 57 percent it is currently the most sustainable product on the market. There alone we have around 30 percent CO2 savings. The third step includes the injection molded parts. Injection molding production produces a lot of waste as standard. Depending on the part, we are talking about 10 to 30 percent waste that is generated during the production process. We recycle this waste ourselves in production in order to make other plastic parts. For example, the discs on which the valves sit or the cap of the airport valve are made from this recycled plastic. All of these pieces made from recycled materials are marked with the Save Our Playgrounds logo so they can be clearly identified. We have not yet changed the valve itself because it is a safety-relevant component. But that will be the next step so that we use 100 percent of the plastic parts recycled.


Key ingredients of Concept Blue in kites include undyed canopy and dacron showcasing the natural color of untainted materials. Please note undyed kites are not simply white kites. By not dying the fabrics, a significant amount of water can be saved during the process!

Areas with undyed fabrics:

  • Leading Edge / Dacron

  • Canopy

  • Trailing Edge

Our savings in numbers:

  • Up to 46% less water usage

  • Up to 35% energy savings

  • Up to 12% CO2 footprint reduction



Both kites embody the core principles of Concept Blue further more by using a bio-based bladder. The bio-based bladder not only reduces carbon footprint by up to 29% but also boasts a remarkable 57% bio-based carbon content, aligning with sustainable practices and measurements.

Our savings in numbers:

  • Up to 29% less carbon footprint

  • Up to 57% Bio-based carbon content

  • Bio-based carbon can be measured according to an world wide standard (ASTM d6866)


Moreover, Concept Blue prioritizes the use of recycled plastic in the manufacturing of most plastic parts, with a minimum of 50% post-industrial recycled material incorporated. This initiative not only contributes to reducing plastic waste but also supports a circular economy by repurposing existing materials.

Concept Blue by Duotone Kiteboarding is a testament to the brand's dedication to sustainability and innovation and takes the next step now in kite design. By integrating enviromental-friendly materials and manufacturing processes, Concept Blue ensures the same performance, but also promotes a more sustainable future for the sport of kiteboarding. With Concept Blue, Duotone Kiteboarding is leading the way towards a greener, more environmentally conscious approach to kite design and manufacturing.

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If you completely do without dyed fabrics for the kites, how do you approach the issue of design visually? The kites probably shouldn't look like plain greaseproof paper.

Malte: First of all, it is important to me to emphasize that we use so-called “undyed fabrics”. This is different from the white cloth used by other manufacturers to either process it in white or further print it. A white cloth is also colored. Color particles are applied to the material in a normal dyeing process to obtain a pure white tone. We discussed this with the manufacturers for a long time, but came to the conclusion that white cloth is not more sustainable. Our undyed material also looks relatively white, although not pure white. And that's exactly why it's so important to us to emphasize that our Concept Blue kites are not white, but undyed are to completely eliminate this dyeing process.

Toni: Of course we also know that our kites don't look the same forever as when they were new, for example when you drag them across a meadow somewhere or they get stains in some other way, that's logical. It's more of a question of ideology because there will be people who ask themselves what they can do to shop more sustainably. We are currently only rolling out Concept Blue kites for the Originals models. But it is of course clear that the question will arise as to what will happen to the SLS kites. Here, too, I can already say that we are working on the topic and that there will be more to come in the future. In terms of visual design, we of course still tried to set highlights in the Concept Blue models, for example with black tapes or the black tip strut. In the same way, the Duotone logo is a visual accent that we wanted to emphasize in order to achieve a certain long-distance effect. The kite has to have a certain appeal, even if the prints are of course reduced.

How do you assess the potential development of demand for Concept Blue? Will it remain one of several construction methods or will we only see Duotone Concept Blue products on the market at some point in the future?

Toni: The current plan is to operate on two tracks, i.e. to continue using the previous construction methods and to continue rolling out Concept Blue in parallel. In the end the decision lies also at the customer. Some people only shop in organic stores, others in regular supermarkets. One can always argue about taste in terms of design, but as I said, this is also an ideological issue. The performance is not important because it must not be negatively influenced under any circumstances. We are sure that there will definitely be demand for Concept Blue. As for whether we switch everything to Concept Blue, I would initially say no. However, we see this as a development process. We are moving on a path to become more sustainable step by step. This not only applies to Concept Blue, but also to our company’s entire sustainability strategy. So we look at our products every year and think about where we can make changes to make production more sustainable and save CO2. If we see somewhere that certain materials are becoming established and the demand is there, we can expand this. Because one must also say clearly: these more sustainable materials are not cheaper. The bladder, for example, is more expensive, but we consciously forego margin here and will offer the kites at the same price. That means we need a certain number of units to keep the whole thing at a reasonable price level. If we reach this critical mass, it is of course possible that we will use certain materials throughout the entire range. However, this does not automatically mean that the entire product will then run under Concept Blue. In the end, it's about a certain amount of a product having to be produced more sustainably in order to run under Concept Blue. If only a fraction of the parts used are more sustainable, then it is not a Concept Blue product. We definitely don’t want to engage in greenwashing.




Is that why there is no Concept Blue Bar yet?

Malte: The Click Bar is a good example of this. We use a so-called bloom material based on up to 20 percent algae. If you look at the handle of the bar, you can see small, dark dots, which is this Bloom material. But the bar doesn't run under Concept Blue because the more sustainable material only makes up a fraction of the entire bar. The majority of the bar, all the injection molded parts, etc. are not produced sustainably. It would be nonsense to talk about sustainability, we haven't gotten that far yet. Should it happen that we get real sustainable lines - and I insist that they are really sustainable lines, because they don't exist yet - and we can inject a bar handle made of mostly recycled material, so that we can If the bar as a whole can be manufactured primarily from more sustainable materials, only then would it be a Concept Blue product.

You previously touched on the topic of recycling and said that you already use recycled materials, but also that boards cannot currently be recycled. It's one thing to build new products from recycled materials. But do you already have an idea of what happens to your products at the end of their lifespan?

Toni: We have been dealing with this exact topic for quite some time. This doesn’t just apply to kiting and winging, but to the entire Boards & More Group. The original idea came together years ago together with Teufelberger regarding the lines. Basically, they are hazardous waste if they are disposed of. So we thought about what we could do to collect the products at the end of their lifespan and return them sensibly so that they can be recycled so that they don't end up rotting in some cellar or on the beach. However, this is an issue that we cannot tackle alone. You need the producers, you need a network and you also have to keep calculating how sustainable it is, for example, to send a container ship full of used kites from A to B so that these kites can perhaps be recycled. This is a discussion that unfortunately cannot be answered in two sentences. Our vision is to create something like this in the future, and we are already discussing this with our producers. Of course, it is again important to have a critical mass above which it is worthwhile to implement such processes. Long story short: We're not at that point yet, but we definitely have the idea on the agenda. We already have a good network for this with our pro centers and pro shops, but as I said, as of right now it's just a vision, and the extent to which this can be represented needs to be seen step by step. It's not just about taking back the product itself. With a kite, for example, which is 90 percent made of polyester, so it only makes sense if the polyester can also be recycled - into high-quality material.


What is the difficulty in recycling kites?

Toni: When it comes to fibers, it is always difficult to produce new, high-quality fibers from recycled material. We are working on it, but it will take some time. Of course, you can also think in terms of upcycling and build something else out of a kite that is recycled. But if, as an ideal scenario, you want to have a kind of circular economy in which a used kite comes back, is completely recycled and new kites are then made from the recycled materials, it becomes significantly more difficult. This is something that cannot be done indefinitely because the molecular structure of the material changes with each recycling cycle. For example, you could mix some recycled material with some unrecycled to ensure you always maintain the same high quality. But as I said, this is a topic that we are discussing with our producer, but it is a big challenge. Perhaps we also need to think about rolling out such a concept across the entire kite industry in order to achieve the necessary critical mass so that it really offers meaningful added value in terms of sustainability. I think in the industry we all have a responsibility to think in this direction. We cannot absolve ourselves of this and must take these steps little by little.