Once we had the materials, the next step was to evolve the geometry of the kite and capitalise on the strengths of these materials. This design process was the polar opposite to what we have become used to over the years and our early efforts with Penta TX, showed us that we would have to make some major changes to our well versed approach of the past, enhancing the shortcomings of the materials. Now, we had to harness the potential of the new Penta TX.
The physical and mechanical properties of Penta TX were wildly different to our previous cloth. In addition, early Penta TX prototype kites had a very lively feel that proved too lively and harsh, especially in the smaller sizes. So our vision was to cultivate the liveliness and tame the harshness, through design and structure, not material.
With the overall goal being to make a stronger, lighter, superior model of the NEO, the Penta TX provided significant weight reduction and a huge range for in-flight performance. Structural stiffness is what harnesses these attributes so we focused our use of STW70 on the Tip Struts. It’s light weight but can be tuned to deliver precise stiffness. But, as with all great innovations the real question is, can it last? We had to asses its durability. We built kites with STW70 Tip Struts and sent them to kite schools in places with demanding climates like Brazil. Interestingly, after months of hard use the kites came back to us in far better condition than we expected. STW70 was looking like a miracle material, requiring less reinforcement and therefore contributing even less to the weight of the kite.