The Duotone Click Bar took the industry by storm as the world’s first one-touch depower system. The prototype process encouraged wild ideas and visualizing solutions, bringing the future of control to life at the flick of a switch. The result was perfect synergy between tech and safety, as well as a groundbreaking moment for the brand and a positive look to the future of the sport.
Bringing new ideas, initiatives and innovations to life successfully, relies on constant progression of production technology, output and flexibility. This is why it took us 3 years to develop the Click Bar before it was brought to market back in 2016. Celebrating its third year under the new flag of Duotone, we thought it was a good time to look back on its history and speak with designer Aurelien “Lou” Mierswa, who has been leading the process since he first met Jerome Bonieux on the sandy shores of Mauritius.
The true Duotone Click Bar concept came to light when team riders, Tom Court and Sky Solbach, introduced Jerome to Lou and the rest of the R&D team. It was during a wave event that Jerome had happened to gain a Wild Card entry into. Whilst a back-line trimming system was not new to us, Jerome had created a mechanism that he’d prototyped, and used for a year and a half. It was then that Lou and Jerome teamed up and we went for it.
It took 3 years to pick apart what Jerome had created, apply our needs and bring the game-changing Click Bar to market. Whilst Jerome’s prototype was certainly the springboard for our final creation, our main concern was how we could make such a technical product viable for mass production.
We looked at construction ideas, material processes, bomb-proof functionality and worked on achieving a bar that looked slick and did the job. Those 3, crucial years of development included 200 prototypes ( 4 rounds of 50) and included hundreds of people. We gave them to riders of all levels for extended periods of time in order to ensure that we’d covered every possible aspect. Looking back, it was probably one of the Duotone teams’ greatest achievements.
“Once we’d found a mechanism that worked, the benefit was the possibility to design the rest of the bar to make it epic. As an industrial engineer, my view was to round-off the functionality with a smart finish and performance features that take care of the smaller details. There’s one depower line, the bar is clean, the simple power on/power off Trim Unit is flawless, the Power Display makes life easy and then there’s the Automatic Untwisting feature. It’s everything a kiteboarder needs.” - Aurelien “Lou” Mierswa
Flash forward to now, the 2019 Click Bar by Duotone is still under the wing of Lou and our trusted team of riders and designers. Although there are no major updates to the standard sized Click Bar, we’re stoked to announce that this season the small Click Bar will be joining the line up. Aimed at the more freestyle orientated rider, the shorter bar is slightly stronger due to less leverage. Its finish is clean, range of depower the same as the standard, and the V can be adjusted precisely for the more sensitive rider.
It’s an exciting year for Duotone as we push the limits of what’s possible with our products and innovation. But in terms of the Click Bar, who knew it would a come from a meeting on a beach in Mauritius between an Industrial Engineer and a Wild Card entry for a wave comp.