The 2022 UNIT: Rider Review

We’re joined by international team riders STEFAN SPIESSBERGER and Olivia Jenkins to talk about the new Duotone UNIT WING.

Let’s start with you Olivia, the Unit has been your wing of choice from the Duotone range, how does this new model compare to the previous model and tell us about some of the changes on the latest model.

Olivia Jenkins: Yes, the Unit has been my wing of choice over the past years, I think the one big change that people will notice is the handles. The old Unit used to have soft, squishy, malleable handles, whereas the new unit has two stiff handles. I think one of the biggest changes to the feel is it’s more direct and maneuverable in the sky. If you want to make a quick movement with the new Unit, the handles make it easy to make these movements fast as they are not flapping around like with the previous Unit.

For you Stefan, you’ve mostly been riding the Slick but you have now spent the past two weeks riding the Unit and Unit D/LAB, what are your impressions on the Unit and how is it for your riding style?

Stefan Spiessberger: In the past, I was riding the Echo and then the Slick as I really like the direct feeling of the boom and now we have these new handles with which we get this same feeling with the new Unit. I’ve really been loving this wing, it’s super direct, which helps in pretty much every way. Just to get going, to pump yourself up on the foil, it’s much more efficient. When jumping and performing maneuvers you have a really quick response, you can turn it really fast, it reacts really quickly and that’s what I have been loving.

Do you find it restricting your freestyle moves not having the full reach of the boom? Does it limit what tricks you can do?

Stefan Spiessberger: Not really, there is quite some space on the handle, you are not limited to having your hands in one position, you can move them around quite a bit and it doesn’t really keep me from any moves. Even in light winds the Unit is going to be the wing I’ll be riding for sure!

"The new Unit has everything one can wish for in a wing! It gets super fast, has a very stiff profile, crazy lift and stays extremely stable when flying it behind you in waves. My go to wing right now!"

Stefan Spiessberger

Let's talk about lighter wind conditions for you Olivia, you do a lot of down winding in Maui, how important are things like drift.

Olivia Jenkins: It’s really important for me to have a really stable wing In the sky, especially as I do mostly downwinders back home in Maui during the summer. When you catch a swell, you get on the swell and then release the power and hold it behind you as you would on a wave. Having a wing that is really stable and not flapping around, you can really ignore that it is even there behind.

This is what is really important and it is something I have really noticed with the new Unit, is how incredibly stable it is in the sky when it is just drifting behind you when you are not holding onto the handles. I think that is something that is really cool and that translates when wave riding too. I’ve noticed this a lot in Mauritius where we have been riding a lot of waves over the past two weeks, it’s been really awesome to catch a wave, put the wing behind me and not have to worry about the wing flipping over and then having to spend time concentrating on flipping the wing back when you should be focused on just riding the wave itself, so that is one thing I’ve noticed that has been really awesome with the new Unit.

So some good drifting characteristics, what about the jumping performance Stefan?

Stefan Spiessberger: There is definitely something about the new Unit that makes you fly! I’ve been looking forward to coming out to Mauritius to hit those ramps to get some big jumps and now with the new wings it was exactly how I thought it would be. It’s crazy how high you get up in the sky and how much lift the wing creates. Not only for jumps, but also for getting going, or if you are going on a speed run or want to accelerate you feel like the wing is performing and creating speed. This is the good thing about it, it performs super well and jumps really well.

Olivia Jenkins: I think that’s also an important factor for me too, as a female, I might not have the upper body strength that Stefan does. When I am trying to get myself up on the foil in lighter winds I find I have to pump the wing a lot, but riding here in lighter winds in Mauritius, it’s pretty incredible how much power this wing generates which helps get me up on foil quick. I rode the old unit out here on this trip a few times and comparing the two it’s amazing how much more power is generated when compared with the old wing which has been really great especially in the lighter winds.

Stefan Spiessberger: Also as you said there Olivia, I think especially in light winds the new handles make quite a difference. I have been teaching quite a bit of winging back home in Austria and the Unit previously was a bit hard to fly as the handles weren’t delivering direct response, so I wasn’t recommending the previous Unit for people starting or riding in light winds, but now with the new model, it's something that everyone can use, doesn’t matter if its light wind, beginners or strong winds and jumping, it just works in everything really well.

So you’ll stick with the Unit Olivia?

Olivia Jenkins: Yes, I liked the previous Unit for my style of riding and the new one has some serious upgrades so I’ll definitely be sticking with the Unit.

And you Stefan, you have been riding the Slick a lot, what will your quiver look like going forward?

Stefan Spiessberger: I’ll definitely switch to the Unit for strong winds, I love the way it jumps and turns, it’s super good for me and I can’t wait to ride more on it!