Behind the Design with Jerome Bonieux - Duotone Daytona

Duotone Kiteboarding Daytona Designer Duotone Kiteboarding Daytona Designer Jerome Bonieux
Duotone Kiteboarding Daytona Designer Interview Jerome

Duotone has always provided the opportunity to present new concepts within watersports. Through feedback and ideas, the multidisciplinary range continues to succeed. With the ever-growing range of core products as the focus, the platform and expertise on which they exist allows for the extraordinary, such as the Click Bar and now high end hydrofoils.

We catch up with race enthusiast and designer Jerome Bonieux, to find out about his vision for the new Daytona and our collaboration with America’s Cup structural and design specialists ixent.


Hi Jerome, can you give our readers a short introduction about yourself.

I’ve been kiting since 2002 and was Mauritian freestyle champion in 2005 and 2006. I invented and patented the Click Bar in 2009 which then led to my introduction to the Duotone design team.

I was driven to help develop the Daytona, because I have a passion for speed foiling at speed. I love designing products and running a kite school in Mauritius means that I have a very good insight into what most riders are searching for, especially in a foil.

I really enjoy all other aspects of the sport and still practice big air, surfing and wakestyle, as well as contributing to the R&D process on products in the Duotone range.

What was the vision for the Daytona?


We wanted to make a premium, fast, full carbon foil that would perform well and look great. You could call it a "Freerace foil”.

Our vision of a two-piece design makes it user-friendly, just bolt on and go ride.

It had to have a plate connection system that would fit our current range of boards which allowed us to take advantage of the rails and give more tuning options.

Duotone Kiteboarding Daytona 2020 Designer Interview

How did you achieve this and how does it translate into performance? 

The first thing we recognised was the importance of rigidity of the assembly. We decided to go for the same approach as most of the top race foils out there and do a single piece glider. A single piece glider gives you the best accuracy, the lowest drag and superior stiffness. Since we wanted the foil to be as strong as possible, we went for a full carbon construction for both mast and glider.

All these design aspects give the Daytona great control, even at high speeds. You can really feel that everything is locked in place and the foil just wants to accelerate.



What were the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?

Finding the right manufacturer was definitely one of the challenges. We tried a few options but were not satisfied with the final fit and finish, so we kept searching. Eventually we found another factory, who’s team had quite a lot of experience making hydrofoils. From the very first prototype we were amazed by the quality. 

The other time consuming element was the fine tuning of the foil. Finding that perfect balance of minimising drag whilst maintaining ease-of-use was fundamental. It didn’t take long to find the magic recipe.

You partnered up with the America’s Cup design team. What did you learn together and what special features in the Daytona are from this collaboration?

Yeah that was great! They have so much knowledge in structural analysis and ran calculations for various scenarios which allowed us to pick the optimal design.

They specified all our layups so each layer of carbon is used once again, optimally. They also ran CFD analysis of our designs and recommended doing some changes based on their results. For example, the mast profile that they suggested has been terrific in cancelling the mast ventilation issues we were having on some early prototypes. This is important as mast ventilation is the primary causes for loss of control at high speeds.

Along with design, materials play an important role in the functionality, durability and efficiency of any product. Can you talk a bit about the Daytona and the materials?

In the case of the Daytona it is pretty simple, we have used 100% carbon fibre. As we all know, carbon fibre has a very high strength to weight ratio which makes it the material of choice for a hydrofoil.


Who did you work with on bringing the Daytona to life and what benefits did they bring to the table?

Jean Guillaume was with me throughout the testing process validating protoypes. He’s a good friend with lot’s of experience in foiling and loves to go fast. It was important to me to have his approval.

The guys from the Duotone team of course, Max Pajank, who is responsible of the whole foil program and Antonio Destino, head of R&D/ product manager. They make sure that we are always staying within the timeline, budgets and also that we are taking the right decisions when we do face an obstacle. They found the right manufacturer, through their contacts.

Then, the team from "Ixent", the consultants we approached to help us for all the structural and hydrodynamic analysis and design guidance.


What makes foiling so exciting?


The speed, the sensation of flying over the chop, the ability to kite in barely any wind and soon the Olympic aspect which is great for all the kids getting into the sport. 


How has the Duotone range of foils evolved over the years and what are your thoughts on the 2020 line?


Duotone started like most brands by proposing entry level foils, which at the end of the day are the ones that sell the most. Throughout the years, they have started to widen their choice of wings to cater for the evolving market. I am really stoked to have now contributed to add a performance product to their range. I feel like DT has a very complete and well structured range for 2020. 

Duotone Kiteboarding Daytona 2020 Designer Interview Juice

What dictates performance trends in Foiling and how has this impacted the design of the Daytona?

The racing scene, for sure! We have definitely inspired ourselves with what we thought were good ideas from each of the top race foils.

In your opinion, what makes the perfect foil?

That's a hard question. Personally I like foils that are fast with the feeling of no drag. This is what foiling is about and what sets it apart from my twin tip or my surfboard.I want to be able to lay into my harness and accelerate until I am scared to go any faster, but my foil still has potential to go! I am stoked that we have managed to achieve this with the Daytona.

Duotone Daytona