You’ve worked in the development process with a couple of kites now with Penta TX and the SLS construction, how much of a game changer is this new material?
We played around with the new materials quite a lot on a few different models, we started off with the Vegas prototypes, the Evo SLS and a few other prototypes with different designs, I think the main thing is the performance that can be gained by using this material, obviously it’s lighter, it’s better in the lower end and the main difference is the structure and stiffness and how much performance you are able to get out of the kite. We really learnt a lot and there's definitely some huge benefits. Designing the kite around this material is where the real gains have come. It’s been quite a challenge learning with the new material and implementing it into the kite, but I’ve been very impressed with the results.
With the high and low end of the kite being improved, do you think people will reconsider their quiver sizes?
I would say your quiver would stay the same sizes. I think you’ll find, when you get a bit more underpowered, you’ll be able to get more performance out of the kite and when you get overpowered its more stable. Throughout the wind ranges it feels like a larger sweet spot and more performance through the wind range of each size.
Talk to us a little bit about the handling, how does the Evo SLS feel at the bar?
The feeling you get on the SLS kites in general and especially the Evo SLS is a much more direct feeling. When you're turning, you're much more connected, for me I feel exactly where the kite is in the wind window at all times. For looping the kite is very reactive, it catches the turn very quickly, so the kite loops quicker and turns exactly when you need it. The weight savings allow the kite to fly very quickly through the wind window. With the stiff frame and changes in the design, we've been able to make this kite reach up into the wind. When you are jumping, you get a more vertical lift, so this combination gives you so many possibilities to jump rally high.
There is definitely a crossover in performance and personal technique. I think a kiter who is still looking to improve their jumping skills, someone who can do some rolls and someone who has a few tricks in their repertoire. The feeling of the kite is also something that gives you more confidence to learn tricks, knowing where the kite is you are able to feel things a little bit better. I think mid level to advanced kiters will definitely notice the difference in the kite. In my opinion the kite becomes a little more racy, a bit more edgy, a little bit more punchy sometimes, you can really harness these performance benefits if you know how to and as you improve you'll only feel the benefits more!