Our R&D Team is currently busy with the fine tuning of the new 2020 range. Read here what they report from their everyday work on the isle of windsurfing dreams:
The R&D Team around chief sail designer Kai Hopf is back on Maui. This year the R&D work is quite exciting because some new products are coming up. We are super motivated and invest lots of time, energy, heart and soul in the development of the new products.
The Team on Maui divides as follows: Victor Fernandez and Klaas Voget are the main guys working on the SUPER HERO and SUPER SESSION. Marco Lang and Pierre Mortefon are responsible for the new WARP and WARP Foil. The freeride range will be developed by Kai Hopf and Marco again.
HOW WE WORK – on the water
The R&D work is split in two parts. On the one hand we want to create sails to win titles, on the other hand we want to satisfy our customers and give them good sails with nice rideability. So, the difficulty is, that all involved riders keep in their mind, that the sails need to be both - a high-end product for winning the hardest battles but also suitable for anyone who wants to have special moments on the water. Therefor we are testing all sails in all kind of conditions like on-, side- and offshore winds, to make the sail useable for every spot.
Usually we compare a reference sail to a prototype sail. For us it is important to have two quite equal riders to sail the prototypes. This is essential to get realistic comparison! Especially in the development of the WARPs it is really important to find out following points: the characteristics of speed, acceleration, handling and stability and how all these characteristics influence the sail. It is impossible to create a sail offering the highest TOP SPEED and the best acceleration at the same time, you need to find the best working balance between all characteristics. Testing one single prototype can take quite a few hours, because the guys need to try various settings on different masts.
Testing wave sails is a bit different to the WARP test. Wave sails need to have a big range, so, for example for Victor it is crucial to have constantly a good performance at different spots like Hookipa or Pozo. The sails need to work in the biggest waves as well as offer a perfect rotation in double loop.
HOW WE WORK – down to details
The riders make notes after every single ride, to keep the small but very important details in mind. After some days of testing, the riders usually get together with Kai to discuss the prototypes and to decide how to modify the new protos.
Small modification can be done directly by Kai Hopf himself, but if the modifications are essential, he orders some new, altered prototypes from Sri Lanka.