Retail Buyers Guide: Kites SS20
Brand: North Kiteboarding
Interviewee: Ollie Murray, WSW Marketing
We feel like there has been so much emphasis on re-inventing the wheel over the years in our industry when it comes to kite design, we wanted to launch our kites our way.
This is why we have completely simplified our kites ensuring they permform their purpose, and perform it perfectly. Of course this is alot easier said than done and took Pat Goodman and the rest of the team many months to develop.
We utilised our own tech & cut away everything we felt the kites didn’t need. What we are left with is a range of kites that we feel perfectly fit the exact needs and characteristics of that kite type.
The 2020 North range is the result of taking every piece of kiteboarding kit apart, analyzing it and thinking about how it could work harder, faster and stronger. We had the opportunity to look at everything from another angle, a new perspective and a new approach.
The North design process starts and finishes on the water. We are always answering the question, “How can we make it simpler?” A huge part of our design process has been considering what we can get rid of.
Currently with the upcoming 2020 collection we’ve designed everything to strike a perfect balance between cleanliness and aerodynamics, so the ride and the gear feels smooth and effortless. Looking into the future this is an ethos that will stay at the core of our brand, our designers and our engineers.
North Kiteboarding are backed by North Sails and you can only imagine the tech and R&D that is available to North KB moving forward, all completely unique to North.
We found that the more bells and whistles you have there more there is to go wrong. All of our North kites use fixed-cascade bridals with no pulleys. We find that by removing plastic pulleys from within the load bearing part of the kite it actually improves the safety and your connection feel to the kite. Essentially the overall result is a kite with less drag, more accuracy and a more direct feeling.
Throughout the entire kite range we have utilized Kevlar to reinforce the strut connection points, the tips and also on all the likely wear areas on along the leading edge. Little things like this make the difference, protecting the product in rough terrain in a simple yet effect way.
One rider with one board, we feel this is an old fashioned way to craft a range of product. At North we are a team of individuals, all contributing to the product in the areas that suit their riding, and each choosing their preferred weapon for each set of conditions.
All of our team have been put to work and have riden all of our kites right the way through the prototype and R&D stages to ensure we are all in agreement that the products best represent our ethos and are as good as they can be.
The kite colourways carry throughout the entire range to keep the brand clean and distinctive. Upon closer inspection you’ll be able to spot subtle differences from the Carve to the Pulse to the Orbit each featuring a small individual graphic. From a distance it is very easy to spot a North kite up in the air on the beach.
We are committed to being one of the most active kite brands down on the beach offering demos all around the world. We believe in our products and know that when people get the opportunity to try our kit it will speak for its self.
Through our content creation and media we have tried to educate the kiter as much as possible to ensure people understand what makes North different.
Media like our in depth animations that demonstrate on our Navigator control system, how easy it is to swap between our chicken loops with our ToolLess Interloop system.
Shopfinder – On the official NorthKB.com website we have uitilized a global shopfinder page that regognizes your country’s IP address and then shows you every official retailer and approved North school in your country. This list is regularly updated as more retailers and approved stockists get added.
The Carve is powerful, reactive and controllable. It provides instant drift with the flick of your wrist, allowing you to power on and off instantly, stay in the pocket for longer and out of the critical impact zone. Compared to the rest of our North range, the Carve sits further back in the wind window and enhances down the line drift, perfect for carving and tucking into the barrel. This is what Team rider Jessie Richman has to say about it, “The Carve has an incredibly steady and consistant pull, with a super smooth drift so when I’m on a wave all I have to think about is smacking the lip.”
If hangtime is your flavor then the Orbit is your jam for sure. With its 5 strut exo-skeleton construction Pat Goodman set out to design a kite that when jumped would feel completely second nature straight away. It packs a powerful and direct loop for those big air addicts but its the width of the canopy that will keep you hanging up there all afternoon long. Its no wonder Jessie Richman and Nick Jacobsen have been leading the R&D way all winter long on their prototypes with end results like this.
We couldn’t mention the Carve and Orbit without mentioning our navigator Control System. We’ve always had this dream of the Connect System being as easy to load and release as a car seatbelt. You push, and you click. One small issue with this is that a seatbelt won’t release when there’s a load on it. Our primary objective in evolving the quick release system is safety, but we also want the customer experience to be intuitive. We’ve developed and refined the entire Navigator Control System harmoniously from the ground up, providing a premium user experience that is simple, intuitive and refined – right down to the sound of the closure. Push and click.