The engine of technological developments in the kite surfing industry is running at full speed. Kites need to be lighter and at the same time stronger, more stable, and more reliable. Material and production processes need to be more environmentally conscious. It usually does not make the kites cheaper, but the properties improve enormously. This article is about the net weight of kites. We focus on what we call Lite Surf. The concept with which we state that kites are on a diet.
Diversity in sailing styles and wind
Let us take Cabrinha as an example. Cabrinha currently has 8 different kites to choose from. This makes Cabrinha no exception. You would think, this is not a bit much. Yes and no. Yes, because it is difficult to choose. No, because each kite is developed for a certain purpose and for a reason. This is precisely to support the diversity of kite surfers and what they are looking for. Kitesurfers with different sailing styles and who want to take to the water at different wind speeds. Something for everyone and for everyone a suitable kite so.
Weight kites. Example of a light kite is the Duotone Neo SLS.
Scope for compare net weight kites
We have selected three kites for comparison. Three kites because we have not been able to find the weight of similar kites of other brands. We do not discuss special kites for low wind or kite foiling.
We compare the Duotone Neo SLS, Ozone Enduro V3 and Ocean Rodeo Roam A series. Quit all-round kites with 3 struts and in the 12-meter version so that the comparison is as fair as possible.
When comparing these kites, we will specifically focus on the frame of the kites. The process of lighter, stronger, and better is not only about the frame. Literally everything is being developed further. Think of spinnaker, lines and attachment points attached to the kite, valves etc.
Photo of the Duotone Neo SLS by Mark van der Burg.
Compare Duotone NEO SLS, Ozone Enduro v3 and Ocean Rodeo Roam A-series
Duotone Neo SLS 12m. Weight: 2.99 kilo
To achieve this Duotone has replaced the Dacron. Dacron is mainly used as a frame around the tubes. Now the Dacron of the main tube and the middle tube is replaced by Penta tx. Penta tx would result in a 15% reduction on the total weight of the kite. In addition, it would stretch 50% less than standard Dacron and has a 5 times higher tear resistance. Penta tx is also very stiff, leading to less deformation of the overall structure of the kite.
Ozone Enduro v3 12m. Weight: 3 kilo
The Ozone Enduro v3 uses the specially developed triple rip-stop Dacron for the struts and leading edge. It would be 15% stronger and would also make the kite a lot stiffer and more stable. In addition, use has been made of an ultra-flex coating that should also help in case of gusts of wind to transfer it softer. Furthermore, the material would be sturdier, less likely to break down and prolong the life of the kite.
Ocean Rodeo Roam A-series. Weight: 2.3 kilo
This should be the lightest kite ever within the criteria we set: 3 struts and 12 meters. The Ocean Rodeo Roam A-series kite weighs 2.3 kilos. The frame would be 50% lighter due to the so-called ALUULA material and twice as strong as normal. The development of the kites equipped with ALUULA composite can be called revolutionary. Every detail has been thought through, right down to the stitching.
Conclusion net weight of kites
First, a compliment to the three brands for being transparent about the weight of their kites. Both Duotone, Ozone and Ocean Rodeo are developing hard. Technological development is of paramount importance to them. In terms of weight there is no difference between the Duotone Neo SLS and Ozone Enduro V3. The Ocean Rodeo Roam A-series is worldwide the lightest kite within the set criteria. This could mean that it is a neck-to-neck race.
What good is a lighter kite?
You might wonder what the point is that we want to make. What good is it if the net weight of kites go down. Why do kites need to be lighter and at the same time stronger, more stable, and reliable? We have listed several benefits.
- A lighter kite is less likely to fall out of the air with less wind and a combination of little wind and gusts of wind. Especially when kitesurfing in the waves a kite that is as light as possible is important. If you want to do this with an all-round kite, a light all-round kite is recommended.
- A stiffer kite helps you time a jump or truck because steering movements are picked up directly by the kite.
- A stiffer kite helps to steer the kite more accurately and is therefore more reliable.
- Some materials that make a kite heavier such as rubber bumpers, reinforcements are not necessary for the advanced kite surfer. They do not let their kite drag on the beach anymore.
- Finally: a lighter kite reduces your luggage weight if you want to go on a kitesurfing vacation.