Draft Designer’s Notes
Q&A WITH DRAFT KITE DESIGNER, DAMIEN GIRARDIN
When did development first begin with the DRAFT kite concept? How long did it take before you were happy with the final design?
The concept for the Draft came about when we realized we needed a more high-end, freeride kite design that offered hooked-in riding, longer jumps and a “sheet in and go” feel. This design ended up being very close to that of a race kite, however, we wanted to make sure we kept a true “freeride bar feel” with good turning speed. We worked on the concept for about 6 months before we were finally satisfied with the racing performance, jumping abilities and overall feel of the kite.
What characteristics set the DRAFT apart from other kites in your line?
First, you’ll notice that the shape is very different. The Draft has a much higher aspect ratio and sweep than most other kites in the line. This feature gives the kite higher performance in terms of gliding and upwind ability. It literally “pulls” you upwind, making it an amazing race kite.
The Draft also offers a riding experience that none of the other kites in the line offer yet. It’s very easy to make long, glide-like jumps with it even if you’re not a kiting expert. You only need to sheet in and stay sheeted in when in the air in order to glide.
What does the “state-of-the-art” design entail?
It pretty much means that we’ve put everything we had in it and did not hold anything back in order to make it the best high-end freeride/race kite to date.
What are the advantages of the strut location on this kite?
The idea for the number of struts on the Draft came from our experiences over the past few years when we started removing struts on kites. We found that we were actually improving the performance of our kites by doing it! The smaller sized Draft ended up with 5 struts in order to focus on the stability in stronger, gustier winds. The bigger sizes used only 3 struts in order to save weight for lighter wind, improve low end performance and make a faster turning kite. When the wind is lighter and you’re using a 14 or 17, the wind is naturally more laminar and the canopy doesn’t need as much support to stay solid.
What are the benefits of the static Bridle Platform?
The Static bridle platform allows the tow point of the kite to stay extremely stable no matter what angle-of-attack it is at. It allows the kite to always fly forward, be more stable in the air and be extra forgiving when over-sheeting. This feature will be especially appreciated when driving upwind or when you hit a hole in the wind and it will keep you gliding for a long time when jumping. It also provides a more direct bar feel than bridles with pulleys.
How is the re-launch on the DRAFT?
The Draft re-launches the same way any other 4 line kite does, meaning you only need to pull on one back line in order to rotate the kite and make it fly up in the air again.
What feeling will riders achieve when kiting with the DRAFT?
You will appreciate the direct bar feel when steering the kite and notice the amount of power you get instantly when you sheet in. Once you make your first jump, you’ll be stoked to see that you can fly really easily. You’ll find yourself going upwind on a regular twin tip much more than you anticipate and ending up much higher on the beach than you started without even trying!
Is the end result what you envisioned for the DRAFT?
The end result is even better than we envisioned. We are amazed at the number of big and long jumps we’ve been able to do on the Draft while testing it out. We are pretty amazed!