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taiguy
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Re: Switch Labs

Postby taiguy » Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:45 pm

Great to see some of this being done. More please!

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Re: Switch Labs

Postby Hansen Design » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:03 pm

http://vimeo.com/78874628 :thumb:
taiguy wrote:Great to see some of this being done. More please!

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Re: Switch Labs

Postby Tone » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:06 pm

NYKiter wrote:Are you helping local communities preserve kiting access too?
whut?

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ShaveTheWhales
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Re: Switch Labs

Postby ShaveTheWhales » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:13 pm

All kite companies should have to make videos of their bars... Then we could have comparisons from old to new models !!! To see whether newer is better - or just newer :)

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Re: Switch Labs

Postby Hansen Design » Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:22 am

@NYKiter - Local access is often threatened by safety concerns. There are plenty of posts regarding catastrophic accidents due to rider neglect, inexperience or gear failure. Switch's Lab is a responsible, professional effort to test equipment properly and eliminate failures that could potentially close a beach. :thumb: :thumb:

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Re: Switch Labs

Postby experienced1 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:37 am

Bill:
nice to you you doing failure analysis. RU doing anything new or different than has been done before?
I seem to remember that Elliot Leboe produced a Cabrinha DVD; Metropolis, in something like 2004, where there was a bonus section which showed them stress testing canopy materials, stitching, hardware, etc.

steve

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Re: Switch Labs

Postby jimovo » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:14 am

experienced1 wrote:RU doing anything new or different than has been done before?
I seem to remember that Elliot Leboe produced a Cabrinha DVD; Metropolis, in something like 2004
You mean some manufacturer did what they all should be doing continuously, once nearly 10 years ago? Proper testing of gear is often referred to but seldom actually seen in real life. I could count on one hand the number of actual testing videos/results of this kind I have seen in the last 10 years and most of them were conducted by 3rd parties interested in getting data that was obviously hard to come by...

I would like to see more of this - especially some comparison between brands.

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Re: Switch Labs

Postby Rando1994 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:47 am

A comprehensive engineering analysis for entire component systems across manufacturers is a big ask.
In other words, unless consumer reports, or an independently funded testing agency gets involved, it's not going to happen.
I would be interested in knowing the statistics of equipment failures due to poorly chosen materials or component design.
As for the efforts of Switch Kites, I applaud their public disclosure of the component testing process in the development of their new controller. I think it reveals much about their ethos and customer focus.
Ultimately, all products will suffer a failure. Due to age, misuse, wear, fatigue, oxidation, rust, whatever. Knowing that the components are over-engineered to begin with does offer peace of mind for those looking to invest in new equipment.

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Re: Switch Labs

Postby Hansen Design » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:42 am

Hi Steve: Good question!
I cannot comment on what other brands do, have or haven't done. I either no longer work for them or never did so I simply do not know. Surely Switch are not the first to do some level of failure analysis. Some products like paragliders require certification and the factories who make them have dedicated testing facilities. Some also make kites for most popular brands. I have personally been involved in this regard and can honestly say the extent and expertise of the testing varied greatly from extremely competent to rudimentary. What I can say is the technical level and extent of testing at Switch Labs is refreshing. It shows the sort of independent planning, resource dedication and engineering to be the market leader.

What are we or have we tested?
1) Components - Switch bar components are designed in-house in NZ and manufactured exclusively for Switch. They are stress tested to failure and repetitively under higher working loads for wear and degradation. We want to know exactly when and where failures might occur. Simply actuating a quick release on the beach is an irrelevant test when the forces might far exceed your weight.
2) Fabric - Switch works with several fabric suppliers and is constantly searching for new ones. They are happy to charge us for new test fabrics and even provide numbers for weight, tear, puncture, elongation, elasticity, UV resistance, etc. However, we have found that our own sophisticated in-house testing with consistent procedures, allows us to directly compare them with confidence. With our test numbers, when we make a kite out of new fabric that performs differently, we then know exactly why by checking our test data. Example: if reduced or increased stretch is changing the dynamic shape, we can adjust our patterns to compensate (or reject or change the fabric accordingly.)
3) Construction - In sail and kite production, proven construction is mostly from experience as to what does or doesn't work. Most modern-day kites adhere to these tried and true ways. We can and do build test kites and send them out for abusive testing by team riders. But, our lab testing shows conclusively what is strong and what is not. We have found profound differences in seam strength related to stitch type and width, substrate gluing procedures, reinforcements and thread type which would be unobvious to the casual observer and unlikely to show quickly (or even after a year) in a test kite. Sometimes removing a bar tack or switching from 3-step to two rows of 1-step zig-zag makes a huge difference in failure and the forces required to cause it. Some constructions may prove to be OK but a slight change may make them 'bombproof.' Our lab testing actually shows the difference so we can make it so.

Future Switch Labs projects - real world numbers for bar pressure, sheeting/steering loads, real and apparent wind velocity, total force, lift vs drag, VMG, turning speed, etc.
Exciting isn't it? :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

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Re: Switch Labs

Postby Rando1994 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:13 am

Oh, and by the way, the distribution model makes Switch one of THE most cost-competitive kites out there. And yes, I have switched.
I have owned since I started kiting 4 seasons ago:
Liquid Force Havoc 16m
LF Session 12m
Ozone Zephyr 17m
Latitude 10m
Ocean Rodeo Rise 13m?
Cabrinha Crossbow 18m
Cabrinha Crossbow 11m
Flysurfer 21m
Ozone Edge 15m
and now I own:
Switch Nitro 2 8m, 12m, and soon will have a Nitro 3 16m.
I am a mechanical engineer and intermediate kiter at best. My interest is in boost and hangtime. From my experience, and using my critical engineering eye, I can state without reservation that Switch kites are built to AT LEAST the same standard as the others I've owned. The 12 Nitro 2 was my first Switch Kite. I bought it after exhaustive internet research though never seeing one in person. It does exactly what they claim. Fast upwind, quick turning, and amazing boost and hangtime.
It was enough to convince me to sell off my quiver and invest in Switch. And now it's official, I am a Switch convert and team rider.
Come see me at the beach in Tampa. I'll happily share my Switch stoke with you and let you take one for a ride.


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