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Vantage kites, is the revolution announced?

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:29 pm
by davedej
Source: https://www.wetestkites.com/2018/11/06/ ... announced/

This post isn’t an actual review. But more or less a theoretical experiment coming to reality. A theory which is based on the idea that established brands have been lacking any serious r&d the last few years. Is there a new era coming in kite development based on algorithms calculated by computers?

Imagine the perfect kite. One that will bring us “WOO records up to 40 meters” and unmatched performance. How? Not by endless trial and error field testing. Nope. By measurements and calculations by supercomputers. Algorithms which are learning from data that are created by measurements in the kite and fluid dynamics science. We have not seen such wild and different ideas in the kite industry before. But this is how Vantage kites will be developed. This interesting proces has been starting back in 2017 which we have been following for a while now.

Vantage kites

The person behind Vantage Kites is Robin van de Putte (age 33 from The Hague, Netherlands). He previously founded a drone company which developed flight control computers and algorithm software. This is how Robin benefits from a network of high skilled computational fluid dynamic engineers. We have seen interesting video’s showing the results of the calculations. Unfortunately those were still too secret to share. At the moment Robin’s computers are running simulation algorithms for at least two different kites; One of them will be completely aimed to be a WOO record slammer. Jumping as high as it can get. This prototype is aiming to be at a major spot in the WOO leader board in Cape Town within the next few months.

Why?

The whole project raised -for us- one question: why? Why trying to be successful while sixty-something other brands trying the same thing? The answer from Robin are coming down to 3 different levels.

1: Human flight performance interpretation: A huge margin for error.

2: Without historical data it’s hard to define new design improvements.


3: If we can’t measure or validate prototype performance how to determine the gain?

“Brands mostly differentiate with colours, exclusive materials and pricing but are struggling to validate and substantiate the true performance and characteristics of a kite, currently there is no standard. Its about time the kiteboarding industry adds some science to the mix.” Robin argues.

We could not belief right away that the r&d of a modern sport like kiteboarding isn’t already using software that grows in time. Therefore we hooked up with Alexander Morgenstern co-owner from Harlem Kitesurfing. on the software issue. He says: “The majority of the kite brands are using Surfplan, including us. This software supports the knowledge from a kite designer in the process of building a kite, but is not able to calculate performance factors in the kite which other industries like the car industry can calculate in simulations. And with roughly 10.000 euro’s a year Surfplan isn’t cheap either. So I can understand people are looking for alternatives ways to improve the r&d”.

Calculate the perfect kite. How does it work?

It all starts with measurements in the kites. Like the flow stream and pressure. Then insert those data into a model. The tricky part is getting the model to learn from the mistakes; so called flaws. If it can see relations between specific details in kite designs and flaws it should be able to predict how to create improvements. It doesn’t sound to complicated but it takes a lot of time, prototypes and testing if the theory is working. There is a real chance the kite development is going some where we haven’t seen yet.

Proof

How do we get some proof this new computational approach can work? Vantage second proto was created without any human intervention. It was the first step the simulation model was capable of designing a new kite using a computational design. Interestingly there were some stability issues with this second version. But the model was able to calculate how to change the design for the third prototype to eliminate this specific design flaw. “When we got this third prototype and used it the problem was gone. It was very cool to be able to pin-point an issue and make it disappear”, says Robin the man behind Vantage kites.Testing a Vanatage proto type kite

2nd prototype tested by We Test Kites

We could use two different 9m Vantage kites for a couple of days. A first prototype of the 5 line c-kite “Newton” and a second prototype of the 4 line bridled “Vortex”. It is impressive to see how far Vantage has gotten in such a short time. But It didn’t help they were on 24m lines and made from T9600 single ripstop. The five line Newton (first prototype!) gave a more warm feeling in the sense we didn’t expect such a proper low end combined with more vivacity than a Vegas. The four line Vortex suffered more from the single ripstop. It needed a stiffer canopy with shorter lines for a more rigid feeling.

However we are super curious how this project gets its spin offs. As we understand from Robin there are several options and already a few business opportunities have popped up. With more input, more modelling, more people and faster computers the Vantage kites- or whatever name they will get – may pop up with kites that are significantly better. Or maybe another brand that isn’t busy stealing each other names may embrace this interesting Vantage approach and be a true game changer. For the moment we start keeping an eye out for that WOO leader board surprise.

Re: Vantage kites, is the revolution announced?

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:36 am
by Toby
Could they do custom kites?
What I need from a kite is specific...hard to get a production kite fulfilling my needs

Re: Vantage kites, is the revolution announced?

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:11 am
by grigorib
Brands differentiate with kite models and specific performance (before colors question). I’m glad some models didn’t change in last 4 years since they’re near perfect for what they made for. Jumping 15+ meters is a lot about having balls and ability to land that. Whoever jumps that big can kick ass on most of gear. Brands just pay proriders to ride theirs and not other gear.

And you don’t need a supercomputer to cover basic needs like “seatbelt click-in” chickenloop system or for tiny chickenloop for slider bars to be created but somehow it takes years to get them into mass production. Or a pocket foilboard which in couple of years will cost $200 on sale is somehow in high demand for $800 today. Or a foiling pocket kite - how did big manufacturers missed an opportunity and allowed Cloud to rise?
There’s plenty of magic needed in basic things,...before supercomputers, machine learning and other fancy words.

But regardless - better wings are always welcome. Let there be competition!

Re: Vantage kites, is the revolution announced?

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:29 pm
by kjorn
Toby wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:36 am
Could they do custom kites?
What I need from a kite is specific...hard to get a production kite fulfilling my needs
There are open source plans and people with the skills to sew kites. I'm sure if you contact

memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=44066
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2392855&start=120

A guy at my local beach has made a no-strut kite and it works fine. I bet he'd make you a kite if you pay him £££ :)

Re: Vantage kites, is the revolution announced?

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:16 am
by longwhitecloud
its not at all about kite designs any more, the design has peaked imo 3 years ago.

Woo however is making groundbreaking progress in its jump calculations. Algorythmic calculations the likes we have not seen before in kiteboarding have already set the woo top 10 charts alight with 8%, i repeat 8% higher jumps. If some first class honors graduate of artificial intelliggence gets involved we could seriously be looking at 12% higher jumps by christmas, a gift money simply cannot buy.

Artificial intelgancing is the future if kiteboring, in fact i am not even posting this post, all thanks to AI

The greatest thing about the technological advancements in kiting of course is how it has made kiting so much more affordable for all these days, and how kiting hasnt diversified into 100 different niches of kookdom requiring different equipment. one size fits all!

I have no doubt we will see a Woo competition in the olympics the way things are going so well for the sport right now, and then maybe, just maybe AI will mean we dont even have to show up, as long as there is money to be made!

Re: Vantage kites, is the revolution announced?

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:55 am
by Jamie-NYC
I have 2009 kites that I favor over kites half their age. Kite design has evolved, but not changed. This is a big problem for the industry, because it means there is often little compelling reason to update one's kites (apart from heavy wear for the lucky ones) - in that environment cost is biggest factor, perhaps why the shift to online sales, and big discounts from retailers. Light weight designs are an exception - the single/no strut design development is new (last 4 yrs?). Could AI help to break the mould, make something truly new and worth spending the money for a new quiver? I hope so.

Re: Vantage kites, is the revolution announced?

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:06 am
by windmaker
Such an obsession on WOO ...:)

Re: Vantage kites, is the revolution announced?

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:03 pm
by Bossstyle
Woo getting like a taxi meter isn’t it? They just add a bit of extra height on to the start to make you pay a little more ?

Re: Vantage kites, is the revolution announced?

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:41 pm
by JakeFarley
longwhitecloud wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:16 am
I have no doubt we will see a Woo competition in the olympics the way things are going so well for the sport right now, and then maybe, just maybe AI will mean we dont even have to show up, as long as there is money to be made!
Here you go! Instead of WOO its Wii !!!



Re: Vantage kites, is the revolution announced?

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:06 pm
by Hugh2
Jamie-NYC wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:55 am
I have 2009 kites that I favor over kites half their age. Kite design has evolved, but not changed. This is a big problem for the industry, because it means there is often little compelling reason to update one's kites (apart from heavy wear for the lucky ones) - in that environment cost is biggest factor, perhaps why the shift to online sales, and big discounts from retailers. Light weight designs are an exception - the single/no strut design development is new (last 4 yrs?). Could AI help to break the mould, make something truly new and worth spending the money for a new quiver? I hope so.
Jamie, what new kites have you tried? While I liked the Kahoona's back in the day, they are pretty long in the tooth now and feel clumsy and peaky to me now compared with my Naish Pivots, and mine are first generation from 2015 and 2016.