In one of my channel interviews, I spoke with Jeff Kafka of WOW kites (pictured below). I had just described our kite design to him and he replied: “oh yeah, we sold something like that made by RRD kites a year or two back but it kinda fizzled.” Now, we initially spent a lot of time searching for a product like ours, and came up empty handed, which is we decided to build kites in the first place and so you can imagine my shock at this news. Several conversations and many google searches later I was able to actually meet with someone who owned the kite he was referring to. Fortunately, we are still in business for while the RRD kite was “adjustable” the changes were minute, poorly designed and frankly didn’t do much to change the kite’s overall performance. The kite is pictured below but basically that white V in the middle zipped or unzipped to change how the kite handled, however, it is pretty small adjustment and not comparable to what we are working on.
The obvious question as to why no one else has developed a kite like ours, however, is still outstanding. Our best answer to date is simply that kite surfing is a very young and gear heavy sport so there is a lot of room for novel innovations. The product changes in the past have all focused on improving the safety of kite surfing and overall kite performance and durability. We have researched the concept in depth and discussed with numerous industry professionals, and it is our belief that our mechanism has simply not had time to develop. There has been some research into kites that change size while in use, however, they had flaws that have not been resolved. We are always on the outlook for competitors developing similar products, which is part of the reasons we are hesitant to release too many of the details on this blog.
RRD “Adjustable” Kite
Jeff Kafka of Wind Over Water Kites