INTERVIEW WITH SLINGSHOT KITE
let's chat with Massimiliano Suppan about kitesurfing yesterday and tomorrow
Today we had the chance to have a chat with Massimiliano Suppan , 25 years old from Grado, Venezia Giulia. For 8 years Slingshot and Ride Engine athlete and for a year and a half agent for Italy of these brands.
Massimiliano has retraced for us the history of Slingshot and Ride Engine , two top kitesurf brands, highlighting how both are driven by passion and the continuous search for the best performances.
Since 1981 Tony Logosz and his brother Jeff have been passionately dedicated to designing and designing water sports equipment that had the best possible performance. Years of hard work and above all innovation, thanks to Tony's ability to think differently in designing his own "water games". Innovating is the motivation that has guided the two brothers to this day. In 1999 with a background of numerous new solutions in windsurfing, wake and other water sports, the two Logosz brothers founded Slingshot. Slingshot is synonymous with quality and innovative design, patented products that have made kiteboarding more convenient and safer.
Ride Engine started with a Santa Cruz waterman: Coleman Buckley. Buckley with his creative ingenuity and a deep reverence for the ocean, considered to be Mother Nature's largest playground, has begun to experiment with the design of kitesurfing trapezes unique in the world. No product on the market had met his expectations or the demands he and his friends had, so he decided to create one on his own, in a makeshift laboratory in his garage. With the collaboration and support of some of his kiters, he quickly created something revolutionary for the kiteboarding world.
What have been your "icon" products in the world of kitesurfing all these years, and why do you think?
Regarding the kite, the most successful product is certainly the RPM . Launched in 2009 it is certainly the most imitated kite ever, because thanks to the "Open-C" shape it guarantees the performance of a C Kite but at the same time has the ease of use of a delta. And to think that when he left our competitors mocked him, calling him a C Kite who was missing a piece ... #THEYDONTKNOWSHOT
How are the new Slingshot kitesurf equipment born? Who has the idea for a new product, where are they developed, tested and where is the production?
The designer is Tony Logosz, simply a genius. He is the one who had the best insights in the way of kite and hydrofoil that everyone tries to imitate. A recent example is the kite wing associated with the hydrofoil, passed off by some brands as a novelty when instead it is only an imitation of a project of several years ago.
The tests are carried out in Hood River, on the Gorge, in the USA and in other secret spots. All the prototypes are also produced here.
The actual production takes place in Dubai with regard to the tables, Italy for the hydrofoils and China for the rest
The Slingshot website reads, "What is crazy about kiting is how much we can do with it. These extraordinary vehicles continually rewrite the possibilities of how, what and where we sail. Where will they take us in the future? "
Do you also believe that kitesurfing can still surprise us? We have already reached maturity in this sport or there are still margins of development - technological improvement?
Surely it is now a mature sport, but for example in the world of hydrofoil every year innovative products are being seen. The same goes for the Ride Engine trapezes, born only a few years ago. So never say never ...
Let's talk about hydrofoil: is it really revolutionizing the world of kitesurfing and all water sports or will it be just a passing fad? Many think of hydrofoil only for the race sector: experienced riders, boxed sails, ultralight wind and perhaps limited use in competitions. Slingshot instead seems to believe in a wider use and supports it with a website dedicated to teaching (Foil Academy) and a complete range with lots of foils for all uses. What do you think about it?
Surely it will not be a passing fad because it allows you to navigate in conditions that were previously unthinkable. It will also take more and more ground and we will find it in an ever increasing number of disciplines, also thanks to the unique sensations that it proves
How do you see the future of hydrofoil?
Much more towards Freeride and more and more use by the average kiter. So not only from the pure Racers.
Let's talk about security. Unfortunately, despite the giant steps taken in terms of safety and handling in kitesurf sails, 2018 has seen too many fatal accidents in Italy. Is there still something you can do in your opinion to further improve security?
No, the problem is some schools that do not teach correctly. In fact, to become an instructor by now, it is enough to pay a thousand euros and anyone is certified. If we then add that no patent is required the game is done. Furthermore, being a sport now for everyone there is much more likely to find the phenomenon that is believed to be invincible and then creates serious damage for him and for others.
Foil Academy website: https://www.foil-academy.com/