WE CATCH UP WITH DESIGNER ROSS HARRINGTON TO GET THE LATEST SCOOP ON THE INSIGHTS OF THE GLIDE
Why did you decide the time was right to move into the world of winging?
In January 2019, we attended a kite boarding trade event in Cape Town and a few other brands were discussing the new sport, wing foiling. A few reputable brands had already committed resources to develop wings at this point, so the game was on and we were aware of the developing market. At this time, we were very busy developing the ALUULA composites and decided to focus on this as ultimately we knew ALUULA would be amazing for wings. This combination was vital and we were in no rush to be the first to manufacture wings. We came to be the best.
What are the key features of the A-Series and HL-Series Glides?
Both A-Series and the HL-Series are ultra-light and stiff, making one handed drifting and wave riding effortless. The shape is a combination of a swept platform with a defined progressive twist that allows the wing to remain stable one handed, or even off the leash.
The A-Series is truly next level, with its full ALUULA airframe the A-Series is quite simply the stiffest wing on the market by a significant margin. The ultra-stiff and lightweight wing stays stable in over powered conditions extending its usable range, while at the same time excelling in the lighter conditions due to the stiff leading edge and extreme low weight.
We’re pleased with the positioning of the soft handle system. These are nicely balanced and comfortable to use. Then we have a hard 2 piece handle and a long one-piece handle coming soon. These will be fittable to all OR wings via the matrix system.
Did your knowledge in producing kites help with the design process?
Yes, that combined with over twenty years of knowledge of making windsurfing sails and hang gliding helped immensely. Also, the use of the ALUULA composite material is allowing us to expand our design process as we are not constrained by the limitations of conventional materials.
So you think you achieved your goals with the Glide?
Yes, I do - our goal was to make a wing that was fast and would allow for effortless drifting. We achieved this by locking in the draft which required getting the correct canopy tension while at the same time ensuring we had the correct twist so that the wing wasn’t divergent. The Glide is powerful and balanced yet it’s low drag.
How does ALULA affect the performance of the wing?
After much research into materials, dimensions and frame diameters, it was obvious that ALUULA significantly improved the performance. The stiffness of the ALUULA airframe increases the power generation and response of the wing, as well as stabilising the draft and twist. This means the wing will easily get going in light winds, while still being able to handle strong winds without deforming or becoming hard to handle. The lightness of the ALUULA makes an airframe with very low swing weight, making handling and drifting feel effortless.
Are there any key developments you expect to see from wing foiling as it evolves into the future?
Wing foiling is just beginning. Exciting developments are going to be made in the next few years, something which our design team is going to find a lot of fun!
One big plus for our wing design is that it started at the same time as the ALUULA composites revolution, something the kite market had to wait 20 years for. This allows us to design more and more efficient wings that will have even larger wind ranges and performance attributes, so is a great way for Ocean Rodeo to enter a new sport...