North kept the launch of their new foil kite, the ACE, very quiet until it was finally released last week. They’re known for making high performance equipment and, with some of the best foil racers in the world on their team, we were excited to find out more about their first foray into the foil market.
Here’s the word from North’s website..
The ACE is a new light wind foil kite for intermediate to advanced riders who value performance above all else. Developed alongside some of the best hydrofoil racers in the world the kite offers some unique characteristics. The ACE is extremely lightweight and uses some unique and exceedingly durable materials. It has a huge wind range with massive depower and offers unrivalled hangtime; it can be ridden with a twin tip for freeride riding or with a hydrofoil for both racing and freeriding. It provides immense amounts of lift, making foiling, tacks, gybes and tricks easy. The pure foil sensation.
Kari Eisenhut and his team led the design of the ACE. Check out this interview below to find out how the kite came into being!
How did the collaboration with North Kiteboarding start?
We developed a foil kite, tested it a lot in a huge variety of locations and conditions, comparing it with the leading foil kites which are on the market. We were very happy with the results! In North Kiteboarding we found the perfect partner to offer the benefits of this new Kite design to many customers all over the world.
What was your vision when developing the ACE?
We searched for the maximum efficiency which a kite could offer for flying in very little winds: Light weight construction, maximum lift, huge power and de-power capability.
What goals did the ACE had to reach?
To build the most efficient kite which coordinates perfectly together with the low-drag hydrofoil. 80% of development time we spent on hydrofoils, 20% on the snow with skis.
What is the main target group for the ACE?
The ACE is a high-end kite machine designed for foiling and advanced to expert riders.
In which way is the ACE different to other foil kites on the market?
The ACE is designed for low friction drag vehicles, like hydrofoils on the water or skis on the snow: That means that the low friction from the water or snow must be perfectly coordinated to lower drag of the kite in the air. Thus the kite must fly much more ahead into the wind window than a standard tube kite.
What technical specialities does the ACE offer?
The ACE offers the latest light weight design of an X-Alps paraglider. It has a well designed profile which is stable and flies far into the wind (close to the wind). The kite-sail-tensions are well balanced and it is easy to relaunch out of the water if you use the correct technique.
What are the advantages of the ACE compared to tube Kites?
A tube kite together with a hydrofoil is like a Porsche with a trailer attached – it works but it is far away from in ideal combination: the tube kite does not fly far enough into the wind to suit the low drag Hydrofoil.
How will the ACE allow a foil enthusiast progress and fulfil their dreams?
For foil tacking and gybing, you need a kite which flies well into the wind-window, especially during tacking through the wind, creates a lot of lift so you can change your feet on to the new tack, and has a huge de-power capability to be comfortable on the foil.
What is your recommendation for different line lengths?
With an 18m setting on a Trust Bar, you benefit from the direct de-power and more precise control of the ACE on the hydrofoil board. On a standard surfboard or twin tip with 24m lines, again on the Trust Bar, you have more time to use the large drag of the board going onto the plane.
In a nutshell, what´s so amazing about the ACE?
It goes together well with the hydrofoil. To learn to foil tack and foil gybe with an ACE kite takes 50% less time than with a standard kite.
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