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5m Cloudfoiling video + tech talk on innovation

I’ve been so stoked on kiting with the foilboard lately, for a whole number of reasons. First of all because it’s just simply so rad and such a killer full-body-and-mind flow activity, as I hope you can see from these videos I’ve been sharing.

Another huge and very key part of my stoke is killer equipment. I came across a discussion that Greg Drexler was having about developing strutless kites a year and half ago, and I’ve been flying his unbelievably killer Boardriding Maui Cloud kites since then. I’m stoked every time I put a Cloud in the air.

The kites are simple, elegant, beautiful, light, fast, nimble, compact, well-made, and incredibly efficient. People ask, what’s the downside? For me, there are none. I’ve tried kites with struts since then, and I’ve never been enticed to go back.

I love what Greg says about the no struts? question: “Over the last two years of sharing the Cloud kite with riders and being asked ‘why strutless’ it occurs to me now that a good first step toward the answer is a willingness to ask ‘why struts’?

This seems like an example of a sort of backwards evolution that happens when technical products mature. Early on in a technical cycle we add all sorts of bits of technology, trying to achieve certain performance characteristics without really understanding the underlying nature. As we learn, we are able to gradually thin out the technology and achieve the performance we seek by replacing our levers with those already present in nature. As our designs become more refined, they start to disappear. We know we have built something good when we can feel nature well through our tools. If our gear obscures what the world is trying to tell us, we know our gear still needs improving. I love flying Cloud kites most of all because I can feel exactly what the wind is doing, and I can transmit my thoughts to the kite with unconscious ease and delight!

I shot this little video kiting just the other day off Crissy Field Yacht Club. Super windy and perfect conditions for the tiny 5m Cloud and a foilboard. In particular I wanted to show how this tiny kite performs whipping around going downwind on the smooth groomers inside Anita Rock. All I can say is: Stoked!