2014/15 Draft Designers Notes with Damien Girardin
What characteristics set the DRAFT apart from other kites in your line?
First, you’ll notice that the shape is very different. The Draft has a much higher aspect ratio and sweep than other kites in the line. This feature gives the kite higher performance in terms of gliding and upwind ability. It literally “pulls” you upwind, making it an amazing race kite. The Draft also offers a riding experience that none of the other kites in the line offer yet. It’s very easy to make long, glide-like jumps with it even if you’re not a kiting expert. You only need to sheet in and stay sheeted in when in the air in order to glide.
How does the NEW Reduced leading edge taper feature affect the feel of the Draft?
The new reduced leading edge taper stiffens the leading edge in the wing tip area, creating a better distribution of the twist generated by the bars input along the entire length of the LE. So basically, the kite pivots around an axis that is located slightly closer to the center of the kite resulting in sharper turning.
What are the advantages of the strut location on this kite?
The idea for the number of struts on the Draft came from our experiences over the past few years when we started removing struts on kites. We found that we were actually improving the performance of our kites by doing it! The smaller sized Draft ended up with 5 struts in order to focus on stability in stronger, gustier winds. The bigger sizes use only 3 struts in order to save weight for lighter wind, improve low-end performance and make a faster turning kite. When the wind is lighter and you’re using a 14 or 17, the wind is naturally more laminar and the canopy doesn’t need as much support to stay solid.
The Draft is now available in a wider range of sizes with the addition of the 10.5. Why?
We felt the range needed this addition so people complete their perfect quiver. The 10.5 is the perfect kite to boost in wind ranging from 15 to 25 knots.
Why were the diameter struts reduced by another 20%?
We really wanted to save even more weight on the kite…the lighter the kite, the more efficient it will be in the air!
How is the re-launch on the DRAFT?
The Draft re-launches the same way any other 4 line kite does, meaning you only need to pull on one back line in order to rotate the kite and make it fly up in the air again. One tip that you may want to use when the relaunch gets tricky in lighter air, is to swim a little bit toward your kite when it’s facing down, then it will rotate even easier to help you relaunch.
What feeling will riders achieve when kiting with the DRAFT?
You will appreciate the direct bar feel when steering the kite and notice the instant amount of power you get when you sheet in. Once you make your first jump, you’ll be stoked to see that you can fly really easily. You’ll find yourself going upwind using a twin tip much more than you anticipate and ending up much higher on the beach than you started without even trying!
Personally, when I really want to jump and fly high, I ride the Draft one size bigger than what I would use if I were just freeriding. The Draft has plenty of depower and is super stable so it’s really manageable overpowered.
On the other hand, if you use the Draft in underpowered conditions, it will surprisingly let you ride in much lighter winds than you would expect. In some cases, you might experience conditions where water relaunch can become tricky, so I suggest swimming toward your kite when it’s facing down until the wind tip starts heading up, then pull one of the back lines like you would in stronger winds.