What inspired the design/concept behind the Orbit?
When the importers/retailers raised the awareness of a demand for a lightwind twintip, we set out to design the Orbit. As people might have seen in our 2013 Mid-season line, a lot of attention was given to the deck design in order to reduce material usage/weight and increase stiffness by shape. The Orbit was the board where we could take this design approach and refine it, as we needed a super light board for light wind conditions.
How did you go about designing a light wind board on one of the windiest places on earth?
Being based on Maui, Hawaii, we do not have much light wind conditions, although it does happen once in a while. Alot of our testing has been done in Oahu, where we can find suitable conditions to fine tune the characteristics and performance of the board. This has been very critical to the design process as well as the final outcome.
What are the advantages of the specific features?
The bottom shaping on the Orbit features an off-centered double concave. The concaves have different sizes, where the largest of which is centered under the feet in order to give early water release and planing stability. The second concave is offset on the toe side, where the concave has a steeper curve (exponential concave) for better grip when riding toe side.
One of the most interesting features on the bottom shaping is the angled center fin. This improves the upwind performance by optimizing the angle of attack of the fin and increasing the projected area of the fin in the water, thus acting as a larger fin than the equivalent, if it was not angled.
A very characteristic feature of the Orbit is the Framework Deck. The U-beams, which radiate to the 4 corners and surround the fins, act as a truss structure. This adds stiffness in critical areas and saves weight. We found that we could actually reduce the core volume by 10% compared to a board without a Framework Deck and we did this without compromising the performance.
How’s the upwind performance? Are there any conditions this board can’t handle?
The board is built for early planing and upwind performance in light wind conditions. We spent a lot of time testing different shaped and sized fins and settled for a medium sized, trapezoid fin that would balance upwind performance, while still maintaining a playful feel. To make the board plane early, you need a large surface area and a low rocker. This means that the board will not work well in large chops, but as a light wind board, it can be ridden in low winds and a minimal amount of chop, which the outline has been designed to handle.