Nowadays all Peter Lynn traction and kiteboarding kites, ranging from the Hype to the Vapor and from the Charger to the Fury, are designed at our headquarters in the Hague, The Netherlands. Here we have two seasoned and very talented designers working on the kite experiences we love to share with you.
Pepijn_Smit Michel_Dekker
I’ve been designing kites since I was 12 years old. I taught myself to design kites and spent a lot of time in new Zealand with Peter Lynn himself to learn the tricks of the trade. After the Synergy and the Charger we felt that it was time to conquer the hearts of the tubekite lovers.¬†And one might say that the experience in foilkite design and aerodynamics gave me a head start in tube kite design. For me kites are a large part of my life. If I’m not designing them I am flying them or I’m just watching them go through the air. Kites have something magical for me… They can give you an adrenaline rush or a feeling of freedom. It all depends on the conditions and the kite you choose.
Designing a tube kite is relatively more simple than designing a foilkite. Compared to a tube kite, it is more difficult to make a stable foilkite. Yet the challenge with a tubekite is to get its very characteristics and flying behaviour to meet the demands of a specific discipline or a combination of disciplines. So all kites have their own challenges and that’s what I like about it. However besides flight characteristics, handling and user friendliness, there are many other factors to take into account during the designing stage. Depending on the particular target and positioning of a kite, it is about trying to find what I tend to call the ‘sweet spot’ of each kite: the subtle balance between great performance, easy handling, optimal user friendliness, high durability and, last but not least, an affordable price. A juggling act that does not leave room for a dull moment! Designing kites is a continuous challenge, each new kite has to be better than the last one. Better can be a lot of things: more user friendly, more challenging, better performance or just cleaner and nicer looking. If I think I’m finished or if I’m getting as close to the original design criteria as I can possibly get at that moment, it’s time to give it to friends and teamriders and ask for their response and feedback. Together we try to get the design as good as possible. It does not make any difference what type of kite I have to design. It can be a “simple” 2-line kite or a buggy race kite. They are all challenging. Whereas for the race kite, performance and handling are most important, for the 2-line, kite user friendliness and an affordable price are key.
There’s a team of committed riders at different levels to support me, testing prototypes in all sorts of conditions. Filtering and interpreting their feedback is an important part of my day-to-day job, besides trying to stay abreast – or better ahead of – developments and trends in the market. However we will always stay loyal to our own design philosophy: ‘simple design works best’, which is at the root of the Peter Lynn brand. And in tube kite design, we’re just getting up to speed…You ain’t seen nothing yet! The joy you get from seeing a kid having fun with the 2-line kite and really see him or her improve their skills is just as great as seeing a teamrider winning a buggy race with the Vapor. Quality is very important for me. When you put all your effort in the design of each individual kite, you want the kites to be solely made of those materials that suit their respective purposes best. Construction and finishing must be in line with that as well. Exploring new construction techniques, for more performance or extra durability, are part of the design process as well. In my mind there is no room for compromises; even the last tiny wrinkle, which may not bother anybody else, must be settled. Call it designer’s pride…I’m glad I still have many more ideas to explore for the future and with Peter Lynn himself as a back up and advisor we should be able to make some more great kites which I hope you will like.