10 Years of the Team Series
The Airush Team Series was developed to create a collection of products that were able to optimize the performance of an elite group of athletes, which later became a platform for developing new ideas and pushing the limits of the sport. Ultimately, it is a collection that showcases the ultimate blend of performance and durability, which sits at the pinnacle of all our products.
The Team Series started with the Freestyle team of Alex Pastor and Bruna Kajiya, as both athletes were at a critical stage in competition, vying for respective World Championship titles. The Airush team used their absolute pursuit of peak performance to start to develop and test key products that would help them gain a competitive edge against their rivals.
Many of these concepts would later evolve into the full product ranges within Airush, and served as the seed for pushing the latest innovations.
These fundamentals quickly grew beyond the original Freestyle platform, where it began to encompass concepts and demands from key riders such as Sam Medysky and Victor Hays in Freeride, and Oswald Smith and Reider Decker in Surf. Within the hydrofoil space, riders such as Elias Ouahmid and Alexia Fancelli took their racing pedigree and translated this into high performance foil freeride kites. With the continued growth of Big Air, we enlisted Jason van der Spuy, Allessa Mensch, and rookie sensations Valentin Hoenderop and Junior World Champion, Finn Flügel.
Looking back through the development of the kites, the first kite to showcase the Team Series ideology was the Razor, with riders pushing towards developing kites that were lighter and could handle the abuse of aggressive training. This led to the development of the Airush Load Frame technology, as well as optimization of all details within each kite to minimize weight and maximize durability.
In 2022, after countless years of exploring new materials, we introduced the Ultra Team. This kite was the result of ongoing research into improving the performance through advancements in materials and overall design. The Ultra Team introduced Ho’okipa Ultra PE material in the leading edge, which, besides reducing weight, is 10 times stronger than the equivalent polyester materials. This allows the kites to run higher pressures and enables the designers to optimize the leading edge sizes to improve overall performance.
The process behind developing new materials such as Ho’okipa is time consuming due to the complexity of mass production of these fabrics. We began working with key suppliers such as Dyneema, Aluula, and Challenge Sailcloth as some of our key material partners many years ago. Every new material formulation needs to undergo design optimization within each specific model. Then, subjected to long term testing in order to gauge the effectiveness of the technology over time.
Once these materials have been developed, small batch production allows the team to evaluate the performance across different user groups in various conditions around the world. Testing remains ongoing once the products are in mass production to evaluate long term outcomes over the products lifespan.
From this extensive development, we introduced the full range of Team Series kites for 2023, a step that is the result of many years of ongoing innovation.
Team Series development is not exclusive to kites or boards, and the Team control system is a good example of this. The concept behind the Team bar is slightly different in that the key objective from the riders is to create a product that is extremely minimalist and purely functional. This highlights an often misunderstood point about advanced level riders; more often than not, they are chasing absolute performance over many small technical features and details. As such, another key fundamental of the Team Series is for products to be stripped back to the absolute essence of what is required for high performance.
Looking into the board ranges, another key trend within the Team Series is clear – these products are not necessarily a single technology. Each construction is optimized for the key rider group. Some products might make extensive use of carbon, while others might be optimized to use Basalt, or a combination of exotic fibers to achieve the best outcome for the key riding group.
Within the surfboards, ongoing development into optimizing flex while increasing durability has been critical. The Team Series surfboards currently feature a unique Dual I-Beam construction, where high density foam sections carry a full deck to bottom connection. This enables the designer to move away from traditional sandwich constructions, which tend to make the board stiff when increasing strength. The new Dual I-Beam construction combines both characteristics into a single construction that optimizes flex and durability at the same time.
The future of the Team Series will continue to explore materials and key design elements to sit at the absolute pinnacle of all products within the Airush range.
TEAM SERIES CINEMA