Since 11 Jul 2010
|Mon Aug 26, 19 10:09 am
|After AWSI and a visit to the OR HQ I have spent a good amount of time around the aluula kites and had some time to pick the brains of the development team. There was a lot of information provided during the AWSI presentation regarding many of the questions people have asked in previous posts here. I can safely answer/straighten out some questions or ponderings here. There are also many things I am not able to answer because I'm not privy to such information yet, unfortunately.
Regarding increased cost:. Yes, they will be sold at a premium. I expect this to come down as production scales up and economies of scale are increased.
Regarding the bladders, this is still under refinement but they have developed methods of dealing with repairs, attaching valves, etc. My understanding is that this is a fairly recent development, and more refinement is underway. The replacement of Dacron with aluula can be done without requiring an aluula bladder (regular PU bladders do fine).
Regarding the canopy material, at this point in time it is not really being worked on. This would be a huge cost increase for minor advantage, at least as far as I've heard.
Regarding age and UV resistance, this was solved this year via UV resistant coating of the aluula material. Similar to how our canopy ripstop has a UV blocking coating.
Regarding what the material is, it is technically a composite. If you've been able to look at a piece of the material up close you can see that it is not just a strict fiber weave.
Regarding OR and Aluula, these are two separate companies now, although Aluula originally grew out of the OR R&D "basement" due to OR CEO's relationship with the chemist behind Aluula. The reason for being separate entities is largely to avoid conflict of interest between OR and other kite companies since Aluula will not be exclusive to OR.
Regarding performance of the aluula prototypes, I have flown the same 12m as Stringy (same day at Jetty Island light wind Olympics). 12m three strut kite stays up easily in 5 kts, but not enough power for me to foil. I also flew a 9.5m prodigy prototype at AWSI and compared to the same kite in normal construction, it goes noticeably snappier with the stuff air frame. I am very excited to see where they go with the new kite builds that can take advantage of this material stiffness.
Also, while I am an ambassador with OR I am not an official spokesperson so if I'm wrong don't hold it against me 😛
Curious about Ocean Rodeo gear? Drop me a line or visit Windance in Hood River or go to http://www.oceanrodeo.com