TheKiteMag - English (Preview version) TheKiteMag #29 - English (Preview) - Page 144

Did you consider producing a 100% hard shell? No.
Our philosophy is to sell what we ride, and as we didn’t stick to the full hard shell concept, we won’t sell it to other people. We are a family brand and money is not the key, I see it as a real advantage as we can take as long as we want to develop our products and sell stuff that we believe in. How do you develop the Adaptive Shell to ensure that the load is evenly distributed? Our process is always the same: we make samples until we find the perfect product. Our testing team spends a lot of time on the water and they are as eager to test as we are eager to develop! So first we needed to know which material we wanted to work with, as we wanted a shell that is stiff in the center with flex on the outline, so we thought that nylon would be a good fit. We could then tune the stiffness thanks to the thickness: the thicker the part is, the stiffer it will be. The whole Adaptive Shell works like this: the elevations (the ridges) you can see on the back are not here for style, they regulate the stiffness of the frame. They are thicker on the center-belt and thinner on the outline… stiff where you need support and soft where you need adaptability. We needed a way to satisfy our appetite for samples without ruining the company (a mold to produce a piece like the Adaptive Shell is worth $12,000). So we started to 3D-print frames in nylon and assemble them into harnesses, it allowed us to test a few dozen different curves, outlines, thicknesses and stiffnesses coupled with different constructions. The quality of the 3D-prints were impressive and we could kite for months with a sample without damaging it, that was a completely new tool for us and it allowed us to perfectly balance the Adaptive Shell.