Kitesurfing Magazine: After designing kites for Best for the past decade-and-a-half you are starting your own independent brand Eleveight. What’s the most challenging part of your new role?
Peter Stiewe: During the last 17 years I have been working in the kite industry mainly as a designer and product manager. Over all these years I became very familiar with other skills necessary to run a kiteboarding company. Before creating Eleveight I was well aware of the upcoming challenges. Now of course there is more administrative work to do, but at the same time a lot of things are easier to handle. Inside Eleveight the spirit, thoughts and decisions are well aligned. We are a small but very capable team at Eleveight and it is fascinating how much can be achieved with a well-balanced team. Selecting the right team has been the key. Everything we do, we do with quality in mind and I’m lucky to have this team.
Kitesurfing Magazine: What defines your new brand’s vision and how to do you strive to reach it in your designs?
Peter Stiewe: Our vision manifests itself in passion, experience and dedication as we are a compact and experienced team. Short and direct communication, mutual understanding and a common goal is what defines us and our work.
Our product designs are well-balanced, state-of-the-art with high quality standards and innovative features. We are all avid kiteboarders and water sportsmen at Eleveight. Our interest is in high-end performing products for each category. No matter if it is a kite for a professional athlete or a beginner kite for a school. The product needs to be as perfect as possible for its designated use.
Kiteboarding is pure passion; it’s exciting and touches everybody deeply. At Eleveight we know this, we respect it and our goal is to deliver the highest possible performance in a straightforward kind of way. This is where our slogan ‘our passion is yours’ comes from.
Kiteboarding today is a mature sport. Eleveight is tailored to today’s needs. Today is different than 10 or 15 years ago and we believe it is time to add a new flavor to our sport.
Kitesurfing Magazine: With different demands of kite performance required for different disciplines, what are some of the most challenging performance attributes that you have improved upon?
Peter Stiewe: I’ve been developing kites for different disciplines for over a decade. It is clear that each product has to function best in its designated category. The knowledge to achieve this I build over the last 17 years. One very important thing is to listen to, analyze and find the right ways to implement feedback from customers and professional athletes. While I travel a lot to test kites in different conditions, I cannot collect all possible data and feedback alone. With the amount of different disciplines, different weather conditions each product is used in, different skill sets of users, the key for the designer is to make a good analysis and the right decisions during the design process, to achieve the best possible design for the intended category. Only a very well designed, balanced and designated kite is truly satisfying.
Kitesurfing Magazine: What are your goals in performance improvement for 2018? In what areas?
Peter Stiewe: With the 2018 Eleveight lineup my aim was to design an intuitive product range that performs as perfect as possible in its category. As a rider I`m the medium and control unit between kite/bar/board and the elements. I like to concentrate on the riding, and the gear should give me as many options to manoeuvre as possible. I want to be as free as possible with the gear assisting my ride.
The simple strategy to achieve this goal is the aim to create things as perfect as they can be. Since I have been working in R&D for such a long time, it is clear that Eleveight is future-driven and R&D has an important role in this company. I work on different R&D projects simultaneously. Some of them find their way into production once they are approved. You can find a small essence of these in our 2018 Quick Matic release system or our pull-in bridle in the PS kite model. These are completely new innovations this industry has never seen.
This also accounts for our board range. Our surfboards are developed and shaped in Europe’s surf capital Portugal. We develop our own blanks, use high tech fibers like Inegra and carbon in strategic important areas and use them on our stunning high performance shapes.
Our twintips are designed and developed by Franz Schitzhofer. He is a non-stop developing machine who is not satisfied until it is perfect.