Sunday, July 21, 2024
From The MagReedin - New Kids on the Block

Reedin – New Kids on the Block

Does the World need another new kite brand? Big air master and three time King of the Air Champion Kevin Langeree and top kite designer Damien Girardin have joinded forces to start a new kite brand Reedin Kites. Kitesurfing Magazine’s John Bryja caught up with designer Damien Girardin to find out more about the new brand.

Kitesurfing magazine: Congratulations on the new company Reedin Kites. Where did the name come from?

Damien Girardin: Thanks a lot. It’s been a lot of fun so far, I’ve been working in hiding for the past seven months for countless hours, and every single minute has been pure enjoyment! The name is a simple mix of Kevin’s and my last name. We liked that it didn’t mean anything, so what we do with the brand and the products will give it a meaning!

When Pat Goodman  started at North, he made some big changes in his design directions. Are you pursuing a similar path? What are the biggest changes?

Surely, if we were to make similar products to what I was doing in the past, I feel like it would be a bit useless. So when I started the design of our Reedin product line, I set pretty high expectations on what the product should be and do. The first criteria Kevin and I had was that we would only make products that we would want to buy ourselves. This means a really high level of quality, design, sourcing of materials and manufacturing.

For example, our boards are manufactured in Europe, our cost is higher, but the quality is just amazing and you can feel it in your ride; it is simply better, stronger and lighter.

I of course have a way a of designing products and I know that the people that have liked my designs in the past will love the new products. But the Reedin products were designed with a very different approach and different design objectives compared to anything I have done in the past.

On the kite design side, we teamed up with a software designer that provided us a platform to make actual efficient airflow, strength analysis and all kinds of simulations on how a kite flies. The approach is extremely interesting to me because the software actually takes into account all the deformation and stretch that a real kites goes thru when you’re riding. So when I combine the data we get from the software together with the experience of testing and designing kites for so many years it really opens up a whole new world to me.  

Overall, with all the time spent designing, I ended up with every single product exceeding my expectations! From the binding that is certainly the most comfy Kevin and I have ever ridden, to the Dreamstick (our control system) that ticks every box of what a control system should do (and more!) to the kites that are certainly the best I’ve ever made or the boards that ride just amazing.

The best reward was when Kevin got to try the kites after his sponsorship contract was finally over, he left me a message on my phone that was just so awesome. He kept on repeating how he couldn’t believe how good the kites were and how they felt like an extension of his arms.

Captured during the Reedin Shoot on 14 February, 2020 by Ydwer.com Photography.

What are your first releases going to be?

The first release will be our SuperModel kite. It’s a true freeride kite that was designed with the simple observation that whether you’re new to kiteboarding or aspire to ride as hard as Kevin Langeree, you need an intuitive and easy kite that lets you focus on your riding while taking you to the next level. It really outperforms everything I have ever tried or designed in both jumping and wave-riding, while at the same being so intuitive and predictable! It will come with our DreamStick control system that features our auto-swivelling system that cancels the need to ever have to untwist your front line after a loop or a rotation, a click Quick Release, the whole new Cousin MEL lines that have virtually no stretch, and our new small diameter stick. Seriously after I got the first prototype, I could no longer use any other control system! 

With the new bar are you going high V or low V. Why?

We’re totally going low V! The first reason, is a selfish reason, I always kite way into the evening on Maui, when the wind gets a little more offshore and the crowd is gone, so quite often, no one is left on the beach when I come in, so a low V lets me land my kite alone with a simple quick pull on one front line. But really in the end our kites are designed with a low V bar setup, because Kevin and I like the feel. We like the little bit a of a lighter bar feel and extra precision in the steering that the low V provides. 

Kevin is a YouTube marketing machine. Will he be sharing his secrets with other Reedin team riders?

I think Kevin doesn’t really have a secret, he’s just a genuinely good, honest person with good values. He doesn’t need to fake a public personality that would be different from who he really is, and I believe that’s what people like. I know that’s why I like him! Oh yeah and he is a hard worker. That’s no secret that success requires hard work!

What distribution model will Reedin be following?

To be honest, since we announced the brand, we’ve received a lot of inquiries for distribution. Our model will be a mix of everything. I am a huge fan of kitesurf shops. Since I was a kid, I have always liked hanging out at surfshops, they are the ones making the sport happen. So I surely look forward to see Reedin in all the best kiteshops in the world.

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