enjoying kitewing

Welcome to Kitewing – Hand Held Wings

Welcome to the Kitewing website.

The Kitewing is a hand held wingsail designed for sailing on low friction surfaces. Sail over ice and snow with skates and skis, pavement with skateboards or rollerblades, mountainboards on beach or desert – it is all Kitewing terrain.

Latest American Skimbat Features the new Skimbat skate sail and rigging techniques.

American Skimbat Winter 2022

Whats New At Kitewing OCT 22
 
New for 2022: Gecko Green Dacron Skimbat and SK822
 
Gecko Green Dacron sails are easy to see. Skimbat sail has an x ply window with an upgraded leech, a tack tensioner pad eye. SK821 has been recut with a tack tensioner pad eye as well. 
 
Skimbat is a design based on two seasons test sailing with the Kitewing tapered tube which supports a very light weight 3 square meter rig. Our tapered tubes permit rigs close to the same weight to sail area ratio enjoyed by inflatable rigs. The tapered tube is not as durable as the tip wand. Saving weight has a price. 
 
Skimbat skate sail is pretty special. Skimbat is a minimal rig designed for nordic skaters. Skimbat sails in the lightest breezes with quick precise handling. Folks seeking a performance skate sail need search no further. Skimbat takes down quickly to a 60 inch roll which can be strapped to a pack or simply carried.
 
There are Dyneema Skimbat sails available. Dyneema Skimbat sails weigh about 10-14 ounces less than the Dacron sail.
 
SK821 is the SK8 on steroids. Same frame with three additional RBS glass battens. SK821 is a 2 square meter sail. The relatively heavy frame uses the tip wand which allows the rig to be taken apart or assembled very quickly to a short 45 inch roll. SK821 works well enough in light air. The 2 square meter rig is very durable. SK821 is an excellent gale sail. SK821 is the best beginner rig designed for kids or experts seeking to simplify the hand held wing experience. 
 
We tested versions of the new 8D  front tube tube last season. This season we have limited production tubes. The 8D frame is a front tube with extensions which can be used to support tip wands or tapered tubes. Experience with two part front tubes (Kitewing 6.0 Pro) leads us to be confidant in a front tube with extensions. The frame evolved with the sail designs last season. This season we seek to refine the design as well as test the production tubes to be sure of them.
 
We are building our own proto type sails in house these days. The stitching and expertise has improved with time. Building sails in house makes product developement more efficient. New designs to be tested this season include three rigs based on our new 8D front tube. We have three sails to fit the same basic frame modified with tip wands or tapered tubes, bent boom and Y tubes or a straight boom. There is a new 3.0 square meter rig and two 4.25 square meter rigs with either tip wands or a tapered tube. The designs represent three sailing seasons evolution. So far the new rigs are very exciting.
 
Sail designs have evolved. Dyneema fabric is expensive, but it saves a lot of weight. Dyneema is very strong with low stretch. The Dyneema Skimbat sail is 10-14 ounces lighter than the Dacron Skimbat sail. Rigs which use more fabric gain significant weight savings from Dyneema sails. Dyneema fabric is expensive.
 
Draft forward shape is desired for slower stall speeds or better light air performance. We still use 7075 T6 aluminum battens. Our latest fiberglass RBS battens are very close to the same weight as the aluminum battens. Glass battens can be rigged or tuned through a wide range of camber compared to the aluminum battens. RBS battens do not rig with as much draft forward as the aluminum batten. They are potentially a faster rig. 7075 T6 battens cost much more. 
 
Three batten rigs like the Skimbat, SK821 and the new 3.0 are more versatile with the RBS battens. However, if the wing is mis handled, the battens can invert when the wing is back winded in heavy air. Suggest that the RBS battens do work very well with larger rigs. Experts can avoid inverting battens. 

Carbon Frames

All carbon frames… Carbon frames are stock with the 4.6 and 6.0 wings. The 5.5 Speed comes stock with carbon front tubes. Carbon frames may also be purchased to upgrade any wing. Contact Charlie at charles.meding@kitewing.com to negotiate details.

More about carbon frames: Carbon is light weight and stiff. However it is not as durable as aluminum. A stiffer carbon front tube deflects less under wing loads. A lighter carbon frame allows the wing to fly its own weight in less wind. Stiffer and lighter rigs a are a significant performance upgrade.

There is a compromise: carbon is not as durable as aluminum.

Light weight carbon X tubes are a significant weight saving. However, folks who want to jump or fly off the surface with a wing should use a re enforced X tube.