Is shape important?

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Kitesurfing a coffee-table
Kitesurfing a coffee table – thanks to Pinterest for the image

Everything is relative and that is absolute‘, quotes August Compte.

We know that anything can be kited because tables, fridge doors and crazy household objects have all been ridden at some point.

Patrice Guenole riding kitesurfing a Fridge Door
Patrice Guenole of Gong riding a Fridge Door – thanks to Strapless Kitesurfing

The images below (destruction testing a paulownia blank) demonstrate that you can ride an unshaped blank, providing it’s long & wide enough – no fins, no rail shape, no fiberglass!

However, the level of comfort and usability is most definitely questionable… Chris Middleton believes it’s important to know what you can and cannot do with a raw piece of wood. Hence the reason he goes to some crazy extremes from time to time.

Paulownia blank destruction testing by Chris Middleton of Wooden-Stuff Project
Riding a rectangular paulownia blank, no fins, no fiberglass
Chris Middleton believes that it's essential to know the limits of raw paulownia wooden Kilaia blanks
Kite blank destruction testing – fully loaded on a 12m
Boken Paulownia Kite Alaia blank after succumbing to the pressure of the opposition force of a traction kite
Ultimately the blank does break along the grain length
Kitesurfing a broken Paulownia blank, Chris Middleton, Kilaia shaper demonstrates just how it can be fun
Even when the blank has split along its length it’s still rideable

The shape of a Kilaia is important if you want to have a board that feels responsive underfoot & has a superb level of comfort. Obviously, as we’ve demonstrated via the above images you can kite almost anything but if you want a Kite Alaia that is going to allow you to ride effortlessly – stick with something that has been tried and tested.

The Kite Alaia templates included in the download section work perfectly, as Russell Farrington demonstrates in the Crash Test video.

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