When you purchase gear through links on our site, we may earn a small commission. Here’s why you can trust our tests and our affiliate partner.

TKM 55 AIRUSH 2023 Lift Jason Van Der Spuy Samuel Tome 1200x800 - Airush: 10 Years of the Team Series

Airush: 10 Years of the Team Series

We love to catch up with brands when they reach an anniversary. It’s been 10 years since Airush Kiteboarding started their Team Series, featuring high performance products for their elite kiters like Alex Pastor and Bruna Kajiya, but also suitable for the everyday kiter who strives to be at the top of their game…

TKM 55 AIRUSH 2013 Team Ad Ydwer - Airush: 10 Years of the Team Series

What was the initial motivation for creating the Team Series?

The background to the Airush Team Series was to create a collection of products that were optimized for the highest performance for elite athletes. This encompassed a platform for developing new ideas and pushing the absolute design envelope of the sport. Ultimately, it is a collection that showcases the optimum blend of performance and durability, which sits at the pinnacle of all of our products.

Which of your riders were the inspiration for the Series?

The Team Series started with the freestyle team of Alex Pastor and Bruna Kajiya; both athletes were at a critical stage in competition, vying for respective World Championships. The Airush team used their pursuit of high performance to continually develop and test key products that would help them have an edge in competitions. Many of these concepts would later evolve into the full product ranges within Airush and serve as a seed for pushing the latest innovations.

These fundamentals quickly grew beyond the original freestyle platform, to encompass concepts and demands from key riders such as Sam Medysky and Victor Hays in Freeride, and Oswald Smith and Reider Decker in Surf. Within the foil space, riders such as Elias Ouahmid and Alexia Fancelli took the racing pedigree and helped to translate this into high-performance foil freeride products. With the continued growth of Big Air, Airush enlisted Jason van der Spuy, Alessa Mensch, rookie sensation Valentin Hoenderop, and Junior World Champion Finn Flügel.

TKM 55 AIRUSH 2013 Livewire Ad Ydwer 1260x754 - Airush: 10 Years of the Team Series
TKM 55 AIRUSH 2014 Team Series Shoot BTS - Airush: 10 Years of the Team Series
TKM 55 AIRUSH 2015 Razor Oswald Smith Ydwer - Airush: 10 Years of the Team Series

What were your riders looking for from the Team Series kites?

The first kite to showcase the ideology was the Razor, with riders pushing towards developing kites that could handle the abuse of aggressive training and be lighter at the same time. This led to the development of the Airush Ultra PE Load Frame, as well as optimization of all details within each kite to minimize weight and maximize durability.

Was exploring material options an important part of this?

Absolutely. In 2022, after countless years of exploring new materials, Airush introduced the Ultra Team featuring Ho’okipa. This kite was the result of ongoing research into improving the performance through advancements in materials and overall design. We had a lot of success with using Ultra PE in the Load Frame and tested various formulations of woven and laminated Ultra PE leading edges. (Ultra PE is also known by the Dyneema and Spectra Trademarks.)

The Ultra Team introduced the Ho’okipa ultra PE in the leading edge – besides reducing weight, ultra PE is 10 times stronger than the equivalent polyester materials. This allows the kites to run higher pressures, which enables the designers to optimize leading edge sizes to improve overall performance.

TKM 55 AIRUSH 2016 Alex Pastor Ydwer E66A8951 1260x754 - Airush: 10 Years of the Team Series

How have you found incorporating the new materials available into the Team Series this season?

The process behind developing new materials such as Ho’okipa is time consuming due to the complexity of mass production of these fabrics. Each new material formulation needs to undergo design optimization within a specific model, and then subjected to long term testing in order to gauge the effectiveness of the technology.

Once these materials have been developed, small batch production allows the team to evaluate the performance across groups of different users in different conditions around the world. Testing remains ongoing once the products are in mass production to evaluate long term outcomes. From this extensive development, Airush introduced the full range of Team Series kites for 2024, the result of many years of ongoing development and refinement.

TKM 55 AIRUSH 2016 Oswald Smith Ydwer E66A9699 1260x754 - Airush: 10 Years of the Team Series

We often see your riders on prototype kites, as with Jason in this issue’s cover shot – can you tell us more?

There are a few exciting new products coming out in the Northern Hemisphere’s spring, but we are still dialing in the finishing touches, so can’t share any info just yet. We work on longer product life cycles, trying to do very deep development to get products as refined as possible, and seeing how they perform over a longer period. It’s one of the challenges working constantly on development with key riders, and still having them create new media, which has been going viral.

It’s not just kites that make up the Team Series line, right?

Team Series development is not exclusive to kites (or boards) and the Team control bar is a good example of this. The concept behind the Team control bar is slightly different in that the key objective from the team riders is to create a product that is purely focused on functionality. This highlights an often misunderstood point about advanced level riders; more often than not, they are chasing absolute performance over small features and details. Another key fundamental of the Team Series is where many products are stripped back to the absolute essence of what is required for high performance.

And what about your boards?

Looking into the board range, another key point within the Team Series is that they are not necessarily a single technology across models. Each model and technology is optimized for the key rider group. Some products might make extensive use of carbon, while others might be optimized to use Basalt, or a combination of exotic fibers to achieve the best design outcome for the key user.

TKM 55 AIRUSH 2019 Bruna Kajiya Toby Bromwich 1260x754 - Airush: 10 Years of the Team Series
TKM 55 AIRUSH 2017 Load Frame Alex Pastor Ydwer 1260x754 - Airush: 10 Years of the Team Series
TKM 55 AIRUSH 2018 Oswald Smith Ydwer J5A4947 1260x754 - Airush: 10 Years of the Team Series
TKM 55 AIRUSH 2020 Jack Reider Chris Rollett - Airush: 10 Years of the Team Series

Within the surfboards, ongoing development into optimizing flex while increasing durability has been critical. The Team Series surfboards for 2024 feature a unique Dual I-Beam construction where high density foam sections carry a full deck-to-bottom connection, which allows the designer to move away from traditional sandwich constructions. Traditional constructions tend to make the board stiff while increasing strength, whereas the new Dual I-Beam construction combines both characteristics to optimize flex and durability at the same time.

Where do you see the future of the Team Series taking you?

The Team Series will continue to explore design, production technology and materials to sit at the absolute pinnacle of all products within the Airush range, and industry, to provide unparalleled performance to the riders. There is always something exciting around the corner…

TKM 55 AIRUSH 2019 Development Collaboration 1260x754 - Airush: 10 Years of the Team Series
TKM 55 AIRUSH 2021 Oswald Smtih Jason Broderick 1260x754 - Airush: 10 Years of the Team Series

Want More?

You can get the latest goodness from the world of kiteboarding by subscribing to our print edition. You'll get 5 packed issues, plus a free tee and free digital access. And you'll be directly helping with our sustainability efforts too!

Check it out now
Subscribe Today