We went directly to the source and asked Alex Caizergues, F-One Kite Speed racer, who owns the current kite speed record holder with 104.8 km/h average over 500, a few questions on the new FURTIVE kite, which has been initially specifically designed for the speed team to break records. It turned out the FURTIVE is more than just a speed kite and that’s the main reason why F-One released it to the public for the 2017 season.
The FURTIVE was designed to meet your needs when you are on the speed run. Before the Furtive, you were using the Bandit, what is the obvious benefit of using the Furtive in strong wind compared to the Bandit?
In strong wind, the big difference is going to be the stability : with 5 struts, the profil of the Furtive stays strong, and the gusts and lulls are way more easy to pass.
You are also know to boost high? What’s you record and did you use a Furtive to reach that height? What were the conditions?
I live in a windy place, Port-Saint-Louis in South of France, when we got a very strong and famous wind called the Mistral. I reach 21m on my home spot, on a very windy day (50+ kts in the gusts) with the Furtive 8… on very flat water. I’m quite excited to try Cape Town this winter with it and some 2 meters kickers!!!!
You also foil a lot, do you happen to use the Furtive or the Diablo when it’s windy, say above 20 mph?
Like you said, i’m foiling a lot, switching from Diablo to Furtive, depending of the conditions and what i want to do. In France, we got a Speed Crossing championship (same format as the PWA Slalom for windsurf) where everybody start on the same reaching starting line, full speed… For this kind of races, i’m using the Diablo only if the wind is stable. If it’s not, or if it’s above 25 kts, i’m going to switch to my Furtives.
For free riding, i’m using the furtive when it’s 20+ and the Diablo when it’s light.
Going upwind, would you say that the Furtive is in between the Bandit and the Diablo when it comes down to how much up wind angle you can take?
Definitely the Furtive got a better angle than the Bandit, and will also have a better downwind one… Yes, it will be in between of Bandit and Diablo in term of performances.
The bridle system is very different from the Bandit and is designed to keep the profile strong, how is the relaunch of the Furtive?
The new « spider » bridle will keep the profile strong, even in very strong wind. The relaunch technique is a little different than the Bandit and a lot more closer to the Diablo. Basically, when the leading edge is in the water, pull 1 meter on both your backlines and the kite will relaunch backwards. Then let go one of the 2 lines until it does a 180° loop and go back to the zenith position.
Anything else you want to add with regards to the Furtive?
We develop this kite with Raphael, Robert, Mika for almost 3 years and finally it hits the market, I’m very proud and happy everybody will be able to use the kite i love the most ;-). And i hope to get a new record with it soon too ;-)!!!!!
More info on Alex Caizergues here: http://www.alexcaizergues.com/