The strapless kiteboard for freeride, freestyle and small to medium waves.
The Woodboard Aktaia is the board of choice, if you love strapless freeriding, small waves and freestyle. No matter if you are a strapless beginner or already a master, the Aktaia will put you a smile on your face. The high quality look, the extraordinary haptic experience and the superlight weight will identify you as a cognoscente.
Due to the sophistic underwater shape, the Aktaia can handle low end conditions as well as a wide range of rider weight. Though, the Aktaia is a strapless freeride/freestyle board, its perfect for chilled freeride sessions and of course any air style. The Aktaia offers lots of fun in small to medium waves.
The new standard in strapless kitesurfing
With the weight of 2,3 kilos the WOODBOARD AKTAIA is one of the 2 lightest strapless surfboards/kiteboards on this planet. With a length of 4,8 foot, the WOODBOARD AKTAIA fits in a 150cm kite bag. With a volume of 15 liters and the extra buoyancy of the Bernoulli law (Venturi-effect) due to the constricting channels, the WOODBOARD AKTAIA provides an exceptional low end and a loose feeling on the legs. The volume of 15 liters allows it to run smoothly through the chop and not bumpy on top. With the grip channels on the side the WOODBOARD AKTAIA can handle any air style move. The all-round ultra-resistant sidewall protects the WOODBOARD AKTAIA from side impacts.
The WOODBOARD AKTAIA is the new standard in strapless kitesurfing.
The concept of the WOODBOARD AKTAIA is to develop a light and almost unbreakable strapless freeride and freestyle board, that makes fun in small to medium waves, fits in a kite bag, for less than 900 €.
It quickly became clear that this would not be possible with conventional technology and familiar shapes. And that was the challenge for the WOODBOARD engineers, who, due to their knowledge and experience, are not afraid to leave the beaten path and develop innovative solutions.
Using the empirical knowledge of high tech board shaping, the know-how of modern flow dynamic, including the secrets of the Bernoulli law, the WOODBOARD engineers developed a strapless kiteboard in a length of 4,8 foot and a volume of 15 liters. A pronounced double concave and two constricting channels, separated by a keel in longitudinal direction. The stable core material, the carbon texture, as well as the all-round ABS sidewall makes the board insensitive to impacts. Three G10 thruster fins and a proven EVA grip deck on the upper side complete the solution.
The technology behind
The WOODBOARD engineers choose a three dimensional milled, vertex pressure stable airex core, processed and pressed in a heated mold with proven carbon layers. This composition provides the ultra-light weight combined with a maximum of durability. The board is almost unbreakable in water. This technology is widely used in aviation industry, because of the low weight and the high resistance.
One size fits all
According to the Bernoulli law, the constricting channels create an extra buoyancy (Venturi-effect). Small rider weight gains little extra buoyancy, the board size fits by it self. High rider weight gains higher extra buoyancy. This effect is used when foiling and makes planes fly. And a full packed plane does not need bigger wings than an empty one. This hydrodynamic principal is used and proven in the WOODBOARD CRBN 138, which is known to be one of the best kiteboards ever shaped. And it´s used by multiple riders from way more than 100 kilos.
We are sure that the Aktaia will fit for you! Check it out here
The WOODBOARD AKTAIA is designed, constructed, manufactured and finished in the European Union, by masters of their craft, according to the labor law conditions of the European Union, including the rules of occupational health and safety. No harmful substances are emitted in the manufacturing process.
As the board is almost unbreakable, the windy beaches will not be contaminated with parts of broken boards.
The reference to the Greek mythology
The Name AKTAIA is inspired by the Greek mythology, where Nereid Aktaia is one of the 50 sea nymphs. she is said to have blonde hair and green eyes. She is described by ancient authors as beautiful and seductive and – like all Nereids – she usually wears white silk robes. Her head is crowned with red coral.
Aktaia is the goddess of gentle, friendly seas and beaches, so she lives close to people and is kind to them.
Nereids are the nymphs of the sea who protect shipwrecked people, save the lives of fishermen and divers and entertained sailors with games. Like her sisters, she loved singing and dancing. The Nereids enjoyed spending their time swimming, playing and dancing with dolphins.
In historic artworks she was often painted with a mermaid fin surrounded by dolphins.
The design of the Woodboard AKTAIA is influenced by the historic paintings of the Greek mythology, where Aktaia was frequently painted on the beach, with dolphins around, and sometimes with a mermaid fin instead of legs.
The colours are connected to the sea. The blue with a light turquoise cast represents the habitat of Aktaia, the light grey – almost a white – is connected to the white water of the braking waves.
If you want to find out more about the Aktaia and the Greek mythology, we highly recommend you this Blog.
Different brands have different philosophies. But one thing is the same for everyone:
The mathematical relations of the flow mechanic. In the following text I will give an overview of the common channel types of kiteboards and how they behave in the water.
The “flat” running base
In the beginning of kitesurfing the majority of the kiteboards were produced in ski- or snowboard factories. The flat running base is the right choice for riding snow, but not suitable for liquids. Water is squeezed out to the side and this slows down the flow in long ways direction. Due to the Bernoulli Effect the board sticks to the water. On the low end you notice, that it doesn‘t want to start. At the high it‘s difficult to control, doesn‘t hold the edge. Riding is tiring and no fun. From the hydrodynamic point of few I recommend converting it into a wardrobe and switching to a kiteboardboard with a modern shape.
The „single concave“
The single concave is the simplest 3D shape. Design and production takes place in 2D, in the press the board is bent over an insert. Even small concaves improve the riding characteristics immensely. On the foot sole you perceive a loose feeling, the generally low resistance of these kind of boards offer a good low end and nice mean wind sessions. At the high you reach the limits of these boards, you might be dragged lee wards. Also finding the pop and jumping will be tricky. The single concave is the best choice for schools and beginners and less ambitious free riders. Typical representatives of this genus are the NORTH PRIME, or the WOODBOARD BEAM
The „tip channels“
The tip channels were the state of the art in kiteboard design for many years. Relatively easy to manufacture, in combination with a concave running base they resulted in usable and fine freeride boards with some freestyle characteristics.
Light-footed on foot sole and depending to the channel depth enough grip for hooked and unhooked take offs.
Though the range of comfortable use is limited, do not provide a stable low end and in high winds they do not put up this amount of leeward resistance what the rider needs to hold the edge. Even though the tip channel is not the latest innovation, it is still very popular with many riders. A typical representative of this genus is the DUOTONE SELECT.
The double concave and the single concave with curved side channels
Though these channels look different, the behaviour in the water is almost equal. The constricting channels create the identical hydrodynamic reaction. Due to the Bernoulli (Venturi)-effect the flow underneath the boards speeds up and gains some energy. This energy comes as an extra buoyancy force which provides this incredible low end of these kind of boards. The keel of the double so as the curved side channel makes the heel all time present, loading the kite and popping turns to a child play. On the foot sole this shape comes quite loose with a responsive heel, a pronounced straight run with little steering effort. The generally low resistance of the shape let the kite fly far to the edge of the wind window, and little steering effort brings back the kite to the power zone. The range is huge, from low end to strong winds, from chilled freeride to ambitious old school. The double will land softer, the constricting side channels will provide a bit more low end. This shape is the highest standard in freeride kiteboards. Typical representatives of this genus are the CARVED IMPERATOR or the WOODBOARD CRBN / CHAME.
The parallel multi concave
The parallel – three or four – channels induce high resistance in all riding directions – except straight downwind. Consequently the board keeps any kite constantly in the centre of the wind window. The parallel multi channels love strong winds, high jumps and ensure that the landing is direction stable. On the foot sole you feel the resistance of the board like a slightly drag, which gives the rider in heavy winds good control and a close connection to the kite. This shape asks for one bigger kite size. A typical high performance representative of this genus is the OZONE TORQE V2
The parallel double concave
This shape has a wide range of use. The double prevents some flow escaping to the side, so the feeling on the foot sole is quite loose. Handling of light, until strong winds is easy, even though it does not reach the low end of the constricting channel -neither the high end of the multi concave. A compromise for an ambitious free rider. The keel offers some feedback that you need for loading and take offs, though the genetic of the shape supports more hooked and old school. The double provides soft and direction stable landings, what invites the rider to some big air. Experienced freestylers will handle unhooked moves as well. A typical high performance representative of this genus is the AIRRUSH APEX TEM V 7
The parallel double concave with straight side channels and pronounced tip channels
These shapes provide this amount of resistance that keeps the kite in the centre of the wind window, ready for immediate unhook action. The straight side channel generate this resistance and make the heel present and potentially active. The double concave stands for controlled and direction stable landings. In the moment of impact the keel brakes water surface and diverts it to the outside. The tip channel put up that grip that you need for fast freestyle moves. On the foot sole this shape comes with extremely high connection to the board, small steering effort and very good control. Popping works precise without any slip away. It‘s the shape of choice for high performance freestyle and wake style riding. This shape represents the masterclass in board shaping. Typical high quality examples of this genus are the DOTONE TEAMSERIES (HEADLOW) TEXREME, LIEUWE OCEANA and the WOODBOARD TRASH.
The constricting double concave with straight side channels and pronounced tip channels
This shape is a 100% Big Air shape. The side channel provide maximum leeward resistance, avoids the kite flying to the edge and build up a maximum of line tension. The constricting double speeds up the flow underneath the tip, what crates this additional lift, what you feel in making more height. The keel of the double breaks water surface and divides it to the outside. The landing is soft and direction stable.
This shape is a good choice for an advanced and a experienced kite surfer to handle also an overpowered kite in strong winds, seeking for a soft and controlled landing after a massive Big Air jump.
A representative of this genus is the WOODBOARD BASALT.
Considering the physical fundamentals of hydrofoiling, we have to take a look at Bernoulli´s law. Daniel Bernoulli was a Swiss physicist and mathematician who explored the basics of flow mechanism with the Bernoulli equation in the 18th century. Venturi later improved the equation, better known as the Venturi effect.
Bernoulli’s law states that the specific energy on a thread of current is always constant. This energy consists of energy of pressure, energy of velocity and energy of location. Furthermore, Bernoulli found out that fluids will speed up if they reach a reduction.
That means, the pressure is high if the velocity of the fluid is low. On the other hand we can say, if the velocity of the fluid is getting higher, the pressure decreases.
This is the effect behind a flying airplane. The current on the upper side of the wing speeds up, therefore the pressure decreases. Now the ambient pressure in the surrounding lifts the airplane.
The same principal works on the wing of a hydrofoil.
The engineers of Woodboard applied this principal on their freeride boards.
Instead of a wing, the current on a kiteboard speeds up on a restricting channel towards the tip.
We already know, the water under the board speeds up in the reduction of the restricting channel, therefore the pressure under the board decreases and the ambient pressure helps to lift the board.
Using realistic numbers in Bernoulli´s equation, we calculated an additional uplift force of 1 up to 2 Newton. Which is equivalent to 10 up to 20 kg.
That basically means that the kite just needs to move 70 kg, even though the rider´s weight is 80 kg.
That’s the reason why the Woodboard CRBN and CHAME have such good riding abilities on low end, enormous upwind qualities and loose feeling on the feet.
We made this effect visible on digital flow simulations. With an inlet velocity of 6 knots (green), the current reaches an exit velocity of 9 knots (yellow).
To give a review:
Gliding with a “normal” twintip board
A volume flow hits an incline. The generated force separates in two components: the uplift force and the propelling force. If the uplift force is higher than the rider´s weight, the board starts gliding. The resulting force points upwards.
Gliding with a Bernoulli-Venturi shape
The restricting channel of the freeride boards Woodboard CRBN and CHAME speeds up the current additionally to the above shown relation of forces. Now the pressure under the board is lower than the ambient pressure of the surrounding. This effect generates an additional uplift force.
Comparing the needed uplift force of a normal board with a board using Venturi channels, we can immediately realize one thing: The board with Venturi channels needs less uplift force.
This effect makes the board glide early even in low wind situations, it rides upwind very easily and offers a loose feeling at the same time. Because there is less uplift force needed, the board can generate propelling force instead. This leads to more speed and a fast ride.
As a manufacturer we have the option: Do we want to produce our products in a third world country, where we don´t know anything about the working conditions? We do not know, if the workers there get paid fairly and have a safe work environment. Neither can we be sure if the used materials are produced sustainably.
Everybody knows about the stories and pictures of dyeing factories in third world countries, which produce jeans for several trade chains.
Prices for those products are cheap. Even with transport and customs some products can be less expensive than products from Europe. It’s the same with kiteboards.
Woodboard chooses not to get a single product from Asia. This decision comes from our attitude: An appreciation for all people involved in the whole process of manufacturing as well as for society and nature.
The ecological footprint of producing a kiteboard is a big factor for us as well.
In general, it is useful to buy products that don´t need to be shipped from far away. If possible, not even the components should travel a far distance. Everything a manufacturer needs for a kiteboard is available in Europe. It is easily possible to build a kiteboard in Europe, solely using products from Europe.
Woodboard strictly chooses to produce kiteboards with components manufactured within a 150 km radius from its operating location.
The core material (wood) as well as the inox parts are coming from Slovenia. The glass fibre web and the top sheet are produced in Austria by the word market leader for components in the ski and board industry. Pads, straps and fins are produced in Slovakia. The board itself gets manufactured and pressed in Czech Republic, close to the Austrian border. Every step in this process is located within a 150 km radius of our home spot, Lake Neusiedl in Austria.
Engineering, construction, design and marketing happens in our office close to the lake.
With strict governmental rules in Europe regarding environmental and industrial safety, it can get challenging to produce in EU. Therefore, it also represents a quality standard, keeping a fine balance between workers, environment and profit.
The wooden cores we use in our whole board range strictly come from FSC certified production which guarantees sustainable cultivation in the forest.
Back in 2011, when we started producing and selling kiteboards, it was state of the art to wrap the boards several times with PVC sheeting and protect the sidewalls with foamed rubber material.
Nowadays we are using edge guards made from recycled paper. Once the sidewalls are placed, the whole board gets covered with Flexi-Hex packaging, which is specialised to protect boards with paper material. If necessary, we put another sheet of Polyethylene to protect all the paper material. PE is quite easy to recycle and can be collected in the plastic waste.
Every kiteboard should have a wooden core. There are so many advantages: Kiteboards with laminated wooden core are nicer to ride, can dampen vibrations, have a more defined feedback to impulses and are more durable than boards with a foam core. Manufacturers using wooden cores usually like to show them. The wood becomes a part of the design, so it is visible from the outside. Carbon boards are an exception: In this case, the carbon covers the wooden core. As carbon is not transparent, the wooden core is not visible anymore. In that case you have to be able to trust the specifications of the manufacturer.
Quality criteria of kiteboards
It is not possible to look inside a kiteboard. But it can be quite hard to determine the quality of a kiteboard just from the looking at the outside. Here is some information on how to still do it:
The core material should be wood. It is only visible, if it is integrated in the design process. Take care for a periodical replication of the texture. This could be a sign for printed wood optics instead of a real wooden core.
The wooden core can be colourful, from yellow to brown, while showing the unique impression of this material. If its colour shifts to blue, it is a sign for the so-called blue stain fungus, a mould, that can appear if the wood was stored in very humid places. It doesn’t just look bad; it also doesn’t work properly. Don´t use it!
Pic: Example for perfect craftmanship
The sidewall of a kiteboard is made from ABS (Acrylnitril-Butadien-Styrol). ABS is used all around the outline of the kiteboard to seal it to the inside. At one point there is a crack – that’s the beginning and the end.
This crack should not be wider than 0,1 mm and still be sealed with glue. If the crack is bigger, for example 1 mm, water can enter the inside of the kiteboard. This is a sign for low quality processing.
Also at the drill holes used for the fins there needs to be an ABS sealing.
All surfaces should be plain and even without any bumps or bubbles. Except for the intentionally placed channels, of course.
Every board has a serial number. This number is a sign for quality awareness, as it offers the company the possibility to do proper quality management.
There should be no, or at most a very small gap between the wooden core and ABS sidewalls. A small gap stands for precise work, similar like in the car industry. With a gap of just a tenth of a millimetre, the kiteboard is processed with high quality. If the gap is around one millimetre or bigger, that’s a sign for poor processing and high tolerance. Air pockets are very likely to appear. Under heat, those air pockets expand in a different way than the surrounding wooden core. On the long run, this can lead to damage.
The kiteboard should not be twisted. You can control it easily: Put the kiteboard on the floor upside down, so the inserts are facing the bottom. Now you check, if all 4 tips are touching the ground. If that is not the case, the kiteboard is twisted and should not be bought.
Glass fibre jacket and processing
One of the challenges for the manufacturer is to soak the glass fibre of the board properly with glue while avoiding areas with too much glue on it. Glass fibre which is not soaked enough with glue will become white. If you cannot see the texture of the glass fibre, this is a sign for too much glue on it.
Pic: Example for very bad Quality
With graphics all over the kiteboard, it can be very hard to check this quality criteria. If a manufacturer avoids to put graphics on the entire kiteboard, they usually trust their own production and want to show the quality of the kiteboard. Every mistake is visible without graphics!
A lot of experience and a trusted process of manufacture is needed for success.
The ultimate target in the development and construction of a kiteboard is to provide the user a sport equipment that is adapted for the rider’s skill and style. A beginner needs a completely different kiteboard than an experienced freestyler.
Therefore it is essential to have a clear classification of characteristics. Woodboard divides the kiteboard range in the following categories:
Freestyle / Wakestyle
With knowhow, experience and feedback provided by the team riders the designing engineer knows exactly which features and characteristics are necessary for each category.
Ultimately, all this work is done to satisfy the rider’s demands on a kiteboard. Woodboard not only wants to fulfil those demands. We want to get ahead of these needs to generate a “big smile on the rider’s face”.
This is only possible with years of experience in board shaping and a solid background in engineering.
Every new shape starts with a hand drawn scribble. The designing engineer drafts his vision on a piece of paper. With his personal knowhow as well as the team riders’ information, all the basic characteristics of the boards are already shown in the scribble.
Next step is to build a digital prototype with a full 3D construction software. That way it is possible to calculate and simulate different materials, flexural behaviour, torsional stiffness and impulse response. If the result is coherent, the digital prototype is ready for the next step.
It took a couple of years to collect enough data, but now Woodboard is able to simulate nearly every riding situation with a software. Gliding, takeoff and landing will be simulated repeatedly until we achieve the perfect outline, flex, channel and fin positon. Every new kiteboard contributes a lot of new data to our simulation software. That way, the simulations continuously become more accurate.
When the digital prototype is finished and optimized it includes all necessary details for production like outline, surface geometry, channels, rail, material, thickness, resilience and flexibility.
The mould for the core, the outline and the shape of the finished board are derived by the constructional drawing.
The constructional drawing provides the reference to shape the aluminium mould of the board. It consists of an upper and a lower part. Together it forms an airtight room which will later become the shape of the finished kiteboard.
THE PROCESS OF PRESSING
In this mould all components are pressed with glue for 15 minutes at 60°C and with 60 tons of pressing force. Before opening the press, the kiteboard needs to be cooled down to room temperature to prevent uncontrolled deflection. The tips would cool down much faster than the core area which can result in an unwanted outcome. This process needs a lot of experience and, in the end, plays a significant role regarding the quality of the product.
THE FINISHED PRODUCT
At the end we get a sport equipment that depends on the know how and quality awareness of all workers involved in the process. Engineers, material supplieres and manufacturers create the finest rides and a lot of fun.
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