Designers Notes on the 2014 Naish Alana with Kite Designer, Damien Girardin
When did you first start development on the Alana? Was the end result what you expected? We started working on the Alana line after seeing a noticeable increase in the amount of girls and women getting into kiting. Surveys still only show that more than 90% of kiters are men, however the overall number of girls is growing faster than men. Other industries have successfully been carrying women-specific products for a long time, so we’re very proud to have a kiteboarding product line specifically designed for women.
What inspired the design/concept behind the Alana? Is it similar to any other kites in the Range? How? The feedback from the women of Team Naish helped inspire the Alana concept and design. Technically, the Alana kite is a Park with woman-specific graphics; however the control system was revisited in order to provide a better ride for women:
- The depower throw is shorter in order to avoid having the bar running high out of reach.
- The bar is shorter. This provides a lighter bar feel without removing any of the positive feel when sheeting in and out. This gives you a smoother kite, which is a big plus for women.
- The quick release trim loop is also shorter, which brings the bar’s sweet spot position lower, offering a better riding position for shorter arms (which women typically have).
- The bar also has a smaller diameter, which offers better handling for riders with smaller hands.
Kiteboarding is quickly becoming the hottest new watersport. How do you see girls evolving within the sport & what are your plans to foster their growth?
I believe that offering a full range of women-specific boards, kites and harnesses was a good step forward, and we’re definitely looking to expand that line – but first, we need some market feedback to help make that final decision.
We have, however, been expanding our women’s kite team as we want to show the girls who aren’t already kiting, that the sport is fun and easy to pick up. We’re planning showcasing more girl/women-specific Naish Kiteboarding TV episodes to support that too.