Airush sat down with Sector board designer, Clinton Filen, to talk about the design Philosphy and evolution of the original lightwind freeride board. The new Sector is in its 6th version, becoming more freeride oriented for all around lightwind use. For more details:
1. Six years ago you introduced the Airush Sector. What was your philosophy behind this board when you introduced it for the first time?
We were looking closely at how we could develop the best freeride board for the lightest winds,
as there are so many places in the world where the conditions tend to hover around the 6-8
We settled on a directional after it was clear that managing the massive width (at that time 60cm
was unheard of); flat rocker and large fins were best suited to a directional board. I had also
been working on an ultra wide surfboard (at 60cm wide) for very small waves and this helped us
validate the concept.
2. Because the kiteboarding industry is still moving very fast. Did you have to adjust this philosophy during the years?
One of the challenges in development is to ensure the new version of a product evolves with
the changing riders demands without losing its core philosophy that appealed to the original
rider group. We would normally do this by working to improve the total range of use of the
product, not just the high end. A good example of this is evident in the Sector, where the board
has become both easier to gybe and faster over time.
3. What was the target group of the Sector v1 compared to what it is now?
The Target group is relatively unchanged in terms of trying to create the ultimate directional
freeride board. The key changes were the introduction of a smaller size Sector as many people
started riding this style of product in much windier conditions and the overall evolution of the
product as the skill levels of most people on a directional board improved. This allowed us to
make the Sectors a bit more technical to use and increase the overall performance quite
4. If you look at the Sector v1 and v6, what are the biggest technology changes the board went through over the years?
In the shape the big changes were improving the carving and overall speed. We have spent a
huge amount of time on working on the fin configuration, as this is all relatively unchartered
5. The Sector started with a 4 fin setup and changed over the years to a regular 3 fin setup. What was the reason for this?
The 4 fin setups created a lot of lift and control but the flipside was that there was a lot more
drag from the additional fins. In addition the early boards had a lot more cant (11 Degrees vs the
current cant of 2.5 degrees). The early Sectors were designed to be ridden very heeled over as
most rider were making the transition from twintips, whereas the current Sector is designed to
be ridden much flatter.
So overall by reducing the amount of fins and Cant angle, we have reduced the drag
significantly. An additional advantage of 3 fins is the boards are more neutral when carving, as
the center fin performs more of a stabilizing effect as you switch from rail to rail.
6. If you’d take out a Sector v1 and v6 today, what are the strongest improvements of it’s performance over the years?
The overall speed, predictability and improved carving would be the key areas of improvement.
7. How did the Sector affect the vision of the customers with regard to riding on flat water and in light wind conditions?
I would say that the Sectors made light winds accessible to intermediate and recreational riders
who did not want to use massive kites and at a later stage big race boards (The Sector was wider
than the early race boards). For example with the Sector 60 you can use a 14m kite in 8 knots
and stay upwind. Before that you would have need to use a kite 16m plus, where the range of
use and upwind ability of very big kites is very limited and expensive, kites 14m and down tend
to have a bigger wind range.
8. How do you see the future of kiteboarding in light wind?
I believe we will see two directions, one will be the more specialized hydrofoil boards with the
focus on extreme efficiency and more technical riding. The other will be products such as the
Sector and the new generation of Slalom Boards, being more carving and blasting oriented for all-round use.
The addition benefits of a Sector style of board is that they can be used in shallower
water and are a natural progression surfboard style of riding. It only takes minutes to get used to from using a twintip.