THE BOW KITE
The new kite concept by the Legaignoux brothers
To reconcile the rigidity of a tube kite with the flatter shape of a ram air kite was the dream of many designers since kitesurfing became popular, but nobody to date had succeeded in developing an effective one; the C-shaped kite invented in 1984 by the Legaignoux remained the uncontested reference.
Paradoxically, Dominique and Bruno attacked the problem at the end of 2001 in their home spot of the Dominican Republic, as a reaction to increasingly frequent accidents. Their goal was above all to obtain a wing with full de-power capability, since it should well be admitted that opening a quick release in a panic situation is most of the time unrealistic.
However they knew that the new wing would have to be more efficient in order to take a lead in the market.
A flat wing is easier to de-power than a C-shape one. They thus sought a means of obtaining a wing having very few bridles and a flattened and clean shape, without pockets or deformations of the canopy.
The main innovation consisted adding in sweep, i.e. to move back the wing tips compared to its centre until the trailing edge is concave, which makes it possible to flatten and perfectly tighten the trailing edge. There is also an original and very simple bridle device, only fixed on the leading edge, designed to allow almost full de-power and a fast turning speed.
Swept-back + simple bridling on the leading edge only is what differentiates the BOW concept from all other flat wings. Many alternatives of form and bridles are possible inside this concept.
The BOW concept was proposed to Takoon in 2003, then to all the licensees of the classic inflatable kite in early 2005.
Diamond White Lda, owner of the patents protecting the BOW concept, now offers user licenses to any interested brand
A high resolution version is also available here (18Mb).