It has been a whirlwind start to the year, as we focus on investment and moving forward as a business, including pitching at Venturefest and making use of other networking opportunities such as Knowledge Transfer Network events, we want to take time to talk about what is it that makes our hydrofoil design so special?
Kitesurfers often feel the frustration of arriving at a shallow water location with the wind too light for them to ride in. What if there were a solution that allows them to ride these conditions, making best available use of their time?
Existing designs cost in excess of £1000, including the cost of a bespoke board, need to be ridden in deep water due to the depth of the mast and can only be ridden in one direction. The latter 2 points makes for a steeper learning curve.
By designing our hydrofoil out of standard materials, ours target price is significantly less, it is 1/10th the size which makes it more portable and can be ridden in shallower waters. It is easier to ride as it can be used in both directions, making it a more similar experience the traditional kiteboard, plus less kit is needed as it retrofits to your kiteboard!
For the future? We can expand our range to cater for all abilities, optimising the cross sectional area for advanced riders, allowing for more advanced tricks, to make it easier for beginners to learn and to allow kitesurfing schools to teach in a wider range of conditions.
We are keen to work with the local universities, building on their expertise and research in maritime and materials, with a focus on sustainable options, already being awarded a mini grant to help the journey along.
The market opportunity is huge. In the UK there are over 8000 kitesurfers, with over 200 active instructors and over 1.5 million kitesurfers worldwide, that is a lot of people we can make happy. Plus there is the extra potential of bringing more people to the sport by making it more accessible!
And of course, world ambitions aside(!), it is absolutely important to build on the local skills and heritage around the fantastic Solent region.
Our hydrofoil has a real potential to be disruptive. We can reduce the amount of kites you need in your quiver and the need for multiple boards, with our more cost effective solution and it does not even need to compete with the existing hydrofoil designs, you can own both!
Want to join the journey? Please get in touch!
James Crook - Founder and Managaing Director - Forty1 Kitesurfing