We have had the opportunity to try the new Ocean Rodeo Roam and Flite with Aluula material and we have prepared a small explanatory post and a review of the Aluula kites.. So, let's start with the basics...
What is Aluula? Ocean Rodeo partnering with Aluula Composites has developed a new material to replace the dacron at the leading edge and struts called Aluula.
Aluula is an ultra light and ultra resistant composite material! We are facing what is possibly the biggest revolution in the kitesurf industry of the last 15 years!
Most of the weight of a kite comes from the dacron, which is the material located on the leading edge, struts and most brands use / have used on its trailing edge.
The dacron is a material way heavier than the spinnaker of the kite, and this gives it greater rigidity, gives structure to the kite and is resistant to time and use, but it is also the biggest source of weight of a kite.
This is where Aluula material comes into the game. Normal dacron has a weight of about 160gsm (grams per square meter) where Aluula achieves an extraordinary 82gsm. But is not only much lighter, also much more resistant and virtually unbreakable.
We have two fundamental aspects where Aluula is going to massively influence the behavior of the kite, which are, characteristics to fly the kite in light winds and its manageability in all kind of conditions.
That a kite is lighter opens a new era to ride with light wind. There is about 50% less weight on Aluula kites against a traditional one. Being lighter, it needs much less wind to stay in the air, so it will produce much more power.
And all this is great news for foilers, there is no longer need for kites with 1 or 0 struts, with all its down side! In addition, a kite with Aluula "absorbs" less water when it touchs it, so relaunching with low wind will be much easier.
More rigidity and resistant material (They say 20x times more resistant / rigid) makes it very difficult to break apart in addition to increasing the pressure capacity when pumping the kite.
But on top of that, a kite with Aluula becomes much more sensitive and fast when you turn it.
In a traditional kite, when you pull the bar to move it, the entire dacron frame deforms and after this, kite moves. With Aluula, being a much more rigid frame, there is no delay between the order and the turn. Also, its performance in gusty wind is better as there is no deformation of the structural parts and its wind range is wider!
Before we start with our test / review of the Aluula Roam, it is good to remember that the OR Roam is a kite model intended primarily for foiling and also for waves surfing. It stands out for its ability to drift, that is, to follow you on the wave while surfing. Where the difference is really noticeable is if you try to surf waves with on-shore winds, where you have to move the kite constantly. You can find a Roam review here.
Now that we know what the OR Roam program is, let's see how its variant behaves with Aluula.
We had the opportunity to try the Ocean Rodeo Roam Aluula in 10m in different conditions. The first thing that catches your attention is simply to hold it with your hands, as you don't expect the kite to be so light. Once is pumped, and doesnt matter if there are just 4-5 knots, you always have to put sand or something on top because it really wants to fly away!!
The first thing you notice when you lunch the kite is its way of moving. Being more rigid than a conventional kite makes the difference in the very first movement of the bar. It is really reactive and direct to any movement of the bar.
This Roam with Aluula is much more powerful than you would expect. This kite is more powerful than any other 10m we have tried before, we even venture to say that it offers more power than a 11m - 12m...
For users who have a big and a super big kite to cover all the low wind range can probably cover it with a single Aluula kite.
Another aspect to mention is that when you do an eight to generate power, the power is constant through the whole eight even with very light wind. There are not gaps.
When we take the Roam with Aluula into the waves, the difference is brutal compared to a traditional kite. Its ability to drift and follow you on the wave is impressive and where it really leaves you speechless is when you want to turn the kite with slack in the lines! Performance in this aspect is a huge step ahead.
For foil users, the Roam with Aluula has something very positive and this is that this kite doesnt fall from the sky. With marginal winds, even when it hits practically 1-2 knots, the kite floats and falls gradually until the wind hits again and the kite rises up. If you are one of those who like the foil with marginal winds, the Roam with Aluula is without a doubt the best kite out there.
The Ocean Rodeo Flite is a kite destined for low wind or heavier riders. It is a freeride kite that allows you to kitesurf even with the softest winds.
We tested the Ocean Rodeo Flite Aluula in 14.5m and the first surprise, as happened with the Roam, has been to take it out of the bag and notice its weight, which can be comparable to a 8m kite.
The flite in its traditional version is a very good kite, which can be classified as a fast kite even in its 14.5m and 17m version. But in its Aluula version it is beastly faster, and you really get a surprise right after launching the kite. A 14.5m that moves like a 10m? Yes, although it sounds unbelievable.
Its design is optimized for low wind, and adding Aluula and giving it such a large weight reduction we have a kite that delivers massive power and pull ALL the time. As it happens with the Roam with Aluula, there are no gaps of power when moving the kite!
We have been kiting for almost 20 years and during this time we have gone through the introduction of the quick release, moving from 2 lines to 4 lines, the introduction of bow / delta kites ...
Honestly, the new Aluula material is probably the biggest step in the kiteboarding industry since the appearance of the first bow kite, and that was almost 15 years ago!
We are in front of a new revolution in the sport where kitesurfing with marginal winds will be possible or where kiteloops with large-sized kites will be even fun!
Personally I think that at this moment, the first Aluula kites are being made simply by replacing one material for another, but from now on, not long, the kites will be designed with this material as a starting point and other components will be optimized like the bladders and that's where we are going to find the biggest revolution we've seen in this sport!