ION discuss their new 2023 foiling accessories

Foiling Magazine's Contributing Editor Steve Sjuggerud talks to Julian from ION at the AWSI in Hood River about their 2023 foiling accessories.

For the full interview transcript, see below.


 

Steve Sjuggerud:

Hi, I'm Steve with Foiling Magazine here at AWSI 2022, and I'm with Julian from ION. And Julian you've got some exciting new products here for 2023. Would you care to share them with us here?

Julian:

Thanks for having me. I would like to go over the foil harnesses, especially wingfoiling's becoming so popular all over the world. so just grab this one. We introduced the Rogue Wingfoil Harness last year, it's a semi-hard shell harness. We've been the first company to introduce a semi-hard shell harness for wingfoiling even. We've seen just a big demand-

Steve Sjuggerud:

For sure.

Julian:

… for supportive harnesses also for wingfoiling just for people long legs upwind, and that's why we tried and managed to broaden our range and now we have the soft shell version of this harness, basically, it's called Rave, comes in a similar weight, 700 grams, which is like one and a half pounds I think. It's a lot softer so little bit more flexibility, especially on the sides here, but still it gives you a lot of support for riding.

Steve Sjuggerud:

And you need a lot less on a wing harness than you do in a windsurfing harness, for example?

Julian:

Definitely, definitely.

Steve Sjuggerud:

So you have to do that balance. And if you haven't winged with a harness, it extends your riding time hours. You don't get the dead forearms and it's just an extraordinary thing. Tell me how you settled on this hook style and can you talk a little bit about the hook?

Julian:

We see a lot of different systems right now on the market. We decided to go like a proper spreader bar, so you have a nylon hook here in the center, it's a curve material spreader bar so, as you know from our kite surfing harnesses, this is a material we have been using for a long time and we really trust it and it gives a lot of stiffness even though it's super lightweight. With the spreader bar, we have three different options to use it. The standard setup will be the hook moving from one side to the other, and it would always go back to the center.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Nice.

Julian:

It's easy for hooking in after a jibe, it will always stick to the center, you know where to hook in.

Steve Sjuggerud:

No, 100%, because you're going toeside or something-

Julian:

Exactly.

Steve Sjuggerud:

… and then the whole harness moves to the side and then you're on the other side trying to hook in and you can't find it. That's ingenious.

Julian:

And also there's another option where you can just remove the rubber band here and that will make the hook just stay on either side. Some people prefer that, especially when you want to go paddling out, you can put it to the side–

Steve Sjuggerud:

Got you.

Julian:

… to change the harness a little bit, so that's very convenient. And then also we have some small holes here where you can thread the webbing through and that makes the hook basically stay centered every time.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Got you. Right.

Julian:

It's amazing.

Steve Sjuggerud:

How do you like it?

Julian:

I love it.

Steve Sjuggerud:

No, no. How do you like… Do you like it being able to move, do you like it…?

Julian:

I think it's the best, and the best feedback we get, is that the hook is-

Steve Sjuggerud:

Just like I said-

Julian:

… getting back.

Steve Sjuggerud:

… when I'm toeside, the harness moves all the way over-

Julian:

Exactly.

Steve Sjuggerud:

… and for it to be able to move back would be amazing. Great.

Julian:

That's the standard setup and you can choose however you like.

Steve Sjuggerud:

What's more popular, the rigid one or the soft one now? What do you think with…

Julian:

We've just released this one so we haven't had end consumer feedback, just our team riders and our whole team. But the team riders love it because just it's a little bit more soft but still gives you a lot of support. If you have racing or just really long and lots of load, maybe, on your back then the hard shell might be better.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Right. Perfect. And then you also have an impact vest?

Julian:

Yep. With all the progression going on in the wingfoiling sport right now we see people doing double flips and so on, so we think protection is such an important part here. We decided to come up with an impact vest that has a harness integrated. It's a completely modular system, you can put protection pad here in the back, also one here in the front, you can take it out so you have just a standard vest including the hook or the protection that you need. And overall the comfort of this west is so extremely good so people really love it and you have a lot of different options also to put the hook.

Steve Sjuggerud:

It's brilliant to have this integrated too, because a lot of people want to wear a vest and they want to wear a harness and there's no-

Julian:

Exactly.

Steve Sjuggerud:

… good solutions really.

Julian:

Usually what we see now, usually people pick… If they try a harness or use a harness, they pick the harness, then they have the impact vest. But here you have everything together, you can remove it and you can also switch the position of the hook very easily. What's also really nice, it's a little bit different in terms of placement of the hook. Usually you have the hook right here and with this one you have the hook a little bit up right here so it's very easy to hook in.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Hook in.

Julian:

And also the low transmission's super convenient.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Nice.

Julian:

It's very, very nice.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Fantastic. Brilliant. Well thank you, Julian. Thank you.

Julian:

No worries.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Thanks to ION.

Julian:

Thank you.

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