Big news for the big air lovers out there - a new version of the Eleveight XS V3 is ready to hit the market!! We're going behind the design with creator Peter Stiewe to learn more about this exciting new release!

Peter, thanks for joining us for this Tech Focus interview! So, what's new with the Eleveight XS V3?

When we developed the XS, our aim was to create a very playful kite that excels in big air sessions and powered freeride sessions. In Version 3, the main kite DNA remains the same, but we made a couple of noticeable changes to fine-tune the performance and handling.

The XS features a pulley-less bridle, and we also modified the wing tip segmentation. The arc is a bit flatter to increase efficiency and extend the hangtime. We also focused on the weight reduction for the V3. We use a 10% lighter bladder material to decrease the weight of all sizes. 

Can you go into more detail about each of the changes? How have these changes affected the handling of the kite?

The pulley-less bridle increased the overall performance and handling. The bar feedback is more direct, which is needed in a kite made for radical loops and tones of hangtime. It also lets the kite drive further forward in its position to catch the rider better after mega or double loops.

The revised wing tip shape has similar outcomes and underlines the fast and precise turning characteristics of the XS.

Overall, weight reduction is a big topic in our industry. But the downside can be compromising the durability of the products. For the XS, durability is a key performance parameter, so we were very careful when changing materials. The new bladder material has proven itself for over two years in our OS kites, and we were more than happy with the durability. Overall, the new XS is 10% lighter across all sizes.    

Are there any new materials or construction methods used in the V3?

For Version 3, we used all our prime materials. The XS comes with durable X4 ripstop weave, and all inflatable parts are made of our XT high tenacity cloth. The construction features many little details to ensure high performance and durability. For example, we used a triple-reinforced closing seam along the leading edge, making it practically indestructible. We also paid special attention to the load transition between the inflatable frame structure and the ripstop material to improve stability and durability.

Tell us more about the development journey. What areas were you looking to improve on from the V2 to V3?

The development of the XS V3 was driven by a precise analysis of how we can improve the overall performance and create a product evolution which fits the demands of the big air rider. The big air community has been growing fast, and the guys are progressing and pushing the limits in a completely new direction. 

For the XS V3, I focused on three key performance parameters – form stability in all conditions, direct turning feedback in all situations and durability to withstand the extreme forces.

Was there any trial and error in the development phases, or was it smooth sailing all the way?

Luckily, I have over 20 years of history in developing performance kites. That helps a lot to avoid some trial-and-error mistakes which we all had in the early years of kiteboarding. 

My focus in each development process of existing products is incremental changes. I receive a lot of feedback and run it through my own filter. I like to observe guys like Arthur Guillebert to understand the forces of the material and the demands of the rider.

The XS is also my passion project which makes the process very rewarding and enjoyable. 

For those free riders with big air aspirations, is this kite the answer?

Absolutely YES! – The explosive lift is met with bombproof construction and stability for adrenaline junkies wanting to hit full send.

What other last words can you share about the new XS V3?!

I like to say: The XS is the modern interpretation of a high-performance old school kite, fine-tuned to match the needs of the new extreme big air style.


By Crystal Veness
Editor at IKSURFMAG, Crystal Veness hails from Canada but is based in South Africa. When she isn't busy kitesurfing or reporting on the latest industry news for the mag, she is kicking back somewhere at a windy kite beach or working on creative media projects.