Manera originally launched 4 years ago with a line of board bags and luggage, next came the revolutionary EXO Harness, which saw some updates last year along with a budget offering, the Senso. In addition, last year saw the launch of the new wetsuit range to complement the existing accessories line up. 2016 looks to be a “bright” year for Manera with bold new colour ways right across the range. The board bags get an overhaul, the wetsuits have all been tweaked and the harnesses have had a big update too.

We’ll look at the wetsuits first, as there is a lot of tech here. Julien Salles was on hand to take us through the collection, he heads up the brand, which falls under the parent company, F-One, which of course his father, Raphael, has been running for 20 odd years. Manera has been, and always will be pitched as premium brand, this means top quality products using only the best materials, backed with lots of technological research to ensure the final offering is well thought out and works. Raphael Salles is arguably one of the most active kitesurfers on the planet, spending hundreds of days and thousands of hours on the water testing, and he doesn’t want to wear anything that is going to hinder that!

Julien Salles running through the 2016 Manera Wetsuit range...

Julien Salles running through the 2016 Manera Wetsuit range…

As such, when Manera looked into making wetsuits they had a couple of options, they could buy an off the shelf design from one of the two big wetsuit factories and put a logo on it, or they could design something from the ground up. Nearly all the wetsuits in the world, Manera included, are manufactured in the same two factories in Asia, it’s pretty simple to fly over there and point and pick a design, but then you’d end up with a similar offering to everyone else, and that just didn’t sit well with the Manera team.

The 2016 line up is brighter and has been tweaked to be even better!

The 2016 line up is brighter and has been tweaked to be even better!

A great wetsuit starts with a great designer, and there are only a couple of those guys on the planet, so again it is difficult to be unique in this field. Traditionally patterns are cut in a 2 dimensional plane on paper and then wrapped around mannequins and tweaked to develop the final fit and pattern. This process takes a long time and to get a prototype from the factories in Asia takes over three months. Suddenly Manera found themselves testing winter suits in the spring, due to the huge delays in the process.

3D Technology is used to design the suits to ensure a perfect fit.

3D Technology is used to design the suits to ensure a perfect fit.

Luckily Julien discovered someone who had developed new 3d shaping software for wetsuit design, they hooked up and bought into something the other brands had overlooked. The software scans the body in 3d, then designs the wetsuit around the body before cleverly flattening the panels to a 2d format so they can be cut from a sheet of neoprene. The addition of a laser cutter and a small wetsuit development unit in Montpellier meant that Manera finally had the means to create the suits they wanted. They can now design a suit in the morning and have the prototype for testing that evening for an after work session. Once they are happy with the final suit they can send the 2d designs off to the factory for mass manufacture.

Water Strainer legs help to flush water out if it gets in...

Water Strainer legs help to flush water out if it gets in…

The tech was launched last year, they have the rights for Kite, Surf and SUP suits using this method. If you’ve tried a Manera suit you won’t be able to deny it’s a great fit, they are also shaped to fit a kitesurfer, which is the complete opposite of how a surfer spends their session. We are hunched over in a squat for most of our session, whilst surfers are prone with an arched back and very mobile arms.  Manera then use some of the best materials available and distribute the neoprene thicknesses in carefully thought out areas to provide the maximum warmth for kiters. Of course the suits work great for SUP and surfing too, the materials are so flexible, these suits are very adaptable, the core design however has been done around the kitesurfer.

The X10D Trpl3X material is a blend of extreme flex and durability...

The X10D Trpl3X material is a blend of extreme flex and durability…

In terms of material no expense has been spared for 2016 and the suits come in two guises, the Tripl3x Neoprene Magma and the Tripl3x Neoprene X10D. The Magma series uses a triple layer neoprene with the Magma Fleece jersey on the inside, which is super plush and warm and then N-Foam as the core for warmth and flexibility with a Square Flex Skin outer layer for durability. The X10D range uses the same high-end N-Foam core but with the X10D inner jersey, which is exceedingly flexible and soft on your skin, lastly a Re-Flex Skin is used on the outer layer to ensure the suit stays flexible. If you want warm, look to the Magma series, for the ultimate in manoeuvrability head to the X10D stable…

Flexibility is really important, Julien explains they use the best materials all over the suit.

Flexibility is really important, Julien explains they use the best materials all over the suit.

Other features include the Water Strainer on the legs, which allows water in the suit to flow out and prevents the dreaded elephant legs seen on so many surf-orientated suits used for kitesurfing. The seams are all glued and blind-stitched; with an SD2 Tape applied to all the seams to ensure they are fully waterproof. Manera don’t use a Liquid Seam as they found this didn’t stretch in the manner they wanted and also wasn’t as comfortable against the skin. The suits have all been Fusion Cut, which binds the ends without the need for stitching, in addition there are reinforcements in all the stress areas and the suit has been cut in a way that avoids putting any seams in high-tension areas.

SD2 Tape offers a fully waterproof but highly durable, comfortable and flexible seam.

SD2 Tape offers a fully waterproof but highly durable, comfortable and flexible seam, the red Magma lining also offers extreme warmth in cold conditions.

The HoneyComb back panel offers protection from the windchill...

The HoneyComb back panel offers protection from the windchill…

This is a "Hanger Tolerance" print, designed to stop the suit stretching when it is hung up, it's all about the details!

This is a “Hanger Tolerance” print, designed to stop the suit stretching when it is hung up, it’s all about the details!

Over on the harness side of the collection the EXO gets a face lift with 6 new colours, but more than that there are some important updates too. Manera actually changed factories for the harness range for 2016 and that has allowed them to incorporate some new features, materials and designs. The harness keeps the Energy Dispersion Frame which made it famous, but also now adds a new Nest Foam which is used internally to reduce pressure and provide support. Different thicknesses are used in different areas to ensure maximum comfort, yet also keep the harness light and not too bulky.

The full 2016 EXO harness line up! Tech models at the top and lifestyle at the bottom...

The full 2016 EXO harness line up! Tech models at the top and lifestyle at the bottom…

The EXO features a new colour coded EVA Foam spreader bar pad too, the Tuck Flaps are still there and the spreader bar itself now has a plastic coating over the Down Hold System to ensure the webbing doesn’t wear if there are any slight nicks in the aluminium welds.

Close up of the Energy Dispersion Frame...

Close up of the Energy Dispersion Frame…

The new colour coded EVA spreader bar pad.

The new colour coded EVA spreader bar pad.

The quick release system for the leash on the EXO.

The quick release system for the leash on the EXO.

Comfort is at a premium with the EXO!

Comfort is at a premium with the EXO!

For the board bags a new heather colour way has been introduced along with technical fabrics and improved zippers, this time the zips have been tested and won’t rust, no matter how badly you treat them! There are bags for every occasion in the range, from the new Foil Board Bag and Foil Cover to the updated golf bags and surfboard bags there is something for everyone. Here is a quick look at some of the products the team had at the meeting…

SUP Bags, Twin Tip and Surf...

SUP Bags, Twin Tip and Surf…

The Manera Kite Foil Board Bag...

The Manera Kite Foil Board Bag…

Complete with the F-One branded Foil Cover.

Complete with the F-One branded Foil Cover.

The Foil Cover uses a continuous single zipper, which is very clever, to protect the mast and the front and rear wings as well as the fuselage.

The Foil Cover uses a continuous single zipper, which is very clever, to protect the mast and the front and rear wings as well as the fuselage.

No matter what your style of riding, it looks like the Manera team have you covered for 2016… Innovative products with technical materials and stunning designs make for an impressive line up. To find out more check out your local dealer or go to:

For more information visit: http://www.manera.com

Wed 16th Sep, 2015 @ 12:00 am

By Rou Chater
Rou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!

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