Author: Words by Dirk Hanel, Photo by Roberto Forresti
When I was asked by a photographer in late 2008 if I could see the potential of using a fully clear board, I thought it was a joke. Then I thought, “Why not?” We started to work on a project we called Acrylite ride. I sent the company specifications for the board and some months later I held my new fully clear ride in my hands.
It’s built from 15mm Acrylite which has been CNC shaped. After the inserts are installed the holes get filled with liquid Acrylite. For the scoop rocker line the board is pressed and heated in an oven to the right temperature and then formed over a rocker stick to get the correct scoop line. All the surface as well as the rails are hand polished for the most perfect and shiny see through look. Cost of the Acylite prototype project? $10,000!
Acrylite had never been used for a kiteboard before, so I had to be quite careful my first ride. I was riding, pushing the rail a bit harder with each pass, then doing first turns and checking out the flex. All seemed to be OK. Here I was, on a perfect sunny day in the North Sea of Germany with two-metre waves and the perfect wind for a powered-up 12m Rebel and I had the day of my life.
I was riding the waves with my new board seeing very clearly, the water underneath. I could see the sand running by. It was insane! Once off the water I got comments from the spectators, “When you were in the waves we could only see you riding, no board, no nothing. It looked crazy!”
I am already dreaming about going to places like the Maldives with crystal-clear water to enjoy my new ride even more. I will keep you posted. —Dirk Hanel
Be sure to check out the action photo on the Contents page of the Fall 2009 issue of SBC Kiteboard magazine.