Based in British Columbia, Canada, the initial objective of the founding team here at ALUULA Composites – all highly experienced chemists and engineers who share a common passion for exploring and enjoying the outdoors – was to engineer composite material needs that they felt were not being met by traditional manufacturers. Materials that would, in turn, better serve the sports and pursuits that the team loved the most.
First in their sights was kiteboarding.
Although the sport of kiteboarding had seen some significant advancements in rider safety, product handling and control over its 20+ year history, the standard legacy materials and seaming techniques, originally adopted from the sail industry, had stalled the technical advancement of the sport.
In recent years, wing foiling had arrived, a new wind sport that has seen unprecedented levels of market growth in just its first few years. With wing construction techniques closely aligned with those of kiteboarding, it faced much the same challenges, with material development plateauing, limited by existing materials.
With interest in these sports driving the requirement for innovation, an arms race developed, the aim being to create lighter and stronger materials that would enhance the performance, durability, and safety of both kites and wings. Working hard in the background were the team here at ALUULA.
From the outset of the development process in early 2017, the weight and performance objectives in the field of wind sports were clear, but it was also understood by the ALUULA Composites team that these materials would be exposed to harsh sun and abrasive beach environments. So to succeed, the next generation of composites would have to be tough. ALUULA materials were engineered, tested and manufactured specifically to meet these difficult demands.
First introduced in 2019, ALUULA’s innovative composite textiles quickly transformed what was possible in wind sports. By dramatically reducing the weight of a kite or wing – while radically improving the finished product’s response and handling – the game was immediately changed.
Airframes built with ALUULA composite materials are, on average, half the weight and twice the stiffness of conventional material airframes. Similar to the way carbon fiber revolutionized the cycling industry, the use of ALUULA’s composite fabrics in kites and wings has completely reconfigured wind sport engineering.
A kiteboarder using an ALUULA-infused kite can now handle strong winds like never before, while also having the opportunity to fly on lighter wind days, redefining the limits of what was previously believed possible. Most recently, the first ever “Double Megaloop” was achieved using an ALUULA-powered kite. A move that riders have been striving to achieve for over 15 years.
Event after event, in different locations around the world and in all wind conditions, professional riders using ALUULA-based products are driving kitesurfing and wing foiling to previously unseen levels of performance, and sealing top-of-the-podium spots in the process.
WHAT EXACTLY IS ALUULA?
If you’ve arrived here without having come across ALUULA before, here’s a short summary of how the ALUULA Composite technology works.
ALUULA is a new class of composite materials built from components with eight times the strength-to-weight ratio of steel, and yet lighter than nylon, polyester or aramid. Using a patented fusion process, ALUULA Composites has developed a unique way to fuse high tech fibers and technical films together without the use of heavy glues. By bonding materials at the molecular level, ALUULA is not only creating extremely light, strong and durable composites, but materials that are recycle ready.
ALUULA has now effectively superseded conventional coated and laminated woven fabrics by creating composites that are highly tear resistant, stretch resistant and easy to fabricate into a multitude of products across a wide range of markets.
IT’S ONLY THE BEGINNING
Although wind sports set in a marine environment formed the perfect natural proving ground for this new generation of light, strong and durable composite materials, the implications of its recognized benefits resonate far beyond its initial objectives. Simply put, the arrival of ALUULA’s lightweight composites has opened the door to a whole world of new possibilities, across a huge range of industries. And we’re just getting started.
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