Kiteboarders harness the power of the wind with a kite while skimming the waves with a board. Navigating these separate – and potential powerful – forces requires advanced skills as well as equipment that can be trusted to perform safely under a range of conditions.
In 2001, Richard Myerscough founded Ocean Rodeo for the then-new sport of kiteboarding and expanded the business to include kites, boards and kite bars in 2002 in partnership with his friend and fellow adventurist Ross Harrington.
“We were some of the early pioneers in kiteboarding equipment,” says Mr. Myerscough. “And as the sport evolved, design parameters and safety specs were being put in place.”
Ocean Rodeo embarked on evolving the models of their equipment, yet encountered significant challenges when prototypes of plastic control bars couldn’t withstand the simulated forces of wind and the weight of a kiteboarder, says Mr. Myerscough. “This was too challenging for a small brand that didn’t have access to a leading-edge tech facility or the ability to do stress testing on all of our materials.”
In 2015, Ocean Rodeo partnered with Camosun College, where faculty, staff and students applied their expertise to not only finding the right material but also redesigning and testing the components to prove they exceeded industry-standard strength tests. As a result, the company has been able to increase sales through the introduction of a unique carbon polymer bar. Beyond affording greater flexibility in Ocean Rodeo’s finished product design, this has led to licensing agreements with kiteboard brands outside of Canada.
Watch the video at http://www.innovation.ca/story/reinventing-kiteboard-equipment
Produced by Randall Anthony Communications. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved in its creation.