Clement Colmas benefitting from the Kujira Helium’s natural power control

The uniquely shaped leading edges on the Takuma Kujira hydrofoil front and rear wings deserve some attention. We asked Takuma co-founder, Cyril Coste, to explain where the design came from

The unusual design of the leading edges of the Kujira look similar to a whale’s fin, are we right? Yes, the name Kujira is actually derived from the Japanese word for whale. There is an obvious element of biomimicry in the innovation and engineering process of the Kujira foil, which is inspired by the humpback whale specifically. The tubercle design mimics their pectoral fin. This design has been previously tested with success in the aviation industry and we thought that if it has so many benefits there then they should also translate to nautical improvements, too. Was testing an immediate success, or did the idea need a lot of fine tuning? We had a lot of fun with the first rides and immediately noticed an increase in riding speed and glide as well as the super reactive feel. It then took quite a few prototypes to really fine tune the shape to make it really smooth and stable on take-off and we’re now really happy with the outcome. Can you explain the different sensations of riding it and whether there are any limitations? There is an enormous improvement in terms of lift, glide, stability and comfort in the new foil design.

Cyril Coste has over a decade of professional kiteboarding experience and an extensive background in R&D (also appearing on three covers of our sister magazine, Kiteworld). Takuma was born in 2017 and has been dedicated to foiling ever since, with a product range that runs from surf foiling, through wingsurfing and now e-foiling, too

“The remarkable extra lift allows the rider to use a smaller wing with better performance, creating exceptionally smooth flight and glide, even at low speed.”

The initial Kujira range was developed for high performance and was more suited to experienced riders, but we have recently launched a new model, the Kujira Helium, which is medium size, medium aspect ratio and accessible to the full range of riders, from lightweight to heavyweight, beginner to advanced. As well as being very stable and intuitive to manoeuvre the Kujira Helium also delivers an impressive early lift and has huge glide potential. The natural power control delivers a feeling of auto-stability which makes it extremely easy to learn gybes and tacks. The new smooth-edged winglets have been designed to be more efficient and less aggressive. How easy is it for you to produce the Kujira (and Helium) wings and will they only work with certain materials? We developed a special mould process specifically for the wing design where we can apply the carbon layers, which makes the production smooth and stable. The new Helium model is an all new process in which we make our own foam that is lighter and super stiff.

We are looking forward to our test model arriving soon!

Find out more: www.takuma.com

Following nature’s lead, Matahi Drollet, Teahupoo, Tahiti

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