Sports

Inflatable windsurfing rig sails on air ... and fits in a backpack

Inflatable windsurfing rig sai...
The iRig One is designed to be much lighter than a traditional windsurfing rig, making it easier to handle on the water
The iRig One is designed to be much lighter than a traditional windsurfing rig, making it easier to handle on the water
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Pro windsurfer Nik Baker takes a spin
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Pro windsurfer Nik Baker takes a spin
The iRig One is an ISPO Product of the Year Award winner
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The iRig One is an ISPO Product of the Year Award winner
The iRig One comes in small, medium and large sizes
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The iRig One comes in small, medium and large sizes
Pro windsurfer Alice Arutkin gives it a go
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Pro windsurfer Alice Arutkin gives it a go
The lightweight iRig One is made to be easier to launch
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The lightweight iRig One is made to be easier to launch
Alice Arutkin on the iRig One
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Alice Arutkin on the iRig One
The iRig One is designed to be much lighter than a traditional windsurfing rig, making it easier to handle on the water
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The iRig One is designed to be much lighter than a traditional windsurfing rig, making it easier to handle on the water
The iRig One is designed to set up in about 100 seconds
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The iRig One is designed to set up in about 100 seconds
After unfolding it, simply pump it into form
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After unfolding it, simply pump it into form
Readying the iRig One
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Readying the iRig One
The iRig One deflates and folds into a small pack
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The iRig One deflates and folds into a small pack
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With the introduction of products like a self-inflating electric board and paddleboard-tent, the inflatable stand-up paddleboard (SUP) market has seen its fair share of innovation. Now the inflatable SUP accessories market is getting some serious innovation of its own. Two German companies have teamed up to create an inflatable windsurfing set-up called the Arrows iRig One. This all-in-one board sail packs small and light, inflates quickly and puts the power of weather into your board.

The Arrows iRig One came to fruition through the cooperative efforts of two divisions of German board sports company Boards & More: Northsails and North Kiteboarding. Northsails brought expertise in windsurfing rig design, and North Kiteboarding applied the knowledge of inflatables it gained from developing inflatable kites. The pair created a functional design that it calls the first inflatable windsurfing rig ever made.

Inflatable paddleboards have earned their place in the paddleboard market largely because they're much easier to transport and store than full-sized rigid boards. You can roll up to the water by small car without needing a roof rack or trailer.

The iRig One offers the same benefits for paddleboard windsurfers. It packs down into a backpack and, according to its designers, weighs 70 percent less than traditional solid-frame rigs, coming in around 4 lb (1.8 kg) for the medium size. The fully inflatable rig pumps to life in less than two minutes. The video below shows how you can carry an inflatable board, iRig One and pump in a large pack, inflate the whole kit up in minutes, and get out onto the water.

Pro windsurfer Alice Arutkin gives it a go
Pro windsurfer Alice Arutkin gives it a go

The lightweight, inflatable design isn't only an advantage on land. Its designers explain that the lighter rig makes actual windsurfing easier, especially for beginners. A heavy solid rig can be difficult to hold in place and can pull an uninitiated rider into the water. The lightweight iRig One, on the other hand, is easier to lift up and handle on the board. It also floats, and the lack of hard parts means the rider won't have to worry about smashing their noggin or other sensitive body parts.

Inflatable stand-up paddleboards come with some compromises in areas like rigidity and on-water performance, and we assume the iRig One has some compromises of its own. We could see it losing some performance and speed when compared to a solid rig, though can't say for sure without testing it.

The iRig One comes in three different sizes designed for different rider heights and has a €379 (approx. US$425) MSRP. The design took home a 2016 ISPO Product of the Year award last month.

The kit is demonstrated in the video below.

Source: Arrows

iRIG - be a lightrider

View gallery - 11 images
5 comments
Dax Wagner
Brilliant idea!
Michael Crumpton
It does not look like it will set any speed records, and the sail looks like it will fold up in a stiff breeze.
lyricsparoles.com
It looks like a nice idea should be developed only slightly
Stephen N Russell
Sales for sure for FL, CA , HI, Mexico, Australia, Caribbean, Med Sea, Hotels & Resorts, homes, rentals, Mass produce,.
Komakai.Okane
This is not a wind "surfing" product, it looks like it will only allow light sailing. It's not apparent that either the design of the sail or the board would support planing. Can you attach a harness to to the pillow sail? But hey, that marketing shot of a a gorgeous derriere makes the dream seem possible.