igus bearings used in cutting-edge extreme sport

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igus bearings used in cutting-edge extreme sport

A state-of-the-art sport has hit the scene, free-style kite land boarding, using wind to provide the motive power and lift using a power kite with mountain board (similar to a skate board). Competition within this field has developed leading onto the integration of tricks and risky manoeuvres. Technology of the kites and boards has therefore also progressed to complement these tough conditions, and with the pressures on safety and performance steadily increasing, riders are constantly looking to source strong, light weight components.

Yannick Schwicket (German Pro Team Rider) demonstrates how the boards are tested:

The Art Of Big Air – Big Day @ Schillig from Yannick Schwickert on Vimeo.

Custom Kite Boards have found that igus bearings are a great fit for the needs of this specialised market. Their bespoke boards use Prepreg carbon fibre in the construction of the deck. Paul Hartland, founder of CKB, explains how igus products have been used. ‘I am always searching for alternative innovative products to use in components. iglidur Z bearings, from igus, were used initially within an early prototype to give overall weight reduction and reduce wear in muddy and sandy conditions. The bearings withstood the use of various riders within the challenging environments.’

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Custom Kite Board are now testing igus spherical bearings which are set to replace the pivot cup in conventional skate board type truck axle plates. The pivot cup is traditionally a simple polyurethane structure, which due to continual friction between the pivot arm and cup, wears out swiftly. Frequent replacement is inevitable and necessary otherwise instability (speed wobble) occurs due to slack as well as eventual wear occurring on the pivot arm resulting in damage to the truck axle.

The dry-running, weather resistant, lubrication-free properties of the igus bearing is a perfect solution. Sliding surfaces are transferred to the spherical bearing without the need for lubrication. As a result, the overall life of the board is increased, maintenance and incurred costs are reduced and truck axle steering ability is improved. If required, the bearing can still be replaced with ease via 2 bolts and lock-nuts.