Product analysis

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To develop a more circular product it is important to identify the real environmental problem. In this project the main goal is to extend the product life. Therefore the focus in the analysis lies on the end of life of this product. Analysing the product itself and its components will lead to a better understanding of the material impact. It is also important to have a deeper understanding of the user to identify why they dispose their kite board and how it becomes obsolete.

In the analysis the following questions will be answered;

  • What is a kiteboard?
  • What are the components and materials of the kiteboard, and how is the board assembled?
  • Who is the user?
  • What is the context of the user?

The product and user analysis will lead to a deeper understanding of the end of life of a kiteboard and will end up in design opportunities to create a more circular kitebaord.

What is a kite board?

A kite board is used while practicing the sport kite surfing. This sport is a combination of wakeboarding, surfing and kiting. While standing on a board the user is pulled over the water by a kite.

There are different styles of kite boards:

planches-kitesurf

Directional boards focussed on wave riding and twin-tip boards focussed on allround and freestyle. The twin-tip boards will be the focus in this project.

#4 Ease of Maintenence and Repair

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3 Solutions were found to make is easy to maintain the gear or repair it:

kitefix_complete_repair_kit-1 professional_kite_repair

  1. Guide to repair: Provide a guide how to repair the board by yourself. (A lot of kitesurfers are already doing this, sometimes its dangerous because they don’t know how they should do that)
  2. Repair service by company:
  3. Modularity also plays a role in this strategy. If the components are not glued together the parts can be easier assembled to be able to repair it.

#2 Hybrid model

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hybrid-04
The hybrid model is a combination of a durable product and a short lived consumable. Looking at the combination of parts of the kiteboard the pads and straps are the parts that can be keeped a lifetime while the board changes along with the progression of the kitesurfer. The idea is to make personalized footpads and straps that can be kept a lifetime. In this case the board board will be the short lived consumable. This would be a total different approach than it is right now. In this model the kiteboards are only used per step in progression, so the board will only be used for about 10 times. In this model they don’t have to last a lifetime, so a challenge will be to change the material into disposable material. In this way the obsolescence is planned.

Design ideas

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The challenge will be to use the Performance business model. Therefor it is important to define how performance can be reached in order to choose for the best fitting design strategies and implement this in the service on a system or product level.

Performance/progression:

  • Shape of board should match performance level
  • Knowledge about the material and different levels
  • Reliability in material (rely on material, dare to push your tricks to next level)

In the 3rd session with the professional designer the following ideas were generated

circo cases

I will explain the concepts that were the most promising solutions towards a more circular economy.

  1. Board adapts to user (future) 

Classic long life, Performance model,

Combined with strategies attachment and trust, and upgradability and adaptability.

The most ideal situation would be that the board grows together with the progression of the kitesurfer. The level can be tracker through a GPS tracker. At every progression level the shape of the board will change, this can be promising for a faster progression in kiteboarding. In this model the user pays to progress faster.

Since the technologies nowadays don’t allows us to complete this concept, the following ideas were generated to see how other strategies or business models can solve these problems to the model can be implemented nowadays.

  1. Board grows together with user

Access model, classis long life

Combined with strategies upgradability and adaptability and attachment and trust.

The kitesurfer can rent different boards according to your performance. To enable a faster progression in kitesurfing the kitesurfer shouldn’t have an emotional touch with the board. The selection of the board should be made according to its performance. An idea can be a blanco board. In this way the kiter will not become emotional attached to the board and when the time is ready he will easily change board. If the maximum level of progression is reached the owner has tried a lot of different board and is able to choose his favourite board. This is the moment were the kiter becomes emotionally attached to the board. This board will be personalised with his favourite graphics and he can keep this board forever.

  1. Hybrid Board

Hybrid model

Combined with strategy upgradability and adaptability.

Pads and footstraps that perfectly fit to your feet (custom made) only leaves the board to change. In this model the board becomes a short lived consumable, The board will be made of a different (recyclable) material so the user can change whenever he wants. The costs of the board should be lower and therefore made out of 1 material.

Conclusion:

  • The material/production of the board itself has potential to become more circular. More research need to be done in deformable or better recyclable materials to implement these ideas in the current system. There I choose to not improve the design of the product to last longer but to design a system whereby the product has a longer lifespan. This leaves me to integrate the Acces model into the final design in order to provide this service.

Final Design

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So for this design project I want to detail the Performance model with the integration of a renting service (Acces model). Since the subrenting leasing system is not really new, I had some thoughts on adding strategies to make this model more attractive to the user. Since the user pays for performance some ideas were needed to push the user to the next level of progression in kitesurfing.

So I had some thoughts on what could be the best idea to solve these problems in order to give an extra touch to the concept to make it more interesting for the user.

After some kitesurfsessions I noticed that kitesurfers love the WHOO; this is an application combined with an GPS tracker that tracks how high they jump. This gave me the idea to combine the service with an application. The application need to be design in the next way that the user has acces to the following information:

  • have right equipment at right time
  • track progression
  • knowledge about the data

If the kiter is ready for the next level he will be able to see this on the application. The technical data will be explained with every progression he makes. His award will be to go to the store and be able to select a new board.

To finalise and complete the concept a customer journey and costprice calculation needed to be made. These methods really helped in order to both satisfy the user and business in order to become more circular and complete the final concept.