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The First Track Lab is a research and development facility based in Verbier Switzerland, in the middle of the mountains.

Here, they do everything related to product development from designing to prototyping, and they recently opened a production capacity, in order to be able to produce series of products just like Gin kite boards. They moved the facility a few years back to be close to the Verbier ski resort, to quickly put out to test all the prototypes on snow, as well as on the nearest lakes for kite boards testing.


The collaboration between Gin and the First Track Lab has been quite organic. We have been very well integrated with the Team since the very early phases of the project. For us, this is always an easier way to get things done in the most efficient way possible. The objective for us was to make a product that is both simple but also very efficient. For that, we had to work together since the very beginning of the design phase, not to just execute a product that would already be developed.

The idea is to have a product that is extremely efficient, simple, and that we are able to produce here in Switzerland with the highest quality grade that we can offer. Quite a premium product overall, that should still remain simple and timeless. We didn’t recommend any crazy designs with tons of colors that would have to be changed every year. We wanted to have something that is a bit more natural, that you can keep over the years. A board that will never go out of fashion! We are really trying to simplify the design to the maximum.
We also have that design idea that directly comes from Gin where they wanted to have something a bit more aggressive on the extremities instead of a rounder tip and tail. We took the opportunity to directly integrate the ABS for technical reasons, but also for design reasons because it somehow looks nice with the shape that was suggested by Gin.


I've been really psyched to see that there are a bunch of guys trying to bring here all this development and research for all these sports that we love, and they do it with good values so I really embrace what they do.


There are a few different main steps in the fabrication process. We start working with the core, that is made of a mix of wood types. We use paulownia, which will make the board very light and easy to use. We then combine it with bamboo, only where it is needed under the bindings to reinforce specific points and enhance energy conductivity between the foot and the rest of the board. Then we remove some thickness on the extremities of the core with a CNC machine, which will basically give the flex and the grip to the board. We add ABS sidewalls to keep the inside of the board waterproof. Then, on top and under the wood core, we glue layers of fibre with epoxy resin. We then press everything together in a big custom press that we made here. The rest is about finishing the board, and this is really where we have the most handwork.

Making a kite board is actually quite similar to making a snowboard. Skis, snowboards and kite boards are constantly exposed to water and to humidity, so we need to make sure that everything is perfectly waterproof and water can’t ever reach the core. It is about guaranteeing the product’s longevity. So even though they are destined to different elements, the construction principles are exactly the same. We are talking about the same production equipment, the same main phases of production, the same materials as well, and I think we also share the common passion for the ride, whether it is on snow or on water.

Several values bond Gin Kiteboarding with the First Track Lab. The first component is really about the “Swissness” of the project. We want to have a product that is premium, handmade here in Switzerland, with a high concern for quality and durability. The minimalist design and search for efficiency are also typical Swiss product attributes. Another key element that is also typical to Gin and the First Track Lab is about innovation. Trying to find the best combination of materials and production processes to get the best product, that will be innovative and give. the user the best experience. And lastly, of course, we share a strong common interest for the passion for riding sports, should it be on water, on snow, or wherever.

We might have a few secret projects (that I cannot tell you about) coming up with Gin, so we are really envisioning a long-term collaboration, both regarding product design and innovation, but also on the production of series of products for Gin.

The elegance of functionalityGEEK 4


Freeride – Freestyle


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