Airush IQR

Dave Kay Airush IQR


Innovation That Clicks –  Airush’s IQR


Airush’s mad scientist, Dave Kay, went to town on Airush’s IQR system. The result is a quick release that is cutting edge, featuring an easier swivel than ever before, a far cleaner leash connection and a near-effortless reassembly. Here’s an excerpt from his full interview, available on the


Dave Kay Airush IQR


What has been the biggest accomplishment in redesigning the new Airush IQR?

DK: For me personally it is the ability to do such an easy to reassemble quick release without adding any extra complexity to the design. One of the biggest challenges I have as a quick release designer, is that a QR is only useful as a safety device, if the person flying the kite actually uses it.

The fundamental problem with a QR that might be problematic to put back together, is that people just won’t use it if it results in a negative mental association and the hassle of reassembly. In an actual safety scenario, they might hesitate to activate their QR which leads to added danger, so it may seem like a frivolous thing having an easy to reassemble QR – It kind of seems like you don’t need it because you don’t pull it.

If the QR is easy to put back together and if the result of pulling your QR isn’t a complete end to your session, as a rider, you will probably be more inclined to pull it earlier. As a quick release designer, that is what we aim for. 


Dave Kay Airush IQR


The part looks really sleek, how has the advances in technology helped with this process of aesthetic?

DK: This whole project has leveraged some very powerful design technology and then adding some very modern rapid prototyping methods. We have two 3D printers in our office, and at the height of the development we had both 3D printers running a print every night, so every morning we would have a new version of a part.

That allowed two things, One – the development of a very simple mechanism giving with a relatively complicated function. It allowed for a lot of iteration on that to refine and refine the product operation to work very well. And secondly, it allowed for the aesthetics of the product to be designed at the same time.

One of the big things I did, was made a decision early on in the design process to see if I could make the entire device symmetrical. So, the body and the release handle are 100% symmetrical parts.

When you reassemble it, there is no back and front – they are exactly the same, so either way you put it together, it will be the correct way. It does not matter where you put the release handle on, or which side you put the pin in, it is 100% symmetrical. This is just pure designers ego really, I wanted to see if I could actually achieve that.


Dave Kay Airush IQR


Performance wise, how will the IQR help? – does it?

DK: If we have done our jobs well, for most riders, on most days on the water, the IQR should have zero impact on their experience. It should be that it doesn’t even occur to them until they need it.

Except for a few really nice features that are noticeable – we have greatly improved the spinning handle so it has lower friction, it’s now larger and easier to grab, and it’s greatly easier to untwist your front lines. That’s for sure a really nice touch point with the system.

The second part is the range of the four different chicken loops, we previously only had 3 sizes, but have extended that to include a rope slider loop for wave riding. For freestyle riders the addition of a loaded freestyle leash position this makes a huge difference to the functionality if you unhook. Previously if you unhooked with the Brain QR, it was difficult to hook back in because the leash would fall to the exact point on the loop where you wanted to hook back in. This just keeps everything nice and tidy.


Dave Kay Airush IQR


Looks like all those hours in the lab paid off, Dave! Read the full interview here and watch the sleek design video below.

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