PJC Off the mark chum, the way it goes with some wonder new material, once its been checked to be colorfast, U.V. stable and weft and warp tolerances such that they'll not distort over time, a kite gets built, then tested, then tested again, then another and another, and so it goes on, decent team riders are required for this, ones who really can tell the difference in performance, then there's a time delay, to make certain there's no distortion, U.V. related crap. Testing new kites can be quite dangerous, it is certainly expensive and very time consuming.
If the stuff is good, generally the brand that developed it gets it exclusive for a year, before releasing it to the rest of the brands that might purchase at that factory
Having a network of enthusiastic owners of shops, prepared to risk there own money to stock and service local consumers. Selling a seasonal product in the early development stages of a sport which makes that product obsolete very quickly and therefore a risky undertaking, is precious, takes time to build and quickly is placed under pressure from other markets with better margin products. This network Naish will quite rightly defend to the last. As will the distributors who play a vital part in the global financing of a brand, especially in periods of rapid growth.
We should all accept a certain status quo, watch and hope if you will Bests progress, but it really is getting boring, watching folk make themselves look very silly, acting as evangelists of a very flawed religion.
I find some of this hard to believe. Why can't the characteristics of fabric be tested in a lab? For example, material could be put under a uv lamp, 24/7 for a month or two to test its UV stability. Their are machines that could test it durablility by tugging it this way and that a hundred times per second.
Kite testing is dangerous and expensive? I bet they just give new kite designs to their team riders and say, "Tell us what you think of that". The team riders where going to kite anyway and I am sure they are happy to try the latest greatest kites. I admit some expensive travel is occasionally involved. For example, in the Winter Ken Winnner Slingshot are probably at a windier place than the Gorge.
So, according to Graeme, kite makers are entitled to the best fabric of the previous year. That works for me. I had no problems with last years fabric or the fabric on my R1's from the year before that. The design of my R1s is outdated but the fabric is still great even though I kite almost everyday in the Summer. Give me a Dacron leading edge and a good polyester canopy and I am a happy guy.
Maybe I am a little too suspicious but I think Graeme is another Best basher with a hidden agenda. Do you own a shop Graeme?
I guess my real issue is that Graeme and other shop owners come on here and make up a bunch of BS about why we shouldn't buy best kites. You present your conjecture as fact and complain we are uninformed. Talk about selfish and unethical business practice!
Maybe shop owners shouldn't be that concerned. When Ezzy went direct, shops and other sail makers still flourished. Their prices weren't that much lower than other sails but maybe there was less margin in sails to start with.
If someone really wants to bash Best, they should put a little effort into it, not just imagination. For example, post photo's of any inferior Best chraftmanship and post next to photo's of a superior kite. Or due some destructive testing and post the results.