There seems to be a serious problem with one kiteboard manufacturer, and possibly others from what I hear. I had a brand new board, rode it 3 months shy of a year and it broke. So I call up the manufacturer and actually speak directly to the owner. He tells me there is no coverage under his warranty for breakage due to impact. First of all let me say, I've never hit a slider, kicker, or any solid object once with this board and I don't consider myself to be a super hard rider. In fact, the jump that broke the board wasn't even that hard of a landing. So I'm asking myself how can someone possibly justify selling a $600+ kiteboard (twice the price of the top-of-the-line wakeboard made out of the same material) that they don't even warranty? Oh, actually they warranty delamination.... wow, that's a great reason to send a board back in.... At least the board is still functional if it delaminates..... Please someone tell me if this has happened to them. I will name this manufacturer if it turns out he is the only one doing this...
actually they don't make wake boards out of the same material as kiteboards. And where i live, top of the line wakeboards cost about $1030 w/o bindings, and top of the line kiteboards cost about $1100 with bindings.
But I've never had a board break on me: 07 Naish Haze and Thorn
IMO you would have to think that manufacturers would draw the line somewhere?
A manufacturers defect...like delamination...is obvioulsy the responsibility of the manufacturer. But can we really expect them to warranty every board that is broken due to the rigors of the sport? If I'm launching huge airs on my snowboard and come down on the hard pack and it snaps I'm kind of inclined to say "C'est La Vie". I do know most snowboard manufacturers will find a way to help you out in that situation but by no means would I be upset or suprised if they didn't. Take cars for example...most new cars have "manufacturer warranties" that cover a range of potential problems. Now if you wrap that car around a telephone pole...even if you weren't travelling very fast at the time...do you call up the car company or even the dealership for a replacement? No.
And even if the landing that snapped your board wasn't that hard...how many other hard landings have you had in the previous 9 months of owner ship that may have comprimised the integrity of the board?
I am not a board manufacturer so I'll feel no pain if you decide to release the name of the company but I think as consumers we have to re-evaluate our reactions to certain situations when it comes to our gear.
I say its bullshit that they won't warranty it or at the very least give you a new board at cost. Not dealer cost, THEIR cost. $600 for a board? Maybe 07's, the good boards are now in the 7-8 hundred dollar range. I don't care what people say about the cost of resin and foam cores, yada yada yada. Kite companies are making a mint on boards. My major brand board that was constructed locally 6 years ago is now over twice as expensive now and are being manufactured in Thailand and in numbers that have to be at least 10-20 times what they were in 2001.
I've broken boards before but never within one year of purchase. One would have to begin to think that if a company that has to adopt a policy of no breakage warranty within a year on boards, there has to be quite a bit of warranty claims on their boards.
I broke a 3 year old never summer snowboard in half and when I sent it back with a nice letter, they called me on the phone, asked me some questions and sent me a brand new board.
I broke a slingshot board within 4 months. They wouldn't cover it and said I should view a kiteboard in the same light as a surfboard and that it was never designed to take the abuse of doing jumps - Huh That was a couple of seasons ago but it still left a bad taste in my mouth and I switched brands ( no problems since).
BTW here in the USA a wakeboard does cost roughly half as much and you have to ride the shit out of them to snap them. I finally snapped my 2002 Hyperlite Byerly on a cable kicker recently but it took an awful lot of abuse to get there. I don't get how kiteboard manufacturers get off charging those prices for less durable boards with less features and less materials.
IMHO if a board breaks while you are doing what it's designed for then that's a defect. I'm pretty sure Burton now offers a lifetime guarantee on their boards and most wakeboard manufacturers may as well seeing as it's extremely rare to snap a board without hitting rails or kickers.
I think the kite brands should step up a bit.
I had a board that was less than 1 yr old that delaminated along the seam and the manufacturer would not warranty it. Their first name starts with an L and their second name starts with an F. I have not purchased any of their products since.
Last edited by MMac22 on Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I started riding in 2006 with a Slingshot board and Cabrinha kite. I put larger fins on Slingshot's low wind board which caused it to crack in two places after riding it for a few months. Slingshot replaced the board for free and even gave me a 2007 model to replace the 2006. I also had a Cabrinha kite rip, which was completely my fault, and they replaced the kite for free and even let me get a different size for the replacement. I did both replacements through the local kite shop where I bought the gear. Perhaps that might help if you have someone who the manufacturer knows and trust trying to help you get a replacement.
How can you tell it's not a defect. It could have been in the manufacturing of the board or the core, or the resin could be off or a void could be left between the laminates. Great companies offer warranty on anything other than significant abuse. If you break a pair of Oakley frames they replace them, no questions asked. I had a pair of Cole Hahn shoes and the sole started delaminating after about 2 years. They replaced them and a year later the same thing happened. They replaced them again with the new model. In the auto industry (which I work) if things don't perform to expectations you end up with a recall or a class action law suit.
I think if you are paying that kind of money for a board and not hitting sliders or rocks they should warranty it for at least a year regardless of what causes the failure. We are kiting on water and if a board can't take the impact then it has been under designed and good companies would stand behind that. Just my opinion.
Glad to get some feedback on this. It sounds like this issue is just limited to a couple of companies. So here it comes: Litewave Dave, possibly Airush and Liquid Force seem to not have or honor any kind of warranty on their boards. My board was a small Litewave Dave board. Dave told me there is no coverage due to impact....wow... (impact from kiteboarding, who would have thought there would be any kind of impact in the sport of kiteboarding? Even Jeff Howard lands with impact) Again, how can manufacturers justify charging close to $600 or more in AS IS condition. The only way this BS will change is if people complain, boycott, and only support those companies which have real warranties and stand by their warranties. Hopefully this will cause Litewave Dave and others to change their business model.
To the wakeboard guy: the best wakeboards in the US cost around $300 and the only possible difference in material is a balsa core and some boards have carbon. I've built kiteboards and I guarantee the material cost is less than 1/6 of what they're charging. Plus wakeboard bindings are a lot more costly than kiteboard footstraps, yet kiteboard manufacturers still get away with charging people more than double the price of the best wakeboards and offer NO WARRANTY. This must change.
To the car wreck analogy guy: wrapping your car around a pole has nothing to do with manufacturer defects. That has to do with a driver brain defect or the negligence of another driver or object. However, if the car you bought came with a busted brakeline, it is then the manufacturer's fault that you wrapped your car around a pole, and the manufacturer covers at the very minimum the damage to your brakeline and probably a lot more.