They were let down by poor quality control. Back in 2001-2 they kept selling Mylar leading edge kites, despite knowing they had major problems with blowouts and seam tears. A lot of guys from the early days vowed never to ride Wipika again and told their friends.
Ok, to be more accurate:
- we had no delamination problems with WHITE mylar on ANY of the Wipika kites sold from 1997 to 2000. I "designed" that fabric with Dimension USA in 1996 and they supplied it.
- I partnered with a japanese guy in 1999, in charge of the business side
- I settled myself in Dominican Republic in early 2000 in order to concentrate on design
- Mathieu Pendle (now Globerider) was in charge of all technical matters, in France
- Dimension Polyant GERMANY designed a "copy" of the Dimension US mylar fabric
- they decided to use it because Polyant offered it in various colors, more attractive for the customers
- I was against using their coloured mylar for various reasons
- Wipika was selling 17000 kites at that time
- when they saw that the fabric delaminated, they had so much fabric in stock at LAM (our chinese kite maker) and so much demand that LAM and the japanese decided to keep producing untill they get another fabric and can replace the defective products
- I then decided to stop my relationship with the japanese and LAM
- Polyant never recognized the manufacturing defect, arguing that mylar can't support kite constraints (although we had proven the contrary for 3 years and that they had designed this shitty fabric for the kitesurf market !!!)
- Polyant was never sued because LAM had so much business with them (sails, paragliders...) that he refused to sue
In short, that's the sad story.