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 Post subject: Opinion - FlySurfer decision
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:05 am
Posts: 237
Location: Toronto, CANADA
So I finally drank the Kool Aid and bought into the elite Flysurfer clique. Two Speed 3's, a 21m and a 12m, both in NEON GREEN as a promo for my company.

In Late December this year, I went down to Cabarete in the DR and opened up my big green 21m!

A cool German/Polish guy from Ireland comes up to me on the beach and we start chatting. He also has a 2011 12m Speed 3. He immediately wants to check out my lines. Starts pointing out how poorly they are finished, loose ends, weird knots and interference. Took pics and was incredulous that the same problems were still there in a kite that was brand new! Did see that they had changed the aluminium block for the FLS to a nicer, rounded unit.

Says his front line on his Speed 3 failed when he first got the kite and was just flying it on the beach and body dragging. No damage to the kite. Flysurfer sent him a new line. That was back in the spring.

He said he pretty much had to go over and redo his lines with better stiching, some sleeves etc.

Anyways, got my kite all sorted out and he helped me launch it. Wow. So cool!

Out I go in 10 knots and on my Nobile 143x48 in the Cabarete Kite Beach chop. Was the only guy out riding. Could almost hold my ground but ended up at the downwind end of Kitebeach within a half hour. Sweet! Could have gone upwind if not for the confused chop.

Walked upwind for another run. All was good.

Two days later I unwrap the 12m Speed 3 Deluxe in Neon Green. I change the bar from the 21m over to the 12m and notice a few changes like the use of Flysurfer's ELC connectors. (I used the same bar from the 21m as I wanted to "save" one bar to re-sell as NEW, when the Unity Bar upgrade comes out)

So, out I go for a nice session on the 12m in 15-20 knots. Almost 2 hours later of getting the feel for the kite and timing I head in to KiteExcite as I learned they know FlySurfers and how to land them.

Just as I got close I thought I'd boost a nice smooth little jump about 15' high. Nice!

On the way down I felt a jolt and I dropped to the water. The kite went into a deathloop and I was getting dragged along right near the shore. Knowing there were lots of people on the beach, I pulled the QR under load (worked great!) and I was fine.

But my kite was trashed.

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The (non-FLS) front line had failed in tension about 15'/5m up from the bar. Right beside the knot used to stop the FLS aluminium block. The only thing was that there was a red dot marked at that point of failure.

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The front line failure transferred the load to the other lines and caused a cascading failure of parts and bridle attach points.

Ripped off about 10 of the little bridle attach loops. Three others actually pulled the stitching apart on the seams of the kite.

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And one attach point ripped the kite at a seam. Also ripped the inner cell baffle apart.



One of the pulleys failed, and the so-called "Z-Line" failed. Another one of the yellow lines had a partial failure too.

The German owner of Kite Excite, Stefan, came out to help me. The first thing he said was "Zo, your front line failed!"

I said I wasn't sure what happened and was trying to get things sorted out.

He said he saw the whole thing and that I did nothing wrong, that his 21m Speed3 Deluxe also had a front line fail also.

He started looking at my lines and pointed it out. I then saw the tear in my kite. He said he could get it sewn up for me. ( I gotta say, this Stefan of KiteExcite was a great help. His staff were the most knowledgable and helpful I had met on Kite Beach during my two weeks there.)

I took the kite back to my hotel (Hotel Aqualina... GREAT PLACE also!) to dry it out.

Next morning I untangled it all and brought the canopy down to Stefan. He had it repaired with a black patch within a few hours and charged me $100.

I spent the rest of the day figuring out the the damage and the following day getting new parts and lines to get it back into the air. I ended up using the other (new) bar.

I flew the kite another session in under 20 knots and some of the other attach points started to pull apart at the seams and show signs of stress.


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Last edited by flyrob on Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Opinion - FlySurfer decision
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:05 am
Posts: 237
Location: Toronto, CANADA
In any case, here is the problem.

I want a new kite and better lines. Flysurfer says they will give me one new front line, a pulley and a $100 credit!

Am I being unreasonable to expect the company to make me whole?

I think that their corporate decision to initially use such poor quality and poorly finished lines and their subsequent decision to keep using them should not result in me having to eat the loss of having a brand new damaged/repaired kite.

I sell my equipment every model year and this $3,000 kite is worth way less now with damage.

And I see that it may have latent damage as a result of the overstress of line failure.

I reported this immediately to my dealer PBKiteboarding in Toronto. He was great and was right on it immediately. Gave me advice on how to get back up and riding asap. Said to get it repaired and if Flysurfer didn't cover it, he would. Nice!

However, after riding it again and seeing the patch and the stressed out seams and cheapo lines I decided that I wanted a new kite.

Flysurfer says that their 6 month free repair service is all they are obliged to cover.

Maybe I'm spoiled by the likes of Ocean Rodeo?

My first OR kite was a 14m Rise with bad bladders. John Z from OR could NOT have been better! Right away he sent out via overnight Fedex a new set of bladders with contrite apologies, link to the repair video etc. When I installed them and another one started to leak and resulted in my ending up drifting to shore, he said to send the kite back (prepaid shipping) for full credit towards another kite.

NOW THAT is how you build loyalty and take responsibility for your product. I know customers can forgive failures, defects and problems. But they do not forgive deliberate decisions to avoid responsibility and making good on those problems. In my business I actually look forward to fixing these problems because it gives me an opportunity to make a dissatisfied customer into a Shilling enthusiast of the company!

So here I am, with a brand new $3,000 ripped/repaired/stressed kite.

Because Flysurfer did not have the quality control in their line sets.

Frankly, I am going to take them to Small Claims Court in Ontario for the value of the kite anyways and am certain I will prevail.

But I come here to ask if I wrong or being unreasonable in my wanting them to give me a new kite instead of $100?


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 Post subject: Re: Opinion - FlySurfer decision
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 2:34 pm
Posts: 1485
For starters they have a free repair service which should be used I would have thought.

I have been flying FS kites for years and have never had what has happened to you so I think you have been unlucky, this doesn't detract away from the fact it has happened.

I think you need to take many photos of the kite laid out and and the bar and lines.

They are not going to just send you 2 new kites, just like that, they are going to want proof of a quality issue.

I have ridden the 12m up to 30+ knots, the 15 up to 25 and the 21 up to 20 and never had the issues you have had here, but I am sure it can happen once in a while. this is a shame.

I don't think coming on a forum is the best way to get your way but I might be wrong, either way sorry you have had such bad luck.

Tony


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 Post subject: Re: Opinion - FlySurfer decision
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:37 pm
Posts: 1771
Tone wrote:
For starters they have a free repair service which should be used I would have thought.

I have been flying FS kites for years and have never had what has happened to you so I think you have been unlucky, this doesn't detract away from the fact it has happened.

...

I don't think coming on a forum is the best way to get your way but I might be wrong, either way sorry you have had such bad luck.

Tony


OUCH -- and your saying this "After" --flyrob-- posted this :

flyrob wrote:
In any case, here is the problem.

I want a new kite and better lines. Flysurfer says they will give me one new front line, a pulley and a $100 credit!
...


And exactly HOW was he suppose to use that FREE repair service down in Cabarete ?

So TONY : "are you a flysurfer dealer" ?
Because i think a Forum is Exactly the place to warn other prospective costumers of
this company and their willingness to back their equipment !!

====================================================================
Anyway --flyrob--
Please let us know if Flysurfer eventually makes Good on this equipment failure
as it will make a "Huge" influence on my decision to purchase one of their products!!

$3K is a LOT of money, and they won't be getting any of mine if you have to
pry your loss from them in court.

Bille


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 Post subject: Re: Opinion - FlySurfer decision
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:05 am
Posts: 237
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Tone wrote:
For starters they have a free repair service which should be used I would have thought.



Yes they do. But it costs $380 to ship it to Germany from Cabarete and $300 back to Canada. I pay $700 to make good a factory defect?

And I would have had no kite for the next ten days of my vacation.

Besides that is not really my question


Why should *I* have to pay for a defect in the brand new product they supplied?



Tone wrote:
I have been flying FS kites for years and have never had what has happened to you so I think you have been unlucky, this doesn't detract away from the fact it has happened.


I know that many many people LOVE their Flysurfers and have had problem free kiting on them. Just like other kites that don't cost $3,000 and brand themselves as the highest quality, most finely constructed and engineered premium kite in the world.

I can accept it is a statistical anomaly that I ran into two other guys with the same defect. But the rest of the lines show poor quality and inattention to detail.

My Ocean Rodeo lines are way better. Even the cheapo brand of Best Kites had better lines in the KiteExcite beachside shop. The lightwind competitor to Flysurfer - Ozone has beautiful lines.

But when the inevitable happens and the very few defects arise, it is how the company responds to those situations that defines the character of the company and the leadership.


Tone wrote:
I think you need to take many photos of the kite laid out and and the bar and lines.

They are not going to just send you 2 new kites, just like that, they are going to want proof of a quality issue.



Oh, I did. Sent probably 20 pics. All the finest details and big pictures.

I don't want TWO new kites, The 21m is perfect. Never even got wet.

Tone wrote:
I have ridden the 12m up to 30+ knots, the 15 up to 25 and the 21 up to 20 and never had the issues you have had here, but I am sure it can happen once in a while. this is a shame.

I don't think coming on a forum is the best way to get your way but I might be wrong, either way sorry you have had such bad luck.
[/quote][/quote]


I agree Tone! Awesome ! Ihave no doubt that these kites have a huge wind range. After I stopped riding the 12m I rode the 21m in up to 20 knots and still had lots of de-power.

Quite simply, it is my opinion as a longtime pilot and aircraft maintenance engineer that the cascading failure was the result of a simple defect in a marginal quality and sized line.

As for coming online. Why do you think it is inappropriate?

I already went through the normal channel of my dealer who was unable to help despite his best efforts. Flysurfer is aware of the front line issue as they have already had to replace two (that I know of) in the past. Flysurfer is well aware of my specific issue and have made their decision to give me a $100 credit, a front line (never mind the other lines that are poorly stiched/frayed etc) and hope I go away.

I will get what I want by taking them to Small Claims Court in Ontario. Unlikely they will defend the indefensible and I will get a judgement I can enforce against their Canadian distributor's inventory.

I came here to see what others thought and perhaps let other prospective buyers know what they can expect from the Flysurfer company if they get a defective product.

Is that not a good purpose of a discussion forum?


Last edited by flyrob on Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Opinion - FlySurfer decision
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:58 pm
Posts: 681
Since you ask

You acknowledge that the lines were NOK ot at leat not in their prime conditions. I would say it was not reasonable to fly the kite in that conditions expecting Flysurf to get full responsibility in case of something stupid happen (as it did).

Sorry….


But it´s crazy seeing Flysurf being unable to satisfy a customer that just bought them 3 kites, quite expensive ones by the way, and contain the whole issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Opinion - FlySurfer decision
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:43 pm
Posts: 273
Location: Denmark
Getting back to the original question: It is unreasonable to ask for totally new gear and lines?

In light of the kite being repaired in Cabarete, What I would have done was the following:
Agree with Flysurfer that they receive and inspect both kites and the bar. Agree with them that they inspect the kites and repair any problems that might have been overlooked. That Flysurfer put in the replacement lines and mixer test them. They should inspect the metal block to see if there was an imperfection there causing line abrasion and breakage and replace or repair as needed. True, you will not have that gear until it is returned but at least everything will be tip tuned when it gets back.

Flysurfer is a company that cares about its customers. It sounds like they gave you a fair shake so far. My opinion is that your kites will be as good as new when they get done with them so there is no point in getting new ones. The line issue: They are high quality lines and pre stretched. From the picture, it looks to me that there might be a problem with the metal block that Kitesurfer should look at.

I bought a Speed 3 21 last year after demoing the same model. This demo model got miss handled in a botched landing so I sent for repair of the two rips to Flysurfer. They are VERY good. I could not even see the repairs when it got back.

My opinions are my own.

Kirk


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 Post subject: Re: Opinion - FlySurfer decision
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:05 am
Posts: 237
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Thanks for the comments guys.

As for the lines not being in prime condition. There was no obvious defect where the line failed.

The defects were more along the lines of poorly stitched ends, lack of sleeving, and my surprise that they used such a thin abradable line that has little safety margin in case of minor chafing or damage.

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 Post subject: Re: Opinion - FlySurfer decision
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:54 pm 
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Location: Toronto, CANADA
Tiago1973 wrote:
Since you ask



But it´s crazy seeing Flysurf being unable to satisfy a customer that just bought them 3 kites, quite expensive ones by the way, and contain the whole issue.



It really would be the right thing to do to take responsibility for their product. This is how small time cheapskate companies operate. Not companies that position themselves as the Mercedes/BMW of kites. I suspect that someone lower on the Totem Pole made this decision.


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 Post subject: Re: Opinion - FlySurfer decision
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:05 am
Posts: 237
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Kirok wrote:
Getting back to the original question: It is unreasonable to ask for totally new gear and lines?

In light of the kite being repaired in Cabarete, What I would have done was the following:
Agree with Flysurfer that they receive and inspect both kites and the bar. Agree with them that they inspect the kites and repair any problems that might have been overlooked. That Flysurfer put in the replacement lines and mixer test them. They should inspect the metal block to see if there was an imperfection there causing line abrasion and breakage and replace or repair as needed. True, you will not have that gear until it is returned but at least everything will be tip tuned when it gets back.



Aside from me ending up with a damaged/repaired kite that I intend to resell when the new models come out, I was told by Flysurfer to get it repaired in Cabarete. It would be stupid to spend $750 to ship it back and forth to Germany.



Kirok wrote:
Flysurfer is a company that cares about its customers. It sounds like they gave you a fair shake so far. My opinion is that your kites will be as good as new when they get done with them so there is no point in getting new ones.


So you think it is a "fair shake" for me to go through all that, spend another $750 for shipping, be without a kite for my vacation, out of a kite for a month or two and end up with a kite with a damage history?

What part of the "fair" doctrine did I contribute to that results in me being in this position after a single ride?

Kirok wrote:
The line issue: They are high quality lines and pre stretched.



Evidently, they are not high enough quality. Nor are they assembled nor inspected satisfactorily from the pics I posted. I see better lines on Best and Ozone kites and my Ocean Rodeo and Cabrinha to name four I have direct knowledge of.


Quote:
From the picture, it looks to me that there might be a problem with the metal block that Kitesurfer should look at.


Again, not my problem.


Have you heard the proverb http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_Want_of_a_Nail_(proverb)

For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.


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