C Johnson wrote:I think the industry grew a little too fast with everybody wanting to make there own kite, board, bar, harness, SUP, paddle, etc. Its bigger right now then the demand and its been that way for a few years but that will promote some healthy competition.
That's right and Switch is the living proof!
Chuck erased some of his more direct comments regarding my kite, My Beloved Switch (A Method!)(Disclosure:I get the team price).
Heres what he said: "Companies like switch look good at first glance. I flew their kites for a year and in that time I learned that while the build quality is top notch and the designs are decent for a new company, the materials are substandard and the bar lacked some serious refinement...."
This is pure bullshit, as far as the kites go. (I build my own Frankenstein bars.) My Switch kites all have held up better than any other big name brand I have ever owned. They are even slightly overbuilt if anything, I wish they were a bit lighter. Lets start with the filler plug. This is space age, and makes pumping up a breeze! 5 years ago my BIGNAME kites the damn things peeled right off! Slingy, North, Naish, who else has the high volume filler plug? I haven't checked). I have left it unscrewed for a 3 hour session twice, and just the flap thing inside held all the air for the entire session, with the cap just dangling. These kites are built to be bombproof and I know, I am in the biggest waves I can find, dropping my kite just like anyone in solid surf and they just seemed designed to withstand abuse. I have blown the canopy on my Nitro out twice but it didn't blow the tubes out or even rip into the maintube material. And when I compare them to high end kites they just look beefier, everything about them. No bladder has ever leaked. No valve has ever failed. I put these kites through full-time hell. They hold up great. I can't speak about re-sale, as I tend to get about a year or two out of any kite and then it's so tore up I can't really sell it. I put a lot of hours on my kites. And it's not just me, about half the guys at my local break now fly Methods, including our two top riders, and they love them! These are the hard core guys, and everybody just swears by them. If there were any failures in material, we would have seen it by now. Around here, it's a tight group and people love talking while waiting for wind...if someone/something screws up people are going to be talking about it. Switch kites are building a solid reputation. Our top rider compares to Ian and Patrick, young guy surfs like a pro and whips that Method around. He loves that kite! We all do! We crash them in the surf and they just pop back up or come in to shore kind of wadded up sometimes, but most importantly unscathed
. The kites are utility grade, bombproof and made for a serious kiter who puts his gear through hell.
And I try all the high end kites. I love the Rally. The Park is great and nice and light, the Drifter feels nice and neutral, I love the new Noise kites (they have the best bar in the business by miles). But I cannot wait
for the V2 Method and plan to buy a few the moment they are available. I have ordered 5 kites so far and every one arrived soon enough and in perfect condition. But the best was most recently, when some issues came up. Bang! In the mail, everything I asked for to fix my kites, gratis. Stoked! There are advantages to getting kites from the little companies, and the communication if you have any problems is just instantly available. To a millionare guy who doesn't kite enough to destroy his gear and can turn it over, this may be due cause to invest in brand new 2013 High End Ultralite $$$ Kites. For the rest of the average guys, working stiff or full time non-working kite bum like myself, this small upstart company is just about right for our needs.
Now if I can just convince them to make us an ultralight 17m lightwind pivot turning special that competes with the Fat Lady (she is an awsome lightwind wave machine).....they haven't got one yet. But when they do, I just might be able to afford it!