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Health of Kite Industry?

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Westozzy
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby Westozzy » Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:55 am

Have spoken to a number of retailers over here, and they say that over the past 2 years, SUP sales have kept them afloat. So all your observations on SUPS I believe are correct from a 'coal face' retailers perspective.

I also agree the kite technology differences between each year is getting rapidly smaller, I wouldn't say they have been the same for 5 years, the last three would be more accurate. 2009 to 2010 was when, (in my opinion) the current kite technology was really starting to maximise. We are now at the nearing the very top of that curve and need a revolutionary change in approach to have another 'game changer'.

It's like a caterpillar that tries to run faster and faster, when it needs to metamorphose into something completely different. Sorry about the lame metaphor!

Not sure about the negative attitude to the big companies etc, I'd like to think on the 'ground' the people involved are still trying to produce the next and best product. You have to in any market to stay afloat.

But yes the margins are getting tighter, lots of second hand gear and I agree it is the crew like us that have been around a while that are not the market generators. That is why we are getting soooo many plug and play style kites, not many brands are really pushing the envelope like in the older days. But that's normal.

Hey in the end, I'm just stoked I get to kite on kites that are much better than between 2000 and 2009!

ps....hey I just bought a SUP to, what does that tell ya! Man it works ya hey, much harder than I thought, I woke up feeling like Id been hit with a hammer. Maybe my first session shouldnt have been in 10-13 knots breeze, with swell rolling in! LOL.

windrupted
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby windrupted » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:18 am

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!

Westozzy
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby Westozzy » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:26 am

Glad you are passionate about this kite brand I will look more into them. But this thread is about the health of the kiting industry may we could try and stay on topic. And pigs might fly. Lol.

screwfootsc
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby screwfootsc » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:45 am

:heartface:
Last edited by screwfootsc on Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Nicklas
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby Nicklas » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:21 am

My Switch Kites have bad quality if i compare to my old RRD, Naish and Flexifoil. Depowerline sucks, bar suck's. It not so high quality on the Metod. The quality is so much better in RRD Religon for a exemple.

Had so much problem with my 7:an if i compare with my old ones.

Fly feeling is super but all the rest suck's. The bag brakes first time I try to lock it. Need to change lines on the bar after 2-3 months because they broke. Broke my depower line a day when I was need to do a QR. Lucky me my friends get my kite before it go away...

So yes you get what you paying for in that case..

FredBGG
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby FredBGG » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:22 am

Who is the switch rep for Southern California?

Nectar
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby Nectar » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:42 am

FredBGG wrote:Who is the switch rep for Southern California?


http://switchkites.com/team_switch/demos/demos.php

edit: apparently combats and methods are 25% off right now.

http://switchkites.com/products/index.html
Last edited by Nectar on Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Gee2
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby Gee2 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:44 am

Billie, if you are going to comment why don't you at least try and make some sense. just about all kites are manufactured in China and multiple brands from the same factory!! but that is why most of us can afford to go kiting and not just leave it to the Richard Bransons of this world. This doesn't just apply to kites. It appears to me the difference in kite brands is design, materials used in the manufacture and profit margins AND just because you pay $2000 doesn't guarantee that you get the best of design and materials but does guarantee a profit margin for those in the food chain. The kite industry is fragmented with a low barrier to entry so any idiot can start a kite company but whether you stay around will depend on design and build and to a large extent that will depend on how much of your profit margin you want to sink into using the best materials available . I fly Methods because they are great wave kites and I know the materials used are the best available. I've never had a problem such as those mentioned but then i look after my gear. i don't use Switch cos they're cheap i use them because I know they are good as any other brand out there and there is no retailer in the area I live to irritate.
PS i have an SUP

Nicklas
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby Nicklas » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:55 am

Gee2 wrote: I fly Methods because they are great wave kites and I know the materials used are the best available. I've never had a problem such as those mentioned but then i look after my gear. i don't use Switch cos they're cheap i use them because I know they are good as any other brand out there and there is no retailer in the area I live to irritate.
PS i have an SUP

I agree it is a great wave kite but that is not so good quality like some other brands like i was wrote here over....

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john a
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby john a » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:59 am

My opinion is that a lot of the companies are have a hard time making a lot of money due to a hard competition and a lot of brands, therefore the increase in price... But then again it has become a profit-forcused-business for the investors... The kitecompanies earn quite some, most dealers are mainly just messing around hardly making it due to a bad profit on this kind of stuff. Seems kitecompaines also are run by a lot of people just focused on at once sales not the long term. Lack of market plans and the only focus is the hype (bullshit we get served)...
Swich have a clever market strategy - if you could buy them locally they would take over a huge market shares! For a lot of people price is the most important thing...

Everyone seems to puch the price and the quality is not that ten times better... even though they say so... I see a lot of high end kites that should have bin a lot better made according to prize! My opinion is we pay a lot more than the stuff is worth!
As for the big ones they seem to have forgotten their customer service while growing... But then also you have smaller once like Dimiti - showing up here and answering people.
The fater the kite company the smaller the customer!
Last edited by john a on Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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