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 Post subject: Re: Health of Kite Industry?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:40 pm 
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wetdog wrote:
...
What I'd like to know is how many kites in total, worldwide the big brands sell and what brand is actually the biggest now. In Europe it seems to be North, followed by Naish and Cabrinha, then probably Liquid Force, F.one and Slingshot.... ?

Yes!

I've never seen that information posted here, but is pretty much the data that would answer a lot of questions. If one brand sells 10,000 kites vs. a smaller brand's 1000 kites, it'll add some context to many of the other topics raised on this forum (i.e. if you sell 10K you will hear more complaints and more accolades as more people own them).

I've heard folks in the industry list off their best guess at numbers of kites per company, but nothing recently.


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 Post subject: Re: Health of Kite Industry?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:14 am 
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Yeah, top secret hush hush :cool2: who knows

B was owning it up till about 2008 as I understand it.
C and B jostling for first place at around 35,000 units I heard (but unconfirmed)
N was huge in Europe at that time but dead down my end of the world for a long time.
They could be the largest now but I imagine C is.


Given the Global recession you would have to expect sales have declined by a massive amount but maybe not. It's a different place since 2008 and the sport is still growing for sure.
Just no need for an upgrade every season now. A lot of riders keep gear for up to 4 years.
Depends on how much riding you are getting.

F and N were doing around 5,000 units I heard, up until the Bandit then F went 10-15k according to their own publicity. They reckon local brands can hit 5k units within their own region but it is hard to push past this. I guess they were talking in Europe, Eg Core, RYL, Bull, Flexi.
Obviously F did after many many years solid work.

BWS ? Griffin ? Force?

This is a cool topic apart from the S pimps hijacking it, but then they have to earn their Team rider 25% discount, it's in their contract ;)

Dimitri would have a good overview and could fill us in about his "E" range.


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 Post subject: Re: Health of Kite Industry?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:59 am 
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UKSurf wrote:
wetdog wrote:
Personally, I buy second hand gear 1-3 years old as I can't afford to buy new, but there seems to be enough people that can affor to buy new to keep the industry going.


Problem with buying second hand kites is the material doesnt last that long - 3 seasons and the material is starting to look pretty shot and likely to tear in my experience. You are better off looking for deals from people who works in the industry who want to sell an unused/hardly used kite they have in their van to pay a bill or something :wink:



I got nearly 4 years on my 2008 Edge & the trailing-edge is stretched so it's kinda
gone unless i do big work. I paid $650 for it at end of season 2008.That's about 1/2 price for a kite that
gave me almost 4 Really good years of service.I also have an 11M Edge same year that i got for $600, ( it still looks mostly
bran-new cause it's the Least used of my kites).
I paid $650 for my 2010 13M Edge and it was also looking nearly new for a kite that already had a season on
it ; i got it last year for a back-up on the 08 edge.

SO -- as far as i'm concerned, the kite industry is taking care of it's customers as per --"Status Quo" --
and i'm bias, so i would rather it doesn't change.


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 Post subject: Re: Health of Kite Industry?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:19 am 
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UKSurf wrote:
wetdog wrote:
Personally, I buy second hand gear 1-3 years old as I can't afford to buy new, but there seems to be enough people that can affor to buy new to keep the industry going.


Problem with buying second hand kites is the material doesnt last that long - 3 seasons and the material is starting to look pretty shot and likely to tear in my experience. You are better off looking for deals from people who works in the industry who want to sell an unused/hardly used kite they have in their van to pay a bill or something :wink:


This depends really. You can buy a two years old kite that has hardly been used (because the owner didn't have time etc...) or you can buy a 6 months old kite that is ready to go to kite heaven. Deals from people in the industry are also a possibility but I would not buy a kite that has been used in school or by a team rider.


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 Post subject: Re: Health of Kite Industry?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:47 pm 
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Just the start I imagine: http://www.powerkiteforum.com/viewthread.php?tid=23785


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 Post subject: Re: Health of Kite Industry?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:34 pm 
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One of the main countries is The Netherlands as they have water inland and sea and high wind probability: they have most riders in the top ten and there are only 16.5mio Dutch - it is just popular.

Most sold brands as I see them on the Dutch beaches:
1) North (also due to the German kiter influx from Germany as it is about 2 hours to 3 hours drive)
2) Slingshot (thanks to Yourizoon)
3) Naish (mainly Park)
4) Cabrinha / Best

Switch: once 1 guy buys a Switch a few weeks later you will see several others having switched too on the same beach. So there has to be a guinea pig to go first and then the price quality convinces the others.


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 Post subject: Re: Health of Kite Industry?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:00 pm 
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I'm sure Switch are a great brand etc. but all this mass pimping is getting to be a bit irritating.

I hope they shake the industry up like Best did in the past as I agree that priceing on pretty much every brand is too high. Just getting fed up of all the pimping.

Plus I like to go into kite shops to have a look round and chat about kite related stuff. I would miss this side to my hobby if everyone started buying direct from the kite companies.

Anyway my intention was not to get at anyone or bring anyone down. I would just like to bring it back on topic.


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 Post subject: Re: Health of Kite Industry?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:39 pm 
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rtz wrote:

well i guess that is what happens to the brand who does not try to innovate. even relatively low prices don't help.
besides, they don't have big strong group of patriotically minded customers, i mean they are not exactly american, french, german or british brand.

in my opinion 95% of kite industry don't make nothing new in essence. it is not exactly an innovation when brand "N" makes a phone call to Teijin Fiber Ltd and asks if they have slightly different, may be a tiny bit liter or with somehow different texture type of polyester sail cloth.
industry is close to hitting the wall. they squeezed pretty much everything from the different profiles and shapes of the kites. number of the struts, graphics, holes in the wingtips, different constructions of quick releases or swivels are all just marketing crap meant for attracting idiots' attention.
so we are talking not so much about health, but more like about sickness. it just doesn't look like they trying hard, more like the industry is taking it for granted.

I owned switch kites before, i had to lose them. despite attractive price policy they are designed for too narrow conditions and for specific target customers, and i didn't fit in that group.
i don't mind buying new kites for full price, in fact three out of my current four kites are bought new, two of them with the next year number.
but it really makes me sick to pay extra 1000 to 1500 bucks for colorful tropical advertizing videos, payed articles in kite magazines and especially non-stop forums pimping just to be able to purchase may be 500$ worth of basically outdated design sporting good made of most abundant, cheap and sadly perishable polyester fiber.


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 Post subject: Re: Health of Kite Industry?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:37 am 
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Agreed enough of the switch stuff it is getting annoying. Like a puppy with a new bone, let time tell and see if the brand stays the course. Respect where respect is due to brands that have been at it for more than a decade.

But I agree, the innovations are getting minimal but that is just pure physics. Think we need to remember how far they have some in a short say 13 year period or so. Maybe most of you might not know what it was like to kite before the bow revolution!

Personally I think the company that seems to be innovating a little more than others at the moment is Airush. (Not that I'm affiliated in any shape or form). Hopefully this doesn't contradict what I said above, but maybe it does. Oh well that's life, full of contradictions.


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 Post subject: Re: Health of Kite Industry?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:44 am 
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CaptainArgh wrote:
I've heard folks in the industry list off their best guess at numbers of kites per company, but nothing recently.


This is what Raphael Salles said in the Stance Mag interview:

"In the kiting world there is the 5000 kites line and it's been the same for the last 10 years. It's the key for being international. If you are under that you stay a small national brand."

and

"The leaders want to put 20,000 kites out, we say 10,000, but maybe they are making 5,000 too many. We don't really know."


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