This is a very interesting threat with people giving some solid information.
I will say a few things about the industry since i have been repairing and selling kites for some years.
I have been buying - selling kites for the last 5 years and had an exclusive Liquid Force distribution for Cyprus the last 4 years...now i am getting out of the business (i am selling my last stock, kitesurf repair station and then continue my other ventures).
Most of the brands, distributor pricing has a small difference 100 euros more or less than other brands.
My guess is that the market will shrink and companies that sell cheap or can sell cheap (don't use expensive marketing tools, advertisements, printings etc.) will get more sales.
We all know the Liquid Force, Cabrinha (they used to, i have not seen one of their latest kites), North maybe are the only brands that really use high end materials and a clever construction...i have repaired many kites and these are the brands i would say have very good quality and construction...and Naish although they are very heavily build = no low end! Lighter kites have better low end so it is a balance between weight vs quality.
There are different factories (2-3) that produce kites with a minimum order for 50 pieces.
A brand less kite 9 meter/complete from a factory costs 400 euros approx. ex works.
If you try to import it will be something like 500-550 euros for a kite you have no warranty and has not been well tested...i tried to produce some but then i said why bother!
If we take that as a reference it is not bad that in the end of the season a high end brand is sold for 800-900 euros...they give you quality, design, style, experiential marketing (ex. someone likes cabrinha because he feels that the kite will make him better or cool).
This is the way companies work...they want to create a certain image so that before you do buy or use a kite you know how it feels...experiential marketing...go to 2:00 to see what i am talking about http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_as ... happy.html
To sum up i believe that retail price is over priced if someone cannot get a discount on retail price. Small companies that are more agile might be able to sell more since they sell cheap (even though in the end of the season they cannot compete the big brands). More people will buy kites end of the season used or new...the latest gear will stay up on the shelves...!
Companies will be much more efficient if they ever produce a customisable kite or windsurf sail.
You buy a main 7 size that somehow you can add 2 meters and making it a 9 meter...sounds crazy but it will save a lot!
I SUP also and do some surf! It is indeed as someone mentioned before a product that last forever.
I have a mini malibu that i have crashed and repaired it many times but still rides smoothly and it is strong after 4 years...the same goes with SUP!
All the best,