Interesting reply. But your point is somewhat moot. My statement was and still is that sponsored/affiliated riders do not give the best reviews publically. They are financially driven to provide positive and not objective reviews. They may be giving you input privately. But publically its all roses. The top pro's as you describe don't review on public forums so they are of absolutely no use to me when I am looking for honest opinions on a kites performance.Hansen Aerosports wrote:@ Westozzy - You ever see a BMW Ultimate Driving Machine ad? Promotional claims of excellence put some people off. I respect your saying so.
@ Plummet - Disagree.
More a matter of experience and integrity. Plenty of brand loyalty and ego projection along with plain incompetency amongst unsponsored riders. Many guys who just paid $2000 for a new kite or got a deal on one from a 'boot-of-the-car' dealer are afraid to admit their kite is inferior for whatever reason - even if the struts repeatedly blow out.
In Hawaii, we hand out test kites to a wide variety of riders, both locals and tourists from around the globe. The range of feedback is shocking. Information from guys whom we know their level of ability, sponsored or not can be helpful no matter what brand or model they use. Others are useless. In all fairness, they do their best to be objective and helpful but in the end a lack of skill and experience or challenging conditions overwhelm them. Many like to use their own maladjusted bar turning a perfectly-tuned kite into a backstalling monster or gutless creampuff. Others will fly the kite directly overhead or at the very edge in gusty offshore conditions and when it falls out of the sky, blame the kite. Some guys just cannot properly kite upwind on more than a 90˚ reach or work it in light conditions sufficient to stay upwind. Others, particularly heavyweights, are constantly searching for 'grunt' and anything that does not approach a county fair tractor pull is useless. Some guys like to ride sheeted out rendering a kite sluggish, flopping around with with unloaded bridles and flapping like a flag. Some guys will bash a wave kite who can't really ride waves. Some think drift means sitting back in the window no matter what. Some have poor timing and think boost means getting dragged into the sky. Some think pivot turns are kiteloops. But, it is always the kite's fault, right?
The absolute best testers are top-level pros no matter what brand they use. They are the most skilled and experienced riders and their reputation and integrity are at stake. I've worked with the best. Flash, Lou and many others and now Felix and Marc. They absolutely know what works and what doesn't. They will try a kite and give it a good test. You just won't see them on here talking about it one way or other. Plenty of anonymous reviews here from 'unsponsored' riders with hidden agendas. Plenty from guys who claim to have ridden every kite imaginable. Maybe they have, maybe not. Who really knows?
Since Switch is a new brand, most customers were on other models and brands - many for a matter of years. We created a Switch user forum before any kites were sold. The reviews there are from a wide variety of kiters with one thing in common: they bought and own the kite. They talk to one another and discuss the pros and cons of every detail and facet of the products. Clearly some like them and some don't. But, they don't pull any punches on there and that is where we get our feedback to improve. In the end, if you like the kite, great. If you don't, return it for a refund. Pretty simple.
Sorry for the long rant. Back to your regularly scheduled programming...
I will use this opening to pick your brain about something, if I may. Sitting back or deep is something that I look for in wave riding in onshore conditions. You see when the wind is onshore the conditions are completely different then Hawai. You go down the wave with the kite sitting at the edge and you loose the control of it because the lines become slack whereas in Hawaii you go down the wave chasing the kite keeping it powered. My question is: Is the market for offshore wave conditions so big? I go out on Great Lakes is onshore I go to Cape Hatteras, Florida, Cuba all the same onshore. You catch my drift?Hansen Aerosports wrote: Some think drift means sitting back in the window no matter what.
I don't agree. But you have to do a lot of sifting the wheat and the chaff, regardless.plummet wrote:The only time objective honesty can be found is when there is not financial advantage to be had by giving the review or perspective.
marlboroughman wrote:I will use this opening to pick your brain about something, if I may. Sitting back or deep is something that I look for in wave riding in onshore conditions. You see when the wind is onshore the conditions are completely different then Hawai. You go down the wave with the kite sitting at the edge and you loose the control of it because the lines become slack whereas in Hawaii you go down the wave chasing the kite keeping it powered. My question is: Is the market for offshore wave conditions so big? I go out on Great Lakes is onshore I go to Cape Hatteras, Florida, Cuba all the same onshore. You catch my drift?Hansen Aerosports wrote: Some think drift means sitting back in the window no matter what.
Rando1994 wrote: Durability is important to me as well since I'm rather quick about packdown and don't carry a sand brush ever. I like to roll 'em up quick, stuff 'em in the bag, and go home to my family.
And to offer some Switch Kite criticism, I do in fact have one issue: Since I pretty much roll my kite into a heap during packdown, I prefer a bag that is either a full duffel bag, like Ozone, or a fully unzippable front flap, like Cabrinha.
Don´t want to sound harsh but did you ever do a competitive sport at a high level?Westozzy wrote:I don't buy at all only pros know what a good kite is nor can explain better the flying characteristics of a kite. Those guys could make a paper bag fly well, don't pay for their gear nor have to go home to their families and provide through a normal job. Hence they can take more risk and improve quicker. Doesn't mean they 'understand' what a good kite is better than a good rider. Dangerous territory to start emphasising and believing this rhetoric, even if you personally feel less accomplished than them as I watch daily some bullshit kiters who don't get paid for it!
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