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North Kiteboarding NBK - Why I will no longer buy north

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HeavyLemon
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North Kiteboarding NBK - Why I will no longer buy north

Postby HeavyLemon » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:18 am

Hello Here,

I've been kiting for about 10 years, the last 3 being with North kites.

Their kite have very good performance, their bar is well made and i love their board.

But MY GOD, The quality is so bad !!!!

I will go through all the quality issue I've had so far within the last 3 years. I realized than more than 80% of the product I bought from north had quality issue.

I'm living in China so I wonder if they dump their product that has quality issue there.

Team Series:
Let's start with the 2013 team series, it started to delaminate after 1 month of use from every edge, until some piece of carbon were teared off.

They first rejected the warranty claim and it's only after pressuring they accepted to replace with a new board, that has no problem so far.

2013 5element and 2015 bar:
The first bar back line snapped on a gust, resulting the power to get back unevenly on the bar that literally went into pieces. The line were about 1 year old, bar was damaged beyond repair.

Bought 2015 bar 22m. After 6 month the line snapped. I ordered a new set of lines, guess what, they were 20cm too long. I checked with a north re-seller and he could not understand how that was possible. (It's not due to line elongation as the new one was longer, neither the bar settings).
Results: A nice wasted holiday, 2 month later I'm still waiting the replacement.

2013 Vegas:
After one year the bladder exploded, i opened it to discover the soldering of the bladder wasn't well made. Even though this happens after warranty it's still a manufacturing issue.

2015 Vegas:
This one is always leaking, haven't been able to find from where. Seems to be normal from the vendor.

2014 Boots
After 2-3 session, the linen start to wear off and was rapidly broken. Normal from the vendor.

Recurrent on both bar, the EVA protection is going off.

2015 Boots:
One friend of mine bought the boots brand new, first time he used them he tighten them and the boot literally went apart. They forgot to put the thread for sewing. He had to pay for the return shipment fee.

I have the same boot, and a design issue makes the handle on the back to literally dig inside your leg, after three days use both my legs were bleeding. It's normal from the vendor.

2015 North Combi bag:
Near the zipper, they forgot the tread again and it's tearing off.

After 1 trip, the bottom side of the bag completely went apart and is totally broken. I've been using a Ion bag for 3 years and never had such issue.

North is an expensive brand and we wish the quality could be at least bearable. I guess all those issue went far beyond statistical bad-luck.

So far what I bought from north:
2013:
Vegas 2013 8 (dead) and 12m (still flies) out of warranty
bar 5th element 2015 (broken) out of warranty
team series 2013 (ok after replacement)

2014:
Banana boots (dead) warranty refused

2015:
Vegas 2015 10m (leaking) warranty refused
Boots 2015 (dig leg) warranty refused
bar 5th element 2015 (line broken, replacement 20cm too long) waiting replacement of replacement line.
Gambler 2015 (ok)
Combi bag 2015 (broken after 1 trip)

Out of 9 products, so far 2 had no issue after 1 and 2 years respectively.
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IanNJ
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Re: North Kiteboarding NBK - Why I will no longer buy north

Postby IanNJ » Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:06 pm

man I feel your pain... It sucks when we invest into a brand and all this jazz happens. It happened to me with 2 brands before (not as bad as you though). Im watching a buddy have a ton of issues with a Kite currently and yesterday it exploded to top it off. I switched to Core as my personal kites after being on many brands and have been pleased. I have had no issues yet...

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Re: North Kiteboarding NBK - Why I will no longer buy north

Postby heinzbush » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:31 pm

I second your experiences...

Liked the product, but had too many quality issues that were dealt with in an arrogant way...

I simply don't buy it again. Luckily, it's a buyers market with so many brands and options... Only north gear I kept is a 2011 Dyno 18 (where the stitching on a strut now broke and exposes the bladder).

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Re: North Kiteboarding NBK - Why I will no longer buy north

Postby plummet » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:45 pm

The problem with these threads is this.

Over the years every single brand has been complained about how poor their quality or service is.

So who do you buy from? who provides good quality? I can bet if I started a thread asking that question there'd be a bunch of people saying north is the best..... or ozone is the best or flysurfer....

PS if your going to bag a brand. Your better off building a reputation on the forum first. Otherwise you loose cred real fast.

letsgoflyakite
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Re: North Kiteboarding NBK - Why I will no longer buy north

Postby letsgoflyakite » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:50 pm

Bought a new Whip. Had delamination on deck, without even using it. Great quality control. Not. A replacement arrived a month later. You think they would have double checked this and sent an apology. Nope, they didn't bother checking it at all. This had footpads all skewed. Thanks North ! Problems after using is one thing. But these were visual from new. To have two faulty, one after other, is shameful. No apology for first or second fault. In fact, no reply at all from North. Got refund from shop who were just as disappointed as I was. Now got a slingshot, which has been well used and had no problems.

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pmaggie
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Re: North Kiteboarding NBK - Why I will no longer buy north

Postby pmaggie » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:59 pm

I owned 5 Core kites, the only issue I had (a broken spring the QR of an ISP bar no more covered by warranty) was fixed FOR FREE by Core in 4 days. I'm not going to change brand...

letsgoflyakite
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Re: North Kiteboarding NBK - Why I will no longer buy north

Postby letsgoflyakite » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:15 pm

plummet wrote:The problem with these threads is this.

Over the years every single brand has been complained about how poor their quality or service is.

So who do you buy from? who provides good quality? I can bet if I started a thread asking that question there'd be a bunch of people saying north is the best..... or ozone is the best or flysurfer....

PS if your going to bag a brand. Your better off building a reputation on the forum first. Otherwise you loose cred real fast.

Fair point, and credibility is hard to judge sometimes. I thought North was a creditable company. . .But if a manufacturer bangs on about their high quality, and I pay a high price for that, then why should I accept low quality goods and service without recourse. A forum is a great place to air views and opinions such as this. What's best is an opinion. My experience is fact. How well a company dealt with that problem, two faulty boards from new and no apology, well, that's for you to decide. To be upbeat, the shop, BBR were helpful and I continue to use them.

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Re: North Kiteboarding NBK - Why I will no longer buy north

Postby flysurfing » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:20 pm

Had a similar discussion with a guy who ride North Kiteboarding in west of France last week :

2013 North bar broken, he replaced it by buying the 2015 one which start to break after 2 weeks of use (plastic on the tip was starting to crack).

The same day we had this talk he was ridding his Vegas 2014 12m, the kite fall and the main bladder exploded !

What's going on with this brand, they are among the most most expensive and seems like service is not there anymore.

I had a Vegas in the past and currently riding with Switch and Naish. So far had a little issue with Naish and 0 issue till now with Switch.
Last edited by flysurfing on Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HeavyLemon
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Re: North Kiteboarding NBK - Why I will no longer buy north

Postby HeavyLemon » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:31 pm

plummet wrote:The problem with these threads is this.

Over the years every single brand has been complained about how poor their quality or service is.

So who do you buy from? who provides good quality? I can bet if I started a thread asking that question there'd be a bunch of people saying north is the best..... or ozone is the best or flysurfer....

PS if your going to bag a brand. Your better off building a reputation on the forum first. Otherwise you loose cred real fast.
Well, I'm just stating facts, and seems I'm not the only one facing this type of issues.

North is priced above the average so I would expect above average quality, otherwise I rather buy 600$ kite and use it for one year.

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posty
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Re: North Kiteboarding NBK - Why I will no longer buy north

Postby posty » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:37 pm

Every brand can have issues with quality and gear that's falling apart.
It's how about they handle the warranty.
I've had gear issues with Best kiteboarding and Liquid Force but they always have been handled the correct way.
That is the big difference!
If a board falls apart after 1 month how can they resist?
What is the cost of 1 bladder if it's clearly a welding problem?

I also have a friend who had the bar end just ripped off in a gust.
That is just terrible!
And the worst thing is, they are one of the most expensive brands out there.
There kites fly really well, that is for sure.


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