Hi there I was hoping this community could help me out. Little background on my situation. I used to kite all the time. I was part of this awesome kiteboarding group in Sunset Beach, CA. 10 years ago I got married and real life kicked in. My last kite was a 14 Naish Helix. I am looking to get back into kiteboarding and have been looking at kites for a few months.
I have always loved Naish kites. But seeing that it will cost me $2000 + just for a kite and bar new is hard to swallow. In searching I found Switch Kites. I can get two of their kites and a bar for less than one Naish kite.
So to get to the point of this whole topic is Naish really worth the money or am I going to be totally happy with a Switch? Naish is currently claiming to have the most durable kites on the market. Switch is saying they are durable. Why would I go with Naish over a Switch? Or vise a versa?
I'd pick the kite that flies in the way you want it to fly rather than by price. Naish kites fly in a certain way (brand DNA) and switch kites fly in a different way.
But if you were looking for a reason to buy Naish again, brand residuals is normally the one. So far, Switch haven't established enough brand presence to make it as easy to sell on again. Not a problem if you find a kite that flies perfectly as you want it to fly, but tricky if you have to try 2 or 3 to find the one for you. Historically, Switch kites have made improvements each new model which is a double edged sword, you get improved kites each year but people don't want the previous version as much as its not as good as the new one. With small changes to established designs like Naish make, there seems like less drawbacks to buying last years version (from an emotional level). It looks like some of the Switch designs are now getting quite mature as their surf kite isn't being updated on a cycle anymore so this may start to become less of a problem.
But again work out how you like a kite to fly (sheet and go, fly it all the time, powerful loops, grunty or sits back in the window) and get the one that suits your style.
Definitely Switch. I've owned and/or flown a bunch of Naish's and always hated the way they turn. Combine that with the mad $$$ premium they charge for the name and they get a definite pass from me. The one Switch I flew had the same stall/pivot turn when yarded hard, but at least they're cheaper. That was the Element 4 (i believe. Last gen) I've heard the E5 turns much better. Any durability claims are pure marketing. All modern kites are pretty much the same in the durability department. Just realize that the light wind kites have thinner canopies and are thus less beefy. But that's similar across all brand lines.
Well personally I like the feel of the Naish kites a lot. If you feel the price is high, just look for kites on closeout. You can easily score. I think Pivots for instance sell out so you might have to be early
To me those kites are unparalleled.
If you have any care for the entire kiting community which relies for it's continued existence on independent kite stores locally, with shops and schools enjoying a small structured profit from kite sales and a motivation to continue to promote the activity to newcomers, who replace the wastage of kiters that move on, then you would select Naish or any other supplier to the market structure than cheapskate shit brands like Switch, who are totally selfish make huge profits yet commit nothing to the sport.
You ride switch and i think you are equally selfish and self centered.
Don't do it, they're not even good kites, they are cheap crap sold expensively given there is one or two less margins in the supply chain.
Switch are great kites and you are not subsidizing a huge "pro team" of trust funder riders when you buy their kites. You will hear industry hacks disparage them just as they disparaged Best when they ran a similar business model, but it's basically just fake news. Get up close to their kites and you will see they are second to none. Also note the brand affiliations of those who trash Switch.