The industry has changed kiteboarding for the worse by no longer being an enabler of grass root decision making from the bottom up ( not the top down).
Now we have the added situation of World Sailings attempted involvement, a top down situation ( World Sailing the Authority of the GKA), making things even worse eg world sailing legally threatening grass roots kiteboarding competition organisers that want to use the term world champion or similar.
It is not the sport it once was.
Due to this top down organisation of the sport and overdevelopment and hence higher cost of the kit by industry, my fear is the sport will no longer appeal to young people and will end up with similar demographics as golf.
I would like to see kitesurfing divorce itself completely from World Sailing via the GKA etc
I would like to see GKA become independant from World Sailing and give more consideration to grass roots/youth (Using a wakeboard and twintip in the same heat, gka, is prohibitively expensive).
An action needs to take place, I don't have all the answers but am interested to start a discussion that may lead to change.
I am not in the industry any more, I am not a competitor any more but I have been a passionate kiteboarder for 18 years, and would have to say the competition/ kite scene was so much more exciting before these times and I believe that was due to the grass roots movement, not rose tinted glasses.
No one beginning in the sport cares about governing bodies. But it seems like that's an important issue for the competitive athletes. But it for sure isn't driving the majority of the industry. Rebel and Switchblade sales don't move when something whack happens with the GKA.
The action of the sport appeals to young/ active people, but the cost is why the majority of kiters are 35-55 males. Golf is lame for so many reasons, but kiting will never be golf. The cost would be great to have come down, but unless labor or some magic polymer breakthrough comes along there isn't going to be a big shift.
"overdevelopment" I mean you can go back to riding Best bow kites and having foam core twintips...
interesting, yes the cost was expensive to start with
no i dont mean that by overdevelopment.. in fact wood core twintips are cheaper than foam for example. ( $89US + mould for a 2 dimensional deck) as the price per cubic m is one third.
i am really refering to the way that companies try to market added value with features that are unecessary, we clearly know they are when you look back at riding many years ago and how good it was ( the competitive level). The target audience was way younger in their marketing.The marketing appeals to older ahe group that enjoy researching and talking about kit as much as riding, something not so prevalent amongst younger riders.
That aspect leads be to conclude kitesurfing is becoming like golf.
The GKA tour is lame as f*** but you were complaining about kite comps ever since I can remember. Too stale, no progression, bla bla bla. Never once heard a word of support for true rider driven competitions like SSS.
The marketing hasn’t changed at all, it’s always been tech shit over substance. The gear has always been cost prohibitive,
Now with one more level of bullshit organization (WS) for you to complain about. Your in your element!
Look at the list of competitors at the GKA tour. They are all young kids. Jessie and Hannah are the elders of the group. Didn’t a 13 year old girl just win.
The real crime driving away talent is the lame ass concept conceived to force juggling into the format. You wanna complain, bitch about the driving force behind that!
sss is grass roots, no governing body sanctioned it or has authority over it, actual kiteboarders created it , run it and make the decisions. That is what kiteboarding needs.
"The marketing hasn’t changed at all, it’s always been tech shit over substance." That simply isnt true, i gots mags back to 2000 the focus is far more on the riding than today.. Ads featured way more sick freestyle/wave riding pics, not technical drawings and graphs. I do agree it has always been cost prohibitive, but its become even worse. Seeing Carlos Mario picking up a second $1000 twin tip board in order to perform board offs mid heat makes the GKA the biggest joke organisation in all of history in terms of making kiteboarding accessible to youth ( I do not blame the riders for this)
"Now with one more level of bullshit organization (WS) for you to complain about. Your in your element!" it's the easiest thing in the world to say nothing. Most people that may even give a shit, dont know World Sailing is the Authority of the GKA or the results of this lame situation. More know now.
"Look at the list of competitors at the GKA tour. They are all young kids. Jessie and Hannah are the elders of the group. Didn’t a 13 year old girl just win." That is awesome but just 4 females competed in all 3 events, 12 for the guys. The numbers of general and competition youth riders used to be way higher.
"The real crime driving away talent is the lame ass concept conceived to force juggling into the format. You wanna complain, bitch about the driving force behind that!" Well that would be non grassroots, exactly what I am against.
cost is not the problem for young kiters,has never been the main problem for them.
they make night queue when new I phone released!
used stuff is half the price of a new mobile......
at 20 30 years they have to work mainly ,the do not have so much time to follow winds.....other than kids ...rates....bills....girls....
at 35 50 with more scheduled time there is different approach to a week end sitting on the beach looking at windguru.
main problem is getting more freedom ...hard nowadays for youth