On 2002-10-07 09:24, Mr Jo Macdonald wrote:
So buying this years fuel or rhino is sortof like buying last years X2 or supertype.
Slingshot are pretty honest with their windranges and they're saying the new kites have the same range as the old ones which were 1 m2 smaller.
Cynical old Jo
For starters, bad bad bad Jo Mac for even comparing an X2 to a new Fuel! The new Fuel may be comparable with it's flight characteristics, but it's a far cry from being the same as buying an X2. If I were to compare it to the Naish X2, I'd say the Fuel flies similar to the X2 but is built way stronger, has much more re-inforcements, and maybe even better quality ingredients. More differences would be like;
Slingshot is a company that cares about their riders, their customers, their dealers and everyone involved. Can't say the same for some of the others.
Another thing that comes to mind is that the Slingshots make use of the very essential ingredient Mark Cloth to reinforce their ripstop. Can't say the same about others.
Or, how about the fact that Slingshot offers a 1 year warranty on their products, kites included. How long is Naish's warranty on their kites down to these days? 3 months? What about others? What's the normal warrannty length these days for kites?
Honesty; I've never dealt with a company that has as good business sense, good business ethics, and is as honest and sincere in all of their undertakings as Slingshot has been for me.
Crew; To meet the entire Slingshot crew is an honor and very pleasurable experience in itself. From President, to kite designers, to PR guys, to board shapers, to sales and tech reps, even investors, these are a wonderful bunch of guys to know, to hang with, to work with and to be around. Fairly small but very tight circle. I honestly wish we could say the same about all the others. It would sure make the kiting industry much more pleasurable than it has been known to be in the past. For the record, No, I'm not saying all kite guys are dicks, most kite companies have some very nice people working for them, just not normally the entire crew. I don't think I've ever met a friendlier, nicer guy to be around than Kent Marinkovic over at Cabrinha. I find that even just Kent's presence is enjoyable.
How about the fact that the new Fuel can be configured to be a front line or back line flier? Is the X2 like this as well?
How about all of those wonderful seams that Naish claims makes the kites stronger? Doesn't the X2 have something like 114 panels in it giving it an extra 40 or so seams? Is the seams NOT the weakpoint on the X2's? I can't say too much from first hand experience with them, but I see and hear that they fail pretty often, and more so when they find themselves in the surf. Is that true?
Kitesurf is eevolving, just like paragliding did as Marina pointed out. To think that kites aren't still evolving and charging ahead into the future with better effeciency and performance in only misleading yourself. I wish I could say that the hype side of it doesn't exist, but I can't because it does, but you need to learn to look at the hype, past the hype, through the hype and make your own judgement, because alot of what appears to be just hype is actually true and some of it is just that, hype. While I will agree that the playing field has leveled off quite a bit lately, I still feel that their is alot to be discovered and yet to be developed in the world of LEI kites. Yes, you can make any of the older kites work great for you, and you even still see one from time to time in competitions, but if you want the latest technology and performance then you want the newest kites.
Of course all of the above is just one man's opinion and my 2 cents worth on the subject.