Well, it's that time of year again. Time to divert the attention momentarily from riding waves and busting moves (or for ram lovers, growing their pony tails and World of Warcraft) and make some predictions about ram air kites in 2018.
Previous predictions about ram air failures have proved to be amazingly prescient. A quick glimpse at place holders on http://www.worldkiteboardingleague.com
will reveal a dearth of ram air "talent" in the upper ranks (freestyle, surf style, big air, etc). History will repeat in 2018: ram airs will crash and burn in ALL significant competitions. No ram airs will make it into the elite levels, i.e. the top 20. Unfortunately, it's a certainty that ram lovers will CLAIM crackpot 3rd tier competition results - again - particularly in course racing. But don't be fooled. Ram airs in course racing are plagued by problems like bridle stretching, twisting, bow-tying, disastrous swim-ins, instability in gusty conditions, limited lifespan, hopeless relaunch, etc.
Ram air sales will continue to fall as a proportion of kites sold. The reason? They are less safe, harder to learn on, and aerodynamically inferior.
Ignore the lies. Ignore the propaganda. Ram airs ARE aerodynamically inferior compared to inflatables.