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Why are Kiteboards so expensive?

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Postby JMF » Tue Sep 17, 2002 4:05 pm

Maybe one of the Manufacturers of these branded boards or someone that has contacts at one of the major board Manufacturers can put my mind at ease.

I recently walked into a Kiteboard/Windsurf shop down in Durban South Africa miling around looking at all the nice goodies for sale....I was also in the market for a new board and still am. Somthing caught my eye and I proceed to look at these huge Windsurf sticks they had for sale and I'm talking huge over 2m long with all the bells and whistles I then looked at the price of the board prepared for a shock of my life and to my astonishment the boards were'nt anything near what I expected to pay. Infact it was cheaper than a plain Kiteboard deck bare boned (no pads, leash or bindings/straps)and the deck was hardly what I would call a breakthrough in technology or a popluar brand. So it lead me to thinking what makes these things so expensive ?

1.I mean a Windsurf board uses more volumes of material to produce - I kiteboard usess less material becuase of its small size

2. Windsurf boards just like Kiteboards use composite materials to produce stiffer light boards just like Kiteboards.

3. Windsurfing has been around for some 20 odd years Wakeboarding around 10....all the ground work has been laid out no need for expensive RnD the Kiteboard manufacturers can learn alot form the to sports as Kiteboarding (the boarding side)is esentialy a blend of the two forms...Hell we ain't reinventing the wheel here people!

4. Branded boards are poped out a dime a dozen in sweat shops in the east. By underpaid labourers (lets not go their)

5. Some would say a smaller board because of it size has to be alot more stronger..granted but a piece of Divincell some resin, fibreglass matt hell through in some carbon matting and even add two caron rods into the mix for stiffness you will be surprised what the bottom line figure is! I dont think that argument stands... Windsurf boards use the same technology if not more advanced!

Remember people we talking Branded boards here (no names) the ones your Kite manufacturer produce!

I'll tell you what I will pay for. I'll pay for a custom board made to my spec in a factory by a Custom Board designer who takes his time and puts your input into end product which is essentialy a unique item no two boards are alike. And I gurantte you every time you in all liklyhood would be able to buy two Custom Boards for your quiver for the price of one Branded Board as I like to call them. Look a branded board IMO can take far more abuse than say a custom but there are a few good customs that can take a pounding :smile:. Custom in other sports tends to be the holy grail costing much more than say your branded items you buy in a store so why is it totaly the oppsite in our sport?

Your thoughts would be appreciated...
(no flaming please lets keep it civil)

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Postby Royce » Tue Sep 17, 2002 4:40 pm

Dude, as with every sport if you want the latest greatest you pay for it. A top of the line raceboard windsurfer might cost you over 1800.00.US A top of the line production wave least 1495US. Custom stuff over 2000us. You can get windsurfing stuff new from last year for about 750-800. Same with kite stuff. Look how cheap you can get stuff from 2 years ago. Cutting edge cutting prices? Not likely. Still it would be nice to get 3 or 4 new boards for the price of one eh?
Aloha Royce.

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Postby murdoc » Tue Sep 17, 2002 5:22 pm

a wakeboard can be produced for years using the same shape.
a kiteboard's old after 6 months.

that explains for example that the liquid force kiteboards are more expensive than the wakes, because the wakes are made a different way (using machines that pay out when you produce the same board for more than 3 years)

in kiteboarding, there's more knowledge required.

and: we dumb sheep pay the prizes they take :wink:

i ride a usual wakeboard which was around $300 :smile:


Postby Guest » Wed Sep 18, 2002 3:18 am

problem 2:

A typical wakeboard weighs in at about 10 pounds less fins and bindings. The really lightweight ones weigh in at around 8 pounds.

Kiteboarders are demanding boards that are as light as possible - under 6 pounds.

I have been building my own kiteboards and have discovered the following: Using state of the art techniques with the cheapest materials possible (insulation foam, 3mm birch ply and e-glass) I can make a board that is relatively durable but not quite as durable as a production kiteboard for about USD $75-100. The board weighs a little over 8 pounds. That cost is for the board materials only, no fins or straps and no labor.

In order to make the same board but 2 or 3 pounds lighter and as durable, I would need to use high density pvc foam, carbon, kevlar, and s-glass. The material cost then skyrockets to $200-$300; once again, board only.

Adding in the costs of labor, marketing, and overhead, I find it suprising that anyone can even make a living building kiteboards, much less get rich.

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