I suppose I better introduce myself as I'm not a regular poster on this forum, I'm phil, based in the North East of England (For now as I'm taking a year out kiting in Portugal and Spain starting May). I started kiting in 2002 and I'd class my riding as of average ability but above average enthusiasm!... Oh and I've had short spell retailing Kites and boards, but found that I enjoid riding much more than selling when on the beach so no longer have any commercial interest in the sport whatsoever.
I honestly think that what best is doing is good for our sport, sure, like any other business they are here to make cash, but at the end of the day if that it means I get to buy my kites cheaper then thats fine by me.
Any way I needed an 8m kite and thought that there was only one way to find out about the kites that I'd read so much about on the forums and that was to put my money where many other peoples mouthes had been and actually buy one!
I ordred an 8M Nemi along with a few other bits and bobs a couple of weeks ago and found the customer service second to none, they even called me up to double check the order was ok after an online chat with Shannon.
My delivery arrived last week however it had been shipped incorrectly and was a 10m not 8m, my immediate reaction was one of dissapointment however after a brief online chat with shannon the problem was resoled and they agreed to send my replacement 8m out that day. They compensated me for the inconvenience very well and needles to say I now have two very nice kites for much less than I would have had to pay for one at UK retail prices and was a very happy customer. As far as I'm concerend we all make mistakes but its how they are dealt with that counts!!!
Knowing personally the minimal profit margins available to conventional retailers I can't help thinking that this gets in the way of good service. After all, had I as a retailer made the same mistake any margin on that sale would have been mostly eaten up in return carriage etc. let alone being able to provide compensation.
Any way on to the important Part - The Kite!!!!!!!!!!!
I have not flown my 8m yet however got a good 3 hours on the water with the 10m on Sunday at Camber Sands - UK. when we got to the beach early Sunday it was blowing its tits off and my first thought was that I wished the 8m had arrived not the 10m. I was informed that it was 32kts and due to get up throughout the day so proceeded to rig up and launch the kite carefully. As I tend to ride overpowered any way its not unusual to have to be dragged by a mate to the waters edge to start a session (Cheers Steve).
Once in the air the kite was very stable considering the gusty conditions, on the water it was the same! It took just a few runs before I felt totally comfortable with the kite, the Kite seemed to drive me upwind better that my 11m Slingy would in these conditions. Boosting with this kite came naturally and hang time was very good. I also found that redirecting the kite whilst in the air was very smooth and I was able to choose my landing speed easily. Didn't try any kite loops as I'd probably have snapped my board or legs given the conditions but will do next time I'm out if the conditiond are better. The only other kites out on the water were 8-9m and the fellas ridem them were having to do a good job to hold them down.
After only a couple of hours on the water I felt so confident with the kite that I decided to give bindings a go for the first time. They were a bit of an impulse buy when ordering my kite and I just had to try them out. Again the kite performed brilliantly ....even if i didn't.
During the Session I managed to Slam the kite down nose first fully powered twice. Given the lighter weight construction of the Nemi compared to my Slingshot I would not have been supprised to see the kite split in two however it survied intact only for me to do the same again later in the session. One onlooker commented that after hearing the 'CRACK' when it hit the water he full expected the kit eto be trashed but it wasn't.
While I've got both an 11m Fuel and a 10m Nemi I think to summarise I'll use the 11 for practicing new stuff and getting it wrong and the 10m Nemi for when I've cracked the movesas it goes that little bit bigger and faster. I'm entering my first club level comp in a few weeks time and can honestly say that if its blowing 20kts + I'll be torn between the 11m fuel and the 10m Nemi! Up to 20 and it'll be my 15m Fuel !
I hope that the above is of some use to anyone considering purchasing a kite from from best. When I come to buy my next kite, unless any of the other top brands bring down there prices dramatically I'll be buying best as for me they deliver all of the performance at half the price! Given the impending lack of funds that a year out brings price is to me very important!
(Toby, Do I win a prize for the longest ever post on this forum, or even most spelling mistakes????)