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 Post subject: Production Boards - are we there yet?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:53 am 
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Being at PKRA Germany and having talks with riders...what do you guys think about having only production boards from 2012 on for course race events?

Or in general: are the production boards a good idea? And does it work with the rules given for companies and small brands???


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 Post subject: Re: Production Boards - are we there yet?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:49 pm 
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I think the box rule limit is a good idea, but what is the purpose of having a 'make 50 to qualify' rule?

The make 50 rule stifles development and makes it difficult for small custom makers to be involved.
The biggest reason I can think of for it is that the race organisers dont have to measure the boards. How difficult is it to drop a board through a frame and weigh the board?
Maybe the bigger reason is the Olympic bid?
There may have been a plan that the production boards would be cheaper than customs, but I dont see evidence for that.
Its not going to stop the development race, but might slow it down.
There is a risk of money taking over, where if a big manufacturer thinks their board falls behind they just make 50 of a new one, so the more money you throw at it, the more competitive you can be.
I would like to see the 'make 50 rule' dropped.

Many competitors could be carrying 2 boards and 4 kites to major events anyway to be covered for all conditions, so registering 2 boards and 4 kites seems more reasonable than 1 board and 3 kites.


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 Post subject: Re: Production Boards - are we there yet?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:05 pm 
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I find the make 50 boards rule stupid.

If you compare to twintips, there are not many raceboards being sold. not alot of people practicing that discipline compared to people riding twintips.

Its tougher for smaller makers. I would get rid of that rule or maybe reduce it to 10 boards. something more easy. This way you have more competition between the brands and also you don't kill the development.

I would be more in favor of putting board measurements rules than quantity. This way all boards have the same measurements, but each shaper can still develop the shape of the board to make it better, etc...


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 Post subject: Re: Production Boards - are we there yet?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:20 pm 
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As with any king of racing, rules limiting equipment will have different effects on those that chose to race.

By limiting it to production boards, i think there is an effort to limit the arms race going on between riders. A further limitation could be a box rule limitation, an example of which would be limited length, width, fins, fin size, and potentialy, kite size.

I think looking at kite racing it makes a degree of sense to look at windsurfing racing.

In terms of course racing kite boarding mainly resembles the formula windsurfing class. Both have followed a trend for wide boards and high aspect fins, high travel costs, high equipment costs, and a style of riding that does not resemble the majority of the sport. These factors severally limit participation in organized course racing due to average joe's not being about to afford to race, not having racing nearby, and not wanting to learn what amounts to a new sport.

I say this because as an avid sailor and racer, these factors are what prevent me from entering kite racing.

Unfortunately, this is the only real tactical racing outlet for kiteboarding.

Windsurfing, like sailing, however has successful one design classes. If the racing equipment is sevearly limited to one model it prevents the arms race that leads to more and more expensive and unwieldy equipment. Furthermore, it makes equipment more of a long term investment because you know your board will still as competitive as they day you got it years down the road.

This would allow more average kite boarders and those of more limited financial means to get into racing. It is a formula that has worked for dozens of one design sailing and windsurfing classes.

I'm not saying a box rule class or unlimited class shouldn't exist and the best racers shouldn't race in it. Indeed we need this to push innovation and advancements to the sport.

But ultimately, for most people, racing isn't about the best technology, it's about level competition and pushing yourself and your equipment as hard as you can. This is why the most sucessful sailing classes are deccades old. Sure newer, high tech carbon hydrofoiling boats are out there, but people want to race, not buy expensive pieces of carbon.

If I had 10 people locally agreed to race the exact same board(something freerace ish) i'd buy one and we'd race. Hopefully more people join. That's how you start a One Design class and to be taken seriously by people like the olympic committee, that's what we need. All the Olympic sailing classes are one design. They're not letting in a box rule class.


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 Post subject: Re: Production Boards - are we there yet?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:35 pm 
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Location: Hayle, UK. Sponsored by North, Ion, Freeriders. www.pastyadventures.co.uk
From all the riders views over here in the UK, production boards are the way to go.
That way if everyone is on a production board, you can have the same board if you want and then its down to your skills not the kit. for example the top 3 at the worlds this year were on Mikes Lab boards, non production and he has a long waiting list and very pricey so you cannot buy one if you want.
now next year with the current rule the world champion will have to be on a production board of which there must be at least 50 made so you should be able to buy one and the price should be cheaper. if you cant buy one then there must already be 50 people riding them and if thats the case you know the world champion is truly the best sailor and not just on the best board!

keep it as it is, im not sure why this is being talked about again after everyone had the chance before it was decided. lets see how next year goes and it will not stop development as all the brands still want to be the best. One Design does stop development and classes die as in sailing as people move onto more exciting things, like kite racing :D


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 Post subject: Re: Production Boards - are we there yet?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:59 pm 
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One design classes move in cycles. Yes, they eventually become so far behind the curve people don't want to race them anymore, however, this takes DECADES look at the laser, 30 years old, the lightning 70 years of one design racing. And both classes have hundreds of events and thousands of participants. WAYYYY more than kite boarding. There are tens of thousands of Lasers racing every year, a quarter million produced to date. Furthermore, one design classes evolve, change equipment in small ways that everyone can agree on, this allows new tech to be incorporated.

And again, i'm not saying that production class or box rule shouldn't exist, but these are the elite, like formula windsurfing or foiling moths. I just want something that I can do on the weekends and not have to travel halfway across the country to get 20 sailors on a line.

And Leepasty, people are not leaving one design sailing for kite racing, because a good class doesn't exist yet. I kite frequently and would love to race, but I still race sailboats because course racing as it currently exists is NOT AN OPTION! My friends and I all kite, but we still race sailboats. We're in out early 20's and grew up racing. We've seen classes come and go and we're no closer to racing a kite than we are to racing a foiling moth. I just want an option for the rest of us...


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 Post subject: Re: Production Boards - are we there yet?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:21 pm 
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Location: Hayle, UK. Sponsored by North, Ion, Freeriders. www.pastyadventures.co.uk
TooMuchEpoxy wrote:
And Leepasty, people are not leaving one design sailing for kite racing, because a good class doesn't exist yet. I kite frequently and would love to race, but I still race sailboats because course racing as it currently exists is NOT AN OPTION! My friends and I all kite, but we still race sailboats. We're in out early 20's and grew up racing. We've seen classes come and go and we're no closer to racing a kite than we are to racing a foiling moth. I just want an option for the rest of us...


Sounds like youve got a fleet yourself mate so why not just organise some racing with your friends and there you go. If you are not elite then why does the production boards matter? nothings stopping anyone from organising their own racing or whatever kit. Over here we have some tt racing, on the south coast a school does regular fun races on freerace boards and much more goes on, all you need is a graoup of likeminded people and someone with race experience to run it (which it sounds like youve got) and there you go the start of your own race series.
if you like it and get better then maybe you will end up on a production board and do some ika events. thats we are aiming for over here all around the country to give kiters who are not into freestyle or waves some friendly fun competition with te chance to move onwards if desired.
This is the way we will get a good production class in kiting and then we will get more sailors on board but toi start with we need current kiters to have fun racing at their local spot and move up to a raceboard if they like it, which some will some wont as Kite Racing is not for everyone, the same as handlepasses :bye:


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 Post subject: Re: Production Boards - are we there yet?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:47 pm 
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to be honest, I think it's kind of arbitrary either way.

If you're not the kind of person that is going to buck up to get the best board to win, then chances are you're also not going to do all the hundred other things on the list to win either.
So you might as well allow some innovation to continue taking place, but it's not the end of the world not to.

Besides, the kites still need some more work, and there is lots of room to grow with what's below the water. The board will become less of a factor alone.


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 Post subject: Re: Production Boards - are we there yet?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:36 am 
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If you can't sell 50+ boards then making 50 will make them more expensive not less. You have to sell them higher to recoop the cost on the ones you are going to have to sell at a loss after they area out of style.


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 Post subject: Re: Production Boards - are we there yet?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:04 pm 
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gbleck wrote:
If you can't sell 50+ boards then making 50 will make them more expensive not less. You have to sell them higher to recoop the cost on the ones you are going to have to sell at a loss after they area out of style.


Yup for sure. Not only that, but saying you need a production board and then only produce a few boards does not make much sense.

It probably makes it harder to get started, but entry cost is high in just about any industry. I do think the rules secure us smaller riders that our boards only gets an update once a year or so.

I cannot say exactly what it is but racing is f#^$#$ing fun. Looking at how the interest grows over here is amazing. Still a lot of people have yet to pull the trigger, and as the board technology matures, I think a lot more people will get into it.


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