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Health of Kite Industry?

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CaptainArgh
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Health of Kite Industry?

Postby CaptainArgh » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:58 pm

How is the kite industry doing right now?

Does anyone have insight into which companies are doing well vs. the ones struggling?

Things have been quiet lately or else I'm missing the news. Racing gear seems to be the only buzz at the moment.

Was wondering if there is any good gauge for the size of our market (if it is growing or shrinking) and how the established companies are doing vs. the smaller startups.

:bye: Just curious about our sport. No hidden agenda here.

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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby kite_crazy66 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:56 pm

That's a very interesting question.

I have no insight other than my personal observations...
To me it looked like we hit a plateau a year or two ago, but now things seem to be on the rise with kiteboarding included in the Olympics.

I think the initial cost investment to get into the sport has lowered the popularity of kiteboarding, especially with the global economic recession.

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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby jakemoore » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:30 pm

Seems to me she is moving into middle age and showing some early signs of senescence. She could lose a few pounds, has elevated cholesterol and borderline hypertension. If she doesn't start eating right and working out, she may die early like her mother.

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Brent4336
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby Brent4336 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:44 pm

Not sure where your from Jake, but around here, she is still the best mistress around by a long shot!

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jakemoore
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby jakemoore » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:44 pm

Don't get me wrong, I still love her. When we're old, will we be holding on tight like the remaining windsurfers? I probably will.

Also, I'm getting my kids involved. Mostly because I like to share with them how to have fun, not because I want a new generation to come. At $400 for a bar its going to be a tough sell to most of today's youth.

To be clear, I'm not complaining, nor do I want 100 kiters on the beach because I work outside the industry.

I would agree with kite_crazy66 regarding the plateau. Just my observations as a kiteboarder and a business owner.

Jake

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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby CaptainArgh » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:36 pm

Do you think smaller companies with less staff are doing better than larger companies?

I prefer to buy from a large company with their own in-house designers, and in some cases, their own manufacturing. However, some of the new kite companies with only a few employees must be a lot more agile in this market.

Smaller guys outsource everything (kite design, board design, all manufacturing...which I know is true for most, and probably even some distribution). They are really just guiding contract designers through prototypes and then slapping on their logo. That is a more economical model in the current economy. What's lost, I think, it proprietary ideas unique to one company. Pros and Cons of both for sure...

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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby John Doe » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:22 pm

I think they have to remedy some things with the pricing of gear. It's a little nutso to think of what you pay for a full rig retail;

1 Kite & Bar; $1600
1 Board; $845
1 Wetsuit; $300
1 Harness; $150
Total $2895 (without tax)

Let alone if you decide to get a couple kites. Yes you can buy used, which I have done forever. And I know not many people pay full retail all the time. But I remember when everything started, kites were around $600-$700. Most guys threw straps on surfboards & used our windsurfing harness which got us into the sport for well under $1k.

I really, really want to splurge & get a new board but my choice is ride my trusty old-heavy strapped board or 2 tickets to Maui this winter (with some cash let over). Which do you think I chose?

It seems as though there has been a price spike in terms of gear within the last 2 years or so. Yes the gear has gotten way better but still, I wish things were more affordable.

JD

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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby davesails7 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:28 pm

John Doe wrote:It seems as though there has been a price spike in terms of gear within the last 2 years or so. Yes the gear has gotten way better but still, I wish things were more affordable.


A constant rise in new prices is good for those of us buying and selling used gear every year. The value of the used gear I have keeps going up with the price of new gear. I had an '08 waroo 15m for a year, purchased for $325 sold for $350 a year later!

It does make it tough for those trying to enter the sport though.

Maybe we will see a new boom of new kiters when the economy picks up again. Personally I hope not.

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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby John Doe » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:34 pm

davesails7 wrote:
John Doe wrote:It seems as though there has been a price spike in terms of gear within the last 2 years or so. Yes the gear has gotten way better but still, I wish things were more affordable.


A constant rise in new prices is good for those of us buying and selling used gear every year. The value of the used gear I have keeps going up with the price of new gear. I had an '08 waroo 15m for a year, purchased for $325 sold for $350 a year later!

It does make it tough for those trying to enter the sport though.

Maybe we will see a new boom of new kiters when the economy picks up again. Personally I hope not.



I hear ya. The thing that gets me is how out of reach new gear is for someone like myself; 40 year old, homeowner, small business, saving to do 1 nice kite trip a year with my wife. And then you throw the hope of getting some new kites or a new board into there; it's just completely out of reach. Most guys I know (and I know a lot of guys that kite a ton) buy 1 year old gear or even older. None of them gets a new quiver of kites of their choice every year. And these are all middle class small business guys.

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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby eree » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:13 pm

CaptainArgh wrote:How is the kite industry doing right now?
Does anyone have insight into which companies are doing well vs. the ones struggling?
Things have been quiet lately or else I'm missing the news. Racing gear seems to be the only buzz at the moment....

why? what did you hear?
does slingshot close its shop at last? :)

it looks like some time ago shareholders of the large brands ordered to stop wasting money on r-n-d, only graphic design changes, tropical presentation videos and more advertizing allowed. why? because there are lot of yuppies with no understanding of the unjustified high prices concept in big countries willing to pay any price kite brand asks.
otherwise how do you explain same stupid childish blunders with the quality repeating every year happening to big established brands? for these prices kites should come with the jet engines attached to the leading edge, not with the pigtail rubbing holes in the leading edge kind of problems!

so, looks pretty stagnant to me


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