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Health of Kite Industry?

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naishdude
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby naishdude » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:26 pm

Bille wrote:
naishdude wrote:...

... I purchased new kites, the cheapest available on the market , and I must admit, I am not less happy with them, I have used them for 2 seasons now...and am planning to fly them till they fall apart.

...

Dude :cool2:


I never used a Switchkites brand ; but for the most-part, i refuse to purchase
"Cheap-Sh*t" simply for the reason that it's Cheap ! That is how China gets
to sell so much Crap not worth having.

The stuff from China can be Good ((IF)) the company that's having it made there will
stays on them at Every angle and watch them carefully. The Chinese can be
very talented ," when they Want to". Like the Vietnamese people, they can be
quite talented at making stuff also ; i think a kite company and an RC airplane company
has stuff made there and it appears to be well constructed.


I Will however, purchase a Good brand "used" the following year or end of season
sail to save money.

A girl here in Vegas, got cheep kites that were Always breaking ; when i mentioned that
she was using my 11M Ozone Edge --- More than me ---, she got pissed. The
point is that even used gear from a reputable company , usually lasts longer
than Cheap-Stuff ...

I think kiting is no different than other sports that cost Money, it's usually
pays to shop around before laying down your bucks. Used snow skies are
usually not worth the savings ; i'm just glad i got a brother that can afford new
stuff every year so i get his , "hand - me - downs" ! Really wish he was into kiting.

Bille

Bille,
I will tell you, I was amongst the first to fly the Ozone Waterkites...till the last C4 's, so if you mean by Vietnamese quality , ozone, then you are right, BUT , I can tell you that the quality offered by switchkites, is at even level and sometimes better.
Btw, I also own an Ozone Edge 2013...for the raceboard.
After all these years in the kitescene, I still have to find one similar brand as Switch, that is so responsive to its customers.
As an internet company, they need to prove that their prices are not just giving you crap and bad quality...I think they have not chosen the easy way...and their customers are their visit card.

The question asked about the market, is to where my answer was based On, that it does not have to be expensive to be good, open your eyes....it sometimes is all in the head...brought to you through marketing...all this has to be paid for...just to give you the feeling you have the best buy in town.
But if you go a bit more indeep...you will find that there is more for less.
I was in your and even better situation than you, I could buy whatever I wanted, till the crisis struck me too at 58yo...and now its the fun in buying the best for less :thumb:

No hard feelings...next time your on your beach and you see a switch kite, have a look at it...chinese/vietnamese/eu or usa make...its all the same, if the finish/price and quality is right...there is no problem, only if you are a brand fetishist...then it is even more in the head and pocket too :D
Cheers :wink:
Dude :cool2:

peterheirman
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby peterheirman » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:32 pm

Back to the SUBJECT:
The health of kite industry is bad !
- Too many brands
- People will use kites longer as previously people changed every 2 years now they fly their kites up to 4 years. Even a 2008 kite (Best Nemesis HP) can still be more performing than a 2013 kite.

There has been a small increase in market due to the swing into wave kite boards and wave kites, but at the cost of less twintips and freestyle kites. Moreover less kiteloops means less broken twintips and less leading edge tubes torn apart which decreases the sales volume.

All the big brands are trying to market "innovations" which are in most cases useless and costly (the bars at USD$450-500).
At the same time they are trying to decrease production costs: a 3 strut or 2 strut kite will demand more development time but decreases the production cost by up to 20%

The online success of Switch will eat the margins and profit of the big brands.

SUP - Stand Up Paddle or SUAPS Stand Up And Paddle to Survive
If the big brands were in good shape then they wouldn't have gone into SUP so quickly.
Naish, RRD, Cabrinha, Slingshot, ...
Have you seen the big range of SUP from Naish ? Too many boards just in the hope one or two will catch on in this market.

SUP is the new market as this might be a bigger market after all: no wind required (preferably not much wind): just need a lake or sea or ocean and if possible small waves

Thor SFBay
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby Thor SFBay » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:56 pm

peterheirman wrote:SUP - Stand Up Paddle or SUAPS Stand Up And Paddle to Survive
If the big brands were in good shape then they wouldn't have gone into SUP so quickly.
Naish, RRD, Cabrinha, Slingshot, ...
Have you seen the big range of SUP from Naish ? Too many boards just in the hope one or two will catch on in this market.

SUP is the new market as this might be a bigger market after all: no wind required (preferably not much wind): just need a lake or sea or ocean and if possible small waves


That doesn't make any sense at all. RRD and Naish have been making SUPs for years. It's just smart business for kite companies to get into SUP, especially since many of these companies are also windsurf companies and SUP boards are similar to large windsurf boards. It also doesn't hurt that kites and SUPs are a good combo - if the wind dies, get out the SUP and paddle around or surf.

And of course SUP is going to be way bigger than kites can ever be. That's just common sense. So the fact that Naish has a huge range of SUPs has very little to do with how well the kite industry is doing. Those are two separate issues.

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CaptainArgh
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby CaptainArgh » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:42 pm

bigwave wrote:... To stay healthy the industry must a) keep pricing inline and/or b) increase the performance of the product to the next level to sell riders new kites and boards.
Thats my take ,I'm probably full of shit...lol

Yup, that's simple and to the point.
Bille wrote:...
The stuff from China can be Good ((IF)) the company that's having it made there will
stays on them at Every angle and watch them carefully. The Chinese can be
very talented ," when they Want to". Like the Vietnamese people, they can be
quite talented at making stuff also ; ...

That's a really good point I hadn't thought of. I agree that it is an area where only a large company can excel, unless they have someone in the country where the gear is made.
Take, for example, a small company that is founded by a husband/wife or couple brothers. There is no way they'll have the bandwidth to stay on top of the manufacturing process as you stated. They will surely visit the factory once or twice a year, but the plants will figure out how to be efficient in one area, and cut the corners in another. That's how they make their margins. If you are not on top of them, what you stated is a real concern.

So yes, if you buy from a small company you very well can get a great piece of gear. Is the consistency going to be the same? I don't know. It seems there is more of a chance of flaws slipping through the cracks...the cracks are larger and can be exploited. You would think a larger company (with more overhead and thus greater costs) is going to have the time to develop a stricter quality control process.

peterheirman wrote:Back to the SUBJECT:
The health of kite industry is bad !
- Too many brands
- People will use kites longer as previously people changed every 2 years now they fly their kites up to 4 years. ...

I was hoping someone had some insight into revenue and margins.
Are the revenues of the big guys holding steady, dropping, increasing but with thinner margins, etc. ?

peterheirman wrote:SUP - Stand Up Paddle or SUAPS Stand Up And Paddle to Survive
If the big brands were in good shape then they wouldn't have gone into SUP so quickly.
Naish, RRD, Cabrinha, Slingshot, ...


Yeah, I guess if they were really healthy they could just focus on kite gear and not waste efforts on the SUPs.
I do think the tangent into SUPs made sense, though. It is geared to the same market of people...folks who can afford a $1000 piece of gear, like water board sports, AND need something to do when it is not windy.
So, combine the marketing potential (they already have a captive audience) with the fact that they already have the infrastructure in place to design and build the boards. It made sense. But again, you're right that it comes down to profits. We probably won't see Ozone making paddle boards because they have so many different kite/foil lines that cross a lot of different sports.


Good discussion anyway. It is tough to mention any brand name without the reps from that brand stepping up and getting their feathers ruffled. Hopefully it doesn't degrade into a brand bashing thread. Does seem that a smaller company can be more agile and a larger company which might have a great design and quality investment, is also going to hurt more when margins are thin and people are buying less.

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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby Johnny Rotten » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:55 pm

CaptainArgh wrote:[That's a really good point I hadn't thought of. I agree that it is an area where only a large company can excel, unless they have someone in the country where the gear is made.
Take, for example, a small company that is founded by a husband/wife or couple brothers. There is no way they'll have the bandwidth to stay on top of the manufacturing process as you stated. They will surely visit the factory once or twice a year, but the plants will figure out how to be efficient in one area, and cut the corners in another. That's how they make their margins. If you are not on top of them, what you stated is a real concern."


Large companies CAN excel, but what are the large KITE companies doing? Naish and North are the 2 largest brands that come to mind North has had over 4 years of valve problems and Naish looking at 3-4?! years of seems blowing up on torches.

Seems like it's all shit, so better to roll your dice on the cheaper brand and spend the extra money on your repair kit.

peterheirman
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby peterheirman » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:41 pm

I guess brands make most money on twintips (hardly any material and hardly any technology or knowledge needed) and on clothing stuff. Think margins of over 50%

On kites they make less margin: long development, complex production (too many parts to assemble- one error in stitching and the kite is ruined) and test required (the kite needs to be leak free), expensive guarantee (kites do rip, explode, leak etc).

SUP will bring back money in as people will buy a USD$1700 board and a USD$400 paddle =$2100
Also high margins as these SUP boards need to be less strong than kite or windsurf board: no heavy impacts, no big forces (no mast, no jumping) as all movements are gentle.
The problem with SUP is that it requires to paddle which is a big effort (drawback as most people are lazy - success of parasailing - parchute towing by boat)

SUP is their hope for a future as there are more places with little wind than windy places. Moreover sunshine and low winds go as well hand in hand as high winds and bad weather (requiring a thick wetsuit - cold).

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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby UKSurf » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:31 pm

I have a switch element and the build quality is as good as if not better than kites I have had from other large brands. As pointed out the reduced price is due to not going through distributor/retail which obviously adds alot onto the price you pay. I know in the UK retailers and manufacturers of kiting equipment are finding it very hard, it might be different in other counters but I cant imagine that different. It seems that there are alot of brands and retailers chasing a small number of buyers, there also seems to be alot of kites that have been purchased second hand off people involved in the industry or purchased at a greatly reduced price when compared to the number being purchased at full retail price. I certainly wouldnt want to have alot of money tied up in a retail outlet selling kite gear at the moment.

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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby longwhitecloud » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:49 am

sup same issues, same factories pumping out container loads of product for direct sell model too. It is just the way it is, you do what u want to do, u good at business you survive, u bad u go bust.

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C Johnson
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby C Johnson » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:37 am

I think the industry grew a little too fast with everybody wanting to make there own kite, board, bar, harness, SUP, paddle, etc. Its bigger right now then the demand and its been that way for a few years but that will promote some healthy competition.
Last edited by C Johnson on Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

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boardriding maui
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Re: Health of Kite Industry?

Postby boardriding maui » Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:12 am

Off the header topic "health of the industry", in response to some of the comments regarding "big" brands vs "small" brands; As a "SUPER small" brand, I can say with conviction that the value of accountability goes a very long way. Every decision is an absolute commitment when its a passion that you eat, sleep and live. Truly a labor of love.

The cost for QC is negligible compared to other overhead choices related to distribution and marketing. QC is much tighter when you make smaller runs, and check everything personally. Anyone inside the industry can tell you that material costs are a fraction of the end cost. You can't point there with certainty when considering what makes one product cheaper than another. At my low volume, I'm not at the economies of scale to offer a low price, even though I don't have all the fancy stuff that adds cost.

There are plenty of advantages to being a big or small group. My point is just to say that I don't believe size or price necessarily reflect quality or performance.


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