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Riders changing brands the last year

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Erlend M B
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Riders changing brands the last year

Postby Erlend M B » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:32 am

There seems to have been more than a fair share of high profile riders changing brands the last year.
It all seemed to start with Shannon Best a year ago. Are there more than these?

Shannon Best: best-->kitesurf
Youri zoon: Slingshot-->best
Ruben lenten: Slingshot-->best
Sam Light: Naish-->Slingshot
Andre Phillip: Cabrinha-->Tona/slingshot
James Boulding: LF-->Cabrinha

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Re: Riders changing brands the last year

Postby rtz » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:57 pm

That had to have been some huge cash Best put up to get those two guys to leave what they had. Either says something about the finances of Slingshot, or indicates a "go for broke" strategy from Best.

I imagine some of these kite companies are a hobby for the owner(s) and if it breaks even or comes close; then that's good enough. Or maybe they have other business ventures too and use the kite company as a tax(loss) write off.

I'd run one on the side and for fun if money allowed...

I suspect that's why Cabrinha gear is so premium these days. Pete has to be banking and all his crew that jet set around. Takes $2k kites to support all that.

1 kite at $1,000 or two kites at $500? Your call Best. Unlimited kite choices at the high end; not so many at the low end. The price of a kite is what Switch is moving them at. All others are at higher margins.

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Re: Riders changing brands the last year

Postby Westozzy » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:44 pm

Ah yes the old marketing and higher overheads argument making kites more expensive that cheaper kites with apparently the same quality.

Have you ever considered the r and D these big companies have to spend on kite development?

Anyhow don't know why I'm saying this, been done to death.

I know quality when I fly it.

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Re: Riders changing brands the last year

Postby davesails7 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:16 am

rtz wrote:either says something about the finances of Slingshot, or indicates a "go for broke" strategy from Best.


Did Best not save enough money for a website this year? Was looking at kites on their website and all the prices are in Euros on the US site. Been that way for weeks :-?

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Re: Riders changing brands the last year

Postby geopeck » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:48 am

Have you ever considered the r and D these big companies have to spend on kite development?


I don't know if you're talking about Switch but between Pivec and Hansen I'd say they have their r and d covered.

Never flown a switch kite, just heard good things.

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Re: Riders changing brands the last year

Postby CaptainArgh » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:04 am

Since Shannon was mentioned by the OP, it is worth noting that he officially filed suit 9/9/2013 and released his version of why he is no longer with the company on his website...

Shannon Best v Pure Action Sports Worldwide, Best Kiteboarding et Al…

After expressing my opinion to other concerned shareholders regarding the direction of Best Kiteboarding and the mismanagement by its CEO, I was terminated by Pure Action Sports Worldwide, the holding group owning and controlling Best Kiteboarding.

After attempting to settle our differences, not only did they refuse to pay my salary in accordance with our original agreement but further they refused to pay me my severance and any of my royalties. They diluted my ownership for the last few years and fraudulently applied for trademarks they did not have any right to.

The trademarks are the result of my work, my image, and my performances in the watersport industry and are specifically recognized as such in my employment agreement with Best Kiteboarding and its holdings inclusive of Pure Action Sports Worldwide. The employment contract specifically indicates that those trademarks bearing my name are mine and not theirs although I allowed them to use it during my employment with the implied ability to revoke that option at will.

Unbeknown to me Pure Action Sport Worldwide management applied and fraudulently obtained the related trademark in the name of the holding or its subsidiary.

After being terminated I requested for Pure Action Sport to pay what was owed and they simply refused. As well, they refused to pay any of the royalties owed to me. I then requested for them to remove my name from all of their products and again they declined.

Without any other choice, I filed a lawsuit against them on September 9, 2013 in Federal Court in the USA. The goal of the lawsuit is for them to pay what they owe me as to unpaid salary, unpaid dividends, severance and royalties but mostly this lawsuit is to recover my Brand and Image and related trademarks which they have acknowledged were mine and that they are using without my authorization.

I want to make it clear that I have no intention to go back to work with Pure Action Sports or Best Kiteboarding nor to be associated with them in any fashion as I have moved forward and my goal is to focus and develop my current activities including KiteSurf (www.KiteSurf.com) which will be one of their competitors as well as other ventures I am working on.

I really want to recover my name and image and to distance it from Pure Action Sport and its management. I welcome the idea that they may have to rename their brand something else and if they want I have a substantial repertoire of suggestions.

Source
Lawsuit PDF

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Re: Riders changing brands the last year

Postby Westozzy » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:14 am

Damn. When the corporate world fucks the orginator and all out creator up the ass. Wankers.

I wouldn't buy a Best kite even if they were the best on the market (which they aren't) after reading this.

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Re: Riders changing brands the last year

Postby BigPaul » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:38 pm

Jesus, that sucks!

I wonder if they will have to change the name?

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Re: Riders changing brands the last year

Postby Hansen Design » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:18 pm

Switch R&D is very healthy in NZ & Hawaii!
:thumb: :thumb:

geopeck wrote:I don't know if you're talking about Switch but between Pivec and Hansen I'd say they have their r and d covered. Never flown a switch kite, just heard good things.
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Re: Riders changing brands the last year

Postby CaptainArgh » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:48 pm

Westozzy wrote:Damn. When the corporate world fucks the orginator and all out creator up the ass. Wankers.

I wouldn't buy a Best kite even if they were the best on the market (which they aren't) after reading this.

Yup. I'm sure there are two sides to the story on why they disagreed, but at least pay the guy out. He was a founder and promoted the company heavily as it bears his name.
I could understand the company not being able (or willing) to change it's name which is pretty significant at this point, so it must just come down to money. Shannon feels he is owed something, they won't pay him, so he's asking for the name back as well.


Have any pros started successful kite companies that have survived?
The only notable two I can think of that have a significant presence in the industry today is Wainman and Epic. (And Dimitri's first kite company, Eclipse, when he brought the face, not the dollars, didn't end well)
It seems that to survive, the pro needs to have a controlling interest in the company or else the investors f*ck them in the end.
Ben Wilson seems to still be holding on but I don't see BWS mentioned too much in the states. That slow growth and smaller size, though, may be intentional and keeps it from getting out of hand with controlling investors.


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