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 Post subject: What are the wekknesses of each kite brand
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:41 pm 
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Ok. So we know some kite brands are good at some things and worse at others.

As an example ozone canopies pin holeing easily.
Cabrinha bladders not as robust as others
I've heard that some north kites are too robust perhaps they are over engineered?


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 Post subject: Re: What are the wekknesses of each kite brand
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:49 pm 
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You have to find things that companies do on all their kites over multiple years to make generalizations.

Ive got the impression (never owned one) that cab are a little on the slower side for the sake of greater stability and range. Never wanted one of their bars either with that springy thing. I know I know, that parts on the way out.

Never liked the idea of leading edge battens that North are fond of. They can break, they are weight, and its obvious that they are not necessary.

Ocean Rodeo have stuck with their vent for years, and its obviously not necessary for a great kite, and Im not a fan at all of their kinked leading edge at the elbow bridle attachment. Just seems like complicated sewing and design where again, simpler designs work just as well.

The Airush bar with all that long webbing looking stuff for the trim strap seems silly in light of all the clean cleat systems out there now.

LF have the chicken loop that totally detaches, and Im not a fan of integrated floats that prevent leader line replacement. They also had a wingtip pulley up until last year that I hear makes em a little more vague at the bar.

The only ones Ive owned are north and OR, so take it all mostly from an observers point of view.


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 Post subject: Re: What are the wekknesses of each kite brand
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:13 pm 
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Loving my 2014 Rebels. Works perfect for my current style of riding. The kite is an absolute upwind , boosting , machine.


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 Post subject: Re: What are the wekknesses of each kite brand
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:17 pm 
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My 2c (mostly trivial rather than deal breakers):

Slingshot trim cleats are prone to stick
Dakine harness handlepass leash slider prone to unsplicing
North kitelines are hard to untangle (too sticky)
Slingshot kitebag zips are very easy to catch kite material and put small tears in it when you do them up.


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 Post subject: Re: What are the wekknesses of each kite brand
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:28 pm 
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Im not sure about the chicken loop detaching on LF, if you run your leash thru the chicken loop like the instructions say, you never lose it. QR or unhooking is my primary self land method so I do it alot. I assume thats what you were referring to.

On the other hand, the clam cleat system for trimming is a PITA. When the kite is in the air, it can become damned near impossible at times to depower or power up the kite. The wind needs to change for quite abit before I will bother, just use techniques and tactics to deal with gusts for the first 10-15 minutes as dealing with the cleat is so frustrating.


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 Post subject: Re: What are the wekknesses of each kite brand
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:26 pm 
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plummet wrote:
Ok. So we know some kite brands are good at some things and worse at others.

As an example ozone canopies pin holeing easily.
Cabrinha bladders not as robust as others
I've heard that some north kites are too robust perhaps they are over engineered?


Do we ??? (know that some are good at some things and worse at others)

In some areas, maybe you are right - but this is more designwise I think.


But I dont know if I can name any brand that is "bad" at some specific things, over multiple years, so agree 100% with Starsky, it will most likely NOT be possible to make generalizations :roll:


An example could be the Cabrinha bladders - why do you say they are not as robust ?

Because you experience a lot of new defect Cab bladders yourself or your friends ?


Asking, because if I were to choose a kite brand, then our history here goes like:

In the C kite days, before 2005 where Bow/SLE slowly took over, Cabrinha almost killed themselves - at least in our region.
The bladders "went" in the seam, almost all of them - so a full extra set of bladders was delivered with each kite sold.

This was of course better than no extra bladders - but as the extra were from the same production, it did not help much - you still ended up NOT being able to kite anymore :(
This was known all over quite fast, so everyone ran towards other brands, and for many years to come since, there were not one single Cab kite around (almost in the whole country).


A natural way of fleeing out from problems - to leave the ship and find a new one :wink:


But if I should choose a kite brand, and I was hysterical about bladder problems - I for one would choose Cabrinha over the others, as Cab have learned their lesson and one must assume they have changed production and quality control very soon after, as otherwise they would not survive.

So Cab could, if you think about it, have the best bladders of all brands actually :naughty:

An example (if the case it is what you remember too plummet) where it could be deliberately wise to choose some who HAS had problems, but learned how to solve them :rollgrin:

North and Naish have had issues with valves delaminating in heat - but again, I am pretty sure this has/is being handled so better now.
So I would be careful and not generalize.


In order to tell what you personally have discovered of bad things, you need a year and a model with these weaknesses, and seen by many riders (and sometimes it is changed on a model in the same year).

Just a thought, that we should be careful to tell what year/model when complaining in public, and even then it could be a one-shot and not a "brand" weakness/strong side c",)

8) Peter


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 Post subject: Re: What are the wekknesses of each kite brand
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:48 pm 
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plummet i dont think you can generalize like that. most kites change too much each year.

do you remember when the entire cabrinha lineup used 2:1 bars on their kites? and just this year liquid force has gone to split strut construction and direct bridle connection no pulleys on the kite, best & cabrinha both changed from Y double center to single center flagging systems, at one point cabrinha experimented with polyurethane valves.

if u want to make generalizations then you better be prepared to make a chart like this

http://www.cabrinhakites.com/2013/bar-c ... chart.html

except instead of just one brand of kite and only control bars you are keeping track of every brand of kite and every modification ever done.

That is a monster spreadsheet you are talking. I suppose it's possible but it's a huge task.


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 Post subject: Re: What are the wekknesses of each kite brand
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:42 pm 
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All except Switch have a bad business model. Maybe with a small and debatable exception of US we all pay ridiculous prices for equipment with lousy or better yet non existent customer service nor warranty. What Switch is doing is the way of the future for this particular sport and that is take lessons and once independant buy equipment directly from a place that provides customer service warranty and spare parts. The idea that you buy quiver of 3-4 pieces of cloth for the price of a motorcycle and receive no back up what so ever is so ridiculous that only effects of strong doses of adrenaline can explain subjecting ourselves to this shit.


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 Post subject: Re: What are the wekknesses of each kite brand
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:25 pm 
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Switch ROCKS !!!!
Funny how people think this kites are not good just because they are cheap.


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 Post subject: Re: What are the wekknesses of each kite brand
PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:52 pm 
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marlboroughman wrote:
All except Switch have a bad business model. Maybe with a small and debatable exception of US we all pay ridiculous prices for equipment with lousy or better yet non existent customer service nor warranty. What Switch is doing is the way of the future for this particular sport and that is take lessons and once independant buy equipment directly from a place that provides customer service warranty and spare parts. The idea that you buy quiver of 3-4 pieces of cloth for the price of a motorcycle and receive no back up what so ever is so ridiculous that only effects of strong doses of adrenaline can explain subjecting ourselves to this shit.


This Switch model was used during the 90's and 00's with a number of different windsurfing brands. All of them, less one or two disappeared and none made any headway in terms of gaining appreciable market share. Why? A zillion reasons, ibid the 4 P's of Marketing for starters...This said, there will always be a place for quality / value priced products.

I demoed a Switch kite. Generally liked it, but I found closeout deals on my "other" kites that rivaled Switches price.

I'm with you @ relatively poor customer service. When I think of benchmarks for customer service (based on my own personal experience), companies like Apple, Trader Joes, Dakine, and my Dentist (lol - he's the best). The first things these businesses have in common is prompt / timely response time. Second, they all do whatever it takes to resolve their customer's issues without our having to jump through hoops, and do so quickly. You can't but help feel that they actually care about you as a customer.

@ Kiteboarding industry - the windsurfing industry suffered for the most part from the same "too cool for school" tude when it came to customer service. We used to hear it all the time from the mfg's, it's was called "pilot error." Aka - you rode it, rigged it, or crashed it...You own it." Mfg's defects were sometimes challenging to prove.

On the flip side, due to smaller economies of scale, the profit margins aren't as big as you think in industries like kiteboarding. Generally speaking, those involved do it for the love of the sport and are not necessarily able to get rich. They're just trying to survive in most cases. But...This is all no excuse for poor customer service. As customer's, whether we're spending one-dollar or thousands, we each want to feel as if "we are the most important customer on earth."


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