I believe competions are about the athlete, not the kites.
King of the Air two years in a row, could have been won by any kiter in the comp and on any kite there.
They could have all drawn straws to decide what brand/model of kite they were gonna fly for the day and it would have made no difference.
That was about who caught the best gust of the day and who was performing at their peak potential.
There was absolutely no difference from brand to brand in the gear's ability to do what it took to win.
Robby Naish just happened to sponsor the kiters that won last year and this year.
PKRA is also about the athlete not the kite.
Ozone seems to have gotten a pretty solid lock on the top spots for course racing with the Edge for a couple of years, but that has little to do with anything other than course racing.
I think the Edge kites are just okay for all around freeriding for the average kiter.
The C4 was a great all arounder that has gotten more specific in the last couple versions therefore less appealing to a large audience.
The Catalyst, for a number of years, is too soft with the tiny tubes.
The Zephyr is very nice, a whole bunch of local kiters here managed to get used ones for super cheap a couple years ago, but I think there are a handful of better light wind kites now.
The Rebel kite that caused more swimming than flying is one of the easiest kites for freeriding ever, which is why they've sold so many for so long.
I don't care for five line kites, but the Rebel has always been a great kite.
By the way, Supa flies more Rebel kites than he does Core, his Core is a 19M only, and his wife flies only a 17M, otherwise they are on one in their large quiver of Rebels.
So, you are saying that the spelling of the name of the company matters?...
Or the look of the logo matters?...and if it does not look good on a shirt, you will not ride their kites?.......really?
I think that is very strange, but there may be more people out there who care about color and logos and the sound of a name or other things that I would think are petty arbitrary, than I had guessed there were.
Ozone knows how to make a good wing because of their paragliding background.
Kiters that have a flying history that started on that side of things could not care less if it is the name of a bleach product.
Flexifoil was in the foil kite business before anybody ever was kiteboarding, so their name is their name.
Epic is an E name that looks like a continuation of the Eclipse product that Dimitri was involved with just prior to starting Epic, since many people liked the Eclipse kites, I think it sure made sense to come up with an E name.
His crash that you speak of was for a photo shoot to promote the Eclipse company he worked for, and he made the jump successfully six times prior to adding twenty pounds of camera equipment, and then made the jump successfully twice before crashing on the third attempt with camera on his back.
I assume you know that all pro athletes do promotional shoots and that they often do the same trick or jump (or basketball shot or snowboard jump) many times to get the right photo or video completed.
Not sure that stuff is always about trying to look cool, I'm sure it's often about business.
Best was named after Shannon Best who was part of the company at it's inception, and like Dimitri with Eclipse, he was the face that everyone knew (even though both were minor share holders, just like poor Lou Wainman). I think Best made cheapy kites in the beginning, but they have come a long way, and I'm not sure your description of their current product is accurate, but I do understand how you feel, ...for some reason I've never bought a Best kite either.
Not sure why you feel about Cabrinha the way you do, pretty pricey and pretty over rated IMO.
Not sure why you feel the way you do about Slingshot, they produce pretty consistently good flying kites for a decade or more, and they have a very nice board line, some of which is made in house, unlike almost any other kite company I know of......and their customer support has always been great.
I like the Core GTS2 that a local buddy flies, and it's pretty great that the GTS3 rocked it at the King of the Air this year, but I'm not sure the name is any cooler than the Epic name that you say is an over used word, so is Core ("dude, that was so core". So hardcore dude")
And I'm pretty sure they are graphically the most boring company in kiting.
So much for a Core T-Shirt!