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 Post subject: Richard Branson and Best investor buy PKRA
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:29 am 
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Article in the German FAZ:

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/sport/mehr-sport/kitesurfen-der-herr-milliardaer-mag-s-gerne-spektakulaer-13089834.html

Google Translation:

The Lord billionaire like it like spectacular

With the entry of investors to Richard Branson of the Kite World Cup will stand out in new dimensions. In the anticipation of better marketing opportunities fear interferes with the drivers to the nature of their sport.

Two trucks with big speakers for the sound system, a truck with loading area for the judges and the speaker is a tent on the beach as the paddock and one of the organizers - this minimal equipment is part of a World Cup in some places. It never happens rarely up that lost viewers in the Western Sahara to tour start at Punta charm in Panama or after Dhakla. "We are all of us", says the best German rider, Mario Rodwald.

A moody tent city with food stalls, stalls, beach volleyball court and beach chairs as in St. Peter's is the exception on the tour. The tourists complete the colorful picture of high performance sport, which mixes with the crowd at the drift line. The riders and their jumps, tricks and trips are within reach, as there is no fear of contact. The material bearing with the kites and boards is blocked only by red and white barrier tape. If you want, just get over it.

Each year over looking world's best riders are a single advertising space for the North Frisian health resort; the contract between the municipality and the organizing agency has just been extended again. The success of the event on the wide Ording North Sea beach has awakened desires. St. Peter is to be a model of a new World Cup series, which could begin as early as next year.

That soon should flow into the professional kite sports a lot more money, suggests a name whispered in St. Peter these days more than was spoken aloud: Sir Richard Branson. The 64-year-old founder of Virgin billionaire and is an avid rider; two years ago he went through as the oldest rider in the sport's history the English Channel. As can be heard, Branson is to take the tour together with a Spanish entrepreneur fashion chain "Zara" and a Spanish kite mark (Best). The umbrella organization of the professional kiters (PKRA) lying Tour rights they have already acquired. Already the next World Cup in Tarifa in southern end of this month will take place under the direction of the new leadership.

It is known that the PKRA wants higher quality events, more media coverage and more prize money for the driver. At the enforcement is lacking, however, because in many locations the sponsors are missing. Always a World Cup is deleted as an organizer not get the budget together. Mauricio Toscano, President of the PKRA itself will not stand in the way of the market power of the new investor group: "We are always looking for ways to improve our sport. From sports terms is the most important thing that the kitesurf conditions are ideal. And nothing will change. "
Drivers feel left out

Even in St. Peter, there were discussions between representatives of the investors, the PKRA and the organizing agency, Hamburg Agt Agency. Your CEO Matthias Neumann says: "The kite needs a better traceability for the spectators and a better dramaturgy at the site. We lack, for example, a reliable, high-quality coverage via live stream. Strong partners could have a very positive impact, especially for the kiting world. "While in St. Peter is much maxed out and fully booked, Neumann sees countless opportunities for improvement in other World Cup stops. He says: "Surely something must happen in prize money. And we can not do alone. "

In the scene blends into the quiet anticipation unimagined possibilities fear kiting could lose millions employed and subsequent investors interests of originality and traction. Demands and opportunities must be weighed. Bleachers are about impossible in the sand of St. Peter. Also show performances at the beach must follow the strict rules that have to be met in the Wadden Sea National Park, where the riders are just a guest.

The investors are very self-confident and do not necessarily ask anyone for advice - which has caused some upset with the driver association. You feel left out there. Last Monday leading rider sat at least with in the negotiations. The fear of what might be called upon to revise formulated the German Mario Rodwald so: "We must be careful that our format is not changed too crass. I would imagine that soon much higher jumps may be required, ten meters and higher. This is not difficult, but dangerous. You have to turn the head and have a high risk. It is important that we represent our views. We want to sell our sport better. But not at any price. We know that the kite has become a huge industry. "An industry that even the least benefit from the many drivers.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Branson and Best investor buy PKRA
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:37 am 
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Interesting considering Richards affiliations with Cabrinha. Also Best burning money like there is no end to it.

Reminds me of those other "non-profit kitesurfing brands" as mentioned in another thread.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2375053&start=70

The sales of Best kites alone won't cover however much they pay their pro riders(maybe they just sponsor them with free gear and/or room and board and travel?). What spot in the world are they moving all that kite volume? Have you seen the Best 2015 line up? It's quite warmed over...

I don't know how long they can keep pushing the same product year after year. Everyone who wants one; has got one.

If they brought back the Waroo that was good at one time(pre 2010) or lowered their prices; that would be a good start. 40 brands of kites to choose from.

If a top 4 by volume looks like this:

1. Cabrinha
2. North
3. Naish
4. Slingshot

I suspect even 3 and 4 change places occasionally?

Any guesses as to 5-10?

(I'm just fascinated by this entire industry)

Did anyone here know that Wainman launched their 3rd gen of kites a while back? Really bombed that launch as far as getting the word out. New Airrush gear is kinda slim.

I think the next big innovation in kites will be threadless. Can't the material be melted or bonded together and use no sewing?


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Branson and Best investor buy PKRA
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:11 am 
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Quote:
I think the next big innovation in kites will be threadless. Can't the material be melted or bonded together and use no sewing?


Not sure making kites harder to repair would be an innovation??


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Branson and Best investor buy PKRA
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:15 am 
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Location: Save a life...adopt a Pitbull
Waiman Rabbits 3.0 just came out....like last week.
The Maniac kites came out a while back.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Branson and Best investor buy PKRA
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:18 am 
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Seems like the weakest link in the kite; either considered before or after the bladders is the stitching and the loads subjected to them. Also UV degradation.

I suppose the repairs could be sewn.

Just seems like having it all melted together would be better then it all being held together by a thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Branson and Best investor buy PKRA
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:40 am 
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rtz wrote:
Seems like the weakest link in the kite; either considered before or after the bladders is the stitching and the loads subjected to them. Also UV degradation.

I suppose the repairs could be sewn.

Just seems like having it all melted together would be better then it all being held together by a thread.


Just aslong as my guy can still repair my kites without it costing a fortune!!


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Branson and Best investor buy PKRA
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:51 am 
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In reference to the actual article, I was kind of right.... :D


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Branson and Best investor buy PKRA
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:53 am 
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rtz wrote:
Seems like the weakest link in the kite; either considered before or after the bladders is the stitching and the loads subjected to them. Also UV degradation.

I suppose the repairs could be sewn.

Just seems like having it all melted together would be better then it all being held together by a thread.


Technically we're not far away from being able to produce new kites from a 3d printer. Don't know whether this would be a good or a bad idea.... Would they become more or less durable? If you broke one would you simply throw it away and print up another..? Might even get to the stage where anyone can design or personalise their own stuff easily.

Anyway, on the OP topic....I suspect that Dickie B has a kind of Red Bull mindset on this... The sport won't make money....but the exposure and brand affiliation stuff could. He's also passionate about it, usually attracts and works with people likewise inclined so it could be a good thing for e sport overall.


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Branson and Best investor buy PKRA
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:15 am 
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Back on topic

Toby wrote:
The investors are very self-confident and do not necessarily ask anyone for advice - which has caused some upset with the driver association. You feel left out there. Last Monday leading rider sat at least with in the negotiations. The fear of what might be called upon to revise formulated the German Mario Rodwald so: "We must be careful that our format is not changed too crass. I would imagine that soon much higher jumps may be required, ten meters and higher. This is not difficult, but dangerous. You have to turn the head and have a high risk. It is important that we represent our views. We want to sell our sport better. But not at any price. We know that the kite has become a huge industry. "An industry that even the least benefit from the many drivers.


Looks like an America's Cup description.

Maybe Branson saw his friend Larry Ellison foiling around San Francisco bay and got jealous! (they already compete for who has the biggest private island :)

I bet we will see more raceboards, foils, course racing, long runs/raids (cfr Branson's English Channel attempt). Or maybe not; only Zara caps.

Who will be the kite version of Russel Coutts?


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 Post subject: Re: Richard Branson and Best investor buy PKRA
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:01 am 
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That's an interesting move the PKRA don't have the financial muscle to make themselves into the ASP, so hopefully this will see kiting gain wider exposure without too much disruption to the format that the riders love.

Something has to be done, global kite sales topped out years ago so you need something to stop the inevitable decline and well organised, global media exposure is just the ticket. This should be good for the sport, good for the riders and good for the brands- I welcome it.


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