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Kite Reviews, do you read them?

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Kitepix
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Kite Reviews, do you read them?

Postby Kitepix » Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:35 pm

Hi
Firstly, do you read the kite reviews in magazines?
Second, if you do what is it you like to know?
Third, If you don't read the reviews, why not?

I believe there is a very mixed opinion about this and it would be interesting to fined out why!

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alamos_kiter
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Re: Kite Reviews, do you read them?

Postby alamos_kiter » Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:51 pm

Kitepix wrote:Hi
Firstly, do you read the kite reviews in magazines?
Second, if you do what is it you like to know?
Third, If you don't read the reviews, why not?

I believe there is a very mixed opinion about this and it would be interesting to fined out why!


1. No
2. first hand experience
3. sponsored tests are useless biased marketing BS. And kite magazine tests are sponsored most of the time.

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Re: Kite Reviews, do you read them?

Postby randycasburn » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:07 pm

alamos_kiter wrote:
Kitepix wrote:Hi
Firstly, do you read the kite reviews in magazines?
Second, if you do what is it you like to know?
Third, If you don't read the reviews, why not?

I believe there is a very mixed opinion about this and it would be interesting to fined out why!


1. No
2. first hand experience
3. sponsored tests are useless biased marketing BS. And kite magazine tests are sponsored most of the time.

+1

They are BS. Your magazine gets revenue from the companies you are reviewing. It is impossible for you to be unbiased in your "reviews".

Until you separate yourselves from the kite company $$$ you cannot claim independence in any reasonable way.

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Re: Kite Reviews, do you read them?

Postby Laughingman » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:07 pm

Kitepix wrote:Hi
Firstly, do you read the kite reviews in magazines?
Second, if you do what is it you like to know?
Third, If you don't read the reviews, why not?

I believe there is a very mixed opinion about this and it would be interesting to fined out why!


1. Rarely, and if I do it is mostly a cursory skim read.
2. I'm looking for basic characteristics, what type of riding is the kite good for etc... That way I can decide to add it to the list of kites to test or not.
3. I don't pay that much attention to it because the testers are not reporting honestly, they all have a stake in promoting the brands at some level. When was the last time you saw a magazine print a completely negative review of a kite?

The only way to know if you like a kite or not is to fly it and ride with it for at least an hour or so. Preferably in the conditions and locations you usually ride in/at.
I for one will never ever buy another kite without at least testing a size in that year, make and model. So if a brand wants my $5000 - $10000 I spend on gear every 3 - 5 years... they better get their products in our hands to test.... period.

Cheers
Pete

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Re: Kite Reviews, do you read them?

Postby edt » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:22 pm

it's all a load of bullshit.

There are some things I will definitely read, for instance, control bars, I love reviews about control bars, I also like reviews about boards they are interesting, but kites ... want to know how well a kite megaloops, drifts, jumps, will it pull hard in a turn, how well does the kite do a jesus walk, unhooked, flat water, chop, waves, turning? Impossible. It's like asking someone to review a pair of shoes for you. Absolutely no way to tell until you go to the store and put one on.

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Re: Kite Reviews, do you read them?

Postby Starsky » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:43 pm

Oh they are what they are, but I read em and have to say that in the end, most of the pertinent info gets through the cracks. You can't go on one review, which is precisely what you get when the same review gets used in a million places, but you get the idea of where a kites strong points are Vs it's weak points. Helps to know the manufacturers well enough. End user reviews are great too but sometimes further off base depending on the rider, their experience, and biases. The mags are less smoke and sunshine than dealer or fan boy reviews. I read em all, and have to say, once you cut out the obvious noise they generally say it all. Knowing what the previous years of a kite model are like and reviewed helps as does knowing your ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to types of kites. There generally isn't enough info out in the first 6 months of a kites launch to go from. Looking up kites that are over a year old there is much more to go on, and certainly its easy enough to avoid the duds.

Generally find it harder to get good reviews of small kites than big ones.

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Re: Kite Reviews, do you read them?

Postby CaptainArgh » Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:00 pm

Kitepix wrote:Hi
Firstly, do you read the kite reviews in magazines?
Second, if you do what is it you like to know?
Third, If you don't read the reviews, why not?

I believe there is a very mixed opinion about this and it would be interesting to fined out why!

I skim or ignore the company provided marketing blurbs. For some reviews, that is the entire review. Which makes it just a sponsored gear guide.

I read the comments from reviewers and what the magazine thinks. TKB has been calling out the sections lately which is a little better. "What manufacturer says, Rider feedback, What TKB says, etc."

You have to realize that they never say anything bad about the kite. So I take the positive comments lightly (they usually echo the marketing speak) and I try to read between the lines on even the faintest criticism. There is usually more to it.

It's tough...because what I want to see is an honest review, which we never get. BUT, even if you did get that it would still be subjective because everybody likes different things! Some like lots of bar pressure, some like light bar pressure, some like a kite that sits where you put it and others like fast kites, etc.

The things we can all agree on is build quality. So it should be easy to have an unbiased review of materials, stitching, swivels, pulleys, safety release, etc. You either double/triple stitched it, or you didn't. You either have ball bearing swivels or a plastic swivel or a slider or whatever...

Same goes for light wind kites. Cut the bullshit out and put the same guy on the same board and have him trade out kites. Which kites get him riding in 10mph, which don't? That'd be an easy table.... rider weight, wind speed at time of test, was he able to ride?, power rating. You could read the table and say..."I'm lighter than him, that kite may work for me."

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Re: Kite Reviews, do you read them?

Postby Safari » Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:18 pm

No, I don't read it, I'm a beginner and was searching for my first kite so I red some of those magazines reviews and it's sucks, it's not giving any real reviews, it's obviously a paid advertisements for some kites. You can't make a real review when you get a money from the producer, it doesn't need an expert to notice that. So I decided to not read any kites reviews anymore.

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Re: Kite Reviews, do you read them?

Postby Westozzy » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:53 pm

Starskys on the money. They are just one source of many. Put all the information together to get a rough picture. Then I try and contact people who actually ride them for more detailed information. Then I demo, which I know is not possible for some. Magazine articles are always from a glass is half full point of view and for a reason. Know this, they are not totally annoying.

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Re: Kite Reviews, do you read them?

Postby KYLakeKiter » Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:14 am

Its a mixed bag. If its from the manufacturer or someone you know is affiliated with the brand then its just Bla bla, but the technical facts may be useful.

If its from someone who just opened up the box with their new toy, then usually they are excited about it and will most likely like it (more often because it is much newer than what they were using)

I think the most effective reviews are the ones where people of the same size are using the kite someone is looking for in the same conditions, ie: I am 95kg and ride a giant door board in 10kts of wind and crappy chop...or I weigh 65kg and get drug downwind by everything and ride mostly 2ft of butter. People relate to the description closest to their own situation. That seems to me to be the type reviews most people will pay attention to in detail.

What I would like to see more of is head to head evaluations of different brands in the same conditions on the same boards with different weights of riders giving their opinions. Most kite companies avoid direct comparison like the plague, but since I believe most kite companies are putting out good products (each benefitting different riders in different ways) on average, they would have happier and more loyal customers who got what they wanted with less experimentation among brands and models.


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