I've been riding Cabrinha kites since I started kiting some 3 years ago, mostly because it's what I learnt on and the quality seems OK (apart from the minor quirks with their bars). Since stating, I've gotten 4 bars, and 5 kites. 1 kite from a school (almost new), 3 new at almost full price, and 1 recently at a big discount since It was new but 2016 model. I get my kites and bars new since I want to know how they've been treated. My last kite as a previous model since I'm starting to question the year-to-year updates and the fact that we're literally paying for a product that deprecates quick and can be quickly destroyed by a wave or a bad crash regardless of how new or well taken care it's been, so I'm thinking more of them as if they're disposable items.
I've mainly kited on my local spot, where the amount of people that gets kite gear for free or through schools or other "family discounts" is rather large. I though this was something related to my local spot, but recently traveled a bit to other spots outside the country and found out more or less the same. I know some people who have gotten free kites for their school, but they use them personally and don't let the school staff/students ride the new gear (we're talking the owner riding 2017 gear and the school having 2014-2015 old repaired gear). I know brand ambassadors that don't really do that much promotion, and other who are sponsored athletes who don't really do much competition or have major intl. exposure.
How common are situations like this at your spot and how do you feel about this? It sometimes feels like each full price kite bought is expensive cause it has to fund 2 other free kites and a nice youtube video production instead of actual product/rd. I'm lately starting to question if it's not better to go for brands like Switch, where price is lower for what looks like a good product, or just buy older unsold models (although you don't always find exactly what you look for).
Are there any other brands like Switch? How many of you are just buying last years gear and or used?
(Note: I'm not bashing on schools/athletes/ambassadors, I'd get free gear or heavy discounts if I could, just trying to make sense of this market)