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Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

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Matteo V
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Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby Matteo V » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:29 pm

Cappycore posted this in another topic that many of you may not be watching.
CaptainCore wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:07 pm
Matteo V wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:23 pm
CaptainCore wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:24 am
And if you think it doesn't matter, this summer here in supposedly cold foggy and windy England, saw some kite suppliers saying their business was 60% down according to my pal who runs iksurf magazine, this thanks to the most windless and hottest summer on record. Even our own sales stalled for the first time in the four years since we re-engaged after the Slingshot drama, this August did not exceed last August and numbers were down.

UK figures are unlikely to affect world kite prices, but as we all know, it's a global village, numbers are not exactly soaring away given the maturity of the market, so any decline in numbers equals price hikes which none of us want. Kite prices have gone beyond the point that any of us feel really comfortable about and you only have to look at what happened with windsurfing business, higher prices equals fewer people equals even higher prices. That's without considering the liklihood of a tariff war and its effect on us.

So all in all, a gloomy outlook without wishing to further ruin your monday morning too much. :-?
Just wanted to save this from some COREporate mandated editing. Good info as used kites may be coming down with more kites on the market and less buyers. Also watch for closeouts on brands that have never had closeouts before.


Doesn't work like that I'm afraid, all that happens is less get built by all brands so the OEM builders with fixed overheads and in some cases increased material and even labour costs, put up the unit cost. We need a constant flow of entry level participants to hopefully outweigh the wastage from those that move on. As to discounting on a large scale I think it unlikely that Cabrinha under their new financial constraints will be building much to close out and I'm fairly sure North/Duo will have had a chill wind blow through with all their marketing spend, certainly here in the UK which was a big market for them and at this time I've no idea what the European market has been like this year but chances are if we're down up to 60 percent it can't have been good for them, since they are the clear market leader, not a good year to decide to change brand name. Nothing marketing spend can do to overcome the ravages of a bad weather season, ask the ski/snowboard industry.
I think you are answering a question I did not ask. So let me make this clear and simple since it is past noon where you are, and you likely have already had a few.


Given: Kites are produced about 3-12months before they are typically sold (like cars).

3-12 months after the kites have been produced, if sales are down significantly for that period, there are lots of unsold kites (last years) laying around. Thus there are too many kites and not enough kiters to buy them.

This should first mean some good closeout prices on those kites, unless the kite MFG wants to take those kites back and destroy them to keep their prices up.

If closeout prices for that overstock are significantly lower than retail, especially on brands that typically have no closeouts, this should drive down used kite prices as a kiter could just get brand new last years kites for the same price that used kites were going for. Thus the used prices would decrease in some proportion to closeout prices.

So from what you have stated, this is what we can expect? Or does Core destroy unsold kites instead of closing them out? And to be CLEAR, I am not asking anything about the next sales cycle.
Last edited by Matteo V on Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby Toby » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:18 pm

do they really produce 12 months ahead? I doubt. More like 6 months I assume?

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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby foilholio » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:15 pm

Smarter brands with their own factories make on demand. Not seeing any significant price rises from at least one of them, infact some things might be cheaper, but I don't really track them. $99 for a new kite is already very cheap :-)

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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby CaptainCore » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:35 pm

There is not one definitive answer to that question, a lot depends on each individual brands route to the market. Back in the Slingshot days for example, when we were not quite as focussed on it as our principle income stream we used to order multiple sizes in multiple quantities and shipped direct from China in containers, and there were large factory minimums to get the prices we wanted. This meant inevitably on occasion we'd get the numbers wrong and if cash became tight, we might close out to dealers who although we advised not to and suggested they just take the extra margin, they elected to use for quick easy sales. Being built in China made for better pricing, but longer period to market and high minimums.

Times have changed now, since the financial crash we no longer have lots of dealers who will carry stock or indeed would be capable of buying closeout in the sort of volume that would encourage us to risk that business model. Order cycles for kites were never 12 months, they were bi monthly, up to 6 shipments per annum with the option of airfreight which put a tenner on the cost of each kite and so reflected in the pricing, should we have to top up sizes or colours. That has also changed I imagine other than a few big european brands most folk are air freighting as close to just in time as they can, ever since the crash it's become a just in time world.

Core have a European central warehouse that we call on, our numbers are not at the level that we can go factory direct yet, here in the UK it's a young brand slowly gaining ground in an extremely flat market that has always been saturated with every kite brand that ever drew breath and once had an extremely vibrant local builder in Flexifoil.

The close out brands have already triggered, they do it in season, this year there were Norths for the first time in volume just as Duotone was also being pushed into the system there were Cabrinha as usual, nobody buys Cabrinha at RRP customers know to wait until May/June, it's a bit like Golden day in Japan. Slingshot are rumoured to be sitting on 150 twintips they are closing out and there are probably 30 off deals on their and F1's 2018 stock I'm not sure I haven't bothered to look. There's a big UK internet discount operation they're all on there, if you don't know them, I'm not going to advertise them, but that's where UK customers go for close out products.

Our business model is just in time we are actively discouraged to close out and the name of the game is undersupply the market in order to protect our customers investment in the brand so don't expect deals in the UK anytime soon. Now that doesn't mean you can't buy cheap elsewhere, nor does it mean there isn't stock languishing in other warehouses/shops with accounts under cost pressure.

I often wonder why this business with probably the tightest margins there are already, faces such a hostile consumer base, not wanting anyone to profit from their custom, I don't think there's anything quite like it in any other sport, windsurfing was exactly the same and seems to have passed down the same disease even though it eventually killed that sport.

When I think of all the poor bastards that tried and have gone out of business with nothing left for their efforts, yet today is the ten year anniversary of the collapse of RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) and the cretin that ran that operation is basking in his 17 million pension pot and has made 6 million more including a 2.8 million golden hand shake instead of being in jail with every other banker that was responsible for this mess.

So my advice for what it's worth if you do have a local dealer, then cherish them and don't hack them back to the bone on every deal, so you can go boast about it on the beach, inevitably it leads to where windsurfing is right now - nowhere.

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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby a99 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:04 pm

Shri Lanka people in factories making kites for 5 usd for whole working day, a kite costs 1500 usd and still kite brands no making profits ? What is going with the world indead ?

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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby ShaveTheWhales » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:15 am

Lets not forget, when there are no price increases on kites - you can still take these suckers with monumental increases in Bar prices :cool2:

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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby pmaggie » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:08 am

I think that windsurfing was killed also for the "extremization" of the materials. Speaking about kite, they are for sure expensive but once you bought a good 12 (or a size that fits the standard conditions of your home spot) and a board, 90% of the work is done. The you normally add a smaller kite and maybe a bigger one but they are normally kites that you can buy used and that are going to last since you use them only a few days in a season. E.g., this season I used my FS21 2-3 times, it's what in italian is called a "sfizio", a whim, something absolutely not mandatory to own. Windsurfing many years ago took a very bad direction: 50% to increase performances and 50% to sell, the stuff became very complicated. An X brand sail must use an X brand mast, elsewhere 80% it will not perform properly. The same sail must use a not least than 80% carbon mast. Boards type became a multitude and too specialized, windsurfers get frustrated because it seems you never have the right kit for the day. Also, windsurfing stuff is very enslaved to breakage. I think for the moment kite is not at the level of windsurfing, but the risk is always behind the corner...

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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby iriejohn » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:36 am

pmaggie wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:08 am
I think that windsurfing was killed also for the "extremization" of the materials. Speaking about kite, they are for sure expensive but once you bought a good 12 (or a size that fits the standard conditions of your home spot) and a board, 90% of the work is done. The you normally add a smaller kite and maybe a bigger one but they are normally kites that you can buy used and that are going to last since you use them only a few days in a season. E.g., this season I used my FS21 2-3 times, it's what in italian is called a "sfizio", a whim, something absolutely not mandatory to own. Windsurfing many years ago took a very bad direction: 50% to increase performances and 50% to sell, the stuff became very complicated. An X brand sail must use an X brand mast, elsewhere 80% it will not perform properly. The same sail must use a not least than 80% carbon mast. Boards type became a multitude and too specialized, windsurfers get frustrated because it seems you never have the right kit for the day. Also, windsurfing stuff is very enslaved to breakage. I think for the moment kite is not at the level of windsurfing, but the risk is always behind the corner...
Good points there.

Windsurfing became an increasingly equipment intensive watersport whereas for kitesurfing one board, one bar, and three kites covers everything from 15 knots to 30+ knots. I live by the sea and have a directional as well as a twintip but tbh most of the time I use a twintip and it really wouldn't be much of a loss not to have the directional any more. I also have four kites 6/8/10/12m which work well with my two boards but if I only had the twintip I'd have 7/9/12m kites. I also have two identical bars but only in case of breakage.

What manufacturers try to do is convince us that we need more because they know that every time we get more equipment it leads to further related purchases.
Last edited by iriejohn on Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby Toby » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:36 am

a99 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:04 pm
Shri Lanka people in factories making kites for 5 usd for whole working day, a kite costs 1500 usd and still kite brands no making profits ? What is going with the world indead ?
did you ever run a kite brand?

Go ahead, you will become a millionaire over night!

I had a board brand in 2002-2005. Never got paid the work we put into it.
Prototypes, teamriders, warranties, production, marketing etc money goes away very quick.

So I am very happy if kite brands make money...this will guarantee development and new products every year.

Imagine which kites you would ride if no one made profit? Still two line kites with no QR.

I would love to have a yacht and cruise the Caribbean...but I don't have the money, but I don't complain. I am happy with what I have and not complain that the yacht companies make a lot of profit...

Life is tuff...just enjoy what you have!

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Re: Core kites and kiteboarding industry sales this year

Postby a99 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:12 pm

I don't have kite brand of course and dont likte to have. I know sentence that if you would like to earn million in kite buisnes you must first invest billion there :) but i just wrote the fact that disbalance of working payments is cosmic and you always find where to spend brand incomes if it comes: riders marketing and etc.
And by the way, lot of inovation appears no related with brand direct, as all kite sport developed firstnot related direct with incomes thinking. Money is just catalizator or turbo engine for evolution process but in any way evolution will go even without money but of course is much less speed than.


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