The issue I have is that all these brands manufacture in the same place (China) and that generally speaking the price of brand new kites is too high.
People then have the tendency to wait for discount deals instead of buying brand new kites. This does not affect the brand but the distributors (i.e. the local shop) as they have to get rid of the old inventory before the new hits the shelves.
The next major shift in the kite industry business model will be to distribute direct to consumer, lowering the price but preserving margins (Switch Kites already does and so does Takoon in Europe...). From the latest press release regarding North Kiteboarding they essentially hint at a new business model, which might as well be it. I believe that Slingshot, Cabrinha, Naish and others need to adapt in order to survive.
Cough....remember Ezzy Direct in windsurfing about 1999-2001. They did that then had to about face. I worked in the industry & used to listen to their marketing guy say how they needed to get away from that & get back to supporting the shops. Either way, there aren't really any shops where I live. The only time I ever am able to look at gear in a shop is when I'm on Maui. The one shop that is near my area wants top dollar for last years gear. I'm sure he knows what he's doing & probably moves gear. But I'm not rich & I use the hell out of my gear. So saving 40% with free shipping & no tax is a great way to go. Otherwise I'd be buying used gear.
People then have the tendency to wait for discount deals instead of buying brand new kites. This does not affect the brand but the distributors (i.e. the local shop) as they have to get rid of the old inventory before the new hits the shelves..
This also affects brands. Distributors adapt and downsize their orders the next year in order to have less unsold kites.
The Helix kites were a lot of fun, fast or maybe it was the shape that made them look fast. I really liked mine.
I guess the shape was dropped because it affected sales. (to a relatively conservative market)
Loved the name Helix, loved the kites performance and wind range. Make me a redbull one with the latest materials and techniques and supply it with the latest Naish BTB Bar and I would be a very happy fella...