Thank you so much for the (so far) positive replies. As Robert has led the GSL factory for 5 years and a good part of our own people have decennia of production experience from there we believe to have made a good start when we set up our own production facility in Sri Lanka. Our gear does not come cheaper from factory than the major brands!
Hope you dont mind I take the opportunity to answer some common questions people have when looking at our brand (of course from my point of view). I'm not a marketer nor is English my native language so sorry if the answers are not always slick.
What if you have an issue? A kite takes 30-40 hours of hand labor, to build! Many materials come from different suppliers. Canopies, Dacron, sewing threats are non-static materials, hence, NO brand is free of faulty products now and then. Many items used in our kites come from a supplier that supplies to multiple of the biggest brands. At the unfortunate moment you have an issue, you can mail me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org
) and no one will be left disappointed about the solution even if it takes us a loss! No one wins with people not being happy with their gear in the end.
How about the spares? Each bladder, bridle, valve is on stock in EU! In the worst case, something runs out we manufacture and send by post directly from our factory.
Small brands don’t innovate? The US Dacron used since this year on all kites of the biggest kite brand has partly seen its birth and development on our kites. The full Japanese double side coated canopies we use for 2 years as first brand is now used by a big player as well while a newer version developed on our input is also in final development stage. A good reason for big brands not to change is that they have combination deals for Dacron and canopies at the well known supplier so if they would change canopies, they would pay more for their Dacron and their marketing department would probably not be happy to drop a respected brand for a new brand even though the JIS tests on both cloth show at least a good par when comparing all results after 5 hours washing (abuse) and fluttering. We are the only brand using the expensive FL-32 dynamax lines on their bar, beside a technical discussion you can have about its benefits in kitesurfing it does show we help innovating in our own way. We just manufactured a huge kite for the green energy sector. Upscaling of this will demand many technical and material hurdles to take which we believe with our deep R&D background to solve as well.
You won’t be able to sell them 2nd hand? Even if you give them to a friend for a crate of beer, you may have lost the same money as when selling your new bought new year's big brand kite.
The bar? Knowing our history, it is understandable we started with a bar with y at 5m height which was also the standard at the brand our people worked with. We are now in development phase for low V as we do see the market demand for it.
At this moment, we deliver 2 metal rings with a QR code in a separate sachet with each bar. With this people can make a single line safety bar BUT as the bar can only travel up 5m, it is an honest story to say this is not sufficient for most big kites (also a bit depending on model). Personally, I am happy with SLS on small kites and DLS on large kites but that is not our end goal. Anyway one simple option is to increase y to 7m like another big brand did 2 years ago but we prefer to move towards the low V as many schools in specific places like to teach with very short lines so then the road to low V was for us the better option. At this moment our step wise changes on the bar go fast, we dont wait for changes till a new year if they improve things hence have new upgrades throughout the year(s).
Seems a long leap of text now but hope it is of any value and help. My intention is not to say you should not buy big brands! If you feel better by the bussiness model these brands follow, then support them. But we are confident that also our way of working has it's place on the market. As someone already pointed out, you can test a kite you ordered and return with refund (except transport back) if you're not satisfied.