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The Kite Mag - the ultimate Test Guide 2020

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nothing2seehere
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Re: The Kite Mag - the ultimate Test Guide 2020

Postby nothing2seehere » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:36 am

Have any of you asking questions about the testing method/results got in touch with the magazine to ask? Might be more productive than asking on an unrelated forum? Just saying?

From a practicality point of view though I can understand why they only test sponsors gear. Imagine the phone call to another company to test:

- Hello
- yes, I know we don't do business but I'd like some free kites to test please
- thats right for a magazine
- No we really are a magazine even though you have never seen us in your shops because we are english language only
- Yes we also do online content - but you can't read it because its behind a paywall
- I guess you are right, you have no way of checking that we actually do test kites - but could we still get some free kites

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Re: The Kite Mag - the ultimate Test Guide 2020

Postby TheKiteMagAlex » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:35 am

Hey guys,

Alex from TheKiteMag here.

Great to read all the comments and - trust me - we take it all on board! Just a couple of quick general points and if anyone wants to message me direct please feel free to at alex@thekitemag.com.

- Yes, we do charge brands to have their gear tested. All brands pay a rate for the number of items they have tested. So if brands don't pay then they don't get their gear tested because...
- Last year's test in Dakhla cost over €25,000. It takes a lot of time and effort to get the gear and team to Morocco and to pay for flights/accomodation/beer/design/layout/write ups. We do not make much of a profit on the test at all but....
- We are very aware of the claim that "magazines never test gear fairly because your advertisers pay your wages". Through doing the Ultimate Test and having a completely independent test team and test criteria this has been our solution. It is not perfect, but testing all of this kit back to back for a decent period of time and having clear quantitative data from a large test team with a broad range of experience and riding style is as good as we think we can realistically get. This year they worked exceptionally hard (!) testing 8 hours a day for 15 days, that is A LOT of riding hours when you consider the size of the test team. Every evening they then go over their experience and submit their stats and everything is recorded.
- YES, there are errors and typos! We're sorry... The guide weighs in at over 60,000 words and pulls together thousands of stats... We try our best (and regularly lose our shit when we are trying to put it together!) but we are not the New York Times with a whole team of proofreaders, and we do make mistakes. We point out any real clangers on social media as soon as we find out about them.
- Everyone likes a 'winner' but it is hard to choose precisely. Within 'freeride' kites for example, riders will expect different performance attributes depending on their riding style. So what is a good freeride kite for one rider won't be for another. We try to make clear in the write ups what kites are better for and we also have 'Standout' kites in each category which may be better for your riding style. As a few people on here have said, if you read all of the tests relevant to you then you should get - as a minimum - a good guide to what will work for you.

As I say thank you for the comments. Of course we are a business and we make our living through publishing magazines, but we are also primarily kiters, and I can assure you that we try our best to give you the best info that we can and spend many, many hours trying to get this right for you!

Cheers.
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mattaiken MYS NKB
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Re: The Kite Mag - the ultimate Test Guide 2020

Postby mattaiken MYS NKB » Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:03 pm

Thanks for the response Alex.

I think you did a really good job on the test issue. I say this as someone who worked for a kiteboarding magazine (and windsurfing) for more years than I care to admit and know how difficult it is to pull off tests. It looks to me like you found credible testers (not just some Joe off the street that loves trying out new kit) and you tried hard to take a very empirical approach to the testing, which is inherently extremely difficult in kiting.

It should be totally understood you have to charge brands to be involved in tests. Either that or require that they advertise. You need a revenue stream and frankly I'd argue it's unfair to the brands that have supported you with their ads for you to test some new brand that can just coast in without contributing to your bottom end. Furthermore I can say truthfully and with tremendous knowledge on this that no one in kitesurf publishing is getting rich.

Keep up the good work.
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Re: The Kite Mag - the ultimate Test Guide 2020

Postby alford » Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:27 pm

TheKiteMagAlex wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:35 am
Hey guys,

Alex from TheKiteMag here.

Great to read all the comments and - trust me - we take it all on board! Just a couple of quick general points and if anyone wants to message me direct please feel free to at alex@thekitemag.com.

- Yes, we do charge brands to have their gear tested. All brands pay a rate for the number of items they have tested. So if brands don't pay then they don't get their gear tested because...
- Last year's test in Dakhla cost over €25,000. It takes a lot of time and effort to get the gear and team to Morocco and to pay for flights/accomodation/beer/design/layout/write ups. We do not make much of a profit on the test at all but....
- We are very aware of the claim that "magazines never test gear fairly because your advertisers pay your wages". Through doing the Ultimate Test and having a completely independent test team and test criteria this has been our solution. It is not perfect, but testing all of this kit back to back for a decent period of time and having clear quantitative data from a large test team with a broad range of experience and riding style is as good as we think we can realistically get. This year they worked exceptionally hard (!) testing 8 hours a day for 15 days, that is A LOT of riding hours when you consider the size of the test team. Every evening they then go over their experience and submit their stats and everything is recorded.
- YES, there are errors and typos! We're sorry... The guide weighs in at over 60,000 words and pulls together thousands of stats... We try our best (and regularly lose our shit when we are trying to put it together!) but we are not the New York Times with a whole team of proofreaders, and we do make mistakes. We point out any real clangers on social media as soon as we find out about them.
- Everyone likes a 'winner' but it is hard to choose precisely. Within 'freeride' kites for example, riders will expect different performance attributes depending on their riding style. So what is a good freeride kite for one rider won't be for another. We try to make clear in the write ups what kites are better for and we also have 'Standout' kites in each category which may be better for your riding style. As a few people on here have said, if you read all of the tests relevant to you then you should get - as a minimum - a good guide to what will work for you.

As I say thank you for the comments. Of course we are a business and we make our living through publishing magazines, but we are also primarily kiters, and I can assure you that we try our best to give you the best info that we can and spend many, many hours trying to get this right for you!

Cheers.
I can only imagine how expensive a test like this would be! Do you disclose or preface the test with the information above?

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Re: The Kite Mag - the ultimate Test Guide 2020

Postby C6Boards » Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:23 pm

Hello, all there!

My name is Mikael and I´m the founder and owner of the new kiteboard brand C6 Boards based in Sweden.

I see that Alex was a little quicker than me to post, but I will just give my view of the test.

I have always thought that the brands that spend the most money on advertising and supporting the magazines will win the tests or get the best reviews.

In the last couple of years, I have spent almost all of my time and money to develop the absolutely best boards on the market. As a one-man company with a limited budget, I always need to think twice before I make an investment and think about the pros/cons.

Last year I was satisfied enough to start selling the boards, Sweden is a relatively small country so we had to look internationally.
We registered our trademark in the EU, USA, and Australia. But how should we reach all the people and how can we let people around the world try our board?

Me and my girlfriend were on some travels and we let people try our boards. It was harder than I thought to get people to test them, no one knew about us and no one knows what we have.
But after a while we got some people to tried them and we got comments like "It is probably the best board in the world"

We need to let people know about us, but how should we do it? We had around 100 followers on Instagram and maybe the best board in the world.

In the autumn I saw a post from TKM on Instagram about the Ultimate test, I had not spent one cent on Ads I thought I needed to get it tested.
But I sent a message to TKM and asked what was required to get the board tested, Alex was fast to reply and told me that is was only two weeks left before they needed the board and that they absolutely wanted to get It tested!
He told me that it was a fee for each gear, (I hardly dared to open the attached file) when I checked it I saw that it was not that much money.
After a couple of years, I know how much time and cost things need, and the fee was absolutely reasonable. But what's the catch?

Okay, it will be almost impossible to win something but maybe it will help me to reach more people and someone who does not have the opportunity to test the board still feels safe enough to order (if the test goes well)
One week later the board was on its way to the first stop at Tarifa. I need to say it is a good job Alex and his team did to bring all that gear to Dakhla!

I followed the test on TKM Instagram story, they posted a picture of my board and wrote "Our lightest board brand on the test!" and "Guess how much the @c6boards in 137cm weighs?"
That’s all I heard about the test for a couple of months until I got a DM on Instagram from a random guy "congratulations to the win" What? Has he read the test guide???

But when I finally got the test guide it was the most epic moment in my life! It says, WINNER!

So to all of you that are skeptical about the test, don´t be that.
I think this is enough proof that the test is not rigged, Alex and his team and the independent test rider did a great job to make the biggest side by side test in the industry!

Alex like me lives for this sport!
Support him and all the brands that were in the test by reading it, and of course, also by subscribing to the magazine!

Best Regards
Mikael Jonsson
Founder C6 Boards
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Re: The Kite Mag - the ultimate Test Guide 2020

Postby CaptainCore » Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:41 pm

None of the UK based mags appear to test stuff from brands that don't advertise, personally I think it's a short sighted attitude, since if they were objective and took unkown brands, tested to reality rather than not to not offend advertisers, folk might take more notice of them, plus now and again a new brand might get a leg up and they get a new customers for the future.

But they don't so the tests are not really representative imv. They started a foiling mag and have never included anything about Moses which is arguably one of, if not the better brands out there, so none of the products were tested against it, so how can they be representative? Had they tested the stuff we might have been persuaded to advertise, they didn't so we haven't, works both ways, as I said, a short sighted attitude. (We distribute Moses in the UK)

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Re: The Kite Mag - the ultimate Test Guide 2020

Postby Ice101 » Fri Apr 24, 2020 12:35 am

C6Boards wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:23 pm
Hello, all there!

My name is Mikael and I´m the founder and owner of the new kiteboard brand C6 Boards based in Sweden.

I see that Alex was a little quicker than me to post, but I will just give my view of the test.

I have always thought that the brands that spend the most money on advertising and supporting the magazines will win the tests or get the best reviews.

In the last couple of years, I have spent almost all of my time and money to develop the absolutely best boards on the market. As a one-man company with a limited budget, I always need to think twice before I make an investment and think about the pros/cons.

Last year I was satisfied enough to start selling the boards, Sweden is a relatively small country so we had to look internationally.
We registered our trademark in the EU, USA, and Australia. But how should we reach all the people and how can we let people around the world try our board?

Me and my girlfriend were on some travels and we let people try our boards. It was harder than I thought to get people to test them, no one knew about us and no one knows what we have.
But after a while we got some people to tried them and we got comments like "It is probably the best board in the world"

We need to let people know about us, but how should we do it? We had around 100 followers on Instagram and maybe the best board in the world.

In the autumn I saw a post from TKM on Instagram about the Ultimate test, I had not spent one cent on Ads I thought I needed to get it tested.
But I sent a message to TKM and asked what was required to get the board tested, Alex was fast to reply and told me that is was only two weeks left before they needed the board and that they absolutely wanted to get It tested!
He told me that it was a fee for each gear, (I hardly dared to open the attached file) when I checked it I saw that it was not that much money.
After a couple of years, I know how much time and cost things need, and the fee was absolutely reasonable. But what's the catch?

Okay, it will be almost impossible to win something but maybe it will help me to reach more people and someone who does not have the opportunity to test the board still feels safe enough to order (if the test goes well)
One week later the board was on its way to the first stop at Tarifa. I need to say it is a good job Alex and his team did to bring all that gear to Dakhla!

I followed the test on TKM Instagram story, they posted a picture of my board and wrote "Our lightest board brand on the test!" and "Guess how much the @c6boards in 137cm weighs?"
That’s all I heard about the test for a couple of months until I got a DM on Instagram from a random guy "congratulations to the win" What? Has he read the test guide???

But when I finally got the test guide it was the most epic moment in my life! It says, WINNER!

So to all of you that are skeptical about the test, don´t be that.
I think this is enough proof that the test is not rigged, Alex and his team and the independent test rider did a great job to make the biggest side by side test in the industry!

Alex like me lives for this sport!
Support him and all the brands that were in the test by reading it, and of course, also by subscribing to the magazine!

Best Regards
Mikael Jonsson
Founder C6 Boards
Board sounded interesting and well done. But did you win the award for most expensive boards too? Over 1000 euros for a kite board? Wowzers.

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Re: The Kite Mag - the ultimate Test Guide 2020

Postby TheKiteMagAlex » Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:08 am

alford wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:27 pm
TheKiteMagAlex wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:35 am
Hey guys,

Alex from TheKiteMag here.

Great to read all the comments and - trust me - we take it all on board! Just a couple of quick general points and if anyone wants to message me direct please feel free to at alex@thekitemag.com.

- Yes, we do charge brands to have their gear tested. All brands pay a rate for the number of items they have tested. So if brands don't pay then they don't get their gear tested because...
- Last year's test in Dakhla cost over €25,000. It takes a lot of time and effort to get the gear and team to Morocco and to pay for flights/accomodation/beer/design/layout/write ups. We do not make much of a profit on the test at all but....
- We are very aware of the claim that "magazines never test gear fairly because your advertisers pay your wages". Through doing the Ultimate Test and having a completely independent test team and test criteria this has been our solution. It is not perfect, but testing all of this kit back to back for a decent period of time and having clear quantitative data from a large test team with a broad range of experience and riding style is as good as we think we can realistically get. This year they worked exceptionally hard (!) testing 8 hours a day for 15 days, that is A LOT of riding hours when you consider the size of the test team. Every evening they then go over their experience and submit their stats and everything is recorded.
- YES, there are errors and typos! We're sorry... The guide weighs in at over 60,000 words and pulls together thousands of stats... We try our best (and regularly lose our shit when we are trying to put it together!) but we are not the New York Times with a whole team of proofreaders, and we do make mistakes. We point out any real clangers on social media as soon as we find out about them.
- Everyone likes a 'winner' but it is hard to choose precisely. Within 'freeride' kites for example, riders will expect different performance attributes depending on their riding style. So what is a good freeride kite for one rider won't be for another. We try to make clear in the write ups what kites are better for and we also have 'Standout' kites in each category which may be better for your riding style. As a few people on here have said, if you read all of the tests relevant to you then you should get - as a minimum - a good guide to what will work for you.

As I say thank you for the comments. Of course we are a business and we make our living through publishing magazines, but we are also primarily kiters, and I can assure you that we try our best to give you the best info that we can and spend many, many hours trying to get this right for you!

Cheers.
I can only imagine how expensive a test like this would be! Do you disclose or preface the test with the information above?
Hey bud, yes this was all detailed in the intro of the test (which was written about 4am the day the guide was due to print so may not have been quite as clear ha!). But having seen the feedback here we'll definitely make it clearer next time round! Thanks for the feedback. Alex

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Re: The Kite Mag - the ultimate Test Guide 2020

Postby Exal » Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:13 am

Ice101 wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 12:35 am
Board sounded interesting and well done. But did you win the award for most expensive boards too? Over 1000 euros for a kite board? Wowzers.
Did you start this life 10 minutes ago? :rollgrin: Carved :rollgrin: Core :rollgrin: Duotone Textreme :rollgrin: Crazyfly Elite :rollgrin:

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Re: The Kite Mag - the ultimate Test Guide 2020

Postby TheKiteMagAlex » Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:27 am

CaptainCore wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:41 pm
None of the UK based mags appear to test stuff from brands that don't advertise, personally I think it's a short sighted attitude, since if they were objective and took unkown brands, tested to reality rather than not to not offend advertisers, folk might take more notice of them, plus now and again a new brand might get a leg up and they get a new customers for the future.

But they don't so the tests are not really representative imv. They started a foiling mag and have never included anything about Moses which is arguably one of, if not the better brands out there, so none of the products were tested against it, so how can they be representative? Had they tested the stuff we might have been persuaded to advertise, they didn't so we haven't, works both ways, as I said, a short sighted attitude. (We distribute Moses in the UK)
To be honest I don't think you'll find any kite mag or bike mag or snow mag testing equipment that is not from its advertisers. It's just not how it works these days - we need to work together with advertisers as we need their support to publish the magazine. If we test gear from non-advertisers, then the brands we do work with wouldn't want to advertise either. Times have changed and brands have a lot of other ways to spend their marketing $ so we need to offer them something that they can't get elsewhere. By advertising in our magazines they get exposure and they get to be associated with a premium product. It also means they are supporting the sport as without them there wouldn't be a magazine to showcase what's going on in the world of kiting or foiling, and help to give it an identity in the wider world of watersports/extreme sports.

In return for their support we feature their riders, look at the brand's tech and new products, and we test their gear. It's a two way deal and means we get to publish our magazines, which we are really proud of and our readers love, and our subscription rate definitely shows that print is a long way from dead!

As has been discussed this does mean that people question the veracity of the tests, which is the main reason that we began the Ultimate Test.

We would love to have Moses in Foiling Magazine as they are for sure one of the biggest brands (and a lot of the guys behind the magazine love riding Moses), but we need support from them to give it back I'm afraid.


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