WH Lithuania wrote: Mossy 757 wrote:
WH Lithuania wrote:Banga took my attention because of very solid construction. It could be the fast production foil unless Mike Labs switches from custom to production. So cool to see suchc trends shit multiple times per season! Not so cool to spend pile of cash on so short term trend.
Formula Kite requires use of production gear, so technically none of it is custom. I'd be willing to guess that ML is faster in heavy air and Banga in light.
By production I mean something off the shelf. Some competitions needs registered gear, but most of it are Open.
Right, but my point is that the Formula Kite class (which is the event going on in China right now) requires registered production gear, and both ML and Banga are considered off the shelf production equipment...technically. The requirements state that the manufacturer must have produced at least 10 units with unique serial numbers by the annual registration date for equipment. In reality, the IKA has allowed people to miss that date and has issued 3 revisions to the gear list since the date they initially advertised as the final equipment registration date. I'm not sure if Banga and ML made the original cut that was advertised previously, but nevertheless they're both registered as of the document posted on the 23rd of August.
The question is, are these guys all switching to Banga because it's better than what they were previously using or because Banga had enough inventory on hand to support a big sponsorship deal; this might be because most of the gear those guys rode in Mauritius likely doesn't meet measurement rules for the Formula Kite format and in order to compete in this event they needed class-legal gear.
A good example of manufacturing volume driving podium positions is Ozone. The R1V2 is great, but is it really the best kite on the market? Probably not, but since they have the manufacturing capacity to hand out probably hundreds of cheap or free kites to their team, everyone adopted it because they know that if they blow out their gear they can get a replacement. You can't say that about F-One right now unless you're in the top 3 of their sponsored riders, and you really can't say that about Elf since they're much more of a boutique kite shop. Flysurfer is the only other brand that can compete with volume and their kites just haven't been as fast due largely to compromises made for durability. So you artificially see lots of Ozones on the top of the charts because they're a more reliable brand to commit yourself to if you're looking to get sponsored. And they happen to make bang-up good gear, so it's a win win for racers, but if Elf had triple the kites on hand and enough of a non-racing base to justify more sponsorship, they'd like be on top as well. I think this is must be happening to a certain extent with foil manufacturers...anecdotal reports indicate that Mike is actually rejecting requests for foils trying to keep pace with his team riders pending a bulk manufacturing arrangement in Asia.
I know Axel and Maxime are likely frustrated by their consistent losses to Nico and Johnny as well, both were on Taaroa foils in Mauritius despite what the equipment list said about them riding the F-One gear. Is Banga the answer to that or just a stop-gap for this regulated regatta until they get back on their proto Swords and/or F-Ones?
That's what I'm trying to figure out before getting excited about the latest and greatest "next generation" of race foils.