Now this is not a rant directed at a particular brand since this is going on everywhere but since I ride mainly North, im looking at the new North bar for 2013 which retails for 443 Euros / 550 USD / 349 GBP.
Is it that much better? Are we that much richer? Is the overall financial climate so good?
Yet, for a bar that is marginally better (arguable) than the previous model, the list price has now gone from 399 to 443 Euros. So next year then will we will finally hit 500 Euros for a bar that lasts a bit longer than 1 kiting season?
If you have been in the industry for a while im sure you can remember what a bar cost a few years back and now we can pretty much compare a bar to the value of a small kite.
Dont get me wrong, I absolutely believe you should pay for your kit a fair price, especially if a company spends time and effort every year to improve it. But do my bars last any longer? Are the materials any better? Not really, and worse, now they leave out features (hey Toby - no more microhook) and use inferior materials which are advertised as "extremely durable plastic" -
Again, this is not unique to North, pick your brand and its the same story. So where does this lead the sport to then?
Is it time for another Best Kiteboarding to come around and shake things up? Are the brands going to introduce normal priced gear and flog it as their "budget line"?
Further more, I believe that as a whole, such pricing hurts the overall interest in the sport and its popularity which in turn makes people not bother with learning it and instead start other, more affordable and accessible sports - read more on that here, "Is kiteboarding a dying sport?"
http://www.skyhooked.co.uk/2012/07/is-k ... ing-sport/