For Rainer Kauper,
One last thing....your USA distributor is loosing money for you big time. He does no demo events anywhere anytime in the huge kite community of the western USA. He has failed on numerous occasions with personal emails from me trying to get info and parts for spleene gear. I have seen other posts regarding his flakey business dealings and lack of brand representation. My advice is get a western USA distributor. it is too costly for one distributor apparently to properly market the entire USA market. The kite community is maturing and tired of buying gear site unseen and untested and then being horribly disappointed.
This is a worldwide forum I presume, so it seems your prospective buyers are around the globe. Help us
try your new gear.
my 2 cents:
I have been doing business with the USA Spleene distributor (who also happens to be the US Flysurfer distributor) for at least the last 9 years. I have ordered quite a few boards and kites from him for my customers and for my personal riding, and for my teaching program. In general I have been very happy with his services. I consider myself to be fairly demanding of other people when it comes to standing behind a product they are selling, following through on promises, and performing in a timely manner. I have never been disappointed with my Spleene/Flysurfer service...in fact my satisfaction with the same is one of the major reasons I have purchased items...many time sight unseen and untested...becasue I know that Spleene (and Flysurfer) are premium products, well engineered, constructed with the best materials and methods, and have all provided years upon years of excellent performance and these products hold their value very well when compared to any other kites and boards on the market.
I agree that it would be great to have more chances to demo kites and boards, and I know he occasionally visits several places to do so...however this is a very challenging task for a small company and a rep to be everywhere when the wind is good for testing, etc...and the fact that these are not your average mass production products that are churned out and sitting on shelves in kite shops. The other problem with a schedule for demo-ing products is that there is probably less than a 50% probability that the wind will cooperate on the date of the demo...and even then very few people will show up and try for a variety of reasons. I say this from my own experience and observations from 1 years in this sport/business.
Only a few people actually stock these items or have demo boards on hand, probably because they are a little more expensive than a lot of other crap being sold at really high mark-ups...and then discounted back to a 10% margin if they don't sell during their model year to make shelf space.
Sometimes, you get what you pay for...and sometimes what you are willing to wait for....however I have never been sorry for waiting (which has been a rare case).
IMO, Spleene has, from my own experience, always produced a great product, and has such an excellent reputation that it became easy for me to feel confident enough in their equipment to order without trying...the technical specs and the design objectives on each product is very well defined and IMO very reliable.
btw...I have owned a 2007 Spleene Zone for 7 years now...I just rode the board today in fairly light wind. I am always amazed at how versatile this board is...great in light wind, planes super fast and easy, but can hold down loads of power too and very good for "big" days...great fun jumping it and smacking waves effortlessly. I have hauled this board around the planet numerous times, ridden the living piss out of it, and it is perfectly intact and rides like a dream. I ride strapless surfboards most of the time but when I want to go with straps this 159 Zone absolutely rips!