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Liquid force kiteboarding stops business

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longwhitecloud
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Re: Liquid force kiteboarding stops business

Postby longwhitecloud » Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:49 am

It has been downhill ever since the day the IKA, GKA / World sailing got involved.

Was so predictable. Bringing legal action onto competition organisers for using the term " world champion" in a niche sport was always a recipe for disaster. For selfish interests.

Kiteboarding always needed the hype and stoke generated through fun and exciting competitions and the content and hype and stoke that they in turn generated; however, the kiteboarding competitions that have run since have become bland, boring and blatantly unfair ( run by a select few brands to promote /fund their own riders to attend whereby the prize money didn't even come close to covering costs for riders not part of these brands.) All while keeping exclusive rights to the term " world champion. It wouldnt be allowed/accepted in any other sport.

Meanwhile many brands went in the direction of trying to make $ by producing ever more complex and specialised equipment to squeeze $ out of the middle aged and older.

Meanwhile the younger generation of kiters, already low, decreases further and hence kiteboarding is left with no new market to sell to, and really doesnt have products to sell to them any more.

Covid 19 isnt the problem, it is just the final straw.

For all the hype about olympic kite racing, many countries have a female representative that doesnt have anyone else to race against 10 years later, could be something do do with the $16 000 worth of equipment that is need to be a top competitor... Con job, from the very beginning.

I got a lot of younger riders involved in kiting and they loved the hype and stoke of pushing each other and having events to look forward to. Kiting was progressive and to be honest pretty open in its style.

Along came a few riders that decided the way they did things was the way for freestyle ( wakestyle) and anything else was shit, also bagging on riders on surfboards even.

The truth is these were privileged kids that had no idea of the concept of being unable to even afford wakeboarding bindings after buying a really expensive kite all while giving out their opinion of how kiting is too easy in other styles which was clear and even more so now, is not the case.

I knew some kids that were better than these 'pro riders' and were riding 10 year old kites ( u probably get the same thing in brazil) and yet they were being fed this superiority bullshit via the kite media by financially privileged self obsessed riders at the time.


With no worthwhile prize money and sponsorships available a few years ago beyond a few exclusive members of the big brands running their own competitions for self interests, many great riders had to get a real job and hence the flow of stoke via awesome content that influenced so many young riders came to a grinding halt and was replaced with the privileged freestyle riders left making boring promo video that often included them pimping their companies foil boards after bagging foiling for so many years .. $ talks

And there ended the story of the downfall of kiteboarding
.
Lol!
Last edited by longwhitecloud on Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Liquid force kiteboarding stops business

Postby Windigo1 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:24 pm

You raise a lot of interesting points longwiththecloud. Just from a pure market point of view I think most of us knew that it's unsustainable to have 100 kite brands most of them barely making money and prices that keep increasing every year with no apparent limit. Many people learn to kite when they travel there isn't much traveling this year and several locations banned kiting for months. This was a catalyst, it's was inevitable that a few companies that were already in the red would sink. Those that have been kiting for a long time and that are really hooked like me will keep doing it but the ever increasing prices and sophistication will cool the market like what happened to windsurfing. There used to be hundreds of windsurfers where I live and now there is maybe 10 in an area of 1.5 million people.

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Re: Liquid force kiteboarding stops business

Postby longwhitecloud » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:43 pm

Windigo1 wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:24 pm
You raise a lot of interesting points longwiththecloud. Just from a pure market point of view I think most of us knew that it's unsustainable to have 100 kite brands most of them barely making money and prices that keep increasing every year with no apparent limit. Many people learn to kite when they travel there isn't much traveling this year and several locations banned kiting for months. This was a catalyst, it's was inevitable that a few companies that were already in the red would sink. Those that have been kiting for a long time and that are really hooked like me will keep doing it but the ever increasing prices and sophistication will cool the market like what happened to windsurfing. There used to be hundreds of windsurfers where I live and now there is maybe 10 in an area of 1.5 million people.
exactly like windsurfing

even today you can go out and buy an original windsurfer reissue where the design would be 50 years old in not so many years and have a great time bombing around without all the huge cost, someone where i live has one and rips on it - he thinks the same way.

not a huge surprise because it is actual windsurfers that entered into the kiting market with the same attitude as what messed up windsurfing. They have been on course to f$# up kiting too for quite some time, removing all the young riders by pretending/marketing that our equipment is way more performance based than it really is... towards more affluent older riders that like fake carbon and like to do 2 weeks research about a new kite bar.

It is driven by potential profit obviously, but it has been a predictable fail.

Hopefully more organisations and brands fail in kiting and a real grassroots movement takes hold again at some stage that is able to inspire.

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Re: Liquid force kiteboarding stops business

Postby Matteo V » Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:22 pm

Just like kite boarding took a great big bloody bite out of windsurfing, wingeing isn't helping either. I've heard some stories, though not seen it first-hand, where entire groups of kite boarders have gone to wingeing in certain locals.

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Re: Liquid force kiteboarding stops business

Postby Flyboy » Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:47 am

longwhitecloud wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:43 pm
Windigo1 wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:24 pm
You raise a lot of interesting points longwiththecloud. Just from a pure market point of view I think most of us knew that it's unsustainable to have 100 kite brands most of them barely making money and prices that keep increasing every year with no apparent limit. Many people learn to kite when they travel there isn't much traveling this year and several locations banned kiting for months. This was a catalyst, it's was inevitable that a few companies that were already in the red would sink. Those that have been kiting for a long time and that are really hooked like me will keep doing it but the ever increasing prices and sophistication will cool the market like what happened to windsurfing. There used to be hundreds of windsurfers where I live and now there is maybe 10 in an area of 1.5 million people.
exactly like windsurfing

even today you can go out and buy an original windsurfer reissue where the design would be 50 years old in not so many years and have a great time bombing around without all the huge cost, someone where i live has one and rips on it - he thinks the same way.

not a huge surprise because it is actual windsurfers that entered into the kiting market with the same attitude as what messed up windsurfing. They have been on course to f$# up kiting too for quite some time, removing all the young riders by pretending/marketing that our equipment is way more performance based than it really is... towards more affluent older riders that like fake carbon and like to do 2 weeks research about a new kite bar.

It is driven by potential profit obviously, but it has been a predictable fail.

Hopefully more organisations and brands fail in kiting and a real grassroots movement takes hold again at some stage that is able to inspire.
Jeesus. Your narrative bears absolutely no relationship to my experience of kiting. I couldn't care less about what the IKA, GKA / World sailing does. It has no effect at all on my recreational kiting - or any of the other kiters I know. Nothing "messed up" windsurfing - it was very popular for a few years, became more high performance oriented & the mass, novelty interest died down. Kiting contributed to its demise by offering a mechanically superior development of the basic concept.

Kiting equipment hasn't got more expensive over the years ... it's got cheaper & ( a lot) better. It's true that you can spend a lot of money on "premium brands", but that's a choice, not a necessity. When Best came along in the 2000's they made good gear available for half the price, or less, of the existing big name brands. In the present, companies like Gong are doing the same thing.

Foiling started out as an expensive niche speciality sport, but has now opened itself out to a much bigger market with a whole range of different foiling products that make kite foiling/SUP/surfing, wind & winging a possibility for the average, athletically inclined individual. Kite foiling has doubled or tripled my time on the water & it doesn't require expensive or complex equipment. It is true that there is a constant hunt for new products to sell to the kiting consumer. Some of them are revolutionary, like the LEI, the bow kite, the hydrofoil, others are more marginal & rely heavily on marketing hype. I guess it's up to the individual to decide how far to follow the hype ...
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longwhitecloud
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Re: Liquid force kiteboarding stops business

Postby longwhitecloud » Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:18 pm

Have a look at the cost increase of producing products in China over that last 10 years due to wage increases. The Wholesale and Full retail pricing over the last 10 years has outpaced inflation by a big margin.

Best is long Bust, Liquid Force is LIquidating, BWS gone. Even Switch Kites put their prices up .. why - because the price from the factories in China went up.

"Kite foiling has doubled or tripled my time on the water & it doesn't require expensive or complex equipment." Peoples ideas of expensive vary greatly!

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Re: Liquid force kiteboarding stops business

Postby UKSurf » Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:13 pm

longwhitecloud wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:43 pm
not a huge surprise because it is actual windsurfers that entered into the kiting market with the same attitude as what messed up windsurfing.
I do not think anyone messed up windsurfing it is still popular as a "have a go sport" at the beginnner level - however very few people are willing to put in the years of practice it takes to get to the level of carve gybing and jumping so many simply lose interest. Those that are willing to make that kind of dedication are probably going to find kitesurfing more appealing. Also the amount of kit involved and transport issues puts people off. I wouldnt be surprised if the boom in the SUP market doesnt see some resurgence of interest in windsurfing with sups having the option of putting sails on them or using wings. Short board windsurfing is pretty much dead and a big part of that death has been due to the evolution of watersports and the invention of kitesurfing which is easier and for most people alot more fun. Longboard windsurfing as a safe, easy to learn and fun wind/wave sport could well see a comeback and be able to offer things kitesurfing cannot.

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Re: Liquid force kiteboarding stops business

Postby Flyboy » Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:09 pm

longwhitecloud wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:18 pm
Have a look at the cost increase of producing products in China over that last 10 years due to wage increases. The Wholesale and Full retail pricing over the last 10 years has outpaced inflation by a big margin.

Best is long Bust, Liquid Force is LIquidating, BWS gone. Even Switch Kites put their prices up .. why - because the price from the factories in China went up.

"Kite foiling has doubled or tripled my time on the water & it doesn't require expensive or complex equipment." Peoples ideas of expensive vary greatly!
The first LEI kite I bought was a 9m Naish AR 3.5 "Sky Pirate" in 2001. It cost me $1,400 CDN with bar (plus tax). The directional board I got with it cost me $1,200 CDN (plus tax). It's the most I've ever paid for a kite or board. There was no used equipment & no "deals". Inflation since then has been around 50%, so the equivalent in current terms would be $2,100 & $1,800 CDN plus tax)

My current kites? In 2017 I bought a quiver of new "liquidated" 2015 Best Cabos. I paid between $300 & $350 US for each of them.
About 10 months ago I bought a new Gong foil for around $500 US. When it's under 20 knots I use the foil, over 20 knots I use a SB I bought in 2010 for $350 CDN. I find that 90% of the time I use one of two kites: an 8m that I use with the foil in anything over 10 knots & a 6m in anything over 14 knots. I use the 8m with the SB in anything over 18 knots & the 6m in anything over 24 knots.

My most recent purchases? A couple of lightly used 2016 RRD Religions that I bought so my daughter could transition to SB riding. I paid around $250 US each. I know there are people who buy a new quiver of $1,500 - $2,000 kites each year, but that's not a requirement at all & I doubt their kiting fun is much different from mine.
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Re: Liquid force kiteboarding stops business

Postby Toby » Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:29 pm

no wonder the industry is dying Flyboy!

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Re: Liquid force kiteboarding stops business

Postby drsurf » Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:59 pm

I think when you look at the statistics in the increase of overweight/obese people, (read unfit), nowadays you'll see one of the reasons there has been a drop off in participation in some sports. Especially those that require good coordination skills.
A friend of mine who has been a school teacher for many decades has been shocked at the decrease in motor skills in her classes in the 6-12 year old age group over time. Performing basic skills like catching and bouncing a tennis ball for these kids has diminished substantially. And this is in a regional area, not in a city. They have very fast fingers on a screen however...


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