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conspiracy theory: no way wings should be so expensive

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Re: conspiracy theory: no way wings should be so expensive

Postby consumer » Tue Jul 05, 2022 4:41 am

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Re: conspiracy theory: no way wings should be so expensive

Postby BWD » Tue Jul 05, 2022 1:11 pm

The wings (and kites) are too expensive.
The boards are egregiously expensive for essentially the same 40 year old tech used in other products that cost 30-60% less.
The “progression” and innovation are nice but half the time end up being illusory.
All gear sports end up as a tax on fun. But it’s still fun.

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Re: conspiracy theory: no way wings should be so expensive

Postby Eltreato » Wed Jul 06, 2022 5:28 pm

Here are my random thoughts:

There does seem to be a ridiculous mark-up on wings, especially here in Canada where the shops know the consumer has very few options. These shops seem to know winging is where the growth is and are milking it as much as they can. It'll never be a mainstream sport though, much like windsurfing or kiting. Most people can barely organize to ride their bikes to the beach, let alone get there with all the gear needed to go winging then have the patience to learn the mechanics of the sport.

Kiting is definitely in decline where I live and it's understandable as the costs are ridiculous not to mention all the access issues at my local spots. It's like windsurfing all over again, and no amount of Aluula is going to save the sport, in fact it will just accelerate the decline. Kitefoiling seems to be keeping people's interest in the sport at my local spots for now, especially given our light winds. All the guys kitefoiling, yes guys, are really, really good kiters who have been doing it for years, I don't think any got in to kiting recently just for the foiling aspect of it. The newbies are getting in to winging even if our light winds are more suited to kitefoiling. It's rare I ever even see a twin tip or surfboard anymore, but I am out on the light days. Lots of people I know have moved on from the sport if all they did was twintip or ride surfboards.

I wouldn't blame people for buying their wings from Aliexpress when it's so obvious that many brand name wings are coming out of the same factories, not to mention that many brands name wings are still pretty lousy, at least the lousy wings are cheaper on Aliexpress.

I remember buying a 12m Waroo in 2006 for $940USD complete with bar, now I could barely buy a 2m wing new at that price and there is nothing to these wings compared to a kite of this size with bar. That price would be about $1300 today with inflation. There's no way I could find a complete 12m for that today, now they seem to be about $1800 without a bar. Ah late stage capitalism, I wish my wage was indexed to kite prices! The industry is putting itself to bed.

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Re: conspiracy theory: no way wings should be so expensive

Postby BWD » Wed Jul 06, 2022 5:47 pm

late stage capitalism
In the future will own no kites and be perfectly happy.
You will rent anything you want!*

*if the nerkles nerds and wonks pre-approve this use of your digital allowance.
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Faxie (Wed Jul 06, 2022 7:32 pm)
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Re: conspiracy theory: no way wings should be so expensive

Postby joekitetime » Wed Jul 06, 2022 6:02 pm

My neighbor used to design and build sails. He is a sewing genius. He tore one wing apart and through "R&D" (ripoff and duplicate) made his own wing.

This was his conclusion:
There are so many hours to sew a wing that in the end you make about 25 cents an hour sewing. Forget about testing and r&d.

Go ahead and make your foil designs, board designs, and wing designs. Build your own! No one if forcing you to buy what is commercially available.

I hate paying the money too.

I've seen Mike at MikesLab building and testing his foils for years before he gets the design right to where he likes it. When you buy things from genius designers you aren't buying the $100 dollars worth of materials in the final product, you are buying lots of thrown away designs and attempts too. But you know that.

It is also a problem I see with the chumps who refuse to pay money for good gear and ride the same old crap from the 80s. They don't progress and they brag about it because they refuse to pay the price of performance.

Buy hey, if you are having fun then by all means, enjoy! But can you please take my photo while I am jumping over you! Thanks!

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Re: conspiracy theory: no way wings should be so expensive

Postby juandesooka » Wed Jul 06, 2022 6:22 pm

this thread is amusing. Windsurfing was too expensive in the 80s, so we instead we surfed and hiked back country snowboarding and rode cheap mountain bikes. Middle age came with a steady job and eventually more free time which allowed investing in these toys. Wind chasing still remains expensive, whether kiting or winging. There is no conspiracy, it is a luxury item ... it is also a choice, if you don't want to sacrifice the big bucks to do it then go do something cheaper instead. It costs what it costs.

But in all these sports you can do them all more affordably if you ride the back half of the curve....the leading edge keeners will keep buying the latest/greatest, you buy it off them a year later for x% off. Last year's radness is still rad. This works when the gear cycle has matured, like kiting from about 2012 onward, all the kites work decent, it's become about fine tuning, specialized uses, and changing colors. I saw a 2014 barely used name brand kite advertised for $200 last week....current model would be barely different. For winging, there were some dogs in Gen1 to be avoided, Gen2 most wings were fine, and Gen3 I figure all name brands are workable -- buying used offers excellent options. Even if a wing is "bagged out", just means it is now sized up a level in its wind range, cheap way to get on the water. Same for foils, eg Gofoil has replaced its entirely line this year, the super rad wings from 8 months ago are now obsolete and selling for 80% off retail. They work just fine, not the leading edge, but solid performers.

The gear cycles will continue, new fun things will come along, they will be expensive at the start, old stuff will be forgotten and abandoned. Leading edge folks will keep throwing money at it, manufacturers will keep feeding them with super expensive shiny new toys. Most of us will carry on seeking the bargains where we can find them. The whingers will also keep complaining, that'll never end -- though this conspiracy angle is a fun new twist on it.

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Re: conspiracy theory: no way wings should be so expensive

Postby Peter_Frank » Wed Jul 06, 2022 7:26 pm

Agree, I was also smiling at the thread title.

Wings are still cheaper than kites eventhough about the same to build.

Major issue is the huge risk of cutting your wing up when it tumbles with your foil :rollgrin:

8) Peter

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Re: conspiracy theory: no way wings should be so expensive

Postby Cab Driver » Wed Jul 06, 2022 8:09 pm

papasmerf wrote:
Mon Jul 04, 2022 2:59 pm
could an industry insider please do the wiki-leaks thing and let us know the true cost of a 5m wing, like thru the whole process,, made in china,,, how much? shipping to say port in rotterdam? what does ozone sell it to retailer for? just to satisfy my own curiosity.

was talking to a relatively new wingsurfer at local spot,, he is a very successful pilot and he was getting his 12 year old son into winging,, while i was getting my 19 year old daughter into (he was having more success than me, mine is busy with college) and we are both in the same income bracket but we were talking about the cost of a new winging set up for a kid or even a adult and we were just shaking our head. what normal family could afford this? answer-none. at least with kitesurfing, it was too dangerous really for the rest of the family.

let's face it,,it's way worse than skiing. i had high hopes for winging as a much safer water sport my kids could do (other than having their face sliced off by the foil in a gnarly wreck) but holy crap the entry level price per kids is wow,,, and i really shouldn't even be feeling the sticker shock all things considered but I freaking do. at least the wife doesn't want to do it yet,, but pretty soon she will feel left out or lose interest in going and just watching everyone else. then she is going to want the best of the best equipment no doubt. ha ha.
The wing is the lowest acquisition cost of the gear triad needed for the sport. With 22 years in this business, I don't see anyone retiring early because of bags of money they've made. The product is priced very fairly and actually pretty poorly (for the business) compared to apparel.

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Re: conspiracy theory: no way wings should be so expensive

Postby richieski » Wed Jul 06, 2022 8:40 pm

You will always get the same opinions, people associated in the industry will justify the prices and punters will say its expensive. Doesn't matter as there is a world economic hurricane coming your way and the industry will have to adapt.
I can see the " 3 for 2 " coming back so just wait.
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Eltreato (Wed Jul 06, 2022 8:54 pm)
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Re: conspiracy theory: no way wings should be so expensive

Postby alpaia » Wed Jul 06, 2022 9:51 pm

Some brands do a lot of r&d and produce locally with highest quality, and keep fair prices like alpinefoil. Some brands would invest less in r&d and produce offshore, not necessarily selling much cheaper but reaping what has been sown by the first. Not fair to generalize with blanket statements about high price conspiracy. I agree with other statements, like for windsurfing and kitesurfing, at some point the équipement matures and people can choose between latest expensive gear or second hand, or discounts, then the market and prices slow down. These cycles are also becoming shorter as for instance wingfoil benefits from technolgies developped for its predecessors.

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