Happy workers make happy kites...
But who's got the happiest?
A products fate can sometimes be decided on how cheap and people also take notice of where and how it's made, often choosing a more expensive product based purely on the fact that the people who made it, were treated better in their workplaces, or are from a more reputable country.
Kitesurfing gear is no different, and this question of the decade has sparked almost every major kite company to release video's full of happy, smiling workers making your kitesurfing gear.
That question is; "How do you as a company treat your workers".
Most kites are made in Asia somewhere. There's major kite manufacturing factories in Sri Lanka, Vietnam and China, where low wages and cheap industrial space keeps the overall cost of production to a minimum.
Here's a few of the best video's from the big names, you can decide who's got the most enthusiastic workers for yourself..
The Ozone Factory
. Situated in Vietnam, the Ozone factory was one of the first to release a video of their production line a couple of years ago. Here they make both kitesurfing kites and paragliders, as well as the smaller power kites and speed wings used for downhill skiing. While not the most most entertaining of videos out there, it's in here because it was the first...
The Best Factory
Not the best factory, the Best factory... Anyway, nestled somewhere in Sri Lanka the Best kites are put together by happy sri lankans who must certainly be sick of fluro pink and green by now. It's a slick video though and shows various stages of the kites production like screen printing and inflation testing.
The Core Factory
In what could be the same factory as the above video, Core kiteboarding claim their german engineering is a cut above the rest. But like the North and Best kites, they too are made in Sri Lanka by a team of happy Sri Lankans in fantastic looking factories. Lucky for them, they've only got to order fabric in two colours - yellow and white.
The Cabrinha Factory
The super power of kiteboarding and windsurfing gear - Neil Pryde have their own factory in Shenzhen, China. Not only do they produce the squillions of kites, sails and accessories offered by the company, they still dabble in OEM manufacturing for yacht sails and other toys. Due to the sheer size of the company they can afford to create their own fabrics, this adds another level of control to their final product but can also lead to unique characteristics (like the white marks seen on all Cabrinha kites). Susi Mai takes us on a guided tour of the factory in this one, so it deserves the top spot in the list of happy kite factories. Check it out!