Forums > Kitesurfing General

What are new Kites/Bars so expensive these days?

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Created by Tbaggn 7 months ago, 27 Jul 2023
Tbaggn
NSW, 57 posts
27 Jul 2023 11:49AM
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Not having bought a new kite for about 10 years now, I am in the market for some but can't believe how expensive they've become. My first kite was a Slingshot Fuel bought way back around 2004-5 ish and cost about $1600 with bar included. When kitepower had a trade of any any old kites to get a discount on a new one around 2012ish, I bought a new Cabrinha- Switchblade with trade in for two of my old kites, for $1500 (bar and lines included). At the same time, my mate bought a quiver of 3 Core kites for $3000. I can't believe the increase in cost in 10 years, to over $3000 for one new kite in just about every brand plus bar and lines. Can someone explain how this has happened?

Dangerous
NSW, 16 posts
27 Jul 2023 3:32PM
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Well.... 1,600 of your 2004 dollars is worth $2,700 today due to inflation so that accounts for most of the increase. The remainder is the Nostalgia Surcharge which is added every year so that we can fondly and legitimately reminisce about the good ol' days (but let's not mention that a 2004 kite would try and kill you at any opportunity)

NorthernKitesAUS
QLD, 1059 posts
27 Jul 2023 4:17PM
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This is why you should keep most kites built after 2012-14, as they are still "good to fly" and use, as long as you've got a more recent bar/lines setup, with a single-line flag out system. The most common degrading part of a kite are the valves, next the bladders, next the canopy, next the seams and leading edge (depending on use). Valves and bladders can easily be fixed and give you a kite that flies and lasts for another few years.
Point is - don't throw away old kites. They can be restored and donated to poorer kids and families that cannot afford new, as I agree the prices are absolutely ****e! But that's with everything sadly.
I am not asking for kites btw. Just trying to encourage you to keep good equipment, as when properly maintained they can last a long time.

Tbaggn
NSW, 57 posts
27 Jul 2023 5:03PM
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Totally agree! Replaced just about every part of my 2012 Cabrinha including bladder, pulleys, etc. Much cheaper than the cost of a new one. Just scratch my head at how people can afford 6k for two kites when only 10 years ago they were half the price.

Mark _australia
WA, 22065 posts
4 Aug 2023 11:45AM
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Here at work we have last year's RRD religion brand new for just under $2K so look around

KiteBud
WA, 1512 posts
4 Aug 2023 11:04PM
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In 2004, I was a poor uni student living with a budget of $70 of food per Month. $70 today is not even enough to get you through half a week of groceries. Everything cost more in case you haven't noticed.

dbabicwa
WA, 805 posts
5 Aug 2023 10:20PM
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In 2004, the bonuses for managers and product margins were quite less then now.

I am sure you know Quantas CEO gets 14 000 000 plus! Per year.

In 2004 what was it?

That is why you paying heaps for travel with Quantas. Not because carrot costs heaps more.

The bar itself is worth $50 if mass produced. Not much manual labour.

The kite is more due to labour, you well know that.

Everything else is marketing, plus CEO, etc

Pansh foil kite 42 cells is the same labor as FS or Ozone kite. Pansh is US$600, FS or Ozone is $2000 plus.

Where is a carrot in that? In marketing and CEO, etc, lavish lifestyle...

And yet, the Quantas Board of Directors report to share holders, who are happy to fund the lifestyle of everyone in the management for a tiny profit on shares.

Which is the same for any kite brand....

Peahi
VIC, 1467 posts
6 Aug 2023 10:17PM
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My take is kitesurfing has been on a decline for years and there is a lot less brand competition (more of an oligopoly)

Less units sold means higher margins are needed. That and the post-covid inflation spike. Why buy new anyway?

You would think higher prices for new kites would underpin the second hand market but that doesn't seem to be the case,

towradgi
NSW, 424 posts
7 Aug 2023 10:43AM
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The kiteshop business model used to be HOPE....and younger wife working longer hours at 'Best and Less'... Now business model is More Hope....and selling E-bikes...where some shops have such a high sales volume of these....they may as well close kite sport section of shop down

Tbaggn
NSW, 57 posts
7 Aug 2023 4:17PM
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The price of a new bar and lines seems to have increased exponentially. Anywhere between $800 -$1000 depending on brand. In better trading times I can remember when the bar and lines and kite were sold as a package deal in some kite stores. You can't have one without the other and so it goes without saying that in tough economic times the customer is fleeced with everything being sold separately. Don't get me wrong I feel sorry for the kite store owners, I just long for the good old days when everyone was happier - sellers and buyers.

Peahi
VIC, 1467 posts
7 Aug 2023 8:54PM
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I think is a case of $3-5k wing foils, blow-up sups keeping shops afloat and they are just passing on higher costs so they're not the bad guys. At the end of the day its still a relatively cheap sport you can buy a new kitesurfing set for the price of a week in the snow.

SaveTheWhales
WA, 1865 posts
8 Aug 2023 8:45AM
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Theres that western Marketing model called greed - that eventually chokes itself out..
I bought an excellent well made black polo shirt from Kmart for $5. They sell hundreds of thousands of these and everyone makes a profit..
The real Versace polo $892 !
Now your educated about kites and inflation bla bla bla




towradgi
NSW, 424 posts
8 Aug 2023 11:49AM
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Yeh , how cheap would kitegear be if sold in BCF...Rebel sports or Decathlon stores.... . All the big kite brands . Bulk buying power from factory , 100 stores australia wide , as opposed to 20 something individual kiteshops australia wide ,instant mass price drop at retail .

Mark _australia
WA, 22065 posts
8 Aug 2023 5:38PM
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Yet not one person cared when I said we have new kites at $1895.

Weird bunch.

Tbaggn
NSW, 57 posts
8 Aug 2023 9:13PM
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How much is the bar and lines for that kite, Mark?

Mark _australia
WA, 22065 posts
8 Aug 2023 8:17PM
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Its not my place to quote so i will ask tomorrow and get back to you

THE PIN PULLER
WA, 465 posts
8 Aug 2023 9:03PM
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Select to expand quote
SaveTheWhales said..
Theres that western Marketing model called greed - that eventually chokes itself out..
I bought an excellent well made black polo shirt from Kmart for $5. They sell hundreds of thousands of these and everyone makes a profit..
The real Versace polo $892 !
Now your educated about kites and inflation bla bla bla





I would say you look good in that ??

THE PIN PULLER
WA, 465 posts
8 Aug 2023 9:03PM
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Select to expand quote
SaveTheWhales said..
Theres that western Marketing model called greed - that eventually chokes itself out..
I bought an excellent well made black polo shirt from Kmart for $5. They sell hundreds of thousands of these and everyone makes a profit..
The real Versace polo $892 !
Now your educated about kites and inflation bla bla bla





I would say you look good in that ??

EastCC
QLD, 354 posts
9 Aug 2023 8:42PM
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Freight costs more
Insurance costs more
Rent costs more
Power costs more
Fuel costs more
Labour costs more
R & D costs more
Riders cost more
Cost of just doing business costs more
Materials cost more

Donuts cost more.

Beer used to be $1 pots on Wednesday and Thursday nights




Phoney
NSW, 580 posts
9 Aug 2023 8:53PM
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Select to expand quote
towradgi said..
Yeh , how cheap would kitegear be if sold in BCF...Rebel sports or Decathlon stores.... .



Decathlon sell twin tips, the Tribord Zeruko. $400 or so.

towradgi
NSW, 424 posts
10 Aug 2023 10:29AM
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Select to expand quote
EastCC said..
Freight costs more
Insurance costs more
Rent costs more
Power costs more
Fuel costs more
Labour costs more
R & D costs more
Riders cost more
Cost of just doing business costs more
Materials cost more

Donuts cost more.

Beer used to be $1 pots on Wednesday and Thursday nights







Thats why big shops are cheapest in Oz....Aldi...K mart.. .Bunnings..Costco...Dan Murphys...woollies....jaybee hifi...and all the rest. bulk buying power ,high turnover smaller margins per item.. small shop low turnover high margin......Except Aldi all have a high variety of shelf stock.

SaveTheWhales
WA, 1865 posts
10 Aug 2023 9:35AM
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and once the big excuses brands choke themselves to death...
Guess which Asian country will say hey, we can make you a kite for $200.
Someone will use this oppertunity presenting itself now that allrounder kites are pretty damn good these days.
1 kite 1 board 1 bar - not 10 kites 10 boards etc etc and make huge profit with minimum margin that does not compete and try to sell near big brand prices / greed factor / excuses...

ActionSportsWA
WA, 945 posts
10 Aug 2023 11:54AM
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It's always dangerous as a retailer to weigh in on this debate, but having first hand experience and being at the coal face, I feel my 2c worth may be relevent.

All costs have gone up. Rent has gone up. Wages have gone up. Cost of living has gone up. BUT, Quality has gone up. Performance has gone up. Look at the cost of living

Just grabbed this off the net.

Expenditure class Ten year increase (%)
Tobacco 218.1
Electricity 100.9
Medical/hospital services 78.8
Gas/household fuels 75.6
Child care 75.1
Secondary education 66.8
Water and sewerage 66.8
Property rates and charges 63.6
Preschool/primary education 55.8
Other services/motor vehicles 55.8

You can still buy brand new kites for well under $2K if you are happy to buy last years model and I'm talking top tier brands! It seems people have lost their minds for the newer technology kites which can cost as much as $4000. The average kiter doesn't need the super shiny latest wizz bang kite. The tried and tested standard construction will last for three years in good performance before stretching and sun damage starts to take effect. You will certainly get another 2-3 years before you start to experience problems. New valves and bladders are available to keep them going if you don't want to upgrade, but by this time, the kite and bar is starting to become uneconomical to repair compared to it's second hand value on the market.

Kites last longer, lines no longer stretch and break if buying premium quality stuff, TT boards rarely ever break, even surfboards last years now. We used to sell dozens and dozens of twin tips every season, but now we just sell straps and pads to people still riding boards from 2014 onwards.

I don't know anyone in our niche industry that is getting rich from kiteboarding. Most are barely making ends meet which is why you see so few big stores and its why so few smaller retailers last more than 5 years. There are much better ways to make money.

The good thing is, today you can buy a kite setup that will perform in extreme conditions and hold its shape and deliver incredible performance, and continue to provide excellent service for years to come. State of the art safety systems that work effectively under all loads, lines that barely stretch canopies that don't stretch, kites that don't jellyfish.

It's easy to forget just how bad the kites and boards were. If you need a reminder, I have a selection of old kites you can come and try, all in good condition. I had grand romantic nostalgic memories of how amazing the kites were back in the day. Until I flew one again. They were horrible! Heavy on the bar (Tennis elbow), dangerous or non existent safety systems that wouldn't work under load or pins that would bend under load, kites that were hard to turn, unstable at Zenith, pulled deep downwind, were stall prone when deep in the wind window, very little depower and stitching that would blow out on the leading edge if minced in a wave. Perspective people! Don't even get me started on harnesses, how they would ride up over and crush your ribs.

Be thankful and grateful for the unbelievable performance, comfort durability and safety of the current gear, it truly is amazing, especially when comparing it to gear of just 10 years ago and even more so 15 years ago. When compared to other areas of living, our sport is no different, just better.

DM

dbabicwa
WA, 805 posts
10 Aug 2023 2:05PM
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Hey Darren,

"It's easy to forget just how bad the kites and boards were. " - the SS insert when ordered in bulk are 10-15c.

The FG which goes in a board is a few $. Carbon a bit more. Add epoxy.

Paulownia or whatever wood used for TT is cheap as chips. Ie, in the EU (19% GST!!!), Paulownia plank in Kaufland is $40 1600x600x18 mm. It is everywhere on the continent.

Add nice graphics, printed, for like $10-20.

The bulk roll 100m Durasurf topsheet used for TT (Or Isosport topsheet), was Eur400 last time I asked.

That is Eur6 for 1.5 m topsheet.

I will leave to you guys to find the reason why Carved Imperator board is Euros 2000!

Remember Qantas CEO? Just yesterday CBA announced 10 bil. dollars profit. CEO pocketed 10 mil. Add many many
managers etc who pocketed 1/10 of this. My buddy sells cars, 1.5 mil pocketing every year. Not anything unusual.

For a 15c or 45c can't remember profit for one share. ONE SHARE! Who is laughing all the way to the bank? Not the small share holders tho...

So all this examples you posted is exactly the same as CBA or Qantas.
CEO's pocketing massive amounts on promise that small share holder will get something back.Massive fraud, don't you think?

To fix the prices, we need to go back a few steps and review the system.
But that will never happen since greed is a human nature.

ActionSportsWA
WA, 945 posts
10 Aug 2023 3:34PM
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I don't think you can draw a fair comparison between say Duotone or North Kiteboarding and the likes of Qantas or CBA. Personally I think CEO's of these massive organisations get ridiculous bonuses but then I don't know what the job entails either. It just looks crazy from someone who has no insight into that world.

I still think kiting is reasonable in cost for the quality when compared to the costs and quality of gear 15 years ago.

DM

Mark _australia
WA, 22065 posts
10 Aug 2023 8:01PM
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The cheap price of material for boards is a bit of a simplification. As a small operator, my material cost for a board has increased roughly 40% in three years. Materials only... utilities etc obviously have an impact.

But for mass produced stuff, yeah they can build a board for say $200..... still need freight, customs, importers, retailers markup etc and like DM says nobody is getting rich as a retailer
Youre not going to make a board for $200 overseas and sell them here for $400 otherwise people would be

KPSS Used
NSW, 367 posts
Site Sponsor
11 Aug 2023 1:21PM
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According to Einstein, the profit motive of a capitalist society, in conjunction with competition among capitalists, leads to unnecessary cycles of booms and depressions, and ultimately encourages selfishness instead of cooperation.

This topic of price increases seems to pop up every year in winter? My comments are not directed at anyone, in particular, they are directed at all of us.

Asking why prices increase when we all live in a capitalist democracy is a bit oxymoronic - one is indivisible from the other isn't it?

When I sold the very first Wipika and Naish 2 line inflatable kites they were about $1800 complete for a 9m, but these kites would try to kill you all the time (many people died or were badly injured) and had no safety system that worked properly, with the added bonus that you would be lucky to get 1-2 years use out of them and the brand importers were terrible with a warranty too.

As the sport grew the natural competition between brands led to great improvements in safety, durability, and performance. Once the market matured there was strong demand from users for kites without bar and lines, so all the brands quickly adapted and sold kites, bar and lines, and pumps separately which actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

Ruud
28 posts
11 Aug 2023 2:48PM
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Tbaggn said..
Not having bought a new kite for about 10 years now, I am in the market for some but can't believe how expensive they've become...


Buy near new used kites for 2021/23 quality at 2004 prices....buy new bars, lines and harnesses for safety, and 2023 quality.

SaveTheWhales
WA, 1865 posts
11 Aug 2023 5:02PM
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Yes and guess who won a Nobel Peace prize for proving that Inflation reduces costs and greed increases them...

The post should be directed at the company's not the Retailers who are at the end of the food chain.

As far as saying we are at 2004 prices is irrelevant too... feel free to calculate a yearly percentage increase and multiply by 19 or so - no one would buy a kite at that ridiculous price either because the Greed factor would have choked the company to death.

Theres also that mass production in cheap labour countries that manufacture cheaper than our own soil... Denials a bitch but it cheap.

There's a lot of us that know the delivery docket prices of things direct from the Factory - that's why I say it's got nothing to do with retailers, who should simply just advise people with concerns to directly email the Brand..
No love lost trying to defend anything.

Plenty of new gear at end of year sales and excellent used gear on about 10 different local sale websites fb etc.
Patience is the here :)

bobdaboarder
NSW, 181 posts
12 Aug 2023 9:40AM
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I think the price of bars have gone up a lot as they are being over designed and complicated. The best kite bar i have ever used was the Fluid BTB bars from around 2012. Very simple and easy to use. They just worked. Companies should stil offer these simple bar set ups.

ActionSportsWA
WA, 945 posts
12 Aug 2023 10:26AM
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bobdaboarder said..
I think the price of bars have gone up a lot as they are being over designed and complicated. The best kite bar i have ever used was the Fluid BTB bars from around 2012. Very simple and easy to use. They just worked. Companies should stil offer these simple bar set ups.


The older simpler bars were cheaper of course, but as the sport matured, safety standards were introduced and bars and quick releases etc then had to conform to new higher standards. North/Duotone created one of the first chicken loop quick release that conformed to the French NORM testing. At the time, few bars conformed and rather than go through the costs and problems designing a system of their own, many simply licensed the North/Duotone system which I don't think has been improved in many many years. Some companies did build their own at significant cost.
Higher safety standard for a reliable and effective safety system cost more to develop and certify. Those old bars had crappy lines on them that would break and stretch massively. Would you trust one of those old bars at 20m+ meters above the water let alone 30m+?

New higher priced but better quality bars now come with SK99 Dyneema lines which are thinner, stronger and barely stretch, giving crisper performance from the kites and less drag. These improvements all add gains which on their own are barely noticeable at the time, but if you were to go back and compare to the old stuff that we seem to view in retrospect through rose colored glasses, that we have really come a long way and much of what we do on our kites today would simply not be possible to the same level on older gear.
Only 10 years ago a 20m jump would be unbelievable and dangerous, where today we are approaching almost double that height. I remember Ben Wilson at Merimbula many years ago whilst he was on Slingshot attempting to loop on 10m lines. He broke about three sets one lines one session.
Like the proverbial frog boiling in the saucepan, we don't notice the gradual improvements, nor appreciate how far we have come in our sport.
sometimes it takes actually going back and using a really old piece of gear to gain an appreciation of what we now take for granted.
DM



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"What are new Kites/Bars so expensive these days?" started by Tbaggn