Brand: GA Kiteboarding
Interviewee: Konstantin Weier, Marketing director
What are the main trends for 2019 in the kiteboard market, in terms of board type (foil, twin tip, surf…)? Where have you seen the biggest growth so far in 2019?
For us it’s probably twin tip boards with great versatility and a big range of use, but also convertible directional for both wave riding and foiling seem to be doing well on the market.
We experienced a big request for boards that are easy to handle, but still offer the rider enough performance to go for big jumps and some freestyle moves. Versatility seems to be the key.
What do you believe will be the main trends for 2020 in the kiteboard market, in terms of board type (foil, twin tip, surf)? Where do you expect the biggest growth in 2020?
It’s not a real trend, but performance oriented freeride twin tips should still be the right choice for most of the kiteboarders out there. As mentioned above, directional boards that can be used in waves and with a foil should also do well, as it’s always attractive to kiters to be able to do as much with as little gear as possible.
In regards to growth probably the convertible directionals might gain some more momentum, but it’s always hard to say as the sport evolves so quickly.
Which of your boards are selling well in 2019 and why? Where do you expect the biggest growth in 2020? Where do you expect the biggest growth in 2020?
The Watts is definitely the number one board so far, as it’s performing well throughout the whole spectrum. It’s easy to ride, but you can do some true freestyle with it or go for massive airs. Behind that it’s a close race between the Blend and the Pact, but the Blend might have a slight upper hand due to it’s ease of use and immense light wind performance. The Pact is a great freestyle and wakestyle board with a lot of control in tough freeride conditions.
We kept our range as it is and did some fine tuning on each board. All boards have a smooth continuous rocker that offers both good planing abilities and control, when conditions get a bit rougher. It’s important for us to have boards in our collection that are really made for the user himself and therefore we focus on their demands. Ease of use and exactly that kind of performance you expect from each board in its segment.
I think more than ever different brands have different approaches to what they’re doing and therefore it’s hard to point out that one trend that everybody follows. And that is a good thing, because there’s so many different approaches to kiteboarding also, so it’s good to have a wide range of different products on the market.
Are you using any eco materials and/or environmentally friendly processes in your board construction?
We work with manufacturers, who try to enhance their production processes to use exactly the right materials that need to both help our boards perform as they do and help decreasing pollution. It’s the small details in production, design and distribution that hopefully add up to some bigger impact.
Aesthetics / Pro Riders
Any stand out new graphics or artwork collaborations? How important is it to your brand to have Pro Models and how much freedom do the pros have in terms of graphics? And in terms of design?
We work with our own designers for all products, because we want to have a clear line for all GA boards and kites. The rider should see and feel that he is riding a GA Kiteboarding product.
We work with a small team that helps us in many different ways, but we try to keep it rather simple and therefore focus on offering products that attract a lot of riders and also are compatible for a lot of riders. Pro Models might sometimes get a bit too special in regards to performance and field of use and that does not reflect our philosophy.
How are you helping retailers sell your product and which method of help seems to be the most effective?
It’s important to offer as much information as possible and to keep it rather simple to help retailers have a clear idea of what we have on offer and what kind of kiteboarder each of our products is perfectly suited for.
Tell us about your 2 key products for 2020 and why you think they will be great sellers?
The Watts will probably perform very well again, just as it has been during the 2019 season. We managed to further improve its control and are optimistic that we have a product that helps most kiteboarders to have a nice session. Also the Pact twin tip should be well requested, despite the wakestyle market being a pretty small one, but it’s a great choice for those making their first steps in freestyle and wakestyle and also offers tons of performance for experienced and radical riders.