Retail Buyers Guide: Kites SS20
Brand: GA Kiteboarding
Interviewee: Konstantin Weier, Marketing Director
What are the main trends for 2019 in the kite market, in terms of riding styles (freestyle, freeride, foil, wave…) and riding locations (ocean vs lakes, rivers, wave parks)? Where have you seen the biggest growth so far in 2019?
Of course foiling has been growing a lot, but most of the riders still seem to love their freeride sessions and go for big airs. We’ve seen more and more kiteboarders go for a session on rivers and lakes, because the inland infrastructure really improved over the years.
I guess the light wind market has gained some momentum, either foiling or light wind kites that allow the rider to use his twin tip in very light winds.
What do you believe will be the main trends for 2020 in the kite market, in terms of riding styles (freestyle, freeride, foil, wave…) and riding locations (ocean vs. lakes, rivers, wave parks)? Where do you expect the biggest growth in 2020?
Freeride and foiling should still be the disciplines in 2020, because here it’s just easy to have tons of fun without being too restricted in terms of locations and wind. There might be an increase of kiteboarders riding at the coasts, but I think it will be a real trend. It’s about different experiences and riders with their local spot at a lake will love to go the the sea, when they’re on vacation and maybe the other way around.
The performance freeride market will probably gain some more market shares, because the kites become a lot easier to handle, while still offering great performance potential.
What was successful for you in 2019 in terms of product technology or changes in product you implemented? What is new for your kite construction and design for 2020? Are you implementing new materials in your kite construction for 2020? Are there any trends in terms of design, construction and materials that the entire industry seems to be progressing towards?
Probably the construction and reinforcements really stood out, as we focused to include exactly the right reinforcements at the correct positions to keep our kites light, but also extend their lifespan. That is really important for our customers.
It comes down to each single kite, we worked on in detail. The Spark was updated with faster turning speed and better drifting, which makes him perform exceptionally well in really every performance freeride session. Also the IQ got a bit more turning speed and drift ability with very direct steering, which helps getting the most out of wave sessions. Our Pure is exceptionally stable both construction wise and in the air, which motivates the rider to push his limits.
There are minor changes for each kite, but we focused on the design and shape, as our construction was working very well in 2019 already. One thing that changes is the lines on our bar, which will stretch less and offer great performance and durability.
There were a lot of trends in the past, but nowadays everybody tries to follow his own philosophy and that makes the branche more exciting and also progressive. Of couse everybody is looking at other brands, but it’s the most important thing to focus on your own ideas. We can directly influence the raw materials of our kites, check every detail when they are assembled and include updates in development quickly.
Are you using any eco materials or environmentally friendly processes in your kite construction?
Our factory implements different processes to especially not waste materials during production and it’s also very important for us to build kites that last for years and not have to be thrown into the garbage after a single season. Together with some improvements in packaging and distribution, we try to contribute our share to environmental protection. We can control every step from the production of the raw materials, through the assembly of the kites to the distribution, which helps us make a lot of improvements.
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?
Our graphics are made by our own design department to have one look for all our products that all riders with our kites can identify with. When you unpack our kites, you should know it’s a GA Kite, which performs well, is durable and aesthetically attractive.
We prefer to focus on the overall impression of our products and want to keep it a bit more simple. GA Kites have different colourways so that everybody should find the kite that fascinates not only in regards to performance, but also concerning its look.
How are you helping retailers sell your product and which method of help seems to be the most effective?
Giving our retailers as much information as possible to know our products in detail and also to keep it simple for them to have an overview of what our range consists of is very important in our communication to retailers. They should know the products just as we do and be able to know all the differences in performance and field of use.
Tell us about your 2 key products for 2020 and why you think they will be great sellers
The Spark will be a very important kite for us also in 2020. It was performing exceptionally well in 2019 already and adding a bit more turning speed really should attract a lot of performance freeride kiters in 2020. Our Pure will impress by its great feeling in the air and in the kiters hands, which will probably make him one of the most requested kites in our 2020 collection. It really motivates the rider to push his own limits and go bigger and for the extra rotation.