What is the current trend / biggest demand in kiteboarding?
Big air still plays a huge role on the market, but currently we hear from more and more riders that they look for kites, which offer performance in a wide range of conditions. As many riders pursue different disciplines in kiteboarding, they now often look for kites that allow them to cover them all with one product.
Where do you expect the biggest growth in 2023?
Classic freeriding and jumping still attracts plenty of riders and no matter if you’re advanced or not too experienced yet, cruising in a wide range of conditions and taking to the air with your friends never gets old!
Which of your kites have sold well in the last 6 months and why?
The Spark is our top-seller – a kite that brings joy to all riders from beginners to advanced riders. Also the overall demand for performance-oriented kites, which still feature all-round characteristics like our Pure has been growing over the past year.
What are the industry trends in terms of kite design, construction and materials?
Everybody seems to be working on new materials like the canopy, dacron etc. to achieve lighter, stronger and more durable products. In general I think, the industry works on finding that sweet spot that combines performance, easy handling and high safety standards best.
Which of your boards have sold well in the last 6 months and why?
We sold quite a lot of Watts boards, which match perfectly with our top-selling kites, the Spark and the Pure. It offers all-round performance, but doesn’t require too much skill from the rider, so everybody can push his limits with the Watts.
What are the industry trends in terms of board design and construction?
Also here finding the right mix of lightness and durability seems to be key. We worked on a range of three different board models, which cover all riding styles and skill levels so that everybody can get the GA board that suits his requirements best.
Have you introduced any new products / variations in-season?
The Pact freestyle board has its big comeback this year! It provides maximum performance and pop for all that radical freestyle and big air riders with its Carbon paulownia wood construction.
Anything new in terms of sustainability?
Together with our manufacturers and partners we keep on pursuing a steady path with the implementation of new materials into the production and optimization of production processes to reduce waste and decrease pollution. In addition we take part in several sustainability initiatives with our forwarders and we are really happy that a lot of these services can be linked with sustainability projects that contribute something to environmental protection.
How are you helping retailers sell your product?
Frequent and honest communication as well as individual solutions for potential problems are key in times like these. The industry has experienced several highs and lows during the past years and we try to support our partners as much as we can to make the most of both tough times and glory days. It’s always easy to shine, when the economic situation is healthy and demand on the market is high, but it is the critical moments that require support and a lot of effort to keep the ball rolling.
What’s your situation regarding stock and deliveries?
Issues with stock and deliveries are mostly resolved and lead times at the factories are more or less on pre-pandemic level. Luckily we have long-term partnerships with all of our suppliers and many products are built at our own factories, so we could solve many issues early on.
We completely redesigned the Spark and newly calculated its lift distribution leading to a more sportive behavior. A slightly wider but flatter wing tip reduces bar pressure and increases the Spark’s turning speed, which leads to a very agile handling. In order to stabilize the tips during fast turns and small radius loops, the side strut was moved slightly towards the tip.
Refined LE diameters with updated gradient towards the tips lead to an extremely stiff frame, which keeps the Pure’s behavior smooth and easy to control during radical moves and in strong gusts. Explosive power generation leads to enhanced pop, which together with improved slack and responsive steering provides superb freestyle performance. A more harmonic wing tip shape with slightly wider tips leads to faster and smoother turning offering control and performance during kite loops and in waves.
^WATTS – ALLROUND PERFORMANCEA mix of control, planing capacity and performance potential define the Watts’ all-round characteristics. The mono concave design provides outstanding control in choppy conditions and allows you to go upwind with ease, even in light winds. A medium to soft flex, achieved by implementing a well-engineered triaxial glass and wooden core construction as well as softer tips, combines comfort in chop and also great jumping characteristics with smoothly buffered landings.