What are the main trends for 2020 in the kite market, in terms of riding categories (big air, wave, foil, wing…)?
Big air is hot for sure, lots of our riders have been pushing themselves in that direction and the progression is insane. Freeride foiling for the lighter days and riding waves is what we are dreaming about.
In what riding category have you seen the biggest growth so far in 2020 and why?
Do-it-all products like the Pivot that work well for everything so customers can do big air, freeride, ride waves and foil all with the same kite. Light kites like the Boxer are very popular as all-around riding.
What do you believe will be the main trends for 2021 in the kite market, in terms of riding categories?
Gear that works well for many things and is easy to use like the Pivot and our 810 foil that are easy to use and great performance.
In what category do you expect the biggest growth in 2021and why?
Big air and gear that is versatile. For foiling we have concentrated on foils and boards that are easy to use, comfortable, balanced and have a large speed range. For surf boards we have added more constructions and dedicated strapless shapes.
Which of your Kites are selling well in 2020 and why?
Pivot, because it covers many categories and is easy to use.
The Triad because it is predictable and lets you progress your riding.
The Boxer is also doing very well because it is light, has a great feel and works well in many categories.
What is new for your kite construction, materials and design for 2021?
The S25 kites constructions have been looked very closely. The goal is to make the kites lighter and stronger while still pushing the performance envelope. LE construction, reinforcements and trailing edge constructions have all been improved.
Are there any trends in terms of kite design, construction and materials that the entire industry seems to be progressing towards?
Yes, lighter and stronger materials are a hot topic in the industry now. At Naish this is also a top priority and a lot of effort and research is being put into finding the right material that balances price, performance and durability. Due diligence is being done to find the right solution versus jumping in right away.
Which of your boards are selling well in 2020 and why?
The Hero is a great seller in the TT line because it is comfortable to ride and let riders concentrate on progressing their riding.
The Motion is doing well because it is versatile, smooth with great performance.
The Monarch is very popular with riders who want speed and power. The new Traverse and Traverse Ewan Jaspan pro are a new style of boards for Naish and are very popular with the creatives.
What is new for 2021 in terms of board design, materials and construction?
The new Traverse and Traverse Ewan Jaspan Pro are all new designs for S25 and quite different from all the other boards in the line.
The Monarch and Motion have new designs to maximize strength and keep the boards light. The constructions have all been dialed in for the performance goal of each board.
Are there any trends in terms of board design and construction that the entire industry seems to be progressing towards?
The longer, more narrow boards like the Traverse are getting more popular throughout the industry. For constructions, the industry is using more technical materials and lighter constructions.
Aesthetics / Pro Riders
Any stand out new graphics or artwork collaborations?
We have a great in house art team here led by Al Garr. They are constantly pushing the creative envelope. Clean and bold is the motor this year. The Ewan Jaspan Pro is a little more out of the box, highlighting his Australian roots.
How important is it to your brand to have Pro Models and how much freedom do the pros have in term of graphics?
This can be a win/win situation. The riders are really motivated to make a board that shows their riding style and where they want to push the sport. As a brand we are very influenced by the riders – Robby Naish is the owner of the company. This year we have the Ewan Jaspan Pro and Ewan worked hard to make the perfect board to push his riding forward that is also easy to use and fun for everyone.
Are you using sustainable materials in your kites and boards construction?
The factory we have been working with is making a big effort to be more sustainable. For all their printing they have moved away from silk screening which is a rather toxic process and moved to a digital printing process which is a big step in sustainability. Also on the boards we’ve implemented a Recycled Top Sheet and base sheet material and will convert Bio resins in September we also use recycled cardboard tip and tail protector for the kiteboard instead of plastic.
Regarding all the materials used in kite’s production, we are working with several new suppliers that have more sustainable materials and won’t comprise the performance.
Have you implemented any sustainable practices in your production and shipping processes?
From a power prospective our board manufacturer has recently installed a solar system which is a big positive to be running completely off that.
For the packaging processes we’re using far less plastic as well as recycled cardboard and trying to minimize the overall size of our packaging.
How are you helping retailers sell your product and which method of help seems to be the most effective?
Offer discounts and shipping incentives for all pre-book orders. Making digital assets readily available as new product launches, having demo-test programs ranging from dealer test gear to domestic and international product demo’s hosted by top level riders and brand representatives. However as a brand the best thing we can do is deliver quality product at a competitive price, profit margin and stand behind it with outstanding customer service.
Have you had to adapt your retailer support in any way due to the pandemic?
The best way to support our dealers during the pandemic was having enough inventory to supply their needs. I think the industry as a whole was preparing for the worst possible summer in history and quite the opposite has been transpired- many retailers had record summer sales. By the time summer was in full swing many of the countries that had water access restrictions had been lifted and without the ability to travel people were getting on the water at home spending their money on gear vs. travel.
Tell us about your 3 key products for 2021 and why you think they will be great sellers.
S25 Pivot – Awesome performance, versatile, and easy to use
S25 Motion – New design for better performance, lighter and at a reasonable price
S25 810 foil with a Hover foil board – Smooth easy take offs, great speed range, comfortable with great performance.