Founder and CEO
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Raising The Bar On GreatValue Kite Gear and Enjoying Life's Adventures.
Big Corporations Took Over Our Beloved Sport!!
In a 2001 Time magazine interview, Pete Cabrinha said: "When you're upside down looking up at the kite, time just stands still." He was absolutely right about that. As you know, a decent two-hour session of kite surfing is a brain reset almost equivalent to a 7-day meditation retreat! However, Pete was also dead wrong. While we were looking up at our kites, time didn’t stand still. Kite surfing grew up. Today, big corporations are behind many names we know and love.
Cabrinha grew from a nice little company run by passionate watermen to became a subsidiary of the Pryde Group - a Hong Kong based Sports Group. Then, the Shriro group (another Chinese company) took over. This company has over 3500 employees and operations in more than 40 countries. We're guessing that the directors (see pic) have never kite surfed and never will. The future of this amazing sport is not mentioned on their web site but you can read their stated financial goal: "to provide best returns to our investments and to maximize the long-term shareholder value”.
I’m not knocking Cabrinha because they usually have great gear. However, to achieve "the best returns", a Cabrinha beginner package is $3,800. A kite is over $2,000. For most people, that’s a whole lot of money. We'd rather see prices several hundred dollars less and I'm guessing you would too.
Cabrinha are not alone. On the 28th of November 2013 EMERAM Capital Partners GmbH, Munich, announced the acquisition of Boards & More Group "With its four high-performance brands North Kiteboarding, Northsails, ION and Fanatic, Boards & More." Subsequently, the North click bar took things up a notch and now it’s pretty much $1,000 - just for a bar. To make a very good bar, all that’s required are a few bits of rope, a cleat and a metal bar with a bit of rubber covering it. Is that really worth $1000? Only when you add a lot of marketing BS to justify it! We'd rather see prices about half that much, fewer gadgets and more reliability.
The bottom line is that kiting is no longer a sport controlled and driven by those who are passionate about it. Instead, it is largely controlled by profiteers with no passion for the sport. This wonderfully accessible sport is now becoming considered as a sport for the rich. For those of us that used to be into windsurfing, we've seen where corporate control can take a sport. Into places where a trailer load of highly specialist and very expensive gear is required to participate. This kills the growth of a sport. In 2008 there were 1.31M windsurfers in the USA. In 2013, there were 1.32 M. No real growth in 5 years because the complexity and high costs stunted the sport's growth. Newbies become overwhelmed. People can't afford to stay up to date so they drop out. A few probably took up kiting! Anyway, at Buzz kites, we think that it’s time for us to wrestle back control of our sport...before it's too late. So here is our mission:
Our mission is to build a dedicated community of kiters who work together to provide a range of quality, high-performance, affordable gear and wonderful kiting adventures. We will also find ways to help more people out on the water safely enjoying the pleasures of this wonderful sport.
Why Buzz Kites?
"Life is either a great big adventure - or nothing at all. Being a kite surfer makes life a great big adventure - every freaking day!"
* It’s blowing 25 knots. I am only 8 years old out on my first day to attempt sailing the little trainer yacht. I set off to sail in a small bay near “windy Wellington” in New Zealand. Surrounded by rocky shores and cold water with strong, swirling, gusty winds my boat constantly capsizes and I experience many hairy moments. Somehow my boat and I arrive back to shore in one piece. My first serious taste of adrenaline gives me an unforgettable buzz...a buzz that I have come to love.
Many years later, that buzz is available – on tap. Each kite trip is a new adventure. I love the people I meet. I love introducing people to the buzz this sport offers...and seeing their face lit up when they come in after a great session - when they discover the feeling of freedom kiting gives each of us.
I would love more people to learn the things kite surfing has to teach us all: how to break through our fears, how to live life outside our comfort zone, how to help one another, how to connect deeply with nature, appreciate it and more fully respect it. And how to become better human beings from our involvement in this transformational sport.
I’ve always admired people like Robby Naish, Peter North and Pete Cabrinha who built businesses around their passion. I thought that would be a dream! Two of these brands are now run by big corporations who I am reluctant to trust with the future of our sport. I've grown increasingly alarmed as I've seen this sport start down the path that windsurfing went. More complexity, more speciality, more marketing BS and more gear at higher costs. Then, out of nowhere, I was presented with a golden opportunity to work with others to build a new kite surfing business. I knew it would be a huge challenge to take on the big boys, but one I wanted to take on.
"If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much room"
We had the experts required to design and make high-quality gear. We knew it would perform extremely well and meet any kiter’s requirements for safety, performance, and quality. I knew we had heaps of passion....so I went for it!
A solid team quickly formed because we all want to share the dream. We are already helping many people take life to another level by being associated with Buzz Kites. They might be coming on an adventure with us, or enjoying being a team rider or brand ambassador, or learning from one of our instructors or riding some gear that they really love. And we have some very exciting plans for the future.
Would you like to join us on this adventure?
Here's a video of the Buzz gear being tested:
Right now, you are probably wondering if our gear is any good.
The best way to find out is to arrange a test ride by entering your details.
We are also on the hunt for some more great team riders and ambassadors. To be considered simply click here.
Why people Love Buzz Kite gear
People immediately feel comfortable on Buzz gear:
“Kris had a go on the kite this morning. She was doing some cool freestyle just off the beach. Pretty talented lady and she really liked the kite.”
“The gear feels nice and solid on the standard bridle. I’ll switch to it over during the week to the advanced and see how it feels but at the moment I’m still kite looping through transitions quite easily even in stronger winds.”
Your Buzz kite comes with two bridles:
"Imagine owning a car with two high-quality engines that you could swap over with ease: one for someone to learn to drive in, and one for the race track.The Buzz Harmony is like this car. It’s a kite that will handle flat water, beach wave riding, big jumps, wake style tricks and learners requirements because of one simple reason – it comes with two sets of bridles."
"Pro mode reduces the power and you can shut out the power of the kite by sheeting out. In pro mode, the kite flies more forward in the window and so goes also a little better upwind. The bar pressure is a little lighter. In both bridle modes you will get good pop with good release. Jumping is easy and you will get good float with soft landings. In standard mode, the kite is very forgiving. Pro mode needs more attention but it remains stable."
(Changing the bridles is simple. We provide you with simple instructions. Once in "pro" mode and the turning speed of the kite is a lot quicker without being twitchy. Now your kite flying skills can be expanded because the kite turns quick and pivotal (around itself) making kites loops something to add to your arsenal of moves. It’s not "twitchy”, but stable. Great for learning and perfect for advancing.)
A Buzz kite has a great control system:
"The bar pressure is light enough to give you a feel for what the kite is doing and light enough to allow you to kite all day."
"The Harmony depowers well so you can feel safe and confident to use it a wide range of wind conditions."
"In waves, the kite floats nicely when you ride down the line towards it and then responds quickly when you want to repower and carve away."
A Buzz kite is well designed and well made
"The one pump system has a single big valve for easy pumping. Each strut has a shut off valve."
"Construction includes a light frame with leading edge reinforcements in critical areas to avoid tears. Minimal dacron at the trailing edge makes for a light weight kite that will fly in marginal conditions."
A Buzz kite drifts well - perfect for surfing and downwinders:
"We did downwinders at sunset yesterday and saw plenty of splashing sharks around (not small ones) but I felt very comfortable flying the kite downwind. It drifts much better than my Airush kite 10m Lithium."
The Buzz kites team riders, ambassadors, shop owners, designers and instructors are all here to help you get more from kiting.
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