Does gear win titles?…

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james
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Does gear win titles?…

Post by james »

over to you really…

there is a bit on the Slingshot Blog http://slingshotsports.com/category/slingshot-kite/ that gives a bit of back ground with a bit of a brand slant but i thought it would be worth putting in the public domain for discussion.

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John.B
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Re: Does gear win titles?…

Post by John.B »

No

james
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Re: Does gear win titles?…

Post by james »

care to expand on that?

my take on it is that both correct/decent gear and rider talent/ability are needed, one cannot succeed with out the other.

in the New cal PKRA event Alex Pastor said in interview that he had ordered an extra custom size of kite to try and give him an advantage in the lighter wind, is that not an example of a rider using his equipment to help him win? if he had won the title on that particular kite it would be even more of a case that gear wins titles would it not?

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John.B
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Re: Does gear win titles?…

Post by John.B »

The above was the concise and correct answer; however for discussion’s sake we could take kit and even the rider out of the question. The answer would still be no as you have a competition that is subjectively judged in what seems to be an evolving discipline. Therefore what made Youri the best (no pun intended) rider last year had very little to do with the kit he was on or indeed his actual skill level. He was simply the best in that genre and the kite had very little to do with it.

That is not to deny his skill, attitude and commitment that surely ranks him among the absolute best in the world at what he does. Watching the hidden lines videos showed just how good he is and how he pushes himself and his self-determination and drive to perform as good as he does would be there irrespective of the kite he flew.

As an aside who would I rather watch from all three riders in that series of videos? Probably Kevin who by all intents and purposes is a ‘dangler’ but from what I saw he mixed it up brilliantly and has his own interpretation of free/wake style and still mixes it up old school. Same as I’d rather watch Ruben just ride over and above any PKRA competition, which I’d even rather watch over pure wakestyle kickers and sliders.

Even if the SS argument held any water are they saying if Youri was on his RPM and a SS board he would have been even better than what he was? What if he does actually blow the competition away this year; are SS saying the RPM has held him back as it would seem that they have set themselves up for this.

However, this could also be read that they have a lot of confidence in the RPM? It is this that under all the BS is a good thing for a brand to have and unlike a certain Hawaii based outfit you were once close to it is nice to see long-term commitment to a design that helps product development and ultimately re-sale for the end user…. as opposed some weird geometric shaped kites.

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peet
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Re: Does gear win titles?…

Post by peet »

Does it win titles? No.
Does it help to win titles? Hell yeah!

There are loads of examples you could give..
2 riders crash a trick, one has a kite which is back up out of the water again in a matter of seconds, the other is dragged out of the competition zone while trying to relaunch, while his fellow competitor is freely scoring points.
2 other riders crash a trick, one has his bindings ripped clean off his board and his heat is over, while the other keeps on riding and scoring...

There are loads of properties of kites and boards which can give you the edge in competition - upwind, wind range, relaunch, pop and slack, turning response and feel, durability, chop handling, grip on landings.

In perfect conditions maybe these differences don't matter as much, but in real world competition conditions, which are usually unpredictable and often harsh - you'd want to take every bit of advantage your gear can give you over the rest of the competition.

Take the London Olympics for example, we won golds which may otherwise have been silver or bronze because of our research and development into the kit the competitors used...

james
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Re: Does gear win titles?…

Post by james »

thats the spirit!

freestyle is that odd creature where it is subjective and opinions can make or break a result, IF the question was focussing on racing or speed then it is a pure first past the post argument.

Mikes Lab boards have won EVERY international mens event they have entered for god knows how long, there for it could be argued that in that particular case kit does win… and Ozone Edges are another example of that just being supremely dominant in a specific discipline.

the commitment to the RPM that Slingshot has had is nice to see as is the proliferation of bridled three strut C ish shape kites from other brands, a point that was made in the tech vid i posted was that the bridle configuration that they have is still unique in the market place the kite is still getting better and credible results are being achieved riding it.

as for the other lot, i think there is a certain amount of idea chasing going on

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JGTR
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Re: Does gear win titles?…

Post by JGTR »

my take on it is that both correct/decent gear and rider talent


Agree but correct/gear is easily and readily available to anyone from a multitude of manufacturers and sources so you can take that out of the equation.

So it's basically just down to rider talent.

Or to put it another way give me and Aaron a RPM - he could be world champ I can't, we both have the correct/decent gear but I have no talent :lol:

wackos00
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Re: Does gear win titles?…

Post by wackos00 »

rather than 'gear' you could make a case for 'does a brand wind titles?'. It may be the case that with slingshot's recent success they have a very good team who first spot the emerging talent then look after their athletes and give them the best support to train and keep motivated. I would say that may be the case rather than this kite/board/harness/whatever makes you win. What I am getting at is I think Zoon could have won on almost any of the top brand kites if he had had the same team/people around him and given the exact same time/places to train.
In conclusion, good on Slingshot for supporting and getting the best out of their riders.

Yorkshireboy
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Re: Does gear win titles?…

Post by Yorkshireboy »

If you're a professional cyclist, yes.

But you may have them taken away again at a later date :wink:

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paulie_amoose
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Re: Does gear win titles?…

Post by paulie_amoose »

Flexifoil banged out 5 titles in a row.. Better than Slingshots record.. does that make their kit better?

We all know it's mostly the rider in freestyle but I don't blame Slingshot using their riders success as a marketing tool since that's the whole point in sponsorship..

Race gear, now that's probably much more kit influenced but the article James posted was specifically about the RPM/Fuel and freestyle...

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Re: Does gear win titles?…

Post by Yorkshireboy »

Sponsorship-wise, surely the worst outcome is when you pay a pro to use your gear - and they hate it & revert to their old stuff. Like Mcilroy and his Nike putter.

Think the same thing happened with Tiger/Nike.

Has it ever happened with kites?

james
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Re: Does gear win titles?…

Post by james »

It just happened with Youri.

He signed for Best mid season(ish) and loved the best gear so much he stayed competing on his RPMs until the season ended and he could start work on his new kite, he said as much in his first Best interview that he was looking forward to putting his stamp on the TS i think it was.

anyway thats a cheap and easy shot so will leave it there… :-D

Flexi winning five titles in a row did more for Aaron as a brand than the company i would argue

the article i linked as about freestyle but as i pointed out above first past the post disciplines are a different kettle of fish. if we were to take speed sailing as an example the fastest kite in the world is a super rad wakestyle machine, not a highly strung high aspect race kite, you don't hear that much about it because its how things are marketed so interpretaion of the brands image is not diluted to the consumer.

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Re: Does gear win titles?…

Post by tombeaton »

i think for the gear to get major credit it needs to produce stand out performances for more than one rider.

in the examples mentioned - youri was on the rpm, but karolina on the fuel. I think yates won on fuels too right?

in the ozone example, there have been a number of names, that all won no end of races using the edge. I think you can put much more merit on the edge being a race winning kite because of it.

we will see next season if youri can win on anything eh?

james
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Re: Does gear win titles?…

Post by james »

exactly Tom, just waiting for someone to put an Edge through a photo copier, despite best efforts no one has managed it yet, kind of surprising seeing what some brands are spending on their race programs, still designers have egos and none of them like to concede defeat.

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Re: Does gear win titles?…

Post by greenroom »

james wrote: my take on it is that both correct/decent gear and rider talent/ability are needed, one cannot succeed with out the other.


Probably a good take on it. This discussion did actually make me think of situation a good few years ago at one of the ASP comps in France where Tom Curren pulled out a rather old fish (which was basically a door with fins) and schooled Matt Hoy who was riding a 'high performance' board - and I mean schooled him. Likewise you have Kelly Slater pushing the limits of surfboard design - particularly as regards length and construction. More variables in kiting admittedly! Jack has a valid point about spotting and fostering talent at an early stage.

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