For those of you that dont know, Air-head.com longtime friend Shannon Best has parted from Best Kiteboarding, Shannon has informed us that he is now focusing on producing a brand with Kitesurf.com, here is a bit of background and what they have been working on from the man himself.
I just wanted to touch base and bring you up to speed on my activities since my departure from Best Kiteboarding and tell you about my new company and venture, KiteSurf.
For background, I was introduced to the sport in 1999 by Kitesurf.com. Facing productions difficulties with their licensor at the time, KiteSurf’s owner supported my departure to start, with a few investors, Best Kiteboarding in 2003. My number one goal was to build the best gear possible and have fun, because in all truth, that’s what kitesurfing is, Fun. Indeed, for the first few years it was fun and it showed in the great response we had from everyone along the way to becoming the largest kite manufacture in the world!
As the company expanded, our controlling investor’ priorities shifted and a new management team was hired. I never got involved into the finance or management of the company and had little to say at the time but the dwindling bottom line became the most important thing and the bean counters stepped in, attempting to control not only the business but also the design and development of our products. This was catastrophic and their involvement led to poor quality and failed designs resulting in a collapse of the sales. Although touting his Harvard degree and proclaiming to be the only one qualified enough to manage a company of that size, the new CEO proved to bring about the collapse of Best Kiteboarding from a $21 million a year of sales to less than $4 million last year.
This was the beginning of the end and it is with great frustration that I watched the company that I founded and which was carrying my name make one mistake after another and completely lose sight of its core ideas. Having been diluted along the way, but for voicing my repeated objections, I had no say in Best Kiteboarding direction and we finally parted ways at the end of 2012. Contrary to what was published, it was not on very good terms.
Returning to my sources, I joined once again with KiteSurf this past January and was able to go back to my initial philosophy. Without having to deal with large corporate politics and bureaucracy, I’m finally free again to design, build the best kitesurfing equipment on the planet and most importantly to once again have some fun. After assembling a team of the most talented individuals within their respected fields in the industry and who share my philosophy, we have designed and tested a new line of kitesurfing equipment which we are ready to bring to the market.
The design of our new kites reflects a combination of both old school and new school directions both in shape and graphics. Working without restraint and with an enthusiastic and competent team we were able to achieve our goal and create two unbelievable kite lines.
The MP kite meets all our expectations; light, responsive, massive wind range and lift. This kite jams up wind, capitalizes on any condition that is thrown at it and rides through gusty squalls. From beginners to advanced riders, the MPs (available from 5m to 13m) were fine-tuned to provide any rider with the performance they expect from beginners to advanced riders. The MP is available now.
For light wind, extra lift and racing, we also designed a second line of high aspect ratio kites, the SB (only in large sizes from 10m and up). The SB should be available within the next 2 months.
Our web site will be up in a few weeks but you can already go to KiteSurf.com were we posted a bit more information and some pictures of the new gear. If you want to view and test the MPs and you are in south Florida (USA) or in Catalina (Colombia) contact me so we can be arrange for it.
Air-head.com would like to thank Shannon for keeping us up to date on what he is doing, we are sure this range of kitesurfing equipment will perform every bit as good as it looks, whatch this space for more information on what Shannon is doing.