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Liquid Force leaving kites/HR

 
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ay

Since 11 Oct 2008
91 Posts
Hood River
 



PostThu Jun 25, 20 7:57 pm    Liquid Force leaving kites/HR Reply with quote

Bummer. Another casualty of the pandemic. Wear your masks.

   IMG_5428.jpg 

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Bill C

Since 15 Sep 2005
199 Posts
Portland
Stoked



PostThu Jun 25, 20 11:57 pm     Reply with quote

I think their issues and the industry is much broader than the pandemic.

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Matt V

Since 26 Oct 2014
441 Posts
Summer- OR Coast, Winter - My van near good snow
Explosive Diarrhea



PostFri Jun 26, 20 6:59 am     Reply with quote

Bill C wrote:
I think their issues and the industry is much broader than the pandemic.


Opposite of what I was thinking. I've seen many many more Liquid Force kites from the Oregon coast all the way to the Midwest in the last five or six years. They seemed like they were doing pretty good, even though I'll admit they had a pretty Rocky start in kite boarding. My experience was that their first good kites were produced in 2012 to 2013. They've also been able to innovate to a high degree and provide some great kite designs to the kite community since then. And the catalysts for the foil craze, was certainly the foil fish.

Also as a company, I've not heard anything bad about warranty service. And with switch kite changing, along with best kiteboarding changing and then going bankrupt to now being just a shaky online presence, who is left servicing the price point Market?

It's just scary to see the parallels in the wind surfing story being fulfilled in the kite surfing story.

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user124

Since 02 Aug 2012
349 Posts
Portland
Obsessed



PostFri Jun 26, 20 8:45 am     Reply with quote

[quote="Matt V"]
Bill C wrote:


It's just scary to see the parallels in the wind surfing story being fulfilled in the kite surfing story.


Interesting - can you explain further for those of us that didn't windsurf and weren't around for the wind surfing story?

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bgkiter

Since 20 Oct 2008
69 Posts

 



PostFri Jun 26, 20 9:07 am     Reply with quote

the wow v4s and the bars are/were top notch, sad

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jasonq

Since 12 Jan 2009
191 Posts
vancouver
Stoked



PostFri Jun 26, 20 10:09 am     Reply with quote

agreed, sad.

i have had a good deal of LF equipment over the years, and was always happy with the quality of the product and support when i needed it.

but i have been saying for a while there's a coming reckoning in the kite industry. there are soooo many kite brands. 10-ish "large" brands, another 15-ish "medium" brands, and another ??? small brands. It feels like the number of brands grew faster than the sport. But i expected many of the small and medium brands to go away, i still do. but i had not expect LF.

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Bill C

Since 15 Sep 2005
199 Posts
Portland
Stoked



PostFri Jun 26, 20 6:39 pm     Reply with quote

I agree with Jasong. I've owned several LF boards and still have one of their kites. Good equipment, but their profitability must not have met the benchmark needed by the parent company and the future of the industry didn't offer much hope apparently.

I windsurfed in the Gorge and north coast back in the day and that industry can be described as meteoric in that it zoomed for a period of time and fell into oblivion rapidly. There were a core group of enthusiasts that stuck with it, but most people viewed it as discretionary 'been there, done that, I'm done'. When I moved to the east coast, I couldn't give my equipment away and most of it went in the dumpster.

I kite a lot at North Carolina beaches and get countless inquiries from young people that want to know; is it hard to learn, how much does it cost, where can I buy one? I tell them to take a few lessons and if they like it, they will need a couple of kites, probably a couple of boards and the other stuff that goes with kiting. Then your life gets rearranged to monitor wind conditions and spend the windshield time to kite. I know a couple of local kite schools and most people don't stick with it after lessons. It was on their bucket list and once they realize the cost and dedication it takes, there are other recreational things to do.

The kite industry has to be a tough business appealing to a relatively small group. The advent of foiling with a wingy thingy has to make it even more difficult.

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Singlemalt

Since 21 Jun 2015
317 Posts
White Salmon
Obsessed



PostFri Jun 26, 20 7:12 pm     Reply with quote

Bummer.

Will there be a nice blowout sale for local fans?

I really like my LF gear.

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Sella

Since 21 Apr 2007
1749 Posts
Doin' The Dalles
FLY'IN HIGH PIE GUY



PostSun Jun 28, 20 11:14 am    Survival of the fittest, oldest rule in the book. Reply with quote

Companies are only as talented as their people and while Liquid Force had some of the best they eventually lost them to their competition and that was the beginning of the end.

Remote VC leadership does not have the golden touch of understanding local when they crunch the numbers on what it would cost to bring on a new kite designer, sales reps or marketing managers. The cost to add a new employee in year 1 along with the Gorge cost of living is daunting so setting up shop locally doesn't pencil in an online world heavily focused on consolidation.

Still, it takes money to make money so then you look at Jeff and Tony over @ 7-Nation brands Slingshot Sports, Ride Engine, Moonshine MFG and track their diversification over the last 5-8 years and realize they tapped all the talent that was shopping for opportunity. The talent, although more expensive, comes to the bargaining table already knowing the lingo, knowing the build process, the scheduling, customer service etc.etc..and have the experience to move and innovate product. Those blended efficiencies, no learning curve, nor relocation package offsets the added cost to onboard with a side benefit of seeing your competition scramble and then implode. Nothing personal, just good business, as talented people always land on their feet.

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Matt V

Since 26 Oct 2014
441 Posts
Summer- OR Coast, Winter - My van near good snow
Explosive Diarrhea



PostMon Jun 29, 20 6:46 am     Reply with quote

[quote="user124"]
Matt V wrote:
Bill C wrote:


It's just scary to see the parallels in the wind surfing story being fulfilled in the kite surfing story.


Interesting - can you explain further for those of us that didn't windsurf and weren't around for the wind surfing story?


That has been Beat to Death In many other threads. Not to mention, you don't just want one person's opinion, as the reality is difficult to entirely grasp.

As far as my opinion of the real reason that Liquid Force is going under, perceived image.

Many other companies focus on image and succeed in creating a perception in kiters minds of the superiority of those companies product. It's fashion. Liquid Force failed to really present that fashionable image, regardless of the high quality of their gear and they're excellent customer service.

The successful brands that will continue to be available will cater to the 60 or so percent of kiters who choose those brands based on image, whether it's the image that kiter wants to present, or the actual aggregate perception of the kite community of that brand.

And just like in vehicles, affordable brands sometimes can compete with the luxury brands,. But people still choose to purchase luxury brands to show off their ability to get a loan, and present themselves as being in a higher income bracket.[u]

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GreasyRick

Since 24 May 2018
11 Posts
Hood River, OR
 



PostMon Jun 29, 20 2:20 pm     Reply with quote

Well, their image was doomed the second I started riding under a used LF Envy I bought last year.

Lookout Best, you're next.

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Sasquatch

Since 09 Mar 2005
1855 Posts
P-town
STACKED



PostMon Jun 29, 20 4:40 pm     Reply with quote

[quote="Matt V"][quote="user124"]
Matt V wrote:


And just like in vehicles, affordable brands sometimes can compete with the luxury brands,. But people still choose to purchase luxury brands to show off their ability to get a loan, and present themselves as being in a higher income bracket.[u]



"How do you afford your Rock & Roll lifestyle? Is you or your parents in this income tax bracket?"



Link

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Matt V

Since 26 Oct 2014
441 Posts
Summer- OR Coast, Winter - My van near good snow
Explosive Diarrhea



PostWed Jul 01, 20 9:34 am     Reply with quote

Sasquatch wrote:


"How do you afford your Rock & Roll lifestyle? Is you or your parents in this income tax bracket?"



Bit OT, but right now I maintain it with a construction job. My folks are doing great and spending down pretty much all of any possible inheritance. Other than that, well I guess I bought a lottery ticket once, and I lost.

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JeffT

Since 07 Jul 2012
234 Posts
Deep Southern Portland
Stoked



PostTue Jul 07, 20 9:59 am     Reply with quote

What happened to Naish and Core?
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Jeff

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tinyE

Since 21 Jan 2006
1927 Posts
not really an
XTreme Poster



PostWed Jul 08, 20 10:27 am     Reply with quote

GreasyRick wrote:
Well, their image was doomed the second I started riding under a used LF Envy I bought last year.

Lookout Best, you're next.


haha, this post made me laugh! nice! under the same rules, i am bringing the slingshot name to shame! Laughing

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lineman

Since 05 Feb 2009
142 Posts

Stoked



PostWed Jul 08, 20 3:48 pm     Reply with quote

This statement has nothing to do with LF but more to the general kite industry.

Lets charge 2000.00 for the kite,you'll need three, 550.00 for the bar, you'll need 2, 900.00 for a twin tip or directional, you'll need one of each and 300.00 for a harness. Don't even get me started on foils..... And wonder why the sport isn't expanding.

Who are theses people buying retail??? If it weren't for the leftover / used marketplace I'd never be able to afford this sport.

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