North Kiteboarding will be relaunching in August 2019. After the decision of the North Kiteboard management team (including the design and rider teams) to create a new brand called Duotone, it seemed the beloved brand would slip away forever.
But a group of highly experienced industry individuals, with more than 20 years of combined experience, has decided to continue with the North Kiteboarding brand. The new team members worked as design managers for companies like Neil Pryde (Cabrinha).
You can find the South African North dealer at Open Ocean kitesurfing shop in Big Bay, Cape Town.
The change also includes a new business model. Tom Whidden, CEO of North Technology Group (NTG), feels that there is an abundance of technology available within the group that can be harnessed to share the passion for the wind and waves with the loyal brand followers. He believes that sailing and kiting are both equipment-driven sports. And the better your gear, the more you will be able to enjoy the water sports.
History of The North Kiteboarding Brand
The company was officially started in 2001. They jumped on the kiteboarding bandwagon right in the beginning, becoming one of two industry leaders to dominate the sport. Their strategy was simple. Produce great kites with brilliant designs, created by a passionate and strong team.
North Kiteboarding originated from a company called North Sails. Started by Lowell North in 1957, it grew into the largest global sail manufacturing company. It all began with just a simple conversation at a bar. Becoming fascinated with wind technology, Lowell kept improving from his first make-shift sail for a friend. He investigated the latest technology available, and soon became a world-famous sail producer.
Windsurfing started to emerge as a sport in the 80’s and 90’s and Lowell was instantly fascinated with it. North Sails started to develop ground-breaking wave sails for the kiteboarding fanatics. They created some of the best and fastest performing wave sails.
But then in 2000 the North Sails brand was sold to a parent company called Boards and More. The North Kiteboarding brand was sold before it even really took off. The brand was kept but the company grew into a whole new business. They became just as famous and successful as North Sails. A similar business philosophy was followed. And the two brands have one other big thing in common, always willing to explore new technology trends.
North Kiteboarding has always been a proud innovator in the kiteboarding community. They challenge themselves to create innovative gear that enhances the kiteboarding experience. Always striving to create high-quality gear, the brand has remained a firm favourite among kiteboarding enthusiasts since its humble beginnings.
Creating New Visions
The North Kiteboarding team will create a whole new brand experience to build a fresh connection with the kiteboarding community. On the technical side, it will still be managed under the brand license holder, namely North Sails. But a whole new management and design team will be responsible for creating epic kiteboarding equipment, with brand new product names.
The new brand leaders include David Meade, Mike Raper (20 years at Neil Pryde), Klaus Warkentin (Cabrinha), and Hugh Pinfold. The North Technology Group (NTG) has decided to investment both time and money in the North Kiteboarding brand.
This change of direction comes after the end of a third-party licensing agreement. Now the brand will be managed from the home office again. NTG will now again be involved in the design, innovation and manufacturing of products.
The most amazing sport in the world
The company is excited about the new world-class management team that will create brand new products, including all wind-powered craft components – from technology and foils, to masts and boards. North’s unparalleled technology innovations will be harnessed in a fresh new way.
What to Expect
The first new North Kiteboarding product range is scheduled for global release in August 2019. North Kiteboarding’s new team will tap into the NTG resources to create exciting new products that the loyal North riders as well as the broader kiting community will greatly enjoy.
Mike Raper, North Kiteboarding’s Director of Development and Brand, feels that this new venture is an exciting prospect for the industry in general. Blowing a wave of fresh new air into the brand’s sails the new team is keen to share innovative, new products with both retailers and riders.
The North Technology Group has made great progress in the industry. Their success with America’s Cup hydrofoiling, mast innovations as well as North 3Di composite sail innovations has made the world sit up and take notice of the company. The unique solar airplane prototyping is another ground-breaking step they’ve taken. All these specialised technologies can now be adopted and incorporated in the kiteboarding products that the North Kiteboarding brand will develop.
The North Kiteboarding’s new management team includes highly experienced industry leaders and innovators. They are excited about making kiteboarding a more sustainable, innovative, exciting and accessible sport worldwide.
Review of the New 2018 North Kiteboarding Rebel Kite
North Kiteboarding’s Director of Manufacturing and Operations, David Mead, is very excited to be working with NTG’s composite designers and engineers. He wants to harness his team’s passion and industry experience to produce a range of high performance gear. He feels that the future holds great opportunities for the revived brand, incorporating NTG’s extensive aero and hydro knowhow into products that will impress the kiteboarding community.
North Is Coming Home
North Kiteboarding is excited to return to the wind innovation home. Their journey started with the North Technology Group and it has now made a full circle return to it again. NTG is also very excited to have the brand back on board with them, keen to innovate and produce products that will impress the kiteboarding fanatics that have stayed loyal to the brand over the years.
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