North Kiteboarding to be relaunched… But Not Till August 2019
It seems North Kiteboarding will continue. Kiteworld Editor Jim Gaunt comments on the brand evolution and who’s who
In the wake of what was the entire North Kiteboarding management, design and rider team deciding to set up a new brand called Duotone, slipping into that shell, the license for which is owned by North Sails, are a clutch of very experienced industry individuals who hold up to 20 years of experience as division and design managers for companies like Neil Pryde (Cabrinha).
This is all new news and banking on the current stir around ‘North Kiteboarding’s change, a press release has just filtered out from ‘North Technology Group (NTG) stating that “North Kiteboarding will be stronger than ever under a new, more efficient business model. The team will soon reveal a new brand experience that will enhance its connection with the kiteboarding community through its products, retailers, and digital channels.”
Using an alliance with North Sails, Tom Whidden, CEO of NTG, commented: “We have so much technology within our group which we can better share with our fellow lovers of wind and waves. Sailing and kiting are equipment-driven sports – when you have the best gear, being out there in the wind, on the water is so much better – in fact it’s the greatest feeling on earth.”
So… North Kiteboarding will continue, and although ultimately will still be run by the brand license holder (North Sails) it will be under a new management and design team and with new product names (as Duotone hold the intellectual property for product, Dice, Rebel, Neo, Vegas etc.)
Key figures involved are Mike Raper (20 years at Neil Pryde), Hugh Pinfold, David Meade and Klaus Warkentin (Cabrinha). True Kiteboarding may have moved on, and we will have to wait until August 2019 to see how new North Kiteboarding will return.
So, as Doctor Spock might have said… It’s North Kiteboarding Jim, but not as we know it!
Read the full press release below:
NORTH IS COMING HOME
20 July, 2018, Connecticut USA – North Technology Group (NTG) has today announced it will make a significant investment in its brand North Kiteboarding – bringing the design, innovation and manufacturing of its products home under the umbrella of the group and ending its third party licensing agreement.
NTG will support North Kiteboarding’s newly established world-class leadership team to produce a full product range; sharing and harnessing North’s unrivalled technology innovations across all components of wind-powered craft – foils, technology, masts and boards.
The first new North product range is currently under development and will be released globally in August 2019, while in parallel tapping into the firepower of the NTG to develop exciting new products for all North riders and the wider kiting community.
Mike Raper, Director of Development and Brand at North Kiteboarding, said: “This is exciting news for the industry, the team is really looking forward to sharing new, innovative products with retailers, riders and the community.”
North Kiteboarding will be stronger than ever under a new, more efficient business model. The team will soon reveal a new brand experience that will enhance its connection with the kiteboarding community through its products, retailers, and digital channels.
Tom Whidden, CEO of NTG, commented: “We have so much technology within our group which we can better share with our fellow lovers of wind and waves. Sailing and kiting are equipment-driven sports – when you have the best gear, being out there in the wind, on the water is so much better – in fact it’s the greatest feeling on earth.”
NTG’s recent world firsts and successes with America’s Cup hydrofoiling, masts and North 3Di composite sail innovations as well as Solar airplane prototyping present exciting opportunities to adapt and cross over into kiteboarding, that can only be fully realised by producing their own gear through the North Kiteboarding brand.
The new leadership team behind North Kiteboarding is made up of experienced industry innovators and leaders, determined to make kiteboarding more accessible, sustainable, innovative and exciting.
David Mead, Director of Manufacturing & Operations at North Kiteboarding, said: “Our team is working very hard to leverage years of experience and passion to develop a high performance range of gear. It’s awesome to be working closely with the NTG’s composite engineers and designers, as well as leveraging the unmatched aero and hydro expertise the Group has within its portfolio. It’s a very exciting time for the sport.”
The company will make further announcements in late 2018. To keep up to date with developments you can register for email updates at www.northkb.com