Thanks for chiming in Steve. I was informed that you're actually the regional manufacture rep for Cab. All this time I thought you were just a regional ambassador for the brand, nothing more. You definitely fooled me... which brings me to my next topic.
I recently had a discussion with somebody, that's been around the windsurf & kite scene for a long while now, about how the kite industry is a lot less organized than other action sports industries. I didn't realize that there were basically three schools of thought on how to represent a kite brand.
The first school of thought is what I'm most familiar with, which is a manufacture rep that tours around in there own vehicle or a company vehicle and travels to various kite spots and shops in a given territory to perform demos, support events and interact with consumers. Several companies practice this type of representation and you can easily see how that has positively impacted their sales in this region.
The second school of thought is what Cab and RRD have done locally. The idea is to be a stationary representative at a local "hot" spot and have people come to you for demos, questions and general interaction. While this can work in some areas, I found that this school of thought is not the best for our region because we have so many consistent & popular spots that are regularly frequented by kiters.
The third school of thought is what Switch has implemented where you have no dealers, no reps, no organized demos or events to promote your brand. What they've done to have an "element of representation" is to create an ambassador program that's supposed to allow consumers access to these regional riders so they can see/demo product or ask questions. So far this concept doesn't seem to have worked out too smoothly imo and has somewhat been abused.
Bottom line is for now it's gonna require a lot more work for consumers to get a chance to check out product before they buy. Dealers are also going to have take some initiative and get creative with demos and events like Kite Naked is doing to make up for the lack or poor representation from the manufactures.
Hopefully as this sport evolves, the kite companies will get more organized over time, but for now I'm only going to support the brands that are really working the hardest to promote their brand, their products, and their stoke locally!!!
Oh Btw... A demo at Folsom lake was just wishful thinking on my part. Realistically I'd be shocked if any brand took the time to venture out to Folsom.