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Why switch to Switch?

Posted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:11 pm
by michaelb1
Hi!
I'm getting a new quiver this year so that I can focus on kitesurfing in waves. I heard about Switch several years ago but kind of dismissed them mainly because I don't know anyone that flies them. Anyway, now that I am about to spend money on a new quiver i am giving them a second look. The price is just ridiculous. Unfortunately there aren't many video reviews online.
So, can anyone tell me how the element compares to other kites for kiting in waves, durability, drift, turning speed, sheet&go? I'm also considering the North Neo and Naish Pivot. I've read a lot and heard from many people that those are both great kites so if anyone has any direct comparison knowledge that would be great.

Basically i am looking for a warm and fuzzy feeling about these cheap kites that you buy over the internet site unseen.
For info:
I'm 6ft, 185lbs. Mostly kite in Outerbanks NC 15-30kts but I travel a few times a year and bring kites with me whenever I can.

here's my buying research. You can see that Switch could save me a ton of money but it wouldn't be worth it to me if I'm not having the best time I can have on the waves.
The North prices are just insane but i could see myself getting a Naish Pivot quiver.

All prices include 3 kites and 1 new bar:
Switch Element .......$2309.......7,9,13
Switch Element.......$2310........7,11,13
Switch Element.......$2376........7,11,15
2015 Naish Pivot......$2914........7,9,12.......(Switch price +605)
2016 Naish Pivot......$4309........7,9,12 .......(Switch price +2000)
2015 North Neo.......$4277.........7,9,12 .......(Switch price + 1968)
2015 North Dice.......$4277........7,9,12.......(Switch price + 1968)
2016 North Neo.......$4427.........7,9,12.......(Switch price +2118)
2016 North Dice.......$4427........7,9,12.......(Switch price + 2118)

Re: Why switch to Switch?

Posted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:35 pm
by huili88
I was in the same boat a couple years ago switched and never looked back. Also they have a no questions asked 30day return. Consider the shipping as cost of renting 3 kites for 30 days. If you don't like just return them you may be out $50 but saves you time and effort of trying to tease out info that is very subjective.

Re: Why switch to Switch?

Posted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:11 pm
by felix
michaelb1
At your weight depending on your board.
I would go for a 7,9,11 Element4 quiver add a bigger kite if needed later. Which I doubt. 11m on 23m lines should cover you . I ride a 9m from 14 knots - 25 knots weigh 160# 20m lines Switch 55cm bar setting.
The Elements have some grunt and great range.
The Element is also great at staying reactive when flown sheeted out. This to me personally is very important when flying hooked in riding waves.
Gives you great over all control.
Some of the kites on your list do have very poor handling characteristic when it comes to this area.
If you have any further questions feel free to contact me on felix@switchkites.com
Regards
Felix.

Re: Why switch to Switch?

Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:04 am
by michaelb1
Great feedback! Thanks huili88 and Felix. In digging around the web I have read a lot from Switch kite riders and I have not really read any negative comments about them.
Maybe what seems to good to be true is actually true.

I saw that the Element is designed to be an all-around kite. I'll probably be doing 50/50 flat water and waves. Should I go with the new Nitro5?
or a combination of Elements and Nitro?
New to the brand I am not sure where we are right now in the product cycle. Is an Element5 coming out anytime soon?

Re: Why switch to Switch?

Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:55 am
by Faxie
If you want a bit of everything, but best in waves, get the Element. I use them for everything, waveriding, unhooking, oldskool, kiteloops etc.

Not familiar with the Pivot. People seem to like it, but there are complaints too (especially range), and maybe it's a bit too freeride oriented. Flew a Neo from years back (2012 of 13 I think).... was fine but nothing really special. And I don't like the build quality and design choices on Norths. And their prices. I cant' see a single thing that justifies their price....

Re: Why switch to Switch?

Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:07 pm
by kite*hawk
Look no furthar than the elements for your next strapless kite. 7&11 will do ya but the 9 is the money kite. perfect blend of power and turn speed. I would go 7,11 and nitro 14 for those light haddy days. I'm in wilmington if you want a demo.

Re: Why switch to Switch?

Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 11:12 pm
by dtmt
I have a 7,9,11 element quiver + Nitro 14. I snow kite a lot so the nitro is magic there & its a super floaty fun kite when lit on water when conditions say go out & boost today. I get to the coast 2-4x per yr & that element quiver is perfect for waves. I used to have a couple of Cloud Kites for waves & I much prefer the elements.

Customer support from Switch is really spectacular.

Re: Why switch to Switch?

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:56 am
by michaelb1
Thanks all. How is the Switch controller3 bar compared to other bars like Naish and North?
I was told you can use any bar with Switch kites. Has anyone tried that? If so which bar works best?

Re: Why switch to Switch?

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:19 pm
by Faxie
michaelb1 wrote:Thanks all. How is the Switch controller3 bar compared to other bars like Naish and North?
I was told you can use any bar with Switch kites. Has anyone tried that? If so which bar works best?
Just make sure the bar flags on 1 line.

There's less stuff that breaks on the Switch bar, and if something breaks it's cheap to replace (try comparing the safetyring from Switch and North, lol) :mrgreen: Same lines as North (not sure which ones Naish uses) but no sleeves (which makes lines weak), and very good pigtails, same safety mechanism as North. Some people find the grip to be on the hard side, but I think it's just perfect.

I do think it's not the prettiest bar as a whole, but I don't care. If you make stuff pretty, there are always compromises.

Re: Why switch to Switch?

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:14 am
by DvB
Why switch to Switch? I did this year, bought two Nitro 5's, untried, untested, I just bought on faith that the kites would deliver as promised. Naive, perhaps, but where I live (Seychelles) that is my only option. The pricing was great, the whole online purchase process was extremely simple, and the kites arrived on our little island in the middle of nowhere within 5 days of being shipped (which was free, by the way, and the parcel was tracked). The build quality is great, and the customer service has been exactly as promised. I had a problem initially with the kites not flagging out to a single line, I notified Switch, and they sent me a replacement swivel free or charge which solved the problem.

We are out of our windy season here, so I've only had one day on the water with the kites in light winds, so I don't have too much to say about the performance, but I'm not disappointed so far. The kites are stable and responsive, although I'm finding the relaunch in light winds a little tricky, but I have no doubt that I'll sort that out. So I'm one happy customer, and I have no problems recommending this brand to anyone else.