Category Archives: accessories

Ronix and Kiteboarding; an expensive relationship?

A blunt and harsh question; Is the relation between Ronix boots and kiteboarding a problematic marriage? Bound to have a quick and dirty divorce? A statement mostly driven  by one fact; lose of warranty of those very comfortable and stylish, but also pricey boots in this relationship.

It is a fact that kiteboarders on boots are abusing their material more than riders on straps. Particularly the boots suffer a lot. Many of them break down much, much quicker compared to straps. But the Ronix ones seem to beat other brands in the boots category. It isn’t easy to estimate how long it takes before the first issues occur. But a couple of our readers showed us that break down as quick as within 6 months is not rare.

That Ronix aren’t the strongest boots out there is not really hot news. See some wording on this topic on kitesista. Most (first) issues are related to the laces (breakage within weeks). Followed by the connection of the laces to the boots (usually within months).

Shops

When going back to a store with broken gear it usually means the distributor will judge on the warranty. No different for Ronix’s products. And without much exceptions we hear a very abrupt and short answer popping up from them when they hear you used them while kiteboarding; “no warranty”.

We had several readers asking us if this is true, so we chased down a kiteboard pro’s who got sponsored by Ronix. And of course we had, or rather tried, to have a chat about the warranty issues with Ronix.

Marc Jacobs

An quick and honest reaction came from Marc Jacobs, a pro kiter formerly sponsored by Ronix. Wait. Did we say sponsored by Ronix, a kiteboarding pro. Really?? Marc explains: “Kiteboarding is s big market for Ronix boots now but they have never be interested in sponsoring kiters but I see why dealers help us out as it helps sales in there area of the rider.

So we put him up with our main question about the warranty. He was quite straight in his answer “They properly stop warranty for kiters because we ride and salt water and not fresh and damage them much more”.

Ronix 

We also contacted Ronix (USA); surprisingly (or not?) they reacted differently to a potential customer from someone seeking warranty.

When we asked about warranty on their boots we got a short but clear answer; The warranty is the same if you’re kiteboarding or Wakeboarding. Completely the opposite from what we have been told before. That is why we contact several other suppliers and they contacted the distributors which contacted Ronix (again).

And now the answer was more to what we expected, although the answer still has a evasive taste to it; Generally speaking our boots were designed for wakeboarding. Either behind the boot or at a cable park. There are a couple factors that come with kiteboarding that void the coverage. Most kiteboarding is done in salt water which decreases the life expectances of a boot. Also the amount of force the boot takes compared to wakeboarding can be more and therefore harder on the boot.

Wake up call?

So at the moment you either know a very handy shoemaker, lie about the use when going for a warranty claim or have the financial capability to take your -quite likely- quick loss on Ronix boots. And kiteboarding shops; please warn the users before selling?! Of course we rather see that due to this message Ronix will change its warranty policy and label some (or all) of its boots to be suited for kiteboarding.

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Ocean Rodeo Stick Shift bar

It is the third innovative bar which has been released recently. The Cabrinha Fireball and the North Click bar are now joined by the Ocean Rodeo Stick Shift bar. Just like the North bar the power and depower control is adjusted on the back lines by turning a button at the right side of the bar. All three are refinements which results in cleaner systems with small, delicate benefits. Mind you the Ocean Rodeo and North bars also come with a significant price tag. Is it worth it and which one to choose?

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KiteShield, a cover to protect your kite

Kites are quite vulnerable. They get a lot of beating from the sand, sun and water and get worn out quite quickly. Generally kites are replaced sooner than for example boards. What if we could protect our kites a bit better and make them last longer? Or what if we could leave our kites protected on the beach in between two sessions without deflating and pack them? Or keep an extra kite on the beach in shifting winds to make sure you can quickly change to another size.

This is exactly why the Kiteshield has been invented. The kiteshield is a cover to put over your inflated kite on the beach to protect it from UV, sand and about everything you put your kite on. But does it really work when it is windy? Does it stay on the kite even in strong winds and are we able to get it on without too much hassle?  We already got one of those Kite covers and tried it. The idea is great for some purposes, but the product needs some evident changes.


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Update II on North Click bar (front lines damage)

Although the North Click bar is our favorite bar so far, we did make an update on the damage on the front lines around the split point in March. Quite quickly North contacted us on this subject. We spoke with North again, a few months later after several of our readers including our self’s asked for an update on the matter. Basically they admit there is some wear out on one of the front lines around the split, but for the time being it will only be monitored.

Damage after 8 months
Wear out after 8 months

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North Click bar -update after 6 months usage-: Check your safety line near the split!

We have used the North Click bar now for 6 months (around 40 to 50 sessions) and want to share some results. The bar itself and the system on its own is phenomenal. For example we don’t see any wear out on the depower line. However there is one issue which can become a game breaker. The V-split causes damage to the line, which already shows. Obviously breaking a safety line is the last thing in the world you want to happen. Activating the safety in this case would mean loosing your kite!

Safety line damage North Click bar
Safety line damage North Click bar

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Shrinking kite lines

Shrinking? Yes, shrinking. Kite lines get shorter after usage! It seems contra intuitive, because a lot of people think used lines will get stretched, but in fact they get shorter over time. We found differences between used and unused lines of around 15cm, where the used lines got shorter. It may just be the reason your used kite doesn’t feel the same as when you bought it, especially when you just replaced a part of your lines.

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North Click bar 2017

The introduction of the new Click bar can be compared to the time when new cars got a remote control for opening and starting a car. Handy, but not necessary to get from A to B. So a game changer? No, of course not. You will not fly higher, ride harder or get more pop. But it is a refinement of the bar.

– See also our post on the Update after 6 months usage of the Click bar- 

Compared to the standard bars of North, it is more than just the way you power/depower your kite. You may even safe money -although it costs 160 Euro’s more than the Quad bar- on the long run. For sure it is safer and more friendly to use. If sand will ruin the (de)power system, is hard to tell. It doesn’t look like it, but at least make sure you register your Click bar to get to the extra 6 month of warranty. Better be (18 months) safe than sorry,

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North PIQ vs Woo Sports (part 2)

We all love to see the exact results of our jumping. But things get ruined when the results are biased, bogus or even tampered with. Some forums even have an updates of their Woo data on each windy day, including the discussion. Which gear was used? Did you do a dead man to get that extra meter et cetera. But since we now can get a third device the question remains if the data of all of them are comparable.DSC_0717

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