North Kiteboarding and I have a lot in common. We both love the water, love kiteboarding and, now, changed our name. I changed my name when I got married many years ago. It was a hassle, but I got through it, and so will North Kiteboarding, now Duotone Kiteboarding, and its supporters in the kiting community.
When I changed my name, I didn’t change my personality or the way I looked. I didn’t become a completely new person, but there were some post-change hiccups. Many people didn’t recognize my new name in an email, letter or business card, but once they saw my face, they felt reassured that it was the old “me.” Duotone may also have some brand-recognition issues in the marketplace and on the beach, but savvy kiters will always value the gear’s performance, and trust that over the name on the kite.
The kiting community is, justifiably, concerned about the change from North to Duotone. Kiters think the new name is silly, and yeah…it does sound a bit like a paint company. But smart kiters focus on the thing that matters most–the gear. Duotone Kiteboarding has clearly stated that everything except the brand name is staying the same, including manufacturing, designers, patents, team, distribution and support. So when I get on my new 2019 Duotone Rebel, it’s going to be as good or better than my 2018 North Rebel kite. And that’s what matters, isn’t it?
A name change isn’t a game change. North changing its name to Duotone isn’t like the similarly feeling Best / Eleveight situation, where the company and the design of gear actually changed–most people feel for the better. The Duotone Kiteboarding products will remain the awesome products that we (me, for sure!) have come to love and trust.
After re-reading this post, I think I might change my name again, now that I’m divorced. It might be time. As for my kites, I’m sticking with Duotone. I’ve gone on a lot of dates with other kites, and North (now Duotone) are still my favorite.
Duotone provided the following schedule for their 2019 releases: the Rebel and Dice will be released in August/September with Vegas and Neo to follow quickly afterwards. Duotone twintips and surfboards should come out soon after the August kite releases. Look for the Evo in November/December and the Mono and Juice in the spring of 2019. As always, availability will depend on production speed, shipping, customs, etc. so actual availability in a country may vary slightly from that schedule.
If you’d like more information about the North / Duotone Kiteboarding brand change, check out this article by The Kiteboarder Magazine.