First of all I have to say that I am speaking solely in reference to our North, Central and South American distribution / dealer network. Servicing the better part of the western hemisphere excluding the Hawaiian Islands.
Take into consideration I've been at the US based distribution for NeilPryde (Adventure Sports) for
well into 7 years now. I've worked with just about every windsurfing related product line in the Pryde Group family at a Brand Management level (at one point or another) and have seen the best and worst of it in this regard. I will say, regarding formula gear specifically, the sails have a remarkably low warranty rate. The X9 Race masts we know had some issues the past couple of seasons hence the change in development and production, as well as the change in manufacturer policy regarding warranty.
I’d imagine the change is largely based on the fact that in as many valid claims that have been handled by NP (on X9 Race masts specifically) several claims were found to be bogus and caused by mistreatment of the gear in question. It’s understood this is not always the case. More than often claims are denied simply because the consumer, or dealer (in some cases), cannot or do not provide a sufficient amount of required information to the manufacturer.
In these cases, one thing I am sure of is that Adventure Sports has gone to every possible length to ensure that all X9 warranty claims have been handled for our dealers and their customers. This includes many claims that our production team may have opted to deny initially. You can imagine this takes a tremendous amount of correspondence and regrettably, time in order to process any grievance from a distribution level with the manufacturer. Again, many times the initial denial of the claim is based solely on a lack of information provided. Including proof of purchase receipts, at times duplicate serial numbers are claimed, lost items claimed, etc.
Firstly, the earlier speculation on wholesale pricing is bogus.
Secondly, regarding service issues; I can't speak of the service provided by another NP distributor somewhere else in the world. I will say undoubtedly (with
all history aside between Adventure Sports and our current and past
dealer network) that Adventure Sports has not only listened very closely to the points made by our retailers and end consumers alike, but long ago recognized any shortfalls of our own and have taken great strides over the years to improve our level of service. With warranty claims in particular, we put an incredible amount of time into reviewing each claim thoroughly and follow through personally with production to ensure our customers are taken care of. I'm certain our current dealers would attest to this. More to this point, I'm speaking of the 'Here and Now'. Yesterday's a world away.
The fact is ourselves as a distributor turnover what I'll say is a very large number of sails, rigs, accessories, etc. I hear NeilPryde Windsurfing bashed continually. Frankly, this false perception is based on past service related and product issues dating back several years along with current miss-information.
Consider that NeilPryde has a very expansive line of products. All of which carry an extremely low warranty rate as a whole. We hear the most of issues regarding very specialized products for a core group of racers and/or including narrow product categories. Unfortunately for us this is usually the most vocal group of sailors and the speculative trickle down effect to other racers and/or recreational sailors is usually not leaning in our favor.
The facts are as I see it, and yes, I certainly have a bias in this case. NeilPryde has put a remarkable amount of time into the development and effort into servicing each and every claim to the best of their ability. They rely highly on the efforts and knowledge of their distribution network to make this happen. The complexities of production are sometimes unforeseeable but NeilPryde products as a whole are of sound quality. The performance in many if not most cases are unmatched.
As fantastical a name that NeilPryde Windsurfing is in the industry, the reality is that the brand unit itself; from the research and development team, production and marketing team alike, consist of a relatively small number of purist, windsurf enthusiasts, who’s end goal is really to produce the best windsurfing equipment available. I know these folks well and also know their involvement with NeilPryde starts with their love for the sport.
In that vain, we at Adventure Sports take great strides in providing an extremely high level of service including a dedicated team to warranties and on hand assessment by management. All management of which have been involved in the sport of windsurfing for at least 20 years. I'm personally dedicated to changing the perception. I know better you see. I'm well aware of where we excel
and hyper aware of where we fall short. One thing for sure is our love and loyalty to the sport and its participants is true, as well as our support for NeilPryde Windsurfing.
NeilPryde Windsurfing / JP-Australia