Getting back to the topic (whatever the actual title is).
I have had best Waroos since 2006. Best changed the market with at least three things:
1) Direct internet sales with aggressive pricing whether bought from a dealer or direct.
2) Early on the market with an outstanding SLE hybrid.
3 ) One of the first with a user forum for customer feedback and direct communication on improvements of gear.
Best was so successful that they quickly rocketed to one of the leading brands, selling the most kites and associated gear. Over time, the other brands have caught up. Those brands that sneered and belittled Best's success, gradually adopted every one of the three above points. 1) Best forced all brands to lower or keep their prices stable as it was abundantly clear that Best gear was as good as other brands products costing much more. 2) Back in 2006 SLE kites were just arriving on the market. Best was the first to market a hybrid SLE with reasonable bar pressure, excellent stability, easy relaunch and wind range. Remember that this is 2006 when many, including myself wanted to get into kiting and starting with a 1 kite quiver. The first Waroo was a great choice for those entering the sport. SLEs then grew to become the dominant kite design and those "hooked" on Best's innovative designs and great pricing just kept buying.
3) The importance of the Best user forum should not be underestimated. It was fun and and involving to provide feedback in the forum and arrive at a common opinion as to how to correct a deficiency or make an improvement. Best listened to the forum and incorporated these suggestions in their product line with fantastic results.
What has changed?
While Best has moved up market with more robust and more expensive kites, other brands have moved down market with equivalent equipment with the same price range. In addition, Best is only one among many brands that make great SLE kites. They also stumbled in the 2010 Waroo as Simon correctly pointed out. The timing for such an oversight could not have been worse. I also think that the forum is less active than it has been. Why? I myself do not visit as much and the reasons include that Best has evolved their equipment and there is less to discuss. Also many other brands now have their on sites. Ocean Rodeo started theirs in late 2006 and there are others. Also I do not like all the blingage that is on the recent iterations of the Best site. In the Best main page, one forgets sometimes what they are actually selling. Is it travel? The forum is buried in a sub sub menu.
That is my 2 cents worth.
09 Waroo 7m
'10 Core GTS 7M
'10 OR Rise 9M
09 Core GT 12M
OR Mako Wide
OR Mako Classic
OR Mako King