Global currencies are all over the place at the moment and the Kiwi dollar and the British Pound are two of the worst performers. Despite the fact that Neil Pryde have not increased the ex-Hong Kong price of the RS:X since June 2007 (more than 18 months) the cost may well have increased to you the rider. You can thank the turmoil in the currency markets for that!
Last Year, Sterling was riding high against the US dollar and the €uro. This year the pound is down in the dumps. However, research shows a remarkable similarity in RS:X prices between Europe and New Zealand when one compares the prices in €uro.
Yes... I hear you say but the price of crude oil has fallen in the same time from US $150+ to less than US $50. Surely that has made carbon less expensive. Well, check this out... Neil Pryde's mast supplier and Cobra have both confirmed that the price of carbon used in RSX production has not reduced.
In fact, the mast supplier just increased the price of RSX masts by 10% to Neil Pryde. Despite this they , have no plans as yet to pass this onto the market. They will continue to try and maintain their existing ex-Hong Kong prices for as long as possible. Neil Pryde being a passionate sailor himself is only too keenly aware that his prices must be kept on a very short leash.
Moving on, when you compare an RS:X one-shot to an FW board, it is of course more expensive. It is built on a dedicated production line to very tight tolerances. No other board Cobra builds comes off the same line.
Neil Pryde are contracted to ISAF to provide nearly 250 boards to ISAF Youth World Championships and the Olympic Regatta in the next 4 years. No matter where these events are held, the equipment is at no cost to ISAF or the event organisers. Not forgetting the professional on site support that comes with this package
Neil Pryde also guarrantee to partially fund a professional class organisation. The amount they pay is not based on the 2% contracted by ISAF but on a higher quarterly minimum.
Does any FW brand provide the same level of support and committment to the IFWC? No, of course not!
So let's make a simple comparison with the Laser Standard for instance. The RS:X is less expensive but incorporates a far far higher level of technology. The RS:X may well be the most high tech, modern set of Olympic equipment.
It is important that we take all these issues into account while still expecting the RS:X equipment to be made to the tightest possible tolerances and the keenest price. We remain on our guard to ensure the RS:X is priced as keenly possible.