There is no doubt that the internet has become a huge part of sales & support for kite shops & schools. This is great in many ways but what about the all important face to face time & longer term customer engagement? Why should Johnny Kiter go to Store X when Store Y is selling the product cheaper? Are we in a race to the bottom? What do you have to offer that can give customers something more than just a price point? Progression’s Sales Rep, part time instructor and all round kite obsessive has some ideas that might be worth considering…

Helping with setting up a kite

Last month I helped out with a Back 2 Beach clinic, it was a free refresher course run by Shoreham Kitesurfing Club, The Kite Trip & Kitesurfkings, for those who have already completed a beginner course, have their own kit and know they’ve got room to improve. For many they haven’t had a chance to get out on the water since learning last year, so confidence was now lacking.

We asked anyone attending to bring their own kit and we went over the basics of water packdown, self launch and bar/kite setup.

b2b-1-optmThe great thing about these kind of days is that you do not need wind, we didn’t, but there was lots of beach and shallow water tips and technique that we could go through and it offered invaluable insight to this group of kiters. Of course if you have wind then getting on the water is great, but don’t skip over those beach based essentials and the benefit of offering demos can be a great extra.

The turn out was brilliant, we had over 40 local riders, enough to cause a stir with the local paper and get an article written about us.

Its amazing now the lack of experience with things like self launching & emergency release can put a seed of doubt in the back of a kiters mind, which can hold them back a lot. Riders who attended, left the day feeling more confident, many of them now knowing how to tune their kit, or self launch, some offering to pay the instructors for their time given.

We could see the benefit of days like this instantly through the amount of new students gained through the local schools and have arranged for a few more events covering basic first aid and advanced upwind clinics.

Kites on the beach

For Progression the basics, at any level, are essential if you want to build confidence and continue to learn quickly and safely. Obviously our Beginner collection contains videos which cover this in detail, whether its understanding Locations & Conditions, Equipment & Technology or getting into the details fo a Self-Rescue. But even as riders progress, stimulating ideas on lightwind technique or how to tune your kite can be a huge benefit.

If a Back to Basic day sounds like something you would like to run, to help local riders progress, let us know if we can help and we’ll help promote it through our Twitter & Facebook pages.