Kiteboard business plan churns up its industry
by CHAD HEIGES
Wind governs the sport and business of Kiteboarding, but established worldwide companies Ã¢â‚¬â€œ fearful of diminishing profits Ã¢â‚¬â€œ are blustering about the winds of change emanating from a local newcomer. Causing the stir is BestKitebarding.com of Delray Beach, a Web Based purveyor of equipment of the sport that is steadily acquiring mainstream appeal.
Kiteboarders use a board similar to a wakeboard Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a kind of short surfboard Ã¢â‚¬â€œ plus an inflatable kite to harness wind power to move across the water, often jumping into the air while riding the waves and doing advanced tricks.
To capitalize on the market swell, the company has eschewed distributors and retailers Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the traditional waves of business within the industry and is selling directly to consumers. It began operations last month.
By clipping two expenses from its balance sheet, Bestkiteboarding is undercutting competitorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ prices by as much as 50 percent, company executives said, and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s drawn ire from competitors. As a result, rivals have employed threats and ultimatums in an effort to thwart the fledging company. Although sales remain brisk, BKÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s long-term health is in peril as the competition continues to exert heavy pressure on event organizers, publishers and retailers.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“For every one good thing that comes out about our company, five negative things follow,Ã¢â‚¬
So far so good. The rest of the industry is dismissing these "bozos" while customers show up in droves. It will be interesting to see what happens next. Hopefully the industry responds by cutting prices instead of setting up more road blocks for Best.