It has been a great week so far, with much of our work going into product development. We had another test run with Prototype III, no glitches and handles beautifully. We are still waiting, however, for some stronger winds so we can really stress test it. Prototype IV is also coming along, probably about another week in the works. As the product matures, we are thinking more and more about how best to grow and retain our customer base and have had an exciting mini-pivot in this area.
Unlike surfing, there is not currently a “go-to” site for kitesurfing conditions and forecasts. In order to retain customers and generate interest we intend to create a website that will provide updates on the latest wind conditions. Wind conditions are monitored by wind sensors, which are just little pieces of hardware that can be attached to any stationary, permanent object in an exposed location by a beach. Data transmits either via radio or cable to a computer that forwards data to a site. The set-up itself looks relatively straightforward, with most sensors costing in the $100-200 range. We will focus, initially, on just the bay area installing wind sensors at the most popular kite surfing beaches. The Cliff House at Ocean Beach, Swanton Berry Farm by Scott’s Creek, etc. We are still figuring out the exact costs and set-up requirements for the wind sensors, but it is pretty basic technology.
This would be a HUGE draw and a great way to capture eyeballs if we could get bay area kiters to be using our site for all their forecasting needs. There are several other sites that offer wind sensor data, but they require a paid subscription and are not user friendly. We would want to incorporate other elements into the site to expand the user experience, ranging from kite surf news updates to a social platform where people can upload pictures of themselves kiting. A mockup and example site flow we created are displayed below. We have a lot more work and research to do on this concept, but it’s a pretty exciting idea for us. As an example of site that has been successful in the surfing world, check out surfline.com. We have a preliminary site hosted HERE until we can set-up the real deal.