Photo Brian Miller

Company: Ocean Extreme Sports & Extreme Kites
Job title: President
Years in industry: 12
Years Kiteboarding: 12
Kites: My personal kites are Best, but I demo everything
Board: Best Armada 135 and JL 5’8″ on the water and Volkl on the snow

What did you do before working in the kite industry? What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t?

Before the kite industry, I worked in a variety of settings including skiing, diving, and fitness.  If I wasn’t in the kiting industry, I would probably return to the ski industry.

How did you end up working in the kiteboarding industry?

After an injury took me out of the ski industry, I moved to Florida with my now wife to finish her schooling.  There I began my involvement in kite-powered sports. At that point there were no stores specializing in kiteboarding. I saw the potential for the growth in the sport and decided to take a leap of faith and open Extreme Kites and Ocean Extreme Sports.

As both a brick and mortar and online retailer, do you have any advice for shops on how to survive and thrive in this economy?

This economy is a challenge for every industry. Reducing expenses when times are tough is usually the best scenario as well as finding the highest quality products that are affordable for the general
population who may be feeling the stress of the times.

What is your typical day at the office like?

I like to be directly involved with my customers. Most of my day is spent on the phone and computer.

Is working in the kiteboarding industry all it’s cracked up to be?

Working in the kiteboarding industry has its pros and cons. While owning a shop allows me to test all the great gear out there, because of the responsibility and time commitment of shop ownership I have less
time on the water to enjoy riding.

What is the best part of your job? The worst?

The best part of my job comes with the people I meet and watching new kiters get excited about the sport. The worst part of shop ownership is that it’s my responsibility 24/7!

What do you think is the most common misconception about working in the industry that the general public has?

I think the most common misconception about working in the industry is that we all close when it’s windy to go kite.

What do you see as the biggest challenge to the kiteboarding industry as a whole?

Trying to keep value in the products while trying to price match all the “Car Trunk” dealers.

What would you like to see change in our industry?

Getting rid of all the “Car Trunk” dealers.

What advice do you have for someone that wants to work in the kite industry?

Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Do it because you love the sport, not because it seems cool or because you think you are going to strike it rich.