Below is a Staff Training Document and system that we use to try to help aspiring paddlers ask themselves the “right” questions as they approach this sport. Over the last several years, the abundance of video and web content can overwhelm us. When “researching” which kayak to buy, assimilating all the industry’s knowledge into your brain isn’t necessarily helpful.
If I’m feeling cheeky, I might suggest to a new customer that for every hour they read about paddling, they owe me 5 hours on the water so they are improving their own “taste palette” and developing some skills to better analyze their time on the water. But, before that, it really pays to understand factors that might help narrow choices in the first place. Even before the skills are there. That is what this system was designed to do.
There are certain questions and factors below that quickly reduce appropriate choices. There are conversation starters below that can help the new paddler focus in on what is important to THEM. Until the internet is truly looking back at us, “researching” doesn’t directly factor in the most important part of the equation: Your Unique Needs!
This is not an exhaustive and complete list of questions or factors. As I read it right now I find myself saying “Well…maybe that’s correct or maybe I now think…” That is ok! Your experience and expertise can be worked into this and we are happy to be corrected!
We encourage you to add more “F” “I” and “T” considerations to your own conversations. These conversations are what put the “specialty” into your shop. How fun is it when you hear back from a customer that says “you nailed it!” and “thanks for helping me figure this out”!
F.I.T = For You Intended Purpose Type of Water/Conditions