The year 2020 is a watershed year that has upended the way we view and conceive of our existences. Some businesses have taken advantage of it, others are paying the harsh consequences.

Wise or not, I decided at the end of the year to start my own kitesurfing school, Triderland, aware that I would have to face many difficulties, some of them extraordinary and not very predictable.
But, after years of working for several structures, I felt it was time to provide a service that suited me more.

After I enunciated in another article the 3 ambitions that pushed me to found Triderland, I decided to present also the less pleasant part of my work.

A kitesurfing school born in 2020, the 3 extraordinary difficulties I have and am facing:

1. Equipment supply

Like most activities, a kitesurfing school needs a significant stock of equipment.
The health crisis has upset the world economy, creating undeniable collateral damage. Raw materials are lacking, and transport is reduced, so the gear is delivered with great delays (to kite schools, shops, etc.) and at more expensive prices, even if all brands work hard to ensure an efficient service.

In my case, the damage is tremendous. The idea of starting during the winter months, while all the other schools were closed, to get my school known in the region, met with harsh reality. Lack of equipment, inability to provide the service.

The most frustrating and paradoxical moment occurred when I found myself sending the few clients who called me to my colleagues because of the lack of equipment. Indeed, since they were already running businesses, they had some stock from previous years.

It’s September and we’re not done yet. And the outlook for the coming years does not look rosy, so a new model will have to be thought through to figure out how to anticipate this change and be aware that, even more than before, we will have to be able to predict well in advance what we need for the years ahead.

Challenge to create kitesurf school - equipement

2. Prohibitions and restrictions

One of the main problems is the mandatory closure of the activity, which considerably affects a new school.
Even though no law has directly prohibited the practice of kitesurfing, the fact remains that the limitations imposed have significantly reduced the clientele.

A school like mine, which has the peculiarity of moving from one spot to another in search of the best conditions, has been penalized by the spatial limitations imposed. In fact, at the beginning of the year I would regularly move around my region to find the best spot depending on the wind, the location of the appointment could change and exceed the spatial limits prescribed by the government, forcing me to cancel the lesson.
Add to that the curfew, mandatory pcr testing, and all the laws restraining travel, and you see how the clientele interested in our various activities has been drastically reduced.

Furthermore, by providing a course with a maximum of two students, the loss of a student due to extraordinary causes not attributable to him, such as those resulting from the health crisis, obliges me to provide a private course at the price of the group course, calling into question the cost-effectiveness of the service offered by the school.

Finally, lockdown and its perpetual recurrence, also dealt a big blow to my cruise business scheduled for May. Since the decision, in fact, all requests have been interrupted and one week has been cancelled.
The goal is to keep believing and not give up in order to guarantee the service and give people the diversion they deserve.

Challenge to create kitesurf school Triderland

3. Uncertain future, permanent anxiety, and inability to plan ahead

Uncertainty is part of the risks that an entrepreneur must take to bring his business to life. But the objective is, as far as possible, to study and predict the market in order to define the best strategy.
What happens, however, if the risks are totally uncontrollable? What if bans are raining down from one day to the next without any certain logic? What if law decrees tend to label as non-essential everything you believe in and want to fight for?

In a scenario like this, the most reasonable thing to do from an economical point of view, would be to stop everything and move towards those more profitable fields towards which the market tends. The most sensible idea would be to adhere to the logic of the neoliberal market that wants us to be enemies of each other, for the sole purpose of maximizing profit to the detriment of any human logic.

But no, that would mean denaturing what I believe in, and letting my 3 ambitions, which have always driven my life, fall into a bottomless pit.

So, how to project oneself in such an ambiguous world panorama?
An uncertain future that spreads constant anxiety and bans any kind of future projection is the worst thing a human being can face, even if in the short term, as in the case of kitesurfing schools and outdoor activities, the summer of 2020 has been a success.
Will this exploit be repeated, or will more and more significant penalties affect our industry? Were the predictions made last year the result of an exceptional year and consequently unreliable, or are people really willing to return to the value outdoor sports? Will people restart to travel abroad as before, or will they continue to trust their local activities? Will travel restrictions and curfews stick with us for several years more or will life resume its real course?

After what happened to the ski industry, I wouldn’t be surprised if they condemned summer activities as well in the future!

Whereas previously these questions were part of a study of the environment, competitors and the economic system, which, however changeable, was based on verifiable and measurable criteria, we are now in a state of complete uncertainty that eliminates any possibility of projecting, especially for those actors who are not in line with the unique and “technologically” correct way of thinking.

Every project I had in mind is prone to future government decisions, totally unrelated to the market logic. This causes the permanent feeling of anxiety, preventing people from undertaking any kind of project, vacation, or medium-long term activity. This directly and negatively affects our activity and desire to propose different experiences.
Working hard for months and getting to 2 weeks from the services offered and being told: “your event is not part of the essential activities, so it is canceled”. It does beg the question, “is it really worth it!”.

I have been working for years to build my kite cruises project, as part of my Triderland school, and every time, a few weeks before the event, I don’t know if it will be able to perform it or not.
We are blessed that there are still some people who want to believe and hope that they still have a shred of freedom and are committed to participate in our cruises, making us reach the minimum limit of participants. But many are those frightened, and we understand them, by the situation. People who fought last year to get refunds for canceled trips, with no success. People who lost their vacations and decided to surrender to the government’s determination to restrict our movements.

We are still eager to fight and carry out our project, even if it is less profitable.

Challenge to create kitesurf school - uncertain futur
happy Sailing sail

Conclusion

Our case is just one of many, and certainly not even the most serious, that testifies to the collateral damage that this “pandemic”, or management of it, has created and is creating.

We will not give up and for the moment our ambitions prevail over the difficulties encountered. But some questions are fair to be raised:

  • Is it really worthwhile to keep struggling to live a life that seems to turn into a frenetic alternation of work and lockdown, where every attempt to live is repressed because it is labeled as non-essential?
  • How much motivation can we keep up if every idea, ambition or project is at the mercy of unpredictable decisions that fluctuate daily?
  • How will we manage to accept the fact that we are labeled as “non-essential” business and contrary to the new society of atomized “avatars” that “our leaders” are building, based on social distancing and remote working, which I call ” cyberlife”?

A world like the one depicted in the last year seems to come out of a dystopian novel of the last century and cannot but make us reflect.

We are progressively encouraged to:

  • stay at home stuck to a screen,
  • label the other as an enemy and work harder and harder, with the sole objective of gaining an “acceptable” and “normal” social status,
  • eliminating human relationships and finding enjoyment in just buying idiocies we don’t need (induced through devious and vicious strategies),
  • live in uncertainty and fear,
  • not thinking outside the lines, but following the mainstream (through unprecedented media harassment),
  • see nature as a danger to be overwhelmed by technology.

We remain promoters of a life truly lived, one that makes the difference between living and existing. We continue to carry forward the values of our school that are based on the importance of human relationships and sports as a means to progress and self-realization.
We continue to believe that technology must remain a means in the hands of humans, to improve our lives, and not the ultimate goal of our existence. We believe that people should live in community and in compliance with the laws of nature, and not as selfish individuals who use technological science to dominate nature and make a huge and infinite profit.

Through our services we hope to convey our passion for a sport that teaches respect for the surrounding environment, and once learned, offers immense freedom. But our purpose is also to share a lesson, a coaching, or another activity, during which the human exchange is, and must remain, the focus of the performance.

It is for this reason that, even if the desire to close and stop going crazy, following all the new insane decrees that come out day after day, flashes through our heads, we remain available and continue to offer our services, guaranteeing cruises even if the number of people does not reach the established number, or providing kite courses, always with a smile.

We are and will always be thrilled to welcome you and we look forward to sharing our passion with you!

Thanks to all the customers and riders who support our local businesses and brands who strive to provide us with what we need to fulfill our services.

THANKS FOR READING