The components in the Whipper are different down to the last detail. We have thought completely out of the box. The dark side of the medal is that we needed to start from the bottom when getting this stuff made into a mass produced product.
Here are 3 learnings from my last trip to the land of chicken feet, big machines and hardworking people.
In China there are tons of windsurf-equipment which is pre-produced and ready for labelling. That is why you often see different brand-names on the same product. There is nothing wrong with this, and many times these oem products are actually pretty good.
Most of the time the equipment is designed by Chinese engineers. They design/iterate upon existing products and that’s why radical new stuff rarely comes out.
It’s super easy to take advantage of this if you are new to the industry, but notif you want to stir up the pond and create some original stuff
2. Chinese are excellent craftsmen!
Whipperkids has to be the most accessible windsurf-gear on the market. A part of this strategy is to have our stuff made in East-Asia by a handful of different specialized manufacturers.
Many of these manufacturers never made windsurf equipment before (which also influences the price in a positive way). We chose a specific manufacturer because they are awesome at a specific craft, may it be thin-wall welding, 3d-sewing or rubber-tube extruding.
This strategy requires more instructions to the manufacturer, but in the end is worth it. The quality of the craftsmanship over there is just another level! When it goes wrong (and yes it does sometimes), it’s mostly because of misunderstandings, which is a result of not being there…
3. Be there or be square
This is my 2nd trip to East-Asia. Every trip has been a blast. Sci-fi architecture, dumpling-overload, lightning fast infrastructure and inspiration overdosis.
When being there, on the factory floor, you get as much done in an hour as you would do over 500 emails with the supplier. Because our suppliers have no clue on what they are actually creating, the chance for misunderstandings are rather high. By being there, you can see what the factory is capable of making and agree over samples.
The norm is that you also eat dinner/lunch together which helps on building friendships / trust. This way you also get a taste of the local cuisine which can be cool if you have an experimental mindset!
Three quick learnings from the recent trip to East-Asia. You can follow the Whipperkids journey on Instagram & Facebook and order your own example on www.whipperkids.com.
Mahalo and Aloha till next time