KAYAKSURF CHILE | Richard Search

Name: Richard Search
Occupation: In England my friends called me an "Entrepreneur" , for anyone into sailing I used to run but just now
own the company that makes the Hawk range of windindicators.
Status: Married to a very understanding Chilean wife.
Address: Mantagua , Valparaiso , Chile, The bottom of the world.
Originally From: Hayling Island , England.
Moved to Chile: 2009
Actividadesoutdoors.cl formed: 2012
SurfKayaking Experience: 4 years from the age of 13 in a Gnat and now 40+ years later 2 years trying to stay upright in a Mega Neutron ( a very steep learning curve but enjoying every minute of it when I can find the time ).
Other Interests: Sailing , Mountain Biking , Sea Kayaking.

When you got the idea to move to Chile, was surfkayaking already an objective for your business?
To be honest the answer is no , our original idea was to import sailing and mountain biking equipment which will hopefully still happen in the future , hence the name Actividadesoutdoors was chosen.

How did this collaboration start with Mega?
After deciding that sailing products would be a much longer term project than we at first thought , we looked to see what other activities we could represent in Chile . At the same time my daughter was trying to persuade me to try surfing with her , getting back in to the surf brought back memories of those early years in the gnat , so I thought lets get a proper surfkayak the only problem being I could not find one in Chile. My next problem was how do I explain why I am purchasing and importing one to my wife , I know I will import and sell them ! So after some thought on whether a SurfKayaking business would be viable in Chile we decided that if we combined it with other forms of "surfing" it would be , but we needed a lower cost surfkayak to help start the market , we needed to make one in Chile . I already knew of Mega and after a check on the internet we decided that they were definitely the brand we wanted to represent , due to their range of kayaks and reputation , but how to present our idea to them. We should not have worried as Malcolm was open to the idea from the beginning, after some decisions it was decided we would make a version of the Cyclone in Chile and import other models as the market opened.

What models are you producing right now?
At the moment we have just started to produce the Cyclone which has taken far longer than we ever thought , the main problem being finding suitable suppliers for materials in Chile. As for producing other models we will have to see how the market for surfkayaks in Chile/South America develops and discuss with Malcolm what is the next step as it is the reputation of his brand that is at stake.

And about the new SOT's... what are your expectations...?
We are very excited about the new "Surf on Top" as it is just what we were thinking we needed in Chile to help people progress from their "Sit on Top" to a full on SurfKayak . We took our first delivery of them recently and already have one happy customer who has up graded from his Sit on Top.

How do you see surfkayaking in Chile?
That is an interesting question , at the moment it hardly exists , due to the cost when importing only a few kayaks at a time and also due to Chileans not being used to spending time enjoying their wonderful if cold sea . On the cost front we are helping to keep the costs down by producing the Cyclone in Chile and also by importing Mega kayaks from England along with other products . It has also been very noticeable over the last 3 years with the growth of surfing in Chile that Chileans are starting to enjoy their sea at last , so if we can provide the right products at an affordable price as the interest is there , there is a future for surfkayaking in Chile.

If anyone wants to go to Chile , what kind of activities/products does actividadesoutdoors.cl offer?
At present we are an online shop only and offer products for "surfkayaking", "surfing"and "bodyboarding" from major UK suppliers and have demonstration models for customers to try , we are at the moment in discussions with a local surf school on a collaboration to offer surfkayak lessons and hire.

Best surf spots you recommend?
I have not visited that many different surf spots yet , for which I have a list , but my favourite so far which I think will be hard to beat is Puertecillo , which hopefully will remain as it is despite the greed of developers.

Last words.
Some times I think when I am sitting with my 19 year old son in our kayaks waiting for the next set , at my age am I really a good advert for the sport ? but then I think that it shows that it is a sport for all ages which has to be good for surfkayaking.

Thanks and good luck Richard!



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