Local Kite Repair in Alameda/East Bay Area

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Local Kite Repair in Alameda/East Bay Area

Postby reyrivera » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:00 pm

Since learning how to kite in 2005, I have been fixing my own gear, putting back together kites I have destroyed. I've only hired somebody else to fix my kite if I'm too busy doing something else. Knowing how to fix kites saved me some bucks. I still fly my 2005 C kites and have not bought a new kite since my 2007 caution quiver.

I use just a regular sewing machine. Repairs can get a little tough when the fabric gets too thick, I end up painstakingly do manual sewing on the areas where my machine can't plow through the cloth.

I'm thinking of getting an industrial sewing machine, but they cost a lot money, $900.00 to $1000.00 for a decent portable industrial machine to plow through thick material. One way to offset this cost is for me to make some buck on the side, start taking kite repairs for local riders. This might generate fund for a new set of kites as well.

Would there be enough demand for a local kite repair dude in the East Bay? I've been uprooted from Santa Cruz and now a Concord East Bay local. My main riding spots this year would probably be Alameda, Berkeley, Sherman, TP. By the way, how tough is riding OB compared to Waddell and Scott Creek?

If there's enough demand, I'd be willing to fund my tools and start taking in kite repairs.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance for the feedback.

Rey
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Postby jzderm » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:38 pm

I will be working hard to get u some business by floundering down alameda beach this summer. Keep us posted when u r up and accepting repair jobs!
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Re: Local Kite Repair in Alameda/East Bay Area

Postby nick_80044 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:19 pm

When evaluating a kite repair service, there seem to be four main factors:

1) Quality of work. Somehow demonstrate that you're at least as good as whoever else is around. This may be your biggest challenge, as there are local services that seem to be very established and respected. The more you can do to display your skills (e.g., excellent Web site with photos of work, etc.), the better.

2) Convenience of pickup and delivery. If possible, make pickup and delivery available at one of the local East Bay spots. This would be a lot more attractive than having to drive out to Concord.

3) Turnaround time. The faster the better. Hopefully, within a day or two, especially for folks like me who don't have "backup" kites.

4) Price. You should be at least comparable to other local services, and preferably a little cheaper since you're trying to get yourself established.
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Re: Local Kite Repair in Alameda/East Bay Area

Postby ozchrisb » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:11 pm

Is there a way you can team up with a store somewhere so people can drop off and pick kite there? Having done some of this part time and having had friends who did it full time you'll want to find other work to keep the sewing machine busy. Fixing windsurf sails, tents, bag etc is a good place to start. Also quite a few people get signage and flags made for their businesses. It's a little hard to get into as they'll want to see something you've made, and you need to buy in fabric, dacron etc and to be able to make stuff from scratch. Smoothing out cash flow when you have few repairs (e.g. winter) is the way to make it work as a longer term business.
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Re: Local Kite Repair in Alameda/East Bay Area

Postby reyrivera » Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:02 pm

Thanks for the tips.

Yeah, teaming up with a reputable shop might be a good way to get in the repair business. Currently, this is a hobby of mine, and I'm brainstorming of a good way for me to upgrade my tools without breaking my bank and at the same time contribute something to the kiting community.

And of course, reputation as a good sail repairer is necessary. I have none of that right now since I've only worked on my own gear, and helped a few friends. So, it will definitely take some time for me to get the confidence of the kite community if I do decide to offer repair work.

Now, its time to see if I can convince my wife that we need a bigger professional sewing machine. I think the chairs in the dining room could use a cool leather upgrade.
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Re: Local Kite Repair in Alameda/East Bay Area

Postby kitenaked » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:08 pm

Happy to be a drop off center for those interested.

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Benicia Kite and Paddle Sports
238 1st Street
Benicia, CA 94510
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238 1st Street
Benicia, CA 94510

510-900-WIND (9463)

http://www.kitenaked.com
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