In times where consumerism and instant gratification is booming we regularly get frowned eyebrows when we tell people the waiting list for a new Witchcraft board is 3 to 4 months. Being used to instant gratification buying something new makes them feel good and they want it right away. Many gadgets are just a few mouse clicks from delivery and often arrive the next day or in store there and then. This means, however, the item needs to be in stock behind the scenes and the retail chain needs to guess what will get sold. If they guess it wrong items remain unsold and will be dumped eventually. This is bad for the environment and economy at large. Losses on stock need to be made up elsewhere.
At Witchcraft we have a different philosophy. We like to work in a more sustainable fashion. We want to make boards and sails that people actually have use for and last for a long time.
Our boards are custom or semi-custom. In semi-custom we have 66 different boards in 3 different constructions so most people can pretty much choose their ideal match. And we’ve learned that what gets sold varies constantly due to weather or other influences. This makes it very difficult to keep boards in stock.
Although slightly standardised each board is still handmade like a custom. They are fully CNC shaped, have all relevant reinforcements and hard wearing inserts that make sure the shapes and fittings are 100% accurate. Everything is done by hand and the layup is very elaborate with lots of details like flowing sandwich thicknesses and materials worked into each other with various steps which take time but improve the overall quality. And that is the core of Witchcraft’s philosophy that some prospective customers don’t appreciate – especially with the instant gratification thought in mind.
Add to this our specially selected materials, of which most comes from other continents – some in fact are specially produced for Witchcraft by a small work force. This means delays sometimes can occur. Suppliers, transport company hold ups, customs issues, staff illness and injuries are all causes beyond our control that can cause unforeseen delays.
This does not interest a customer who wants to buy fast from stock in a consumption rush. If you do not want to wait you have to buy cheap stuff elsewhere. The risk is a less than ideal choice.
With Witchcraft you are buying a valuable and quality product, not mass-produced goods. You do not pay for marketing but for an honestly made product. The equipment’s resale value is also a factor and another reason buy.
It’s not uncommon to get a shrug if we specify a delivery date that’s not liked. It’s also not uncommon to get those same customers returning, even though they went elsewhere initially, because they were dissatisfied with the quality of their hastily purchased windsurfing equipment.
And it speaks well for the Witchies that there are enough customers who have no problem to be patient for their board. As once you do have one, it will be easier to keep a slower consumer pattern. It will be easier to plan the next board whilst being sure the old one still does the job and can be sold on, even if it does take a little longer for the new board to arrive. This is the Witchcraft way.