It’s hard to believe, but this year we have completed our 5th Summer season and are approaching are official birthday in January. From our humble start with 5 boats on a parking space at the back of the hotel in Bönigen, our equipment dried at our old home in Grindelwald and the excitement of winning our first guests, we’re now turning the year with a team of 3 full time and 4 part time staff supported by further seasonal staff in the Summer, a large fleet and office space and have reached the number 2 spot for topn activities in Interlaken on Tripadvisor.
We’ve met many great people along the way and had the pleasure of sharing our love of the sport, of nature and have spent many great times with friends of our small company.
We’ve moved from doing work at hightide on a charity basis (i.e. for free) to now working for hightide as a hobby (earning some pocket money) And now we’ve reached this landmark of five years, I believe we can make a real job out of it one day 🙂
Our achievements have only been possible with the support of our great customers, many of whom, have become good friends. Despite last minute emails, not always the clearest pre-trip info, getting changed amongst the plants, traditional dancers or sewing groups have come to course after course and kept us motivated with their enthusiasm for our sport and our work. Without this, we would have for sure not made it this far. We have learnt so much over this journey and also now the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance, which for large parts of the first phase of our business has not been quite right. Our journey has been truly enriched by all the people we have met through hightide, whether on or off the water, who have enthusiastically shared experiences and advice and supported me and us in our development. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and we look forward to many more years to come.
Of course special thanks has to go to our hardworking team, with Steve and James joining us in our third year, Ryan and Maria in our fourth year, and last but not least Dominic, Ben and Sean who joined last Summer. Our Son Timo also deserves his place in there too as our little paddling man who always impresses our guests with his helpfulness and eagerness in carrying boats and his own proficiency in a kayak. Although some of the team have moved on, they have all played their part in shaping the company and have shown real dedication, flexibility and patience with the chaos that has often followed us in the past.
We’re really proud of what we’ve been able to achieve together, whether that’s in the exceptional levels of customer service and delivery, the development of our handmade wooden rack empire or the spirit we’ve created that makes hightide. The ethos that we have developed has brought us this far and is shaping where we want to go in the future.
Looking to the future
Reaching this point has made us think long and hard about who we are and where we want to go in the future. In the drive to make somewhat of a normal living for ourselves, we have to grow but in our push for growth we don’t want to lose our values or our personal touch as a company.
In order to achieve our aims and to allow us to have more time coaching and developing the business you’ll be seeing two new faces in the Hightide family: Mariano de la Torre, a long time friend and Excel master who will focus on business development and planning & Gavin Lewis who will lead our Guiding and Coaching team, focus on operations and deliver coaching courses.
We have started to define who we want to be and what we want to achieve, which centres around the following 5 key areas:
Who we want to be
“The must do” activity in Interlaken known for the unforgettable experiences we provide and our enthusiastic, friendly and personal touch.
The leading centre in Switzerland for the delivery of world class coaching in Paddlesport. We want people to be blown away by our sport and come back for more.
We want to sell more than just a course, we want to promote a lifestyle and a community. We want to be the place for paddlers to come, to meet, to exchange ideas and experience and share their love of what we do.
A great place to work, allowing each of us to develop to our fullest potential, enjoy coming to work and maintain a healthy work life balance.
A friendly and positive addition to the community and not only operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner but be an advocate for social and environmental issues.
So I think we have plenty to work on over the next five years and hope that you can also be a part of it, continue to have many great experiences together, days out on the water and lots of fun along the way.