Go behind the scenes at Miami Ski Nautique with Kim Laursen.
Miami Ski Nautique
3828 NW 2nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33127
When did you start your business? Miami Ski Nautique/Miami Nautique International opened 13 years ago in August of 1998.
Do you consider the location of your shop a key factor to the business’s success? Yes, our location is important to us for a few reasons. Although there aren’t a lot of lakes in Miami, the climate is really skier friendly here. Were just a few minutes from the airport, the beach, and downtown Miami. In addition, we’ve got great food and shopping nearby in Midtown, The Design District, and Lincoln Road, and Ocean Drive. Its also unique because we can have 10 -20 different nationalities on any given day. Skiers all speak the same language.
What product/boat is selling best these days? What products do you carry? Currently, some of our best selling boats are the Nautique 200, our hard core slalom boat, and the 200V, a family friendly version of the 200. The Nautique 230 is our most popular boat for the bay. We also continue to see a lot of growth in high end slalom skis and comp vests. We do our best to be the real deal, and have quality product in stock at all times.
Where do you see your shop in 5-10 years from now? Water skiing is definitely not dying in our vision of the future. We see the world getting smaller, and our role to be in supporting the sport and the athletes every step of the way.
Who is your average buyer? Our average buyer isn’t really average at all. Pretty much anyone who walks in the door has a performance goal in mind. Many are high end skiers who’ve accomplished a great deal on the water and life in general. They know what they want, and expect quality products that perform well on the water. Others come in for advice. They want to be certain they get set up with the best equipment for their style and ability level. All expect us to know what we are talking about. Our customer base tends to be family oriented and pretty international. We somehow end up getting to know a great deal of them well enough to call them friends.
What is the dumbest question a customer has ever asked? We tossed this question around among our team for awhile, and didn’t come up with a stand out answer. The consensus was that, either our memories were pretty bad, or, in general, our customers seem to educate themselves a bit before we see them.
What is the craziest return a customer has ever tried to make? We don’t get too many crazy returns, but do have a few professional “tryers” in our Try Before You Ride Program.
Does your store support any local athletes or have a team? We do our best to support as many local skiers and riders as we can. We work with local coaches and ski schools, and sponsor tournaments around the world. We are partnered in our own lake, so we see a lot of up and coming talent out there. Our staff is actually a Miami Ski Nautique team since every single employee is either a skier or wakeboarder at the competition level.
How many days a week do you ride now compared to before you owned a shop? We try to get to the lake 2 or 3 times a week. We also encourage our staff to test as much equipment as possible so they can speak from personal experience when answering customer questions.
Who is your favorite skier/wakeboarder/wakeskater and why?
That’s a tough one. We love anyone who is as passionate and dedicated as we are. Chet Raley’s a south Florida guy who always gives 100%, and we love it when the pros and Big Dawgs stop by. We back the Latin Sr. Tour Big Dawg stops throughout South America.
Every store has to deal with shoplifting. What is your most memorable experience and what is your shoplifting policy? We’ve got a security system with cameras in place, but water skiers aren’t really shoplifters, so we don’t have much of a problem. Although, the staff might want to hide their skis since Henrik has been known to sell one or two once they are dialed in.
Tell us one of the craziest shop stories you can remember?
Our lunch table has a lot of crazy story telling and laughing going on around it, but how much of it is true we don’t really know.
Does your store carry any products that make it unique to other ski/wake shops in your area?
We’re unique in that we are a true pro shop. Everyone from the owners, to the sales staff, to the service guys are athletes who understand the product and customer while being technicians when necessary. We stock a 5,000 square foot store with inventory deep enough to serve skiers of any size and ability. Were into the sport as much as were into the business.
How significant is the benefit it to you that your store could be featured in WATERSKI magazine?
It’s truly an honor to be featured in WATERSKI magazine, the most respected magazine in the industry! Thanks for the invitation, and keep the good stuff coming.