#9- Debriefing with the itiwit in hendaye
Friday 5th July, a few weeks after the end of my trip on the Seine and I had been looking forward to this day with impatience. Early in the day, I join the Itiwit teams on the premises of the Decathlon Watersports Center in Hendaye to tell them all about my adventure and share my feedback with the equipment designers. I am greeted by Jérôme, the Ambassador Manager for the brand with whom I have been in close contact since I started preparing for my trip. Itiwit’s idea is toimprove equipment on the basis of user feedback on their product in use in extreme conditions, and the idea for me is to come up with potential new adventures as part of this partnership. The team makes me feel really welcome. I understand straight away that these are people who are passionate about what they do. With about sixty photos to help illustrate, I tell them all about my trip. The discussion is enriched with loads of questions, all of which are precise and relevant, and take place in a friendly atmosphere. I can see that they absorb all the details that will enable them to develop new ideas. The end of the morning is spent visiting the site. Jérôme explains how they operate in detail. I gain a better understanding of how they manage to produce high-quality equipment at an affordable price. I subjected the equipment to severe testing over the course of my 12-day trip on the Seine and overall, everything survived the shock. The watertight bags enabled me to keep my clothes dry despite the endless capsizing at the beginning of the trip. The board has suffered some scratches, some of which are deep, but didn't prevent me from progressing. There’s no doubt about it, it’s really solid stuff. On the site, the teams have their offices, of course, but they also have several workshops where they can build prototypes from A to Z. They can then test the equipment immediately. Their premises are ideally located next to the sea. They design, they test immediately, they adapt, they test again, it all happens really quickly... For each piece of equipment, a product manager, an engineer and a a designer work together as a close team. At the beginning of the afternoon I talk to Antoine and Adrien, the two team leaders. In terms of the new touring board that Itiwit is launching next year, I explain what I would change in comparison with the board I used. Nearly all of my suggestions had already been implemented thanks to feedback from other Itiwit ambassadors. These discussions between product designers and creators and product users are very definitely extraordinary moments of sharing. This day of sharing and discussing with an ultra dynamic team filled me with enthusiasm. Now I’ve got loads of ideas for preparing my next adventure with the support of the Itiwit by Decathlon teams. Working in direct contact with this team undeniably opens up the field of opportunity. I’m filled with a burning desire to head back out onto the water!