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Best Local Sports Buy Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2004 - Best Kiteboarding

Those who have heard of kiteboarding, the seemingly insane sport of connecting a high-powered kite to a wakeboard, might think of the windy coast of the Dominican Republic or Maui. In February, a new kiteboarding manufacturer called Best Kiteboarding is hoping to make the sport synonymous with Delray Beach. Owned by pro kiteboarder Shannon Best and associates Alex Shogren and Jeff Biege, the company advertises that its online sales will make the sport more affordable to the novice. The company claims to have cut in half the entry price for equipment, down to about $1,000 for the standard kite-and-board setup. The business plan seems to have worked: In its first month after opening in February, the web-only company sold more than a thousand kites, Shogren says. At that pace, the company projects it will become the world's largest kiteboard supplier by year's end. Shogren says South Florida's windy and warm climate make it ideal for the fledgling sport. "We're hoping it's gigantic here," Shogren says with confidence. "Because we're based here, Delray will become known for this."

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