The K2 Paragliding School
Why did you choose the name "K2 Parapente" for the paragliding school? What is the meaning behind this name? And why the colors in the logo?
Maxence Jorcin: There are actually two versions to this story.
The first, given that there are two of us in the company, is that it's "just 2 of us".
However, the real significance lies in the fact that K2 (K2 is a mountain located in the Himalayan system, more precisely in the Karakoram mountain range, marking the border between Pakistan and the People's Republic of China) is my favorite mountain.
My original passion was mountaineering. What's more, we were looking for an original name, different from the names associated with clouds, sky, or English-speaking names with "fly" "sky" etc. that are often found in other paragliding schools. We were looking for a little originality! Being located in the heart of the mountains, we chose the name K2 Parapente for our school. For us, paragliding goes hand in hand with the mountains.
Regarding the logo, blue, orange and white: The colors were carefully thought out for our logo and canopies.
Blue is the color of trust, loyalty and serenity.
Orange conveys a dynamic, positive image.
And white, simply put, is synonymous with peace and the fact that everything remains to be done. The K2 story begins!
Can you tell us the story behind the creation of K2 Parapente? Why did you set up the school?
Maxence Jorcin: The creation of K2 Parapente wasn't initially a well-thought-out project. I met Christophe Waller, who became my partner. Christophe was passionate about aerobatics and wanted to teach this discipline to others.
A friend of his, Christophe Lidy, who had taught him to fly when he was young and who offered courses similar to ours, was retiring from the sport. This friend passed on his customer file to us and encouraged us to get started.
Christophe provided the technical and teaching expertise, while I took care of the administrative and organizational aspects.
We began by offering driving courses, mainly to experienced pilots. Over time, our business grew. We started writing articles and getting more involved in teaching in general. Paragliding safety became a real issue for us.
What are K2 Parapente's core values? How are these values integrated into the company's culture?
Maxence Jorcin: In the beginning, we weren't really a company, but rather three friends: Christophe, a cameraman and myself. We've always prioritized human contact with our various customers, and sought to create a personal relationship.
With us, every customer is unique, and we attach great importance to getting to know each and every one of them.
That's why, after 20 years of teaching paragliding, we're still passionate about it, and why it's so rewarding for us too.
K2 Parapente's challenges
How does K2 Parapente set itself apart from the competition in paragliding instruction? How is your approach unique?
Maxence Jorcin: What sets us apart from our competitors is our human approach.
We see ourselves first and foremost as a paragliding school, whereas most of our competitors concentrate on tandem flights. Our strength is the quality of our teaching, and this is what we have also adapted with our team.
What have been the main challenges facing K2 Parapente since its creation? How has the company met them?
Maxence Jorcin: We've encountered some doubts along the way, but every challenge has been an opportunity for us.
For example, we were lucky enough to obtain premises to offer tandem flights, an activity we hadn't envisaged at the outset. We also took over a store thanks to the help of a friend.
The biggest challenge was to build stable teams and manage human resources efficiently. We also invested in the highly competitive two-seater niche.
And over the past 4 years, we've diversified into quality bike rental to further set ourselves apart.
Can you give us an overview of K2 paragliding's growth since its inception? What have been the key moments?
Maxence Jorcin: K2 Parapente's most visible growth is in the number of people we employ.
We started out with three and now employ nine people in the store at the height of the season, as well as around ten paragliding instructors. That's a total of 22 jobs at K2 today.
The future of K2 Parapente
What are the plans and prospects for K2 Parapente? Are you planning any new initiatives or special programs?
Maxence Jorcin: Our main objective is to keep up the momentum and find financial stability.
Originally, when we only offered internships, this stability was already present.
However, we have invested heavily in our store over the past 6 years, and the return on investment is not yet sufficient. In addition, the years marked by the COVID-19 pandemic have had an impact. Our current priority is therefore to stabilize our business.
We're fortunate to have a great team, both in terms of secretariat and paragliding pilots. On the ground, we have motivated people who are always ready to move K2 forward, and in the air, we have experienced pilots who have already proved their worth and who have a human touch with people.
How do you see the future for K2 Parapente, in terms of diversifying its offering?
Maxence Jorcin: We want to continue to be leaders in teaching and technical skills, introducing innovative teaching methods to help our pilots progress, and offering an increasingly comprehensive service. As explained, paragliding safety is our priority, and we continue to work in this field through articles in FFVl magazines, etc.
We would like to thank Maxence Jorcin for sharing his inspiring story and his vision for the future of K2 Parapente. With a human approach and the guarantee of unique experiences, the school continues to thrive in the exciting world of paragliding.