NXT Detailing Training Course Overview: Automotive Sanding & Polishing Techniques
By Christopher Brown of OCDCarCare Los Angeles – OCDCarCare.com – 3 July 2015
NXT Detailing Training 2015, West Coast edition, is now officially in the books. So, rather than post an article offering an event review, it would seem more fitting to delve into exactly what NXT Auto Detailing Training is and why it attracts many of the top detailing professionals in the industry (many often repeating the course), year after year, from the US and world over.
NXT Detailing Training is a gloves-off, no holds barred attitude with razor sharp focus. There are no interior discussions, no discussions of paint coatings, and no business management insights given; this is paint correction plain and simple: raw and uncut.
This is THE COURSE for detailers wishing to improve their mental and physical skills to break through quality plateaus, bursting into the next level of understanding and ability. If you wish to: understand how to interpret paint variables, to fix defects, and have an open mind to strengthening procedures or learning new methods to finish paint to a near flawless level; then this is the course to enroll in!
The (iNtense eXtreme Training) Philosophy
While NXT assists attendees in developing their physical skills, NXT’s primary focus is to expand and develop the mental muscles of detailing. By focusing on the philosophical and practical means which detailers evaluate, approach, and correct paint defects; a dramatic rise of quality, efficiency, profitability, and confidence ensue.
This emphasis is born directly from the Buffdaddy, Kevin Brown, himself. NXT Detailing Training is more than a course; it is a glimpse into the mind of Kevin, transporting each attendee to a place where ‘mistakes’ mean nothing and learning is the only meaningful objective.
With learning as objective #1, attendees are given freedom to take training as far as they wish to push themselves. They are encouraged to venture beyond the boundary of their skills and knowledge. This is accomplished with the understanding they will have the full support of the lead instructors and assistants. NXT is an ego free zone, encouraging attendees to challenge THEMSELVES to find areas of their skills or understanding that can be improved. So, if a test panel is burned or if a particularly difficult finicky paint poses problems, then NXT hands on time is the place to seek the knowledge and understanding of HOW to correct such occurrences.
Since NXT places a large emphasis on “training the mental muscles of detailing to make the physical work easier and faster,” its lessons transcend far beyond the walls of the classroom and training garages.
This is the essence that has made NXT an institution in the detailing community for detail training and it is the greatest asset which differentiates it from all other trainings. Often, lessons learned at NXT immediately improve results and efficiency in the daily workflows of successful operations the world over. Whereas, other lessons are stored in detailing memory banks and accessed when the appropriate time arises; as another tool in the detailer’s arsenal.
To fully appreciate the NXT Detailing Experience, a closer look at the instructors is critical. Instructor examination sheds great insight into the quality, depth, and practical detailing information and experience accessible to attendees during NXT courses. With nearly 100 years of combined experience in: mobile detailing, product development, Concours detailing, high profile special project detailing, and professional technical training the instructor line up of NXT could adequately be labeled as ‘ridiculous.’
Yet for all of their individual and collective successes; this is one of the most approachable and unintimidating group of instructors attendees could ask for. Their willingness to thoroughly answer all topics and questions presented is a significant reason why NXT is completely unique and successful training course. The following instructor profiles serve as a small overview of the extraordinary individuals who make NXT a continued success.
Kevin Brown of Buffdaddy.com
Kevin Brown is the heart and soul of NXT, while having the utmost humility and listing himself last in the lineup of instructors. Kevin’s innate curiosity and desire to know how things work has lead him to a lifetime of tinkering, testing, and pondering the processes and tools of detailing and of the many scientific and mechanical workings behind the machinery of daily life. These insights have allowed Kevin the framework to transfer this knowledge to detailiers of ALL levels. Kevin is sought the world over, by some of the most skilled detailers, for his instruction and feedback.
To put it in perspective, think of Kevin Brown as the Michael Jordan of Detailing. Even though he has the skills and talents to be the best, his intense passion and desire to further his understanding and skills (for self betterment and for insights to impart knowledge to others) push him to constantly think and test concepts. In a story he recounted, Kevin once carried around a metal bearing with him for 4 weeks, using it as a constant reminder to ponder the fundamental elements of bearing design, in order to derive new perspectives.
When asked about the popularity and successes of the NXT program, Kevin typically deflects all credit to the team of trainers and devotion of the attendees. Make no mistake though, Kevin Brown is the heartbeat of NXT. His dedication to assist all fellow detailers, from the brand new enthusiast to the 30yr pro, has inspired him to put on a 5th NXT event in 2015.
When all done 2015 NXT, will have some 4-600 hours invested by Kevin himself, planning, preparing, and training both West and East coast venues. All one has to do is hear a few of Kevin’s joyous belly laughs (click here) to feel his genuine enthusiasm and excitement when helping other detailers improve. Kevin’s greatest reward for planning and executing NXT is imparting those “ahh-HA!” revelation-type moments to attendees. Kevin loves to seeing attendees improve, enabling them to gain confidence in themselves and their skills. It is this trait which makes him beloved by the detailing community as a whole.
Jason Rose of Rupes
Jason Rose is the Global Technical Services & Training Manager for Rupes. In the past 20 years there might not have been a single individual more influential to the refinishing and detailing industries as a whole. With 12 years experience as a mobile detailer in southern California and becoming the first detailer to care for Barry Meguiar’s personal vehicles (after 3 years of constant persistence), Jason has his thumbprint on many of the main technologies which detailers use today. While at Meguiar’s, Jason was instrumental in the development of the Microfiber disc, M105 (which revolutionized compounds with non diminishing Super Micro Abrasive Technology), M205, M101, The Unigrit Sanding System, Ultimate Wipe microfiber cloths, and the G100 and G110v2 Dual Action Polishers and more.
Jason’s background in: mobile detailing, traveling the world training and speaking to professionals about car care, and product development, have lead to an immense knowledge base that allows him to troubleshoot topics in a unique perspective. When answering questions Jason’s Zen-like answers often leave the inquirer with a sparking desire to investigate more into the subject. Jason’s knowledge, quick wit, and wry smile make him a joy in seminars or shoulder to shoulder when correcting paint in the training room or on special projects.
Michael Stoops of Meguiar’s
Michael Stoops carries the title of ‘Senior Global Product & Training Specialist’ for Meguiar’s. He travels the world as a trainer, ambassador of car care, and man’s man car guy. His deep passion for car care inspired him to make a dramatic career shift in 2008 from media marketing to his true passion: vehicles. ‘Professor Von Stoops,’ as he is affectionately known, is a sort of walking encyclopedia for vintage and modern cars alike. Get him in the Peterson museum and watch him fawn over the vintage Alfa Romeo’s while recounting the individual history behind many of the unique vehicles scattered throughout the building.
Don’t let the voice of the orator extraordinaire fool you; he can polish paint with the best of them. Michael has a school boy smile and way too much fun when included on special projects, even on his own personal time. Michael’s ability to explain products, concepts, and techniques of detailing is second to none, and ranks a close second to his love for cars and dogs.
The NXT courses focus on honing four primary defect removal processes of paintwork:
- Hand Sanding
- Machine Sanding
- Rotary Polishing
- DA Polishing
Each curriculim topic begins with a foundational presentation and discussion in the training center classroom before moving out into the training garage for hands on learning and demonstrations. While NXT Detailing Training is designed as an intermediate to advanced level course, many basic concepts and techniques form an integral part of the core material. This serves as a refresher of sorts for some infrequently used processes in detailing (sanding and perhaps rotary polishing). Participation by attendees in all aspects of training is a must for those wishing to maximize their experience. Asking relevant questions or for clarification on subjects ANYTIME during any point of NXT presentations and practical demonstrations is welcomed. Often, a question asked may help other attendees or lead to a relevant tangent, illuminating another aspect of detailing. For this reason, interaction and questions are encouraged at NXT!
Standard & Advanced NXT Course Offerings
During the Standard NXT Detailing Training Course, all hands on work is performed on test panels. Test panels allow students a completely uninhibited learning and knowledge environment to make knowledge and skill breakthroughs. Panels also eliminate any and all worry of any, “oops” moment associated with ‘mistakes.’ Instead, attendees push their skill boundaries, chancing ‘mistakes’ in order to advance their understanding of concepts and processes. Different instructors are nearby, every step of the way, to help guide technique and answer questions. This helps provide unique insights into processes based on their varied experiences in the industry.
The Advanced NXT Detailing Training Course may only taken after completion of the standard course. It shares the format structure, dividing both classroom and garage time into four (4) sessions for each of the core points of emphasis. However, in the advanced course, vehicles are the subjects which all practical hands on work is performed on, simulating real world conditions as they would appear on the job. Additionally, test panels are available for those who wish to test certain aspects of their training or for those who wish to hone skills with no regard to consequences of pushing the envelope.
This real world approach offers practical and efficient insights. This is important when approaching sanding and polishing on: tight areas, common defects, differing substrates, diverse paint systems. These are commonly problematic topics which cause detailers trouble or loss of efficiency and profitability in their day to day workflows. This is why advanced courses receive an increased amount of practical hands on time than the standard course. Often, this dynamic real world simulation sparks many interesting and diverse conversations among fellow detailers in the garage. Often hands on discussions filter back into the training classroom, providing insights to all attendees.
All NXT Detailing Training material is a dynamic gateway to proficiency, offering a solid foundational understanding of knowledge and practical skills. This allows detailers the confidence to utilize training from NXT and instantly apply it to their businesses. Mastery of subjects and skills covered at NXT will take many hundreds, if not thousands, of dedicated hours of application and thought outside of training. The Instructors of NXT are always willing to follow up with attendees and assist with any difficulties or questions that may arise when applying newfound information to their detailing toolbox.
NXT Detailing Networking Opportunities
Beyond training activities, NXT offers attendees tremendous detailing related networking opportunities. Some of the country’s (and world’s) most skilled and experienced detailers continually make the trek to NXT. Often they mention the networking and camaraderie of other like-minded detailers as a reason for their continued presence. Walking around and listening to conversations in and outside of the training garage will uncover an unprecedented amount of free-flowing information regarding detailing procedures, products, business management, marketing, and helpful resources. This ability to share ideas and ask questions of other successful business owners and individuals is another hallmark of NXT Detailing Training. Post-class scheduled networking sessions help encourage this interaction.
Christopher Brown of OCDCarCare Los Angeles was honored to serve as an assistant instructor during NXT West 2015. Assistants included Derek Bemiss of Detail Werks , Jose Fernandez of Superior Shine, and Greg Nichols of Reflections Detailing Utah. For 6 days, assistants helped with everything from set up, resetting the training garage between curriculum segments, to helping the attendees explore and develop their skills and understanding. It was an amazing event for all involved. All instructors and assistants would like to thank Andy Wong (who hosted the networking BBQ’s) and Robert “Bob” Bartel, whom are both regulars at Meguiar’s TNOG, (Thursday Night Open Garage in Irvine, Ca). Both Andy and Bob selflessly donated their time in helping with setup, chasing down any last minute details, and added much needed levity to the long hours put in each day.
Below is a video walk through of the Standard Classroom Setup:
Below: The Instructors and Assistants of NXT West 2015 with Distinct Detail (Derek Bemiss, not pictured below, arrived a bit later) :
~Keep on Buffin’
© Christopher Brown of OCDCarCare Los Angeles – OCDCarCare.com – 2015
For more informative auto detailing, paint correction, technique discussions, and many other things car care related please browse: OCDCarCare Los Angeles’s – Auto Detailing Article Archive.
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