Here is a quick tip to business owners out there. If you are thinking of sacking one of your staff do it at the end of the day and watch them like a hawk until they are out the door.
Something happened at Palm Equipment this past winter and Lewis Day found himself getting called into the boss’s office where he was told that his time at Palm was done.
Somehow he was able to ship two packages to a friends house (on the companies courier account btw). The packages contained approximately 12 dry suits.
His super genius plan was foiled when somebody noticed that the eBay market was flooded with new suits and notified Palm; but not after £3,189 of gear was sold-off.
Palm was able to trace the missing gear back to the fired staff after checking through their shipping manifests and discovering the shipments with no payments received.
Police quickly tracked Lewis Day down and this week he was given a 12-month community sentence including 240 hours of volunteer work. He also ordered to pay back £2,023 in compensation and £85 in costs.
Full story: thewestonmercury.co.uk
Anybody into paddling knows that Kokatat is one of the market leaders in the development of solid, well designed paddling gear. For 40 years now they have turned out paddling jackets, PFD’s, dry suits and paddling apparel which is used by both beginners at the local lake and pro’s in the far off reaches of the wilderness.
A short while ago I had the pleasure to sit down with Steve O'Meara, Founder and CEO of Kokatat. I wanted to learn about the history of dry suits as well as talk about some of the many technical hurdles they had to overcome during the initial product development.
What I discovered along the way is somebody who was clearly a forward thinker in the very early days of paddlesports but is also somebody who is not interested in riding the coattails of past success and always push forward and continue innovating.
When did you start making dry suits and how did you come up with the idea to develop them?
We started making dry suits in 1986. Dry suits have been used both in diving (though much different then the ones used in paddling) and sailing but not really noted in watersports in general. It was a logical progression from a dry top which we had been making pretty much from day one.
As the sport became more popular people realized that winter/very early spring (especially in whitewater) often had the best water so they started going earlier in the season and of course this ran into all kinds of issues. Just having a dry top worked fine if you were staying in your boat but you ran into problems if you came out due to really cold water. The need for a full suit became more important.
What was out there in sailing was kind of one piece suits. It was more like a coverall with a zipper and a hood. There were survival suits but they were insulated and very awkward to move around in. They kept you warm but but not very practical for paddlesports.
What was being used up until dry suits came along were neoprene wet suits but they also had issues. When you were above the water with the blowing wind you got a lot of evaperative cooling. In the water you move around so you pump a lot of cold water in and warm water out so you are circulating it. You don’t stay warm as long in a wet suit and with dry suits you can layer and adjust to the air/water temperature.
The Heliconia Press announced that they have sold off their book and DVD publishing arm to Fox Chapel Publishing who is best known for publishing woodworking books and videos.
Over the years, The Heliconia Press released a wide variety of very good paddling books and videos including Sea Kayaking Rough Waters by Alex Mathews, Rolling a Kayak by Ken Whiting and the highly recommended book, Camp Cooking: The Black Feather Guide to Eating Well in the Wild by Mark Scriver.
So what’s next for The Heliconia Press? Their TV and web TV production line has become so successful that they are going to be exclusively focusing on it. No word on what projects are in the pipeline but they have several extremely popular youtube channels including Paddling TV and Kayak Fishing Tales which is on track to get six million views this year alone.
If you have ever thought of getting into the world of adventure film production, paddler and film guy extraordinaire, Bryan Smith is highlighted on the latest National Geographic webTV episode of Fringe Elements.
The latest episode called Adventure Vision gives some background of how Bryan got into film production as well as a sliver of insight into how some of those amazing adventure films are put together. If you don't have time to watch the video below the short version is that it's a really huge pile of work to get the shots looking right.
The gear nerd in me was all excited to see that Bryan is now shooting with RED cameras. Not the ultra high-end ($58,000) handheld RED EPIC cameras that Peter Jackson is using to shoot the Hobbit but it’s still pretty cool none-the-less.