Riot Kayaks are back and Focused on Developing Customized Kayaks Now [OR Video] Saturday, 06 August 2011
The Summer Outdoor Retailer show is going on right now and it’s the biggest weekend of the year for new outdoor gear. As you may know OR is an industry trade show. What happens is that all the big outdoor shops and industry reps from around the country descend on Salt Lake City and meet with the manufactures who are demonstrating next year’s biggest thing. It’s a chance to schmooze with other gear nerds but it’s really about demonstrating what’s new and upcoming in 2012. Rapid Media TV is there right now covering the show so head over to their YouTube channel to see all the videos they have posted already. One video that caught my eye was from Riot Kayaks. Back in 2009 their parent company, Voodoo Technologies went bankrupt and sold off all their stuff in an auction which we covered here. Since then Riot has restructured and Marc Pelland is back at the helm working to bring the company back but this time with a slightly different approach. Starting in 2012 Riot will still be putting out a couple of whitewater boat models but they have announced that they will primarily going after the niche market of custom whitewater boats. Here is how it will work. If you want one of their custom boats they will put you in touch with the designer who will work directly with you to personally design the carbon whitewater boat of your dreams. Riot is currently developing a matrix of 50-60 different design parameters based on your style of paddling and what you want the boat to do. No word on price point yet but they should have more information on the program early 2012. Don’t expect it to be cheap by any stretch. My guess is that it’s going to be at least $250. What do you think? Do you think that custom boat designs could be the wave of the future? Clearly there are people out there who can afford it as it’s already a rising trend in cycling and skiing.
Stolen Gear Alert: Huge Break-in at Northwest Outdoor Center Friday, 15 July 2011
I saw this posted by Sea Kayaker Magazine on the old Facebook so I wanted to pass it along just in case you hadn’t seen it. [blockquote]ALERT - PADDLES & DRY SUITS STOLENThis really sucks. Recently Northwest Outdoor Center had 23 Werner paddles and 10 Kokatat dry suits stolen. Obviously the thieves will try to move the goods. The cops have a feeling the stuff has left the area, but if you see good deals on Craigs List or your favourite paddling message board, be aware. Please contact the Seattle Police Dept or NWOC, [email protected]?com 206-281-96?94.[/blockquote] Update: User, irened over on the Professor Paddle forum posted an update with a bit more information about what was taken: [blockquote]Yes it was a break-in, after the July 4th fireworks I guess. Herbie said the suits (12 actually) were 3 cobalt and 4 mango Gortex, and 5 blue Tropos, all men's except for one - plus the 23 paddles. Thanks again![/blockquote]
Disgruntled Staff Steals 12 Dry Suits and Almost Gets Away with It [Meddling Kids] Friday, 03 June 2011
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. Kokatat Expedition Woman's dry suit. Image credit: KokatatWhen 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…