Industry Stuff

Monday, 25 February 2013

How it’s Made: SUP Boards

SUP and surf board manufacturer, Blue Planet recently released a comprehensive factory tour showing the manufacturing process of their SUP boards from end-to-end. I find it amazing that the stickers are all hand-cut with scissors and applied to the board after a good soaking in in water just like model airplane kits you built as a kid. For some reason I always pictured this step as being done with giant robotic arms.
Sad outdoor industry news to share. The manufacturing shop for Sterling Kayaks in Bellingham, WA burned to the ground today. The building and all its contents was a complete loss. Early reports speculate it could be from something faulty in the electrical wiring. I really hope they are able to get back on their feet soon as they have put out some really cutting edge designs over the past couple of years. So good in fact that Outside Magazine named their Reflection as best boat of the year for 2012. I got to demo one this fall and boy was it fun to surf with. More info: Sterling Kayaks Facebook page. Photo Credit: Sterling Kayaks
Conor Mihell from Canoe & Kayak Magazine posted a great little interview with Kelly and me about our podcast, Kayak Mainline. If you haven’t seen it already check I out. I would like to thank Conor for working his magic and making us sound kinda like adults. It must have taken hours working to numerous editors to get the job done. If you haven’t heard the latest episode of Kayak Mainline you still have time to download it.
You might remember James Castrission (Cas) and Justin Jones (Jonesy) when they became the first paddlers to complete the epic kayak crossing from Australia to New Zealand a couple of years ago. They have just partnered up with Microsoft to create a very cool television commercial for Windows 8 as part of the national campaign throughout Australia for the new operating system. Cas and Jonesy’s most recent major expedition last year is another major first. They now have the honour of being the first two people to walk from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back again without any support. They chronicled their adventure in the book, Extreme South.
The sea kayaking community lost one of its true legends today. Derek Hutchinson has often been called the father of the modern sea kayak as he one of the first to bring sea kayaking to the masses with is many books and DVD’s. I remember when I was young being fascinated with his book, Derek Hutchinson’s Guide to Sea Kayaking and for me was one the key books that got me interested in paddling. Derek was also a prolific designer and over the years designed several kayaks including the famous Gulfstream and its little sister, the Slipstream for Current Designs. At the time (early to mid-1990’s) both boats were years ahead of the market curve compared to what the other North American manufacturers were putting out. The Slipstream was the first kayak I ever owned and still look back in fondness to the many adventurers (and mishaps) we had together. Earlier today Wayne Horodowich from University of Sea Kayaking posted this note on Facebook: At 4:12 PM GDT I said my final farewell to my adventure partner, my mentor and dearest friend Derek Charles Hutchinson. Derek passed peacefully in his bed. His adventure on this earth started June 30, 1933 and ended Oct 10, 2012. He has now launched for his next adventure. I wish to thank all of you who have sent your comments to Derek. It meant so much to him, his family and his friends. It is typical to wonder if you have made a difference during your time on earth. The comments you have sent are just a fraction of the number of people Derek has touched. There is no doubt he made a huge impact during his life. Derek was an innovator, a thinker, a designer, a teacher, a writer and was never shy to share his opinion on any topic related to paddling. He will be missed indeed. Paddle on brother, paddle on.

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