Last week we highlighted the apparel and accessory brand Dakine, based in Hood River Oregon. This week, we'd like to focus on two other relatively local companies. They don't have as many employees or products as Dakine, but they make amazing products and are run by a couple of great guys who are very passionate about what they do. The companies are KIALOA Paddles and Gerry Lopez Surfboards. They make different, yet complementary products in the same town--Bend Oregon. Gerry uses his immense knowledge of board design to make everything from short boards up to standup paddleboards, and Dave Chun at KIALOA makes paddles for standup paddle boards and outrigger canoes.. Dave and Gerry bounce ideas off of each other and have developed an interesting partnership building ocean-going products almost 200 miles from the ocean.
The careers these men have chosen seem perfectly fit. They make inspired designs, and it's clear that they love their work. You can learn a little bit more about where they find inspiration for their product designs in this beautifully made video. They say some very wise things there. For example, I find it interesting that Dave tries not to look at other paddles for ideas. Instead, as a fly fisherman, he sees potential in how light and strong fly rods are and tries to integrate that into his designs.
We carry both of these brands in our shop, and we'd be happy to answer any questions you have about their products. Please stop in to take a look at their craftsmanship to see what makes their designs unique.