TRAVELS WITH GREASE AND PADDLE
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
What the Hell am I Doing in Sweden?
It all started a couple months ago, with a kevlar sea kayak smashed to bits on I-10 in western Lousiana, an event so painful it was not reported on this blog. Despite that, the story bounced around the world through other channels. The kayak world is fairly small, it turns out.
While searching unsuccessfully for another kayak to put on the roof of the Fried Piper, I got in touch with Richard Ohman, who, with his brother Thomas, owns the Swedish kayak company Point 65. I'd met Richard last spring at a kayak symposium in San Diego. Nigel Foster, a recurring character on this blog, introduced us. Nigel had just begun his new role as designer for the company. The three of us, and nine other paddling characters, enjoyed a trip to Baja after the symposium for some fun rock gardening and seafood. Richard thrust his card at me late night outside a restaurant in Ensenada and jumped in his rental car for a midnight run to LAX and on to China to check up on production.
Since it seems I'm in the road tour business, Richard asked me to come to Sweden and tour around with the Point 65 fleet, doing some demos and shows and such. Also, I'm spending some time at the flagship store in Stockholm, Pampas Kajak, helping to develop an instructional program and doing whatever else needs doing. On the side, I hope to get myself in shape for summer after a winter sitting on my butt in the Fried Piper, listening to NPR podcasts.