The following is a press release from Kayak Distribution, November 27, 2014.
In a move that seems somehow reminiscent of Steve Jobs returning to Apple, so Corran Addison returns to Riot kayaks. Riot, the company he co-founded in 1997, is now owned by Kayak Distribution, which also has brands like Boreal Design, Beluga outdoor gear along with a distribution partnership with Tahe Marine (tahe marine, zegul kayaks and Egalis paddles). Together, the companies will have one of the widest offerings in the market with a range of over 200 kayak models and 15 SUPS.
During Corran’s time at Riot, he was one of the industry leaders, spearheading both the design revolution, and how kayaks were marketed and paddled. “It’s been 10 years since Corran left Riot,” said Marc Pelland, Kayak Distributions president, “and everywhere I go people come up to me to reminisce about those golden years. The footprint Corran left on people minds during those key years is amazing.”
Corran left Riot in 2004 to start his paddleboarding business Imagine Eco, which he in turn sold in 2012 to the Hong Kong based Pryde group. By the end of 2012 he’d started his latest venture Corran paddleboards, which has grown in just a few short years into an industry leader, offering one of the most diverse and innovative lineups in the industry; take-apart boards, two-in-one boards, flip up skegs and more. “We were at a point with Corran SUP where we needed to make a significant business decision,” Corran mused. “ Stay small and fiddle around with cool paddleboard projects, or take this to the next level. To do that we needed to partner up with someone who had the means to take our potential to its fulfillment.”
That someone was Kayak Distribution. The deal was brokered by Kayak Distributions director of sales, Mark Hall, who worked with Corran at Riot in early 2000. Kayak Distribution was in need of a SUP offering for its diverse global customer network, and Corran SUP needed the kind of manufacturing and back end infrastructure that Kayak Distribution had. “I am excited as Corran brings years of experience and measurable achievements both on the water and in designing products,” Marc Pelland continued, “which will help us create more exiting products and brands”.
With Kayak Distribution’s in-house manufacturing, the Corran SUP brand is entering 2015 with a revised lineup of boards which is simple, diverse, innovative and the most aggressively priced on the market. “If we’re not the most important SUP brand in the industry by the end of 2015, we’ll be the biggest threat to the most important brands.” Mark Hall stated categorically. “We’ve created a line of boards and a dealer program which makes it impossible for any dealer who wants to really make some money to ignore us.”
“Mark Hall is going to be focused on dealer support, while the head office handles manufacturing and the back end,” Corran pointed out. “This frees me up to do what I’m really good at: design and marketing. Our boards for 2015 are really amazing. I can’t wait to get these into peoples hands.”
While Corran will be focused on bringing the SUP line to the forefront in 2015, he has said that he will be directly involved with the rejuvenation of the Riot whitewater kayak line once the immediate task is completed. That’s good news for a whole generation of whitewater paddlers who grew up paddling when Riot was an icon.