In order to remain competitive with paddlesports giants, North Carolina’s Hurricane Kayaks and Legacy Paddlesports have announced they are joining forces.
Once the ink on the contract dries, the new company, name to come, will carry Hurricane and Legacy’s Native Watercraft and Liquidlogic brands.
The merger, which has been in discussion over the last few months, will do more than keep these companies afloat, according to Legacy’s head of research and design, Shane Benedict.
Merger promises technological innovations
The combined brands will pair the whitewater design and innovation from Liquidlogic and Native Watercraft, with Hurricane’s manufacturing prowess in lightweight thermoformed kayaks.
One design in the works is to create a lightweight Native Watercraft fishing boat using Hurricane’s signature ABS material.
“We get to use each other’s knowledge and expand our capabilities on both sides,” says Benedict.
Since it was founded in 1998, Hurricane been an industry innovator, as their slogan “leaders in lightweight” suggests.
Current president of Hurricane, Steve Jordan, says the sky is the limit for potential and for whitewater innovation as well, although it’s early to say what to expect.
“We both have very talented teams with a lot of experience in the industry,” says Jordan. “Together we’ll be able to capitalize on this opportunity and take innovation to the next level.”
While the whitewater industry is no stranger to mergers, the 2008 recession put immense pressure on smaller companies.
Another paddlesports giant created
The paddlesports industry is no stranger to mergers—over the years, Confluence Outdoors acquired Wave Sport, Dagger Canoe Company and Perception Kayaks.
“One of the hard things about being a smaller company is that you don’t offer as diverse a range as the giants,” says Benedict.
Benedict says the merger will broaden the offerings, creating a “one-stop shopping” experience.
Jordan says under the new merged company, Liquidlogic will see a return to their original roots, offering more recreational touring and sit-on-top models in addition to their more recognized whitewater kayaks.
Benedict says this merger has been in talks for a while now and will benefit both companies in such a competitive market.
The merged company will be run by co-owner of Hurricane, Don Grigg, with current owners of Hurricane and Legacy each playing significant roles in the new entity, according to their press release.
Hurricane will maintain operations at its manufacturing facility in Warsaw, while Native and Liquidlogic products will continue to be manufactured in Fletcher, NC.