Monday, March 26, 2012

Connected by Threads

The last time we met Bill we were paddling down the Mississippi River, as he was.That was 12 years ago.
Last week Bill walked into our shop after parking his canoe on the river bank of Bonaventure Cemetery. He had stuck his paddle in the mud to tie off his boat.
Since that first chance meeting, Bill has paddled nearly 30,000 more miles, traversing the U.S. and Canadian waterways. Several years ago he paddled the Savannah River and ran into some good friends of ours.
He is currently half way through paddling 'around the block'... that is down the Mississippi, around the Gulf, up the East Coast, into the Hudson River, through the canals, into the Great Lakes, and back to where he started in the Midwest. He is not the first and won't be the last. So what makes his trip so different.. Well, actually nothing! He's just a man with a plan and some time to kill.
He is not testing gear for more millions of consumers.
He is not writing on a blog 'look at me'. He has no fans, and nobody on Facebook 'likes' him.
He is not raising awareness to the plight of battery chickens or old timers' disease. He's just moving across the planet with minimal impact, leaving no trace, and digging on mother nature... one stroke at a time. Paddle on, Bill.. keep our spirits alive.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Leaping into Spring

For what seemed like a long month, February sat around and procastinated the merits of winter vs spring.
This time last year we were up to our necks in building the new shop, with all the nuts and bolts required for such a model. This time around we are well and truly into boat and gear retail, as the merits of spring quickly surpass a pathetic old man winter.
Celebrating 100 years of scouting in Savannah, the girl scouts arrived, followed by their arch rivals, the boy scouts, kicking off the SC&K 2012 Tour Season. The guides were awoken from their slumber with a bang! Our 'on-water vs shop' schedule was rapidly devoured, and the reality of having two jobs quickly settled in and made itself at home. We are pleased that staffing at SC&K is on the right track. Staff training will be an ongoing exercise. We want to encourage a good mix of new and return guides, instructors, and managers. It is important that they increase and utilize their skills. We will continue to encourage their growth in any areas of paddle sports that they are interested in, or where we see fit. We also started implementing our plans for a new adaptive paddle program, structured for people with disabilities. So, this is all exciting and February was nice.
Now it's March and very nearly April, as the rest of the States awaken to the roar of Canoecopia, the madness of St Paddy's Day, the subtle bleating of the East Coast Canoe Fest, and the freedom of Spring Break, USA. Boat sales across the board have been good, as have our on-water programs. It's looking to be another busy and eventful season here, with a bit of changing up. So, to all our old customers we say sorry for not getting to the phone sooner. To all the visitors in town we say, "Sorry, we do not kayak today. How about tomorrow?"
There will be some growing pains. Please bear with us as we endeavor to maintain our purpose in paddlesports, while at the same time servicing a broader customer base.

Maybe it is true... as a good friend once said... running a paddle sports shop is a lot like running on a treadmill in front of a circular saw. Perhaps that's just our hunter-gatherer mentality... if we ain't hunting, we ain't happy, but every now and then the hunter must become the hunted in order to appreciate his craft. Well, we'll see about that. We paddle on.

Applicants completing their paperwork.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Proton, Bullitts, Phantom in Stock at SC&K

Rivermouth Fun (Chris Hobson and friends) from Austen davies on Vimeo.

Worl Champ Chris Hobson, in the white helmet, showcases the speed and agility of the new Phantom.