I'm beyond grateful to join the Kokatat team as a Regional Ambassador for Northern California!
Since paddling in Taiwan last year for Fearless Formosa and with inspiration from many gifted instructors and students, I've doubled-down on coaching with an emphasis on bringing more diversity into the sport. From working with non-English speaking students, to low-income paddlers, to those recovering from trauma or illness, and, of course, to cultivating the next generation of female leaders in paddlesports. I'm honored to collaborate with Kokatat, a company that remains committed to driving this mission forward as well as growing paddlesports as a whole.
Kokatat this year also partnered with with California Women's Watersport Collective -- a community I'm incredibly excited to be a part of -- to further the inclusion of women in paddlesports from all skill levels and backgrounds.
I also want to share my appreciation for Kokatat's support of Fearless Formosa. This expedition sharpened my focus for how I want to develop as a paddling coach and adjust my career to make time on the water more of a centerpiece. To those considering taking a hiatus for a big paddling trip, adventure, or expedition, I can't encourage you enough to take the plunge and commit. I have zero regrets about quitting my office job and making the transition to paddle more and to have a chance to expand the global paddling community.
At the risk of sounding too cheesy, I simply love how paddling is a conduit for exploring one's inner strength and I'm excited to share this potential with as many people as possible. Thanks again to Kokatat for all of your ongoing and future support, now let's get #IntoTheWater!
More about Kokatat:
In 1971 Kokatat began making paddle sports apparel and gear in Arcata, CA. Our founder and president, Steve O’Meara, recognized from the start that keeping production local was necessary in order to control quality and continually develop the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world. Today, over 90% of our annual revenue comes from the sales of products handmade in our Arcata factory (now 150 employees strong) and by our local and regional manufacturing partners. Yes, we do source items in Asia. But, only for products that do not have scalable infrastructure here in the US and to support our environmental commitment to Gaia® PVC free flotation foam for all our life vests, available exclusively through our Asian manufacturer.
Kokatat has been able to maintain a low carbon footprint, relative to many other brands of outdoor apparel that source goods offshore. In 2010 we activated one of the largest solar photovoltaic systems in the region, which powers much of our manufacturing equipment. We also employ strict water conservation practices throughout our factory. Named the 2010 Arcata Green Business of the Year, our company provides an established platform of green practices, social equity and economic vitality to the region.