Starting Backwater Paddle Company has been with out a doubt, the biggest challenge in my life. I entered the paddle sports market with nominal business skills, minimal manufacturing knowledge and zero national marketing experience…yet I never blinked, nor balked, when I started on this endeavor. Failure was never an option.
Having spent most of my adolescent life with the US Navy and in some precarious positions, identifying problems and providing solutions has been paramount to my survival and success. Since retiring from the Navy, applying these concepts to my daily life has put me down challenging paths. I would have it no other way, either.
Nevertheless, success was not measured by what I could do by myself. Being successful was defined by how I and our team managed to achieve our goals, together. Survival is a personal fortitude. Personal success however is not just surviving, but setting and achieving challenging goals. Surrounding your self with like minded individual’s hell bent on achieving their goals, despite any and all obstacles, will make you successful.
Backwater Paddle Company, despite tough economic times, has survived. Not only has it survived, it is growing and flourishing. This has NOT happened at my sole expense, but through a collaboration of another like minded individual, totally devoted and hell bent on making this company work.
Kurt Horn, CPM (Chief Paddle Maker), has been the other half of this dynamic paddle company duo. Without Kurt, Backwater Paddle Company would still be a struggling paddle sports entity. However, Kurt, a professional cabinet maker and wood worker, provided proof from an inspiration. On his own initiative, he took a hand drawn concept and delivered a working model, the prototype of the Predator Kayak Fishing Hand Paddles.
This innovative hand paddle prototype is the backbone, the legend, the existence of Backwater Paddle Company and its future moving forward. A kayak angling dilemma was presented. A simple idea was designed and Kurt provide the ultimate working solution. The evolution of the Predator Kayak Fishing Hand Paddle proved there was a problem in the kayak fishing community and Backwater Paddles had the answer.
Inspired, Kurt conceptualized and designed the Piranha Kayak Fishing Hand Paddle. He provided another viable fishing hand paddle to solve the kayak fishermen’s dilemma.
Kurt has selflessly devoted hundreds of hours into this paddle sports project. He has personally made EVERY kayak fishing hand paddle that has left the shop! He is involved in all research and development, every manufacturing decision, material testing, ordering and quality assurance.
What has Kurt earned from this? Well the first thing Kurt will probably tell you is success is not measured in what you have today, but what you will have tomorrow. Kurt is in this project for the long run. Kurt understands the sacrifice, devotion, and the long hours working in the shop to achieve a common goal. The payoff is in the future.
Has Kurt ever complained? Has Kurt ever slacked? NEVER!! Kurt is at the paddle shop between 5am – 6am daily, busting out more paddles till late afternoon. Kurt is relentless in the pursuit of perfection. This is why every paddle leaving our shop is flawless! He would have it no other way!!
I could not have possibly moved Backwater Paddle Company to where we are today without having Kurt at my side. In one year, we have gone from relative obscurity to the front pages of the kayak angling community, worldwide.
We could have never imagined the acceptance and success these kayak fishing hand paddles have created. Not only here stateside, Backwater Paddles presence is spreading throughout Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Wales. Who would of thought?
It is an honor and pleasure to work along side Kurt. Kurt Horn is Backwater Paddles. Thanks Kurt!!