Did you hear?... Robins explains decision to manufacture Harmony paddles in Mexico

When calls began filtering in to the SNEWS® offices wondering about why Harmony paddles are now being made in Mexico, we got on the phone to Duncan Robins, head of WaterMark's Gear division located in Arcata, Calif.
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When calls began filtering in to the SNEWS® offices wondering about why Harmony paddles are now being made in Mexico, we got on the phone to Duncan Robins, head of WaterMark's Gear division located in Arcata, Calif. -- Yakima racks, Earliest Explorers bike trailers, joggers and trailer bikes, the Sospenders line of personal flotation devices, and the Harmony line of paddlesports accessories. Robins told us, "We have built up one of the best factories in North America for making hardgoods, including metals, plastics and assembly and as a result we are able to design and manufacture better product there." Yakima established the factory in 1996 in Tijuana in Baja California and currently manufactures racks, Yakima snowshoes, and now Harmony paddles and paddlesport accessories there. Impressively, that factory carries Ford's highest quality standard, Q1, and Yakima has received the QS9000 international standard awarded for quality control and other standards from stringent independent auditing which included the Baja factory. Robins told us the factory in Baja is also working toward earning an ISO 14,000 standard -- an environmental standard that very few companies in the world have earned. Added Robins, "I think everyone in the industry felt we were better at boats than paddles, so this is a move to raise our quality standards. We expect that once we work out the wrinkles, our dealers will be able to order quality product that is in stock, in season, on time -- all the time."

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