While visiting the WaterMark office in Easley, S.C., last week, the SNEWS team learned that WaterMark has purchased Adventure Technology, manufacturers of AT Paddles in White Salmon, Wash. Dirk Steinhour and J.D Davies founded AT Paddles in 1994, and you'll find their whitewater and touring paddles in at least 160 U.S. shops, as well as stores in Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
With regard to logistics, not too much will change for Adventure Technology. Steinhour and Davies will remain with the company, which will continue to operate in Washington.
WaterMark Executive Vice President Joe Pulliam told SNEWS that the acquisition makes sense because it places high-end paddles in WaterMark's quiver. Though WaterMark owns Harmony, that brand primarily consists of less-expensive, injection-molded paddles for the widest range of participants. "The AT paddles are made with high-tech composite materials," Pulliam noted. "That will differentiate AT Paddles and Harmony paddles with regard to price and the intended user." We checked for the lowest price for an AT whitewater paddle, and it rings in at $229.
WaterMark not only gains a line of high-end paddles, it also will benefit from the expertise of two innovative designers. "Dirk and J.D. have revolutionized the top-end of the paddle market, and we'll have them right in the middle of things, designing paddles for Harmony," Pulliam said.