Kokatat Partners with Nantahala Outdoor Center


ARCATA, CALIFORNIA, June 12, 2013 — This paddle season, master guides and instructors at Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC), Ashville, NC will be wearing Kokatat’s Maximus Prime PFD. The partnership is an important milestone in the company’s paddling education and safety initiatives.

“NOC is one of the premier destinations for paddling instruction, and given that they have selected our PFDs for their programs speaks volumes to us,” says Jeff Turner, Sales and Design Manager at Kokatat. “Following the Freestyle World Cup last fall, we were approached by the NOC kayak school leadership. They had seen and worn the new Maximus Prime PFD and were convinced that it was the best vest on the market for performance (technical) whitewater paddling.”

This summer NOC is launching the Master Guide Program. Candidates for the program are selected by a group of NOC Managers and Executives based on criteria that includes on and off water skill sets. The Master Guide Program combines the practice of hard skills, with the soft skills necessary for guides to develop and cultivate their leadership style.

Instructors and participants in the new Master Guide Program will wear a custom blue Maximus Prime PFD featuring the NOC logo for all their instructional sessions. Additionally, NOC branded Kokatat Maximus PFDs in the unique blue color way will be sold in the NOC retail store.

"The NOC is honored to have an innovator like Kokatat partner with our new NOC Master Guide Program,” says William Irving, Vice President of Leadership and Development at Nantahala Outdoor Center. “This commitment to providing special hand crafted PFDs for our Elite Guides and paddling experts highlights the dedication they have in producing industry leading technical rescue gear."

Kokatat’s Maximus Prime Type 5 Rescue PFD was designed with input from Dane and Eric Jackson to be the most versatile PFD available. This was accomplished with the Dynamic Suspension System that has wide, contoured shoulder straps that allow an independently suspended front flotation panel to move with the paddler.

About Kokatat Inc.

Kokatat has been manufacturing paddling gear in Arcata, California for more than 40 years. At a time when many technical apparel brands were moving manufacturing offshore, Kokatat continued to invest in infrastructure in the United States. Kokatat founder Steve O’Meara was committed to the development of the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world and recognized the need to control and continually evolve the development of our dry wear. In the early days, Kokatat worked closely with W.L. Gore & Associates, makers of GORE-TEX®, to refine the sewing and sealing techniques required for full immersion suits and tops. Today, our hands-on approach to manufacturing continues to set the standard in paddling apparel. Into the water with Kokatat! Please visit www.kokatat.com and follow Kokatat on Facebook and Twitter “@kokatat”.