Just when you thought iconic apparel and spray skirt brand Mountain Surf was being reborn after a nearly two decade hiatus, a fire has temporarily snuffed out and delayed is resurrection.
On a Facebook post, founder John Mason, who founded the company in the ‘90s at the take out of Pennsylvania’s Upper Youghiogheny and is now based in Beachburg, Ontario, said that a fire had swept through the company’s new facility, stalling the operation’s start-up.
“The best way to describe the way I’m feeling right now is numb.” He writes. “After two years assembling a new production shop, getting machines back in working order, and assembling a new material supply chain, Mountain Surf was ready to begin sprayskirt production and go live with a new e-commerce site on January 1. The final piece of the puzzle was the new rands that were shipped on Wednesday. This afternoon the building caught fire….”
“I had to leave when the fire crews started to break into the sewing room and the glue shop, because I just couldn’t watch…”
Mason reports that while the flames didn’t reach the Mountain Surf rooms directly, “the smoke and water damage is going to be extensive.”
Comments poured in from well-wishing paddlers from all over, including those like Jackson Kayak founder Eric Jackson, who are well familiar with the company’s wares. “It was an iconic brand that everyone knew of back in the day,” says retailer Peter Van De Carr of Colorado’s Backdoor Sports. “They made great skirts and drytops. We’re all looking forward to seeing them come back online again and wish them the best picking up the pieces of the fire.”
“You know how much quit there is in me,” Mason replied in a post. “The glue shop and 100 sheets of neoprene are fine aside from the smoke and the new rands are due in this week. From what I could see through the fogged up windows and what the fire marshals have told me, flame didn’t actually get into the room but the most intense points were across halls from it on two walls. But it’s probably going to be a total loss due to heat and water damage. Everything lost is replaceable, and what isn’t is in my head and/or backed up at home. I’m looking to store everything I can salvage for the winter while I find the financing to build and outfit a workshop out back come spring.”
Then, on the ironic note, he adds: “I was thinking about having a run of logos done with flames added to the boater to go along with the smoked skirts. It’s kind of a lock now.”