Addison co-founded Riot Kayaks in 1997. The company is now owned by Kayak Distribution, which also has brands like Boreal Design, Seaward, and Trapper in its varied offerings. During Corran’s time at Riot, he was one of the industry leaders, spearheading both the design revolution, and how kayaks were marketed and paddled.
“It’s been 10 years since Corran left Riot,” says Marc Pelland, Kayak Distributions president, “and everywhere I go people come up to me to reminisce about those golden years. The footprint Corran left on people minds during those key years is amazing.”
Corran left Riot in 2004 and to start his paddleboarding business Imagine Eco, which he sold in 2012 to the Hong Kong based Pryde group. By the end of 2012 he’d started Corran paddleboards, which has grown in just a few short years into an industry leader, offering one of the most diverse and innovative lineups in the industry; take-apart boards, two-in-one boards, flip up skegs and more.
“We were at a point with Corran SUP where we needed to make a significant business decision,” Corran says. “ Stay small and fiddle around with cool paddleboard projects, or take this to the next level. To do that we needed to partner up with someone who had the means to take our potential to its fulfillment.”
The deal was brokered by Kayak Distributions director of sales, Mark Hall, who worked with Corran at Riot in early 2000. Kayak Distribution was in need of a SUP offering for its diverse global customer network, and Corran SUP needed the kind of manufacturing and back end infrastructure that Kayak Distribution had.
“I am excited as Corran brings years of experience and measurable achievements both on the water and in designing products,” Pelland syas, “which will help us create more exiting products and brands.”
With Kayak Distribution in-house manufacturing, the Corran SUP brand is entering the 2015 with a revised lineup of boards which is simple, diverse, innovative and the most aggressively priced on the market.
“If we’re not the most important SUP brand in the industry by the end of 2015, we’ll be the biggest threat to the most important brands,” says Hall. “We’ve created a line of boards and a dealer program which makes it impossible for any dealer who wants to really make some money to ignore us.”
“Mark Hall is going to be focused on dealer support, while the head office handles manufacturing and the back end,” adds Addison. “This frees me up to do what I’m really good at: design and marketing. Our boards for 2015 are really amazing. I can’t wait to get these into people’s hands.”
While Addison will focus on bringing the SUP line to the forefront in 2015, he says he will also be directly involved with the rejuvenation of the Riot whitewater kayak line.