Industry Buzz: Bomber Gear is Back!

-

- Advertisment -

2003 was a sad year as one of the most innovative paddling outerwear companies in the industry bid adieu to paddlesports.

But now, after fighting through five years of strife, Bomber Gear and owner Rick Fanken are back with a new, recognizable partner and the same bomber gear. “We’ve always had top-end designs,” Franken says. “That’s the reason Bomber Gear was able to rise out of the ashes like a phoenix. We have a strong brand.”

Franken blames Bomber Gear’s fall on a faulty internal structure, including factory problems that caused a chain of events that brought the company down.

After Franken threw in the towel in ’03, he put the paddle away and started guiding climbing and working as a sponsored alpinist, making world-class ascents in Pakistan, Nepal and South America while raising a young son with his wife. When he returned home to Durango one day in 2005, he found the bank ready to foreclose on him. He had to act fast to save his assets for his young family. “I made a deal with the bank and started selling all the old inventory on Ebay,” Franken says. “I paid the bank back in 11 months. The response was overwhelming with people emailing me and calling, encouraging me to bring back Bomber Gear. It was inspiring.”

So Franken took a leap of faith, relocating to Steamboat Springs, Colo. where his wife had landed a teaching job and diving head first into rebirthing the company. He got a loan from close friend and 1999 World Freestyle Kayak Champion, Eric Southwick. He bought more old stock from factories that had produced Bomber Gear in Thailand, paying his bro back in less than a month. That success allowed him to start designing new products. “That’s what got Eric involved in the company and he’s a partner and co-designer now,” Franken says.

This season, Bomber Gear will introduce new sprayskirts, pogies, drytops, drypants and wet suits. Franken will continue to sell the products online until his following returns. “I’m trying to regain the industry’s confidence,” he says. “Right now, I’m just designing and marketing to the end-user but hopefully I can get back into shops. I don’t want to be late with product or not have enough to sell. But I’m super-stoked on our new stuff. It’s the same great design we’ve always had.”

Check out Bombergear.com for more details and look for Bomber Gear reviews from Paddling Life in the coming weeks.

Staff Posthttps://paddlinglife.com
Paddlers writing about all things paddling.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest news

Win a Good Vibes River Gear Prize Pack

Winning a Prize Pack from Good Vibes River Gear After you've entered for your chance to win the Good Vibes...

The Quest for 4.0: Dane Jackson on Breaking the 4-minute Mark on the Green

Forget Chasing Mavericks. Like runners’ quest for the 4-minute mile, Red Bull athlete and Jackson Kayak’s Dane Jackson is...

Back For More: Check out NRS Flowstate!

Getting the flow state. That's the mantra being preached by NRS, which is halfway through the second season of its...

Hydrus SUP Co-founder Nicholas Zawadzki Dies Paddleboarding Payette

Nicholas Zawadzki, 36, co-owner and co-founder of whitewater paddleboard company Hydrus Board Tech, died on Monday, Aug. 9, following "a...
- Advertisement -

A PL Q&A with Mustang Survival’s Josh Horoshok

Forget singing that catchy little song "Mustang Sally" by the Committments. Established in 1967 by Irv Davies, the inventor...

Real Tips from Real Rafting Mothers!

Moms know best…especially when it comes to taking your kids rafting. Behold the following Real Rafting Tips from Real...

Must read

Win a Good Vibes River Gear Prize Pack

Winning a Prize Pack from Good Vibes River Gear After...

Hydrus SUP Co-founder Nicholas Zawadzki Dies Paddleboarding Payette

Nicholas Zawadzki, 36, co-owner and co-founder of whitewater paddleboard...
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you