Don’t worry…it’s not about to lead to the Stand-up Canoe acronym “SUC.” But a leading canoe and SUP manufacturer are joining distribution forces…
In January, Wenonah Canoe vice-president Bill Kueper and C4 Waterman president Todd Bradley announced the merger of C4 Waterman into Wenonah’s world-wide distribution network. The merger will improve global access to C4’s products and increase Wenonah’s distribution network. Additional synergies will come from Wenonah’s global supply chain management.
“The addition of C4 Waterman SUP, safety, rescue accessories and apparel products to Wenonah’s brand stable makes Wenonah a one-stop-shop for SUP, kayak and canoeing,” says Kueper. As for Hawaii-based C4 Waterman, the merger helps secure its position in the global action sports industry.
The partnership has roots stemming back to when C4 first exhibited at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market tradeshow in 2007, bringing some of Hawaii’s most legendary watermen to the desert of Utah.
Wenonah founder Mike Cichanowski was instantly smitten, believing in the brand enough to help them launch it. With C4 hitting its stride with its inflatable iSUP line, Cichanowski — who is no stranger to Hawaiian waters, having completed in several Moloka’i Hoe canoe races—anticipates additional synergies as well. “Wenonah and C4 have always maintained a passion to offer the very best performance, constructions and value propositions to the paddler,” says Cichanowski, whose products are carried by 400 retailers throughout the world. “Now, what was a shared ohana between our companies becomes a formal marriage”.
“This will be a very exciting phase for C4 Waterman, with the expansion of the brand beyond the stand-up paddle equipment we are known for,” adds C4’s Bradley.
Key C4 insiders Bradley, Brian Keaulana, Dave Parmenter and Archie Kalepa will continue to help innovate the brand with the support of Wenonah. “’Waterman’ is more than a word, it’s a lifestyle,” says C4 co-founder Keaulana. “No single piece of equipment defines a waterman. Partnering with Wenonah will allow us to become the company we’ve always envisioned: a lifestyle brand providing the best quality products to make the waterman’s time on the water as productive and enjoyable as possible.”
Integration of C4 into Wenonah’s corporate structure is expected to be complete by this summer.