The Innova Group, seller of Innova Inflatable Kayaks and Canoes, is located between Seattle and Vancouver, BC, near the world famous paddling of the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea.
Innova Kayaks is owned by partners Tim Rosenhan and Paul Neutz. Tim Rosenhan runs the day-to-day operations. When you call, there's a good chance you'll get Tim on the phone (except during the busy season).
Why did we do it?
In the early 90's Innova Kayaks, then known as Innova Recreational Equipment, introduced high-end inflatable touring kayaks to the North American market. Before Innova inflatable kayaks came onto the North American paddling scene, the only inflatable kayaks available were vinyl pool toys or whitewater specific "Duckies" for river outfitters.
As the walls of Eastern Europe tumbled down, Paul visited his hometown, Prague, and couldn't help but notice people in inflatable kayaks paddling the Vltava river which runs through the city. The quality of these boats were unmistakable. They were made of the same durable type of material as Zodiacs and whitewater rafts.
And the inflatable boats were bright orange, a legacy of darker times when the communist government demanded that the inflatable kayaks were made out of bright materials so that people trying to escape could easily be picked out as they floated down the river.
To Paul and Tim, who share a love of kayaking, it seemed that inflatable boats were the perfect marriage of performance and portability...and they would be loved by North American paddlers. The Czech factory, which Paul and Tim later partnered with, had a long history of inflatable kayak construction -- they had been building inflatable boats for the world since 1950.
And we were right!
As we began selling Innova inflatable boats, people began buying them.
And as people began buying them, they began talking about them. And more inflatable boats sold. And people continued to talk about them and buy them and use them and love them. Innova Kayaks have received more awards than any other inflatable kayak brand!
- People who loved kayaking but had no good place to store their boats
- People who loved to travel (with their kayaks)
- People who enjoyed the easy transport and quick assembly of an inflatable kayak
And although Tim would rather be paddling, he always gets a kick when customers send in photos and stories from faraway places involving water, fun, and Innova kayaks.
One of Tim's favorite stories is when real-world adventurer, Kira Salak, took her Innova Safari on a 600-mile solo expedition down the Niger River to Timbuktu. Deep into the Sahara, Kira had to outpaddle some threatening Toureg tribesmen as they chased her in their dugouts. Tim loves that Kira could count on her Innova Inflatable Kayak in a pinch.
Paul and Tim helped raise the awareness of the value, durability, and performance of Innova inflatable kayaks. Recent innovations include the introduction of "PVC free" materials offering the same durability but a greener future.
Innova Kayaks now offers boats for every paddling niche -- from expedition sea kayaks to whitewater canoes.
Labels: About Innova