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  I think it started with Ocean Kayaks
  Posted by: spadefish on Jul-15-13 4:16 PM (EST)
 

Before I saw any kayaks in my neck of the woods, in the mid-1990s I started seeing Ocean Kayaks as rental boats at resorts down in the Caribbean. Resorts I had been to just a couple of years before when they had none, had them. I guess Ocean Kayak did a great job of aggressively marketing them to big resort chains like Westin, probably selling them at break even or even at a loss to get them out there, get people hooked on them on vacation. I'll admit, it worked on me, I started searching around for them. Then in the late 1990s I started seeing OKs for sale in higher end sporting goods chains like REI here in Texas. Being a poor college student I wanted one, but put off buying it until I finished grad school and got my first decent paying job in 2000, when I got an OK Frenzy. At that time, paddling on the Texas coast, I would constantly be stopped by people asking me where I got that cool little boat. In 2 or 3 years, I started seeing other paddlers occasionally, and then started seeing them offered for rent down here. By 2005, they had exploded and were everywhere, still with OK dominating at first, but quickly as people realized there was a boom going on they started opening paddlesports stores, and then offering other SOTs and then offering SINKS.

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