One of the things that happens when you become a business owner is an increased awareness of how other businesses operate, and what makes them tick. I pay particular attention to businesses that create physical goods, as there is typically a 'flagship' product that represents their best work. That flagship product is a glimpse into a company's DNA. If you look hard enough, you can see their strategy and future direction.
At Grey Duck, we have the following in our DNA:
1) We are product driven. At our core, we are a company focused on building awesome SUP boards.
2) Innovation is critical to our long term success. We can't grow as a business, or as humans, without continuing to ask how we can improve and innovate further. New and improved products are something you should expect from us.
3) There is beauty in timelessness. Our approach to design and our aesthetic is clean, classic and functional. If we get too trendy, we're starting to stray from our roots.
As I was paddling and portaging in the BWCA with our Quetico SUP, it became apparent that the board perfectly represents who we are.
The Quetico is many things all at once. It's a board that paddles beautifully - it tracks straight with good glide, yet remains stable even under load. The utility of the tie down points and track system allow the board to be rigged in a variety of ways, specifically to the needs of the paddler and the environment in which they'll be paddling.
The Grey Duck Portage System is the result of noodling on an idea for almost 10 years on how to build a SUP that could be efficiently carried through the wilderness and then transformed to allow paddling in a seated position. After double packing a 200+ rod portage with the Quetico overhead, I can safely say there isn't another SUP on the planet that would have allowed me to make that journey over land any easier.
Once back on the water, the portage system transitioned to a seat, allowing me to paddle in a seated position after almost 8 hours on the water. The ability to take breaks while on long paddles in a simple and comfortable way was something I didn't even realize I wanted until I was able to experience it. The added bonus of utilizing the portage system as a seat for fishing and as a rod holder when trolling was an unexpected delight as well. Over time, I kept finding new ways the board was making my trip easier and more enjoyable.
Our HIPtech construction allows us to blend the beauty of traditional epoxy construction with tremendous durability. This innovative construction method makes it a great choice for punishing environments. The Quetico's design aesthetic is one that is classic and will look great on the water a decade down the road.
While I'm proud of all of our products, the Quetico is the board I'm most proud of. And it's not because it will be our top selling board (it won't), but because it most accurately represents who we are as a company.
Special thanks to Darrin Seifken, owner of Crawdaddy Outdoors in Waverly Iowa for taking all of the pics in this blog post.