This week I was digging around in my desk, and came across a couple of test pieces I made up a couple years ago. One is a one foot long section of gunwale I cut off a scrap Option, the other is a 1-foot section of similar dimensions of Ash gunwale. I made these to compare weights between them, and being reminded of this test, I figured this week I’d discuss the advantages of plastic gunwales and why I use them rather than wood.
Chapter 19 of Seth Godin’s excellent new book, “This Is Marketing” is titled, “The Funnel.” He explains it this way:
“Visualize a funnel, one with a bunch of leaks and holes in it.
At the top of the funnel, you pour attention.
At the bottom of the funnel, committed loyal customers come out.
Between the top and the bottom, most people leak out.”
I’ve now experienced this first hand, and can quantify it. More
We’re excited to have released the second episode of “Where We Canoe.” Blackfly Team paddler takes us to his local run, Tohickon Creek in eastern Pennsylvania.
I consider myself somewhat of an expert on cold weather paddling. I’ve paddled year round- at least once every month- for the past 19 years. Living in New Hampshire and paddling in the winter might seem like things that don’t go together. Our coldest day on the water last winter was 3 degrees. But it’s taught me a few things about staying warm and happy on the water. As winter is setting in, I figured I’d share a few tips, and favorite pieces of gear that might make it on your holiday wishlist.
Facebook reminded me this week, as it does, that nine years ago this week, I molded the first Blackfly boats. That first boat, Blackfly #001, still hangs in a place of honor, along with Option #001, in the Blackfly shop. Looking at those early boats now, it’s pretty obvious that I’ve gotten slightly better at making boats after nine years and a few hundred boats.
I hope and imagine that most people who read this over the long weekend following Thanksgiving do so before or after an adventure in the outdoors. I’m a fan of the #optoutside idea over the mark-down fueled spectacle is that is Black Friday. But this cultural event has given me pause to think about my pricing structure, and Thanksgiving has given me reason to reflect on what I’m grateful for in my business life. More
After seeing the response to last week’s blog post about the the idea of doing a kid’s boat, this week I started taking pre-orders for the Mosquito Burrito. There are two competing factors leading me to take this approach. 1) I really, really want to make this boat. The more I think about it, the more I want to do it. 2) I’m not in a position to do another “I’ll eventually break even” project. If I get enough support for the project, I’ll make the boat. If not, everyone gets their money back and it gets shelved indefinitely. So that makes it my first attempt at “crowdfunding” a project. That’s gotten me to pondering the basic notion of crowdfunding, and I’ve come to the conclusion that crowdfunding is weird.
My son is five, and I guess it should come as no surprise he already has a taste for canoeing. He really likes paddling in the bow of our Octane 92, which he has dubbed “Splasher.” He already thinks boofing and rock spins are cool. This summer I decided I might as well get him in his own boat, so I drug the Octane 85 prototype out of the boneyard, cut it up and welded it back together again (It was originally a cut and welded Octane 91, so it’s not the first time). He dubbed it the “Mosquito Burrito.” This is what happens when you let a 5 year old name a boat, but I kind of like it. We had a lot of fun floating down the Pemi this summer, running his first “rapids.”
I’ve very fortunate to have some very talented filmmakers on the Blackfly team and I’m excited to launch a new video series this week. It’s fairly easy to shoot eye catching video of canoes running big drops and hard rapids and drop a music track over it, but we’ve heard the criticism time and time again that it doesn’t really connect with people or inspire them to go canoeing. There’s nothing wrong with those sorts of videos, I like watching them, but the fact of the matter is, while I love running big, hard rapids, most of the time, that’s not the sort of water I’m running. That realization was the genesis of “Where We Canoe.” Let’s look at the rivers we run the most often; the challenge then becomes, can we make compelling videos about the ‘everyday’ runs we take for granted? I think so.