One of our regular contributors, Steve Childs, one part owner of successful UK kayak brand Tootega, has been in touch regarding their partnership with Corran Addison’s Soul Waterman SUP brand.
In early 2015 Corran Addison sold his California based Corran SUP and moved his new family back to Montreal Canada, where he had started Riot kayaks in the 1990s.
“The decision to move back to Montreal was based on a number of things,” stated Corran. “Amongst the top of the list was the awesome Lachines rapids which I missed and the paddling in general. As much as I enjoyed southern California, the last few years of drought has made paddling opportunities scarce at best. My wife is from Montreal and so it just made sense to head back.”
Of course, Corran is not the kind to stay dormant, and within weeks of his return he was working on a new project: Soul Waterman. Corran said, “I believe that paddling is paddling. That there is no more a distinction between SUP and kayaking than there is between canoeing and kayaking. It’s all just paddling. In the 1990s you either skied or you snowboarded. The industry purposely created this rift, but today probably half of dedicated snow sliders ski and snowboard, depending on the conditions. It’s all about being on the mountain, not what you’re riding. I believe the same applies to whitewater paddling. SUP and kayaking feed of each other; each skill set makes you better at the other, and each craft offers advantages and excitement in different conditions. I wanted to pull these two sports closer together, not follow the trend of dividing them.”
Steve Childs from Tootega agrees. “Kayakers running the same stretch of class 3 they’ve been on for years are bored. SUP offers these paddlers a way to make that same stretch of river exciting again, while at the same time honing their balance and paddle technique skills so when they go off to run harder rivers in a kayak they’re that much better. It’s a win-win situation for paddlers.”
It’s clear from the Soul Waterman website that this is indeed the goal. The company is focused almost entirely on whitewater, with a growing range of kayaks and SUPs in both composite and plastic.
“Soul has a few flatwater paddleboards,” Steve continued, “but even these are shoot-offs of Corran’s distance whitewater racing like the Dusi marathon in South Africa, which he won in 2014. But our focus is almost completely on whitewater kayaks and boards. This is where my partner James and I come from, and so we wanted to be a part of this new river driven company.”
Soul Waterman’s European debut will be at Paddle Expo in Nuremberg this September, where they will be showing off some of the line, and announce the line-up for 2016.