Three months...thirty three states...100+ store visits. Follow the journey as the NuCanoe Frontier makes its way around the country.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Western Pennslyvania

Neill Andritz, owner of The River's Edge in Leechburg, PA, has been paddling on the Kiski River for 32 years.  Five years ago, after spotting a Landscape supply business for sale on the banks of the Kiski, he called his wife, Evelyn, and said "We're buying this business and we're going to build a canoe & kayak shop."  And that's exactly what they did.

The River's Edge started carrying NuCanoe boats in May 2011 and they are even more excited about 2012 after seeing and paddling the Frontier 12.  Evelyn was kind enough to shuttle Neill, Deanna, Kobe, & I a couple miles up the river and we paddled back to the shop.  Along the way we spotted a Blue Heron, learned the history of the region, and enjoyed the fall colors.

From there we cruised through the beautiful landscape of Western Pennsylvania to the Clearshade Boats in Windber, PA.   Owner's Bill & Judy Burnworth have done a great job serving NuCanoe customers in the region...they even drove 2.5 hours to Virginia to deliver a NuCanoe a couple weeks ago.  That's awesome service!  Despite a busy day, Bill & Judy were able to give the Frontier a close inspection and imagine new possibilities for the coming year.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Frontier - Meet Your Maker

Wednesday took us to MOD Roto in Ashtabula, OH, the rotomolder of NuCanoe boats.  The crew at MOD was excited to get a look at the Frontier as they'll be busy making them starting in January.  Everyone was impressed!  In fact, we even had people driving by to honk and give a shout out.  One gentlemen stopped, got out of his truck, and asked if it was for sale....not quite yet!

Before leaving town MOD's Jay McMellen joined us at the shore of Lake Eire for a little paddle and photo shoot.  The Lime Green sure stands out and will be awesome for anyone wanting high visibility!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


On Monday, September 26th we left South Bend to meet up with Gary Price, our Sales Rep covering MI, OH, & IN.  He took us to Fluid Fun, a big paddlesports retailer in Bristol, IN, so they could learn about the Frontier too.  We had a nice visit there with owner Matt Streib, a former Olympic kayaker and current national champion marathon kayaker.  After a nice visit with Gary & Matt, we took off for Ann Arbor.

We were fortunate to stay with good friends in Ann Arbor, my former college roommate Dan Papajcik and his wife Jessie.  We met their baby daughter Olivia, listened and laughed as Dan told stories, and sampled a few of his home brews.  (Loved the smoky porter!)

Tuesday we went to Kayak Corral in Saline, MI to show owner Dana Cornett the Frontier.  His only complaint was that we didn't get there on Monday when the store is closed so we could go paddling & fishing!

Next up we met with Team NuCanoe member Ed Wagner at a small lake just north of the Ohio border.  Ed loves he NuCanoe 12 and was pumped up to get a first look at the Frontier.  He loved the stability, open deck floor, and abundance of storage space.  

 The last stop of the day was at The Backpacker's Shop in Sheffield Village, OH.  It is a wonderful store with loads of gear for the great outdoors.  Despite showing up with no appointment, Chris, the paddlesports manager, was happy to see us and eager to check out the Frontier.  We spoke with him for a while and said our goodbyes.  But before we could get the boats covered and secured, the owner, Reece, came out to see them.  We had a nice chat with him as well.  We sure hope we can work with this great store in 2012!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Catching Up

The funny thing about being on the road is that there is so much less time than you'd think.  Despite being able to share the driving, get on the computers and access the Internet from the road, and having a couple hours at a hotel in the morning and evening, there's just not much time to get work done.  At least that's my excuse for covering a week's activity in one post....

Tuesday, September 16th -

Mike at Sunshine Sports in Billings, MT was more interested than he thought he would be.  The Frontier's innovative design really impressed him.  He also is real interested in seeing how the rowing system will work for the rivers of Montana.

We had lunch with my great-uncle Leland Cade in Billings, MT and then hit the road for 7 hours of driving to Cheyenne, WY.

Wednesday, September 21st -

Today brought three stops before spending the afternoon & evening with my sister Dalyce in Denver.  We walked through Jax Outdoor Gear in Ft. Collins, CO and met briefly with the guys at Golden River Sports in Golden, CO.  Then we had a great visit Jon at Confluence Kayaks in Denver.  Jon started CK 15 years ago in the same area of Denver and has seen his neighborhood go from out of the way to a destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment.  Interestingly enough, an REI is one block away...and it has helped Confluence grow by bringing more outdoor adventure seekers to the neighborhood.  Anyway....Jon was really impressed by the Frontier.  He thought it would be a great addition to their growing fishing business.

After the work was supposed to be a little play on the water.  But upon arriving at a nice lake in a city park and unloading the boats, we were informed by a park employee that permits were required to use the water.  And they don't sell day permits, and we couldn't get one on the stop.  He notified us that if we "recreated" on the water, he'd call the police.  So we scratched the paddle and settled for an impromptu photo shoot.

Thursday, September 22 -

Nebraska is flat, full of corn, and not too interesting from the road.  Especially when you are on the road for 10 hours.

Friday, September 23 -

We left from Sioux City, IA and traveled the state roads for three hours before getting to Estherville, IA. NuCanoe dealers Rick & Tammy Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick's Marsh & Field were in a bit a disbelief that someone would travel to their remote town to see them, but that's what we did.  Once that wore off, they were in awe of the Frontier and more excited than ever for the 2012 season to arrive!

Driving through southern Minnesota is a bit like Nebraska....until you get to the Mississippi River valley near La Crosse, WI.  Then the flat fields give way to rolling hills and trees surrounding lots of water.  The Mississippi River, Black River, and their smaller neighbors are the fishing grounds for Anthony Larson of Coulee Region Adventures.  He'll take his water "hard or soft" so long as he can fish it.  And when he's fishing soft water, he's doing it in a NuCanoe.  And next year, it'll be a tough choice between the NuCanoe 12 and the Frontier 12.

Saturday, September 24 -

Paddle & Trail is a growing paddlesports retailer that truly invests and connects with their community.  We listened to Walter Loos, owner of P&T, tell tales of forming creative partnerships with cities, countiers, private landowners, manufactures, and more to bring amazing services and opportunities to the communities in Beloit, WI, Aurora, IL, and Loves Park, IL.  We are excited to start working with them to further these opportunities and bring NuCanoe boats to these communities.

The weekend!  Even road trips need days of rest, and our day of rest this week was in Chicago, IL.  We met up with a friend from home who was in Chicago, enjoyed some great deep dish pizza, walked the streets and lakefront downtown, watched the Bears vs Packers while having lunch in Wrigleyville, and cruised to the top of the John Hancock Center for a fabulous view.

Then Sunday evening we were back on the road, going to South Bend, IN.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Big Sky Country

Five hours of driving on Friday and 4 more hours on Saturday took brought us too Missoula, Montana for a day of well-needed rest.

Monday morning the tour made its first stop at The Trail Head in Missoula.  John and Todd were happy to see the Frontier in person...and they liked what they saw.  The biggest questions they had was how the oar locks would work.  As they've not been designed yet, we were able to gather their ideas for how to make a great rowing system for the rivers of Montana.

Next up was the Rock Creek Cattle Company in Deer Lodge, MT.  Situated on 30,000 acres pierced by a river and creek, the Cattle Co. is a members only club with incredible fishing, ample hunting, a custom gold course, and fabulous facilities. They have had a dozen NuCanoe 12 boats since 2008 and the boats get plenty of use on the river and lake.  Ron Snow, the Cattle Co.'s in house fly fishing pro, is now eager for spring to arrive with a couple NuCanoe Frontier boats!

In Helena, MT we visited the folks at Capital Sports & Western Wear, a NuCanoe dealer since 2009.  Jay from Capital Sports has had his eye on a NuCanoe for his family...but that eye has shifted now to the Frontier.  He loved the larger space on the deck & floor plus the infinite adjust-ability of the seats and accessories on the Freedom Track.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Journey Begins

On Friday, September 16th, Blake & Deanna Young of NuCanoe hit the road in Bellingham, WA with two samples of the all new NuCanoe Frontier 12 on the trailer.  Ahead of them....three months...9,000 miles....100+ retail stores...and who knows what else!  Certainly a unique opportunity to undertake a grand adventure...both for business and pleasure.

Follow their adventures and learn more about the NuCanoe Frontier here.  And when the Nu Frontier Tour is out your way, they'd love to see you!