Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Wisconsin-based Bending Branches is one of the largest paddle manufacturers in the world

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 5, 2013 - 10:36 AM

But few businesses navigate only in calm waters. Today, Bending Branches (formally Branches LLC) and other North American paddle-makers are facing a new challenge: China.

China got into the paddling craze in the late 1990s, and Kicker said the impact on the industry has been dramatic. Because of low wages and production costs, it’s difficult for American companies to match prices with the Chinese.

Nowhere have the Chinese made more inroads than in paddles for stand-up paddle boarding, the hottest trend in paddling today. There are more Chinese stand-up paddle makers than domestic manufacturers.

Still, Kicker is optimistic.

“There’s a surge back to U.S. manufacturing,’’ he said. “And there’s a leveling of the global market. China is no longer the lowest cost [in wages].’’

Meanwhile, sales of paddles for stand-up paddle boarding have surpassed canoe paddle sales, Kicker said. The allure of stand-up paddle boarding: “You can see the world, and you can see into the water,’’ he said. “It really gives you a different perspective than sitting in a kayak.’’

Said Andrew Stern, the company’s marketing specialist: “It’s more of a workout, the cost to enter the sport is less, and it’s easier to transport a board [than a canoe or kayak.]’’

A new sport that should propel paddle makers.

 

Doug Smith • 612-673-7667



 

  • related content

  • Photo gallery: Bending Branches: Paddling innovation

    Friday July 5, 2013

    Bending Branches is one of the largest canoe and kayak paddle manufacturers in the nation with its production headquarters...

  • Founded in a North St. Paul garage in 1982, Bending Branches of Osceola, Wis., has become one of the largest canoe and kayak paddle manufacturers in the nation.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago WSox - LP: J. Guerra 2 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: B. Shaw 3
Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 3 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 6
Miami - LP: B. Hand 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 9
Washington - WP: T. Roark 10 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 3
Toronto - LP: R. Dickey 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Price 3
St. Louis - LP: C. Martinez 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 11
Boston - WP: C. Buchholz 11 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 0
Detroit - LP: J. Verlander 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 5
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 10 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 7
LA Angels - WP: T. Skaggs 10 FINAL
Texas - LP: S. Baker 7
Arizona - LP: V. Nuno 4 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8
San Diego - LP: T. Ross 0 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: H. Ryu 1
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 13 FINAL
Colorado - LP: B. Anderson 5
Oakland - WP: S. Gray 4 FINAL
Seattle - LP: C. Young 1
NY Yankees - LP: C. Whitley 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: K. Gausman 3
Portland 0 FINAL
Seattle 2
Winnipeg 34 FINAL
Montreal 33
Ottawa 11 FINAL
Edmonton 27
Calgary 34 FINAL
Toronto 15
Brt Columbia 26 FINAL
Saskatchewan 13
Los Angeles 90 FINAL
Connecticut 64
Seattle 60 FINAL
Minnesota 77
San Antonio 61 FINAL
Phoenix 90
Chicago 79 FINAL
Atlanta 81
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close