Friday, 31 December 2010

A paddle day with the gang

Rob, Emma, Hung & Sali.
We often get nice feedback on the speed of deliveries from our online store, the helpful people who answer the phone & the pleasant service on offer when customers drop in unexpected & either of Rob or myself aren't in the office. While we like to pretend that EK is a multinational super kayaking corporation, the truth is we're cheating.... 
Rob hoping we don't lose anybody....
We are very lucky to have the services of the dedicated team of people from my main business, Talisman. They are my friends, workmates and have a lovely attitude towards their work & their customers. They cut their teeth every day in the demanding corporate world in which Talisman exists, where a late delivery can mean the loss of a big account, and have to contend with some delicate egos, in particular where marketing & events are concerned.
Rob giving Huey a few tips in the V10S
They have looked on these past 3 years at the growing business that is Expedition Kayaks, & been increasingly curious about how the boats work, what the differences are, what those funny timber sticks are for etc etc.
The gang on the beach
So, with a few moons aligned over the Xmas New Year break, we organised a day on the water for everyone & brought a few boats along to try out have some fun.
Sali Wu, the paddle queen of Shanghai
It was a hoot. Not one of the gang had paddled anything before ever, so Rob, Sharon & I were flat out giving some basic tuition, fishing out capsizes, chasing down strays & all-in-all having a great time. 
The Hurricane, looking very Clint Robinson.
Emma & Huey 'The Hurricane' Nguyen, a former national kickboxing champ, managed to conquer the Epic V10S, & Emma even looked solid enough on my new V12. 
Deni, Huey & Jade
Sali Wu blasted up & down the beach looking like the Queen of Shanghai, while Hannah managed to get her high heels off for long enough to show some genuine, & I mean genuine sea kayaking skills after a few minutes of practising her edging, & getting a bit wet.... 
Hannah, good at paddling, not so good at swimming...
In between shepherding the kids around the beach, Nicole & Hien even managed a few brief paddles. 
Emma 'I want one of these...'
Everyone agreed that the V8 was ridiculously easy, the Holden Commodore of surf-skis. The sea kayaks presented a few more challenges, especially with a soft breeze blowing, & there were a few rescues & hilarious capsizes. Smiles all round on a typically beautiful Sydney morning.
Hien making the V8 look like a V80
It was a nice way to end another successful year for both EK & Talisman, and provide some well deserved fun for my hardworking team of good people. 
Thanks guys, you're the best.
Next time you call up the office, ask the dude on the end of the line about their paddle day, I'm sure you'll be spun a good yarn or two & may even get a new opinion on some of the boat designs!
Marley - 'I'd rather eat sand than bother with all of this stuff'.

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