After graduating from law school and confirming that I did not want to practice law, I set about defining the type of company for which I wanted to work. I wanted it to produce a product, rather than offer a service – dealing with tangible items versus selling my time had a lot of appeal – and it needed to be a lower tech product, since even most of my car’s engine is a thing of great mystery to me. I also wanted to be involved in a business that had an international aspect, as I enjoyed dealing with other countries and cultures. So, I ended up in the book publishing world for a while, gallivanting around the globe.
Fast forward about 19 years and here I am at Folbot – which also matches those baseline parameters I had set out so long ago. While Folbots are technological marvels, they are so simple that even I understand how they work (thanks to Phil’s genius at design), and we produce something that is used and truly enjoyed around the world.
How cool is it that in May alone Folbots were shipped to 11 different countries? And I had emails from people in at least seven other countries. People are always a bit surprised when they learn that this company tucked away in Charleston, SC, USA, where EVERY kayak is handmade on site — from the Citibōt to the Greenland II – has such an international reach. I even just learned that some staffers at the US Embassy in Mongolia use Folbots. The Folbot Family has many accents. And we are always looking to expand that reach (check out some customers in Norway who were considering the Cooper!
(Thanks to Stein Oddvar Saegrov for the great photos. Please click here to see the whole set.)
You also get a good sense of how international Folbot is when you spend some time on the Folbot Forum (www.folbotforum.com). There are folks from around the globe engaging in some fascinating conversations – which kayak is right for me, where are the best places to paddle in the world, how do I sail my kayak, how good are Folbots? (On that note, did you all see the great reviews in May issues of Canoe & Kayak and Sea Kayaker — please be patient, it’s a big file and takes a while to load.) The diversity of the Forum contributors, and their level of knowledge (and generosity in sharing it), is just another example of how the world is becoming flat (the better to paddle Folbots on, of course!).
Visually, we have lots of fun proof of the international travels of Folbots. The photos that have been sent in represent just a small portion of the places that Folbots live and paddle. Check out some of the ones we have at in the Paddler Photo Galleries. Send us more here! We love seeing where you take the kayaks and we love sharing them with everyone else.
We appreciate the support of all our owners and paddlers around the world. So from everyone here at Folbot HQ, a heartfelt thank you, gracias, danke, tak, bedankt, kiitos, grazie, takk, hvala ti, tack, dekuji ti, obrigado, dziekuje, merci…
David A. (you can always reach me by email)