For thirty years, Stohlquist has been a family company operating out of Buena Vista, Colorado close to the famous “Numbers” section of the Arkansas River. Early on, company president Jim Stohlquist made 22-pound Kevlar/glass whitewater boats that he sold to members of the outing club at Colorado State University. He eventually opened a retail store in Buena Vista with a mail-order component called, Colorado Kayak Supply, and CKS is still one of the most successful online retailers of whitewater kayaking gear today.
But the shift to a focus on PFDs, dry suits, and wet suits came when Jim walked into a sewing shop in Salida, Colorado and shared his ideas about a special jacket “just for kayaking.” The paddle jacket was a hit and sold well, and Jim stopped building boats and shifted his attention to creating new designs to keep paddlers warm out on the river. Before these innovations, there was very little available in the way of whitewater paddling gear, and the Arkansas River was always icy cold from the run off of 14,000 foot mountain sloops.
We’re proud to carry Stohlquist products here at Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe in Bend, Oregon. Their craftsmanship and design are a result of a lifetime spent paddling and exploring.