Paddle Powerhouse Pelican Supersizes, Buys Confluence Outdoor

Pelican International made huge news today in the paddling world by acquiring Confluence Outdoor.

Pelican International was already a major paddlesports manufacturer. But today, the manufacturer got a whole lot bigger. It acquired major paddlesports gear provider Confluence Outdoor, which now makes Pelican the largest provider of paddlesports gear in the industry.

Pelican International (no relation to Pelican Products) is based in Quebec, Canada. It makes everything from canoes and kayaks to fishing boats, pedal boats, and standup paddleboards.

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Confluence Outdoor also makes kayaks, canoes, standup paddleboards, and more. Confluence owns several storied brands — Wilderness Systems, Perception, Mad River Canoe, Harmony Gear, Dagger, and Boardworks. These will now fall under the Pelican umbrella.

“This paddlesports powerhouse will offer a complete lineup of products spanning all paddlesports categories, catering to the needs of all types of consumers,” said Antoine Élie, co-founder of Pelican International.

And now, it will have an even broader offering of gear for all types of paddlesports. Pelican and Confluence merging into one is a smart move, given that they are arguably two of the biggest leaders in the industry. The combined company now has more than 800 employees and multiple locations across North America.

The Paddlesports Industry

But Pelican’s acquisition of Confluence will also mean huge changes in the industry itself, specifically for competitors like Werner Paddles.

And the industry is getting more and more competitive. Last year, two kayak companies KL Outdoor and Canada-based GSC Technologies, merged to form Hemisphere Design Works. Several months ago though, they announced the closing of the company. Despite this, other companies in the industry have successfully merged over the years.

For example, Bonafide Kayaks merged with BIG Adventures earlier this year, and two North Carolina kayak companies, Hurricane Kayaks and Legacy Paddlesports, merged in 2015. Werner Paddles also partnered with Kialoa Paddles in January to streamline manufacturing operations.

For Pelican and Confluence Outdoor, the industry is their oyster. “The acquisition aims to capitalize on the strengths and capabilities of two synergistic businesses and brands … in a consolidating and globalizing industry,” said Danick Lavoie, president of Pelican International.

Mary Murphy
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Mary is based in Denver, Colorado, but frequently travels abroad. Her outdoor interests span from climbing to landscape photography to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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