Kokatat celebrates a significant birthday.

Our good friends at Kokatat watersports wear in Arcata, CA. are celebrating forty years of business. What first started out as a company that made high end down clothing, sleeping bags, bivy sacks and accessories for the outdoor market under the name of Blue Puma (a rare cat), later found their true calling in the design and manufacture of drysuits, paddle jackets, insulating layers and pfd’s.

Early drysuit prototype on the first descent of the upper Trisuli River, Nepal 1987 ©Phil DeRiemer

Steve O’Meara, c0-founder and  long-time owner, has always made sure that the environment, his community and employees came first.  He set a course of slow, purposeful growth that cultivated the companies reputation for solid designs, quality construction and performance, great customer service and product loyalty, while keeping much of the production at home.  Many companies in paddle sports have come and gone, morphed or been absorbed by larger, less personal corporations. Kokatat’s soul is still intact.

We’re honored to call them friends, a relationship that goes back over thirty years when, as a young college student in Arcata, Phil worked in their production and retail. Since then we’ve been using their products hard for work and play. They really are a company that cares.

Happy birthday Kokatat.

Learn a bit more about Kokatat, meet Steve O. and some of our other friends through this video.