Lendal Paddles Dropped From Johnson Outdoors 2010 Product Catalog
Lendal has been pulled from the 2010 Johnson Outdoors catalog. Rumors abound about their eventual purchase by another larger company *SKUK*?. For those of us that bought a Lendal before Johnson Outdoors prior to the purchase, they made a fine paddle that lots of us used to go places, surf, run rivers, and even lily dip through a few ponds. While I really like my Werner paddles, I don’t think a marketplace dominated by one manufacturer is ever a good thing (see Google, Microsoft, Apple et al).
Lendal kept Werner on it’s toes. Certainly Werner would never have even attempted to make a 4-piece take apart unless Lendal was dominating that space. Unfortunately Lendal’s move to Maine and management at Johnson Outdoors has tarnished their brand a bit. For the sake of the sport, I hope Lendal re-emerges from this period as a serious contender again. While my posts on Lendal quality problems probably did nothing to help their brand image, my intent was to point out that bigger isn’t always better. Johnson Outdoors didn’t help a small company and brand do anything better. It didn’t market the product any better, it didn’t help them innovate the product line at all, and they certainly didn’t help manufacture them any better. So now Lendal is down, hopefully not out, and Johnson can move on without really caring about the wreckage they left behind. Not sure how any of this helped paddle sports at all…
Good luck to Lendal, and I hope we get to see a few more on the water.