Palm is a paddler-owned company founded by Andy Knight and Bob Slee.
The business is based in the south West of England within easy reach of some of the UK's best surf, coastal exploration and white-water paddling - a good base to become absorbed by paddle sport.
Lack of equipment available in the late 70's lead Andy and Bob into making glass fibre kayaks for them selves and a few friends. Soon requests for boats came from more friends, then friends of friends and so leaving jobs behind they started a business - Palm.
At the time kayaks were not so specialised- you used the same boat for pretty much everything, but Palm along with other pioneers of the time began to evolve the possibilities. Surfing is where Palm stood out - building surf kayaks then surf ski's (the first Sit-on-tops) the reputation for innovation and quality grew.
As with boats, kit at the time was limited and basic. Spurred on by some sewing machines a few rolls of nylon and ideas of how paddling apparel should be 'Gear For Paddlers' was born in 1980 with a design of spray deck and a paddle top.
Colour and attention to detail have always been watchwords for Palm gear and it was this that created a wave of interest when Andy and Bob piled stock into a car and took Palm to shows and the few shops around the UK.
Sales went well and it was not long before more products were added and more sewing machines bought. Up until this time Palm was based in an old Nissan hut where time was often spent keeping the roof from leaking rather than sending kit out! By the mid eighties, a visit to the bank manager got the go ahead for new premises to be built on Portishead's Harbour road.
The company remained there for fifteen years and grew with many products and people coming on board along the way. Leading the way, Palm supported the first ever rodeo world championships; saw their surf ski's going Ariel and also moved boat production from glass fibre to plastic. Paddlers using Palm loved the colour, cut and innovation and the company was the first in paddle sport to employ specialist product designers and also progress with new materials like Gore-tex.
By the mid 90's the Harbour Road HQ was bursting at the seams despite having taken over the building next door. The bank manager was visited again and a new site was found in Clevedon. In 1999 Palm moved into a purpose built HQ that housed clothing production but also a new purpose built kayak oven to make Dagger kayaks for Europe.
That was nearly 8 years ago - the factory has since been extended to accommodate more boats and the Palm apparel warehouse never fails to take visitors breath away with the amount of products. Palm's product line is now well over a thousand items and is sold all over the world and used at every level.
Still after this time it is owned by Andy and Bob the founders and more importantly the mission of the company to make the best and most innovative gear remains the same as when it started.
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Palm Equipment Featured
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Gear (Functional Paddle Wear)
+44 1275 798100
+44 1275 798110
Kenn Business Park
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