In Business: Crow Wing Kayaks Offer High-Quality, Locally-Made Kayaks To Lakes Area And Beyond
A small company in Crosslake has been busy gearing up for the upcoming summer season and has been preparing orders for their locally-made, sit-on-top kayaks.
It wasn’t until Jim Bergquist was introduced to a Crow Wing Kayaks that he fell in love with paddling.
“I hadn’t done that much paddling before. I worked at a dock and lift company and they had this brand of kayaks there and I just kind of fell in love with those,” said Crow Wing Kayaks owner Jim Bergquist.
He bought Crow Wing Kayaks eight years ago and has since grown to selling and renting paddle boards, bikes, and, of course, kayaks.
“We sell, we rent, we take people down the river on them. We shuttle people to area lakes and streams,” Bergquist explained.
Crow Wing Kayaks are made with a tough but lightweight polyethylene material. The manufacturing process starts in Little Falls at Rotomolding Inc. where the kayaks are molded and then sent to Crosslake for the finishing touches.
“Starting this year we’re going to rotomold them in Little Falls. We get the basic hull and then we take them here and we add all the things on them,” explained Bergquist.
What makes Crow Wing Kayaks unique is their durability and the stability they provide with being sit-on-top kayaks.
“It’s so totally non-threatening, so stable, that most people are just amazed at it and that’s a great way to introduce them to the sport of paddling,” said Bergquist.
They are also proud of the fact that they are made right here in the Lakes area.
“There’s a lot of other options out there but there’s not a locally made product, and people take a great deal of pride in that,” Bergquist said.
Bergquist is not sure what the future holds for Crow Wing Kayaks, but he is hopeful that it will keep growing well into the future.
“I am looking for someone to buy in to or kind of take the business to the next level. I’m 66 and I’d like to see it go on and grow,” added Bergquist. “I think there’s a great deal of potential with it.”