The Story of Meek Paddles
A passion for lightweight and strong equipment
In 1996, after winning the World Marathon Championships, Chad Meek (Meek Paddles founder) was inspired to build his own ultralight kayak.
" I was completely inspired by the 6kg kayak I borrowed to race in 1996. Nothing this light was available in Australia at the time, so I taught myself to make my own honeycomb K1. After a few attempts and a trip to the hospital with resin in my eye, I made a 5kg K1. I raced in this and came 2nd at the World Championships in 1997 and then the following year the weight limit was set at 8kg for a K1. I had learnt an enormous amount about the manufacturing process and also the benefit of taking risks with trial and error in your manufacturing processes. If you want to make something different or better, you need to enter new territory and see what is possible." - Chad Meek
1996 WORLD MARATHON CHAMPIONSHIP K1 RACE (Chad Meek in 6kg K1)
1997 was the beginning of an obsession with manufacturing and product innovations. The goal was to maximise the performance through lightweight construction but maintain the strength and durability. This is no easy task and required constant innovation. There is no point making something lightweight if it doesn't have the strength to get you through the bangs and crashes of the race and get you to the finish line.
Meek Kayaks manufactured all manner and lay-ups of marathon and sprint kayaks, touring craft and sea kayaks. In 2008 Chad formed a partnership with his wife Skye who also raced at an elite level in kayaking and has a degree in Exercise and Sports Science. Teaming together with a slightly more scientific approach to production, design and business they decided to turn their full attention to kayak paddles and Meek Paddles began.
Today, Chad still manufactures every single Meek Paddle with his own hands. Innovating new production methods is quite an obsession. With the addition of 3 children Skye now spends her time running the business and keeping Chad's inventions under control.
By far the most exciting and fun chapter in Meek Paddles history is currently unfolding with the latest revolutionary construction change with The ultralight weight Meek Warrior Construction.
Meek Paddles is a family owned and opperated business based in Mansfield near Lake Eildon in the Victorian High Country.