Friday, April 6, 2007

Where's Dana Chladek?

“I’m not a big thinker. I just paddle.” — Dana Chladek

Like many of you out there, our kayaking or whitewater wardrobes wouldn’t be complete without a few items of Fuzzy Rubber from Dana Chladek’s company, Rapidstyle. I for one love the stuff. And who can beat ‘sticky buns’ as a product name.

Dana’s a hugely talented woman. She emigrated from the former Czechoslovakia at age 5, and is a Dartmouth graduate. She’s a polyglot, and an awesome white-water kayaker, having taken up paddling at 13. She was a Bronze Medalist in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and Silver Medalist in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. She’s also a two time silver medalist in the World Championships and World Cup Champion. All that experience went into what we know as fuzzy rubber and metalite, under the umbrella of her company, Rapidstyle.

But Rapidstyle seems to have vanished off the face of the Internet. I first got a bit worried about nine months ago, when Dana hadn’t updated her site from taking pre-Christmas orders, for 2005. I checked it regularly – nothing had changed on the home page - but now the site’s gone altogether.

So, I went into hunting mode just that bit more, and spoke with Marty at The Jersey Paddler. He confirmed that Dana closed Rapidstyle down about a year ago, and is now concentrating on her children. Can’t fault that! Marty says they’ve got a wee bit of fuzzy rubber left in stock, but that’ll be it after that’s sold.

Thanks, Dana, for all you’ve done with Rapidstyle, and hopefully we’ll see you, and the kids, back on the water soon – and perhaps back in business too!

1 comment:

Michael said...

What, no more fuzzy buns and sticky boobs? The things we do for our children! LOL I wonder if this weather is getting to me...