Not long ago, we were granted inside access to the mind and inner-workings of Lindsay Merchant, founder, owner, and principal designer of North Water Paddle Sports Equipment. We asked him a few questions and were given permission to publish the answers here on the North Water Blog. Our first question for Lindsay was about the history of North Water (i.e. how it all started). Our next question (see below) is about Lindsay's total commitment to manufacturing North Water gear in North America....

NW Blog: One of the stand out issues that you advocate and support is for the manufacturing of N.W. gear and equipment to stay in North America and NOT go to Asia. Why is keeping the manufacturing of N.W. products here so important to you and your business?

Lindsay Merchant: I may be an idealist but one of the fundamental reasons I decided not to manufacture in Asia is that to do so would be a price based conclusion and not a quality of goods based decision. The 'cheaper is better' mentality will only end up leading us into a race to the bottom, where cheaper will never be cheap enough. At North Water we have never lost sight of what value means. By keeping manufacturing here in North America, North Water keep jobs here where we need them, promote innovation with local rescue professionals*, while building products that work well and last, thereby not contribute to the throw away mentality. I think people in the west are finally waking up to the true cost of the cheaper is better mentality, and I hope to see manufacturing make a return to our shores.

* Click here for an example of NW meeting the needs of local rescue officials and professionals.

For more information about North Water gear and customization, visit the NW website or contact Lindsay and his team.