Brian HenryThe West Coast of British Columbia is wild, beautiful, and home to some of the best sea kayaking on the planet. Adventurous explorers had long been using sea kayaks as the craft of choice to travel these magnificent waters when Brian Henry started paddling the coastal waterways. But Brian was a visionary, and as time went by, he saw the need for better boats and equipment for true kayak enthusiasts. It was at this moment in the late 1970’s Current Designs was born. Brian started small, as most boat builders do, designing and building kayaks to enable his friends and him to better explore these waters. Brian quickly became very well known locally for his kayaking trips and paddling skills. In 1981 he took his passion a step further by opening Ocean River Sports, a little specialty store on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, in Victoria, B.C. This small retail shop formed the foundation for launching Current Designs to the world.

The first production kayaks were designed and built in early 1982 with the introduction of the Pisces and Equinox. These models were pure West-coast cruisers and became the cornerstone for the Current Designs brand. In 1984, the Solstice kayak family was introduced. These boats were a unique blend of North American and European design that were visually appealing, very functional, comfortable and extremely efficient. The Solstice family was extremely successful and to this day is the flag-ship line for Current Designs.

As the market for sea kayaks grew, production levels, new designs, refinements and quality improvements became necessary. Campbell Black, a plastics specialist, became a major working partner in the company and under his leadership, production techniques and quality assurance improved. New models were introduced through partnerships with Mike famous designers. Legendary British kayaker Derek Hutchinson teamed with Current Designs to produce such great kayaks as the Gulfstream, Slipstream, and Andromeda. New England-based kayak designer Barry Buchanan partnered with Current Designs to manufacture his famous hard chined kayak, the Caribou. Most recently Nigel Foster and Current Designs brought the Rumor to the worlds waters.

Roto-molded polyethylene kayak production was quickly added to Current Designs’ manufacturing repertoire. These rugged kayaks introduced the Current Designs brand to first time buyers, outfitters and rental operations at amazingly aff ordable prices. The success of these roto-molded kayaks flowed directly from the designs of their composite sisters. Continuous research and development in design, materials and manufacturing techniques helped maintain Current Designs promise of quality, innovation and performance.

As the popularity of kayaking boomed, Current Designs applied their expertise to develop a recreational kayak family, the Kestrels. The Kestrels set the standard for what is possible in a recreational kayaks by delivering paddling effi ciency and comfort in innovative, light weight constructions. These super stable crafts are responsible for unlocking the thrill of kayaking to many thousands world wide. In another manufacturing first, Current Designs introduced the light weight Vision family of transitional kayaks in 2008. Together with their sea kayak sisters, the Visions and Kestrels broadened Current Designs into the fullest and fi nest line of kayaks ever produced.

In 1991, Wenonah Canoe Inc., the leading U.S. manufacturer of composite canoes, was selected as the strategic partner to distribute Current Designs kayaks in the United States. The synergy between the companies was immediately evident, both companies produced the highest quality paddling products and were passionate about their products and paddling. Wenonah Canoe purchased majority ownership of Current Designs in 1999 and in 2004 moved its home base to the small Mississippi River town of Winona, MN. Today, Current Designs and its parent company Wenonah Canoe continue to operate with the same values that trace back to their first boats; innovation, superior construction, performance, and extraordinary service.