The Lotus Designs brand will transition to Patagonia Paddling. At that time, Patagonia will launch a focused product offering under the Patagonia Paddling name. The new line will be highly refined, with a renewed focus on environmentally-friendly materials-including PVC-free foam in all PFDs.

“Patagonia has a long history in paddle sports-it’s a core part of our culture,” said Casey Sheahan, Patagonia’s CEO and President, “As we’ve worked to refine our brand architecture, it’s become evident that the Patagonia name is the strongest brand for this category. All of us here at Patagonia, including our ambassadors, employees and dealers are rallied behind this category and look forward to increasing sales.”

The Spring 2007 Patagonia Paddling line brings exciting changes, most notably a switch to PVC-free Gaia foam in all PFDs. This foam has no CFC ozone-depleting materials and reduces weight without loss in performance. Additionally, two new PFDs make their debut-the Rio Serrano, a sea kayaking-specific style, and the Rio Frio, which is designed for high-performance whitewater paddling. Both new PFDs incorporate Patagonia’s new, FlowFit foam treatment – an innovative technology that allows the PFD to contour around one’s torso for a customized fit.

With the change to Patagonia Paddling, Mark Blume has been promoted to Product Line Manager and Customer Service Manager. Bringing years of paddling business experience to the table, Mark will lead the charge on product direction, while managing the category’s Customer Service efforts.

“Now is the right time to put Patagonia’s name back on our paddling products,” noted Blume, “In Spring 2007, there’s both quality and environmentalism represented throughout the line. Having every product 100% PVC-free sets a benchmark the same way Patagonia did by switching to organic cotton.”

Patagonia extends a sincere thanks to the industry for support of the Lotus Designs brand through the years and promises to make the transition to Patagonia Paddling as smooth and professional as possible.