• Vanguard Inflatables

Interview: Jeff Kellogg of Clavey Paddlesports

Earlier this month we had a chance to chat with Jeff Kellogg of Clavey Paddlesports and ask him some questions about his business. Clavey Paddlesports is located in Petaluma, California. Next time you’re traveling through that area be sure to stop in and say “hello”!

Can you tell us a little bit about Clavey Paddlesports and the products and services you offer? At Clavey we specialize in selling and outfitting things that are people-powered and float. We started in the river industry distributing the basics like rafts, paddles and pfd’s. Over the years we’ve branched out a bit and brought in kayaks and SUPS’s in addition to the very best whitewater rafts and accessories.

How long have you been selling Vanguard Inflatables? We met Holly from Vanguard back in 1994. When she made the decision to build her own boats, we were among the first to sign on. I think that was in 2001?

What do you love about these boats? Vanguard rafts are simple, have great build quality and are affordable. The high quality of all the components from fabric to d-rings is unmatched in their price range… and they look great too.

What is your favorite part of being involved in the water sport industry?

We love spending time on the water, and if we can’t be doing that we love helping people get set-up to be on the water. It’s fulfilling to know that know that we’re helping them to invest in gear that will facilitate the creation of lasting and memorable trips with family and friends. More than that though, is this industry is made up of like-minded people. We’ve become friends with many our customers and yes even competitors.

If you only had one Vanguard, which one would it be?

Probably the 14’. It will do most anything you ask of it, paddle raft one day, multi day oar raft the next. But I’d have to have a Vanguard inflatable kayak too–great fun to have on a multi day trip–everyone can take a turn paddling it, and a great toy to have at camp for the kids to play in. Does that count as one? One and a half maybe?

And which river would you like to be on right this moment?

Just about any…as long as I’m there with the folks I like to boat with and using quality, dependable gear that I don’t have to worry about. Like a Vanguard.

Any final words of Clavey wisdom?

I know it’s strange to say because we are in the equipment supply business, but it’s not always about the gear. Yes, it is important to have quality dependable gear, and it can make the difference between a good or bad trip. But gear is really only a way to facilitate memorable experiences. I don’t remember what kind of raft I was in when my daughter turned to me and said “I love being on the river! Whatever that raft was and whatever it cost was priceless because it gave me that memory.

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