This video by STANDUP. PADDLING.NET and Jimmy Blakeney of BIC Board describes essential gear including the MTI FLUID Belt Pack inflatable PFDs, paddle leashes and paddles as well as looking at the basic anatomy of your SUP board.

“So gear wise, you’re going to want to have a PFD. This is a personal flotation device. If you’re outside the surf zone, meaning not surfing the board in waves, then you definitely want to have a PFD because the Coast Guard requires it. If you don’t have one on, you can get a ticket if you’re out there on the water without it. This is a nice option because it’s low profile. It’s an inflatable PFD. It goes around your waist like a fanny pack, and you inflate it if you need it. If not, it’s out of the way and low profile. “

Nice job, Jimmy! Thanks for helping to spread the SAFE SUP message. 


A generation has grown up wearing MTI life jackets

Happy 18th Birthday, Allie Colby! Thanks for being a wonderful CHILD life jacket tester since you were first able to run around on the dock at the lake cottage. Now you are our elegant and beautiful ADULT life jacket SUPER MODEL! You inspire us to make life jackets look pretty!

With love,

The PFDiva

(Yes…I know. This is super embarrassing. I am your evil step-mother, you know!)

Need funding? Apply for a Paddle Nation Project Grant

Outdoor Nation has announced that it is accepting applications from individuals between the ages of 18 and 28, or 501c3 non-profit organizations, for The Paddle Nation Project, a grant program that aims to connect young Americans with their waterways through recreational paddling. Outdoor Nation is an initiative of The Outdoor Foundation®, a 501c3 non-profit organization established by Outdoor Industry Association® to inspire and grow future generations of outdoor enthusiasts. The grants are made possible by support and funding from the Outdoor Industry Association Paddle Advisory Council (PAC). PAC is a coalition of top paddlesports manufacturers, retailers, and stakeholders dedicated to advancing and growing participation in paddlesports.  (MTI Adventurewear is a member of PAC)

The Paddle Nation Project will award 10 grants of up to $2,500 each to youth-developed, pioneering projects and initiatives that will result in increased paddling participation. Outdoor Nation will select projects that reinforce the idea that recreational paddling is one of the most accessible and impactful ways to introduce young Americans to the outdoors. In addition to cash awards, Outdoor Nation will also provide technical support and guidance to grant recipients. “We believe that sometimes the smallest awards make the largest differences, particularly among youth,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation. “With these paddle grants, we hope to empower an upcoming generation to engage with the outdoors through all types of paddling, such as stand up, whitewater, kayaking, canoeing, and more.” Outdoor Nation is committed to increasing and expanding youth participation in outdoor recreation thorough entertainment, education, engagement, and action in order to cultivate a healthier, more active generation. During the past year, Outdoor Nation has awarded more than $250,000 to youth for projects that reconnect young people with nature.

Paddle grant applications are due February 15, 2012. SO ACT NOW! The Outdoor Foundation will announce the winners on March 9, 2012. Projects must begin in Winter/Spring 2012 and be completed by July 1, 2012. For more information about the paddle grants or to submit an application, visit

Cold Water Boot Camp Video – watching this could save your life!

The 2nd most common reason people say that they don’t wear a life jacket is because they consider themselves a good swimmer. If that is you, take a look at this. COLD WATER BOOT CAMP is a pretty powerful video showing how a GOOD SWIMMER could quickly be overcome in cold water. It is NO SHAME to wear a life jacket!

Working on 2012

DIO F SPECJAVA hang tagWorking on some new hang tags to grace our NEW products for 2012, and we reached out to our REAL LIFE paddlers for images that showed them with their favorite MTI jacket. So, here’s some of our new Hang Tag SUPER MODELS!

DIO F Spec – Mr. Nathan Raycroft of Anger’s Nook Guided Kayak Fishing of Swansboro, NC

JAVA – Ms. Paige Totman, super star TEVA shoe rep in the North East and retired water ski diva.

PFDiva SE – Ms. Whitney Bush, Recent College Grad and Rutabaga Water Diva Guide from Madison, Wisconsin. Good luck in Italy next year, girl!

MOXIE – Ms. Kara Whittaker of Seattle WA. Wife, Mom, super cool chick. Say no more…

JOURNEY SE – Mr. Mike Cichanowski,urber-paddler and founder/President of Wenonah Canoe & Current Designs, Wenonah, MN.

So… want to be an MTI hang tag model someday too?!?!


Getting ready for OUTDOOR RETAILER 2011

It’s all go at MTI central as our sales, marketing, and design team get ready for our biggest trade show of the year: OUTDOOR RETAILER. We’ll be debuting the 2012 MTI Collection to our dealer partners, the press, and the product reviewers.

JEFF MULLER and GORDON COLBY have been busy this past year, bringing 10 new models to the MTI line for 2012!
* Whitewater
* Professional
* Kids
*Kayak Fishing
* Women Specific
* Versatile Recreational    * and even a new color for the underDOG


Love to SUP-it!

MTI Sales Reps

A little about our MTI sales reps:
We have one in-house sales rep, EMILY DEWIRE, five regional sales reps, and one tech rep. The tech rep, DAVID BLANDING, is brand new – just started working for us this month! David will help wave the MTI flag at events and help with staff training in the SE. He will support Emily’s in-house sales work for the region. Emily handles sales for all states that do not have a regional independent sales rep. Sitting just opposite from me at MTI head quarters in Plympton, MA, Emily worked for EMS as a manager and new store opener for 10 years before taking a break to become a mom. She joined our team ONE YEAR AGO this month.

[Happy Anniversary, Em! We love having you as part of our team!]

Our regional sales rep are:

NEIL TOTMAN for New England, New York, and New Jersey… if it has “NEW” in the front, NEIL covers it! Neil is also the EMOTION KAYAK rep, and often hits the road with his lovely and charming wife, PAIGE. She’s one of the TOP sales rep for TEVA footwear. So between the two of them, they are a SUPER SALES TEAM! We love them – and not JUST because they make a GREAT cocktail at the end of the day. But because they love what they do, and have fun doing it… a lot like us.

CRAIG RICHTER and his sales partner GREG DIDRIKSEN handle the WEST COAST from Washington to California, plus Montana, Idaho, and Nevada. Craig has worked longer for MTI than anyone – even longer than me and Gordon (9 years) and Lisa Chandler (accounts payable, 11 years and still counting!). Which means he’s worked for MTI since flotation was invented. OK… maybe not that long, but I bet it must feel like it for him! Thank goodness he has Greg to help him cover that HUGE territory! Greg is an adventure-hound. He loves sky diving, whitewater kayaking, and overseas travel. He and his wife Kristiana just got back from an AWESOME trip to the NEPAL! [yes.. we are very jealous here, Greg…but thanks for posting the cool pics on facebook as you were traveling!]

CHRIS SIME is our sales rep for a few key accounts like West Marine and Academy. Chris is based in Minnesota, and works for Takashina USA – the former owners of MTI. So we know Chris from TKUSA days. It’s nice to still be “on the same team.”

Last but not least, our man in the great state of TEXAS is TOM JESTER. Tom is the NATIVE KAYAK rep, and also handles Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana. So he puts on a few miles covering his territory. But they are used to that in his neck of the woods! Tom’s been selling for MTI since 2005. He and his wife Debbie live north of Houston in the Hill Country of Texas. Their ranch is on 500 feet of the headwaters of the Guadalupe River – with excellent Kayak fly fishing on their doorstep. A nice place to come home to after a long sales trip.

So if you meet one of our reps in the field, please be nice to them for me, OK? They are neat individuals, hard working, and dedicated to Paddlesports. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them!

Chief PFDiva

Are you serious about KAYAK FISHING?

When our product designer, Jeff Muller, asked me what we could do to improve the features of our F-SPEC OUTFITTING as found on the Solaris F-SPEC and the PFDiva F-SPEC, my first response was….”hummm, I gotta think about that a bit, sunshine.”  After all, I am NOT a fishing expert. Although I did grow up on Pewaukee Lake in SE Wisconsin, where just off our pier near Beach Park Circle droves of fishermen would float around in search of the famous monster MUSKIE (or is that MUSKY?).  And my Dad, John Koch, and my brother Johnny AKA “the Iceman”, are big catch and release fly fishermen (from Wis to Alaska , to the Gunnison River in Colorado)…growing up with fishermen AROUND you does not make you an expert. What we need is the feedback and expert advice of real users.  We need REAL REELERS here!

And so to facebook and our professional fishing-folk friends we turn.


We THANK YOU for your input. YOU help us build a better mouse-trap. Or is that FISH-TRAP?

Lili Colby

Cheif PFDiva


Fisher folk come in both sexes...

New PFDiva F-SPEC for customer at Jersey Paddler's PADDLEFEST 2010