Author: Adam Bratton
Read Time: 4 mins
I was slumped over in a chair at O’Hare Airport in August of 2022 after a red eye flight from Anchorage, AK when I got a text from a familiar number. I was flanked by a couple of, also slumped, adventure buddies as we were partially home from a mind blowing 100+ mile packrafting trip from Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve to Kobuk Valley National Park (another journal for another time).
The text, from a former co-worker, previous HPM Guest Contributor (See: “The Joys of Being A Beginner”), and flat out incredible human being, was from Megan Somloi, the Ecomm & Marketing Manager of Bend, OR based Aquaglide. They were planning the release of a brand new ultra-light inflatable kayak and wanted to showcase the versatility of the boat for its spring 2023 launch. I was still stoked from the Alaskan expedition, was familiar with the Aquaglide brand, and knew that this aligned perfectly with what we are doing with Human Powered Movement. I sat straight up and felt another wave of adventure energy guiding me downriver.
I don't even have to look back to re-read my exact response, I know it was along the lines of “Heck yeah … Let’s do it!” The Cirrus Ultralight is Aquaglide’s answer to the need for an all-in-one flatwater kayak at a minuscule 14.75 pounds. It's highly packable, functional, and capable for a wide range of paddling adventures.
As a Pacific Northwest brand, they were looking for a way to showcase their products in a different part of the country and the Carolinas provided the perfect backdrop. Easy to access multi-sport day options, speedy after work paddling sessions, and quick trips to the upcountry for alpine lake exploration. The versatility of the region and the new kayak alike is the basis of the short film below that coincided with the Cirrus product launch. The piece, by Dylan Brown, also beautifully captured my personal approach to outdoor adventure and the fundamental reasons for the creation of Human Powered Movement.
Personally, I’m a fan of Aquaglide’s simple approach to getting people on, and enjoying, water through their products (Aquapark, Lakefront, and Kayaks/SUPs). It’s not entirely different to Human Powered Movement’s goal of encouraging more activity in people’s lives in whatever way works best for them. These are the reasons why we’ve continued to build a relationship together beyond just the video and product launch.
On the professional side, we appreciate their support for what HPM is doing … We’ve hosted multiple Aquaglide East Coast demos events, have a standing discount code for our followers (Pro Tip: “humanpowered”), and even gave away a brand new kayak to help us raise critical dollars for Charlotte's local non-profit waterkeeper member, the Catawba Riverkeeper during our recent South Fork Sampler Adventure Race. Anyone that has been along the HPM ride, knows that we work to align with and appreciate brands that have a viable sustainability initiative to their business.
On the personal side, I love having a few more tools in the gear tool box to use (See: “Like a Kid On Christmas Morning, New Gear Always Excites”). I’ve paddled kayaks with the family on Spring Break, paddle through the world's largest plume of Rocky Shoal Spider Lilies with my mom for Mother’s Day, and have ongoing after school SUP sessions with with my kiddos.
Long story short, I’m stoked to dive deeper (personally and professionally) with another authentic outdoor brand that is doing great things to get people outside and active, in more ways. These types of brand interactions and feedback from the HPM community continue to inspire me and the ongoing efforts that are poured into growing these relationships and this platform.
And if you happen to see my ugly mug on the side of the Cirrus Ultralight box when you are walking through REI, or any of other retailer that sells Aquaglide, wave hello and know that I'm stoked for you and your own paddling adventures.
Journal - New Boat, New Partnership, New Adventures
Human Powered Journal
Writings and musings of an active lifestyle
Adam Bratton is the Founder and Head Enabler at Human Powered Movement.
Guest Contributors are more compelling in written word and life in general.