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Did you hear?…Epic Kayaks hires new general manager

John Radel left his post as general manager for Epic Kayaks on March 22, and Vince Bechet has been named as his replacement.

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John Radel, former general manager of Epic Kayaks (, has left the company, and Vince Bechet was named the new general manager on March 22, according to Greg Barton, president of Epic Kayaks.

“Yes, John Radel and Epic are parting ways,” Barton told SNEWS®. “John is helping with a smooth transition during the handover. We’re thankful for his work with Epic over the past two and a half years and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

Radel told SNEWS that he left Epic because he and the owners of the company had different opinions on how to move the company forward.

“We just didn’t agree on how to get where Epic wants to go,” said Radel. “There are multiple roads to success, and I was on one road and the owners were on another. From a long-term perspective, we just weren’t on the same page enough.”

However, Radel said he departed the company on good terms.

“Our splitting ways is as amicable as can be,” said Radel. “I look at this as just a difference of opinion. This doesn’t take away any respect I have for the ownership or what the company is trying to achieve. It’s a somewhat unique situation. Greg will probably be, if not the best, then one of the top two to three employers I’ll have.”

Radel said he’s still deciding what type of job to take next, but offers from other paddlesports companies are already rolling in.

“Honestly, it’s been quite humbling. I’ve gotten such tremendous feedback from people sending offers my way,” he said.

Radel said that if he doesn’t take a traditional job with a paddlesports company, he has a few things he’d like to consider.

“I’ve been doing stuff in the paddlesports industry (for) 20 years, and I would love to do something to just promote paddling and give back to the industry,” said Radel. He would also consider working to help build a small company. “I really like the idea of working for a small company, finding good people and helping them make the company what they want it to be.” He has also considered going back to school and then working as an outdoor recreation educator.

In any case, he said it probably wouldn’t be long before he’ll be back working in the paddlesports market.

Radel joined Epic Kayaks in 2007 (click here to read the press release announcing his hiring). Before serving as Epic’s general manger, Radel held the sales manager position at Wenonah Canoe.

Barton noted that Bechet, Epic’s new general manager, has a degree in accounting, an MBA, and most recently worked as creative services director at KHON2 Fox Broadcasting in Hawaii.

–Marcus Woolf