Press Releases

Kokatat outfits Pacific crossing expedition for veterans’ charities

ARCATA, CALIFORNIA, (June 4, 2013)— Kokatat is supporting two military veterans who will attempt to cross the Pacific Ocean by kayak to raise awareness for two non-profit organizations that benefit those who served, and those that gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. The team of Clay Biles and R.W. Hand will depart this weekend June 8th.

Retired military veterans Clay Biles and R.W. Hand will paddle from Monterey, California to Maui, Hawaii to raise awareness for the Navy SEAL Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project. Hand is a former U.S. Army Ranger, and retired Federal Air Marshal; his paddling partner Biles is a Security professional with thousands of miles of ocean kayak paddling experience.

Inspired by Edward Gillett’s 1987 Pacific crossing, the two seasoned paddlers will become only the third team in history to attempt the 2,200-mile journey by kayak. In the event the two are separated each will make their own way to Hawaii.

Each boat will carry the means to buoy their boats with two sea anchors on each kayak. In addition, each kayak will carry a reverse osmosis water pump, 64 days of food, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), a GPS tracking device, satellite phone, laminated hard map, sextant, medical supplies, and a spare paddle.

Kokatat has outfitted the expedition team with its award winning gear including:

• GORE-TEX® Expedition Dry Suits
• Maximus Prime PFDs with Electronics Sling
• GORE-TEX® Action Jackets
• TROPOS Swift Dry Pants
• GORE-TEX® Norwesters
• Medium Weight Hand Jackets
• Lightweight Hand Jackets

The team will be keeping a video log during the voyage. For additional information and updates, visit the expedition website.

About Kokatat Inc.

Kokatat has been manufacturing paddling gear in Arcata, California for more than 40 years. At a time when many technical apparel brands were moving manufacturing offshore, Kokatat continued to invest in infrastructure in the United States. Kokatat founder Steve O’Meara was committed to the development of the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world and recognized the need to control and continually evolve the development of our dry wear. In the early days, Kokatat worked closely with W.L. Gore & Associates, makers of GORE-TEX®, to refine the sewing and sealing techniques required for full immersion suits and tops. Today, our hands-on approach to manufacturing continues to set the standard in paddling apparel. Into the water with Kokatat! Please visit and follow Kokatat on Facebook and Twitter “@kokatat”.