Press Releases

Kokatat supports Svalbard Circumnavigation

ARCATA, California – In July, three paddlers will depart on a 2,000 km expedition attempting to be the first team to successfully circumnavigate the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. Titled Ice Bears and Islands, Kayak Around Svalbard 2015, the expedition is expected to take 60-90 days to complete. 


“Svalbard has attracted numerous attempts, and is one of the last great firsts left in expedition paddling,” said Lisa Kincaid, Kokatat PR/Promotional Marketing Manager.

The three-paddler team is made up New Zealanders Jamie Sharp and Tara Mulvany and Norwegian explorer Per Gustav Porsanger. Sharp, the expedition leader, is an accomplished paddler and guide, and is the co-founder of World Wild Adventures, an international guiding and adventure company. In 2013 Mulvany became the first woman to paddle around both the North Island and the whole of New Zealand. Along with local knowledge, Porsanger brings military and cold weather expertise, which will be useful in warding off polar bears and surviving in the extreme environment.

 To fend off the frigid water and cold air temperatures, the team will be relying on Kokatat GORE-TEX® dry suits and insulation apparel. The team will also be using the new Kokatat Maximus Centurion PFD, which along with Kokatat’s exceptional fit and comfort features multiple storage options so the paddlers have quick and convenient access to gear.

 Besides the challenging weather conditions of the archipelago, the team will encounter a 300 km uninterrupted stretch of glacial cliffs, polar bears, and potential ice pack. As a result of these challenges none of the previous attempts to circumnavigate Svalbard have been successful.

To learn more about Ice Bears and Islands and follow the expedition progress visit

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”.