Today I sit down with Andre Santos CEO of Nelo Kayaks one of the world largest and leading manufacturers of performance kayaks.   While Nelo is a relatively new brand to the US market,  on the world stage it has been highly regarded for over a decade as the leading innovator and pioneer in building the boats that own the Olympic podium.   In 2016 Nelo boats won over 75% of the sprint kayak medals in Rio.   While Nelo has built a few surfskis over the years, they got very serious about expanding into surfskis when they brought on Oscar Chalupsky as CEO of Nelo SURFSKI.    Oscar has been working closely with Andre and the Nelo team  applying their deep expertise in producing the fastest boats in the world, to very quickly launch an entire line-up of new and innovative surfskis.

This is my first ever in person Podcast.   Andre and I grabbed a quite space at the Douro Academy after the 510 Winter Cup race, to catch up and discuss all the latest and greatest happenings at Nelo.  We cover a wide range of topics including:

  • The launch of the 510 Cup,  what it is about,  why it was launched, and how it will serve as a catalyst to grow the sport of surfski paddling around the world
  • The launch of the new Nelo Surfski line up including the 510, 520, yet to be released 550, 560, and the 600.   Andre talks us through the thought process in creating this lineup, who each boat is targeted toward, and some of the unique innovations that went into the boats
  • Nelo is well known for producing some of the coolest, wildest, and most outlandish graphics and paint jobs on the water.  We talk about how this is embedded in their DNA and the creativity, passion, and pride that the Nelo team takes in building these boats that allows customers to express their individuality on the water
  • Of course the podcast wouldn’t be complete without the million dollar question, how is it working with Oscar Chalupsky? –  I put Andre on the spot to tell the world what it’s like trying to keep up with the energy, passion, and drive that Oscar brings to everything he does

I hope you enjoy this podcast as much as I enjoyed my three days in Porto paddling the Nelo boats, touring the factory, touring the Douro Valley Wine Region, and of course soaking up every bit of wisdom I could from a great team of boat experts and paddlers.