Non-traditional sports and activities have seen great growth in recent years. While basketball, football and other “ball” sports still dominate the airwaves, extreme sports and outdoor recreational activities like kayaking and stand up paddle boarding are getting more attention, too, judging by recent news.
According to Plastics News, Pelican International Inc. is opening another production facility in Quebec. This will be the second of such facilities and is a direct result of growing consumer demand. In fact, Pelican has been at maximum production capacity at its Laval, Quebec headquarters plant and even had to resort to contracting out some of the work they couldn’t accommodate.
“It made sense in the past year to go ahead with our own new plant,” said Pelican marketing director Vincent Bedard in a phone interview.
According to the company, they are currently the largest plastic kayak building business on the planet, thanks in large part to the capabilities of their production style. They built their two millionth boat in 2014 and already employ more than 450 people at their Laval plant. They utilize thermoforming, blow molding, and rotational molding methods in their plastic operations to create these recreational products.
These plastic techniques are all slightly unique and different in their own way. For example, rotational molding is a four-stage process that involves using heat to melt and fuse plastic resin into a mold. No pressure is used, unlike most plastic molding procedures.
The new production facility will eventually employ more than 200 people and help them keep up with the growing demand for these outdoor activity accessories.
“The time had come for us to seriously grow our production capabilities,” said Antoine and Christian Elie, brothers who have owned the company since the 1980s, in a news release.