The One Ocean Kayaks story

At the age of nine I began my life long passion with the fastest of human powered craft - the rowing shell. Throughout my 14 year rowing 'career', I have raced in countless regattas and in every class category that the sport of rowing had to offer. By dedication and perseverance, I was privileged to become a member of the Czechoslovak National Rowing Team which enabled me to travel throughout Europe to compete against the best athletes from around the world.

 

'Into Battle'
European Championships - Grunnau (former East Berlin, Germany)



After leaving Czechoslovakia for Germany, I continued racing there for two years but more importantly, I had the opportunity to join a friend who was a boatbuilder, and work in manufacture of rowing hulls. This is where I harnessed the experience of many thousands of miles in slender shells and became educated in the technical issues of hull design as well as in practical skills of moldmaking and fiberglass/graphite composites.

In the US I later joined the crew at Harvard University, where a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Material Science became yet another step in my understanding of physics, materials, and fluid dynamics.
Having achieved everything I ever dreamt of in the world of rowing, I 'retired' after a last victorious race in the Harvard-Yale regatta.



'Harvard 8'
Head of the Charles (under green buoy)


 

The story of One Ocean Kayaks began when I joined Riverside Boatclub in 1984 and met a rowing friend Maria, who grew up in the small village of Lanesville on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, just a few steps from the Atlantic coast. With her guide, I had the pleasure to discover all the 'secret' nooks and crannies around the North shore that only a native would know.



'Morning race on the Charles'



Not seeing the Sea until the arrival in the US, my enchantment with the beauty of the Ocean was complete. Kayaking was the ideal way to reach peace, secluded lands, and wildlife habitats even in rough conditions. So I cleaned out my basement and decided to brush up on my boatbuilding skills. This time, building a fast kayak with few design restrictions was neither cheap nor practical with solid fiberglass (you could build two to three strip kayaks in the time it takes to create a perfect gel coat) so after a bit of research I decided to give wood stripping a try and have never looked back.
Being approached by people about my kayaks everywhere I travel is a great encouragement and inspiration to give my best in the design and building of high performance ocean kayaks.



 


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Mail:
Vaclav Stejskal
10 Colonial Court apt. 73
Stoneham, MA. 02180
           USA
Tel:  781-481-9261

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Last page update: 27 June 2014