it's an Ace
In 2014 Spade Kayaks and the Ace of Spades were born
A paddler owned company
Founder & CEO
Spade Kayaks is the brainchild of Hans Mayer, an incurable optimist and motivator. At a time when a large majority of the whitewater kayaks weigh over 25 kg and innovation has to mainly satisfy marketing and profit targets, Hans recognised the opportune moment to found a company to build boats for paddlers with aspirations.
Hans has been a paddler for over 30 years. Kayak Session describes Hans like this: »Mayer has an eagle eye for new trends in paddle cultur. And he has the energy to transform his visions into action.«
Product Design & Sales
Olli is a legend. Not only because he became freestyle world champion in 1995 and his textbooks can today be found in every paddler’s bookshelf. No, also because he is an untiring advisor offering advice and analysis. Olli has been influential in the design of boats such as Dagger’s RPM or the Necky Blunt, and due to his kayak courses, he knows the demands ambitious paddlers place on their equipment. Olli’s scientific view of kayaking and his experience are reflected in all aspects of Spade Kayaks.
Product Design & Chief Tester
Whether in a kayak or on skis, Matze is sure of his lines like no-one else, and has an inner calmness comparable to that of a Buddhist monk. Commenting on his band Balloon Pilot, the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote: »A minimum of sounds, with maximum effect«.
This keynote also describes Matze’s contribution to Spade Kayaks: When a product fulfils his technological and aesthetic requirements, then it is good enough for the greatest tasks which the sport has to offer.
Product Design & 3D Modeling
Jan is a graduate industrial designer, his skills enable us to shape kayaks perfectly according to our ideas, to push them through our rigorous checking procedure – and maybe once again finally scrap them. Jan conducts research at the forefront of plastics technology for the car industry. Similar to Olli, he is a specialist in his field, and having started to explain polyamide vacuum infusion resin transfer molding, he usually cuts short after a few overly complex sentences with »That would be too complex at this stage«.
Graphic Design & Photography
Jens admits having no idea about boat-building. Or about the right materials to use for them. And he is not really a gushing optimist or visionary either, sometimes even the little pessimist in him comes to the fore – but maybe it is just that quality with which he rounds off the team. As a photographer, when it’s all about reducing things to the essentials, Jens is on a par with the development team. That’s why Jens is responsible for the visual appearance of the company.
a paddler owned company
We are a young company.
But we ain’t no greenhorns.
We are a young company. But we ain’t no greenhorns. Spade Kayaks has a backup of a few generations of paddlers, with an overall paddling experience of more than 125 years.
We are paddlers. Human beings that have spent time of their life time traveling around the globe, searching for the perfect river. Paddling is a state of mind and a way of living and therefore plain essential for all of us.
But how perfect can the perfect river be, without the perfect boat? We always wanted to build our own kayak, according to our ideas and conceptions.
Mission accomplished? We have no clue. So far. But we sure keep on working hard to get as close as possible, as soon as possible to our objective target. Word.
#spadegang paddling team