Most kayakers use cam straps to tie down their kayaks. Here’s an option for those times when you need a little more gripping power. The FlipTite tie-down strap is just as easy to use as a cam strap but tightens just as much as ratchet strap.
Ok, so we're number ten. But hey, we made it, didn't we? We are so honored and it happened all while we were unaware. One day we got a notice that said we were in the top ten of all the bike racks in the world. Well, what were we to think? It's a joke. It's a scam. But check out this video. It's the real deal! And look, we are the first ones in the video. Sweet!
The unfortunate part is that they had reviewed an earlier version. The racks that we make now are much stronger. We changed the design slightly, beefed it up a bit, and the rack can easily support up to 150 pounds or more. Gosh, we sure hope your bike doesn't weigh that much!
We recently learned that Greg Guirard has died.
If you have never heard of Greg, let me tell you a little about him.
Tim and I were blessed to meet Greg in November 2015. New found friends of ours in Baton Rouge, LA arranged for us to meet him at his home on the Atchafalaya Basin, St. Martin Parish, LA. Greg welcomed us into his home, self-constructed of hand-hewn cypress boards he himself salvaged from the bottom of the Basin. To meet Greg was to be in the presence of someone holy. He had an aura of peace around him. He was passionate about the survival of the world, especially that of his home in the Atchafalaya Basin. He could navigate the bayous with his eyes shut, just about, as could his best friend Roy Blanchard, whom we spent the afternoon with traversing between and around cypress trees and knees on his home-made aluminum boat.
To walk onto Greg’s yard, you were first met with barns of wood - lots of wood. There was wood everywhere, leaning against tree trunks, abandoned old trucks, barn walls. Yet he knew where every piece was. He explained to us how he reclaimed the sunken cypress, showed us the pecky cypress, and then gave us a piece to take home!
But Greg was much more than a woodworker. He was a photographer, an author, a teacher, a naturalist - the Basin Keeper. In The Land of Dead Giants, Greg wrote about a life growing up in the Basin. In all of his books - Inherit the Atchfalaya, Seasons of the Light and Atchafalaya Autumn to name a few, when you open the cover, you are rewarded with mesmerizing photographs of the Bayou, from the eyes of a true Cajun.
Greg was a gentle man. A passionate, loving, caring, honest friend of all. When you were with Greg, you fell silent, not wanting to miss anything he had to say with his soft-spoken voice.
As we prepared to depart Greg’s home (after failed attempts to get his resident crocodile to come out for a bite to eat), he invited us back, anytime. My hope was to visit him again, to listen to his words of wisdom. Greg gave us a warm embrace, and in that moment, we knew we were in the presence of one of God’s chosen ones.
You’ve done well Greg. Rest in peace. We’ll take care of the Basin for you.
Donations can be sent to: Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, P.O. Box 410 Plaquemine, LA 70765 in Greg’s name.
I'm always a bit surprised when we get so many orders during the summer months for Ski Racks. Here's a letter we got today from a guy (president of a risk management consulting firm) who was able to ski 26 times last season. I feel lucky if I can fit in a half dozen!
I had a record number of days skiing this year (26), most were powder days. Hope you and your family got your fair share of skiing in this season as well.
Montana Rockies got almost a foot of snow on Labor day so already thinking about skiing - no better way to keep it up front than to get my skies on the wall and look at them every day as I head to work (why I work).
An email from a customer showed up to say:
Hi Jeannie, I purchased your Talic Kayak Condo (Single) storage rack. I have not opened the package I received. What is your return policy? I don't think I want to get into kayaking after all. Thanks, Tom
Oh, I couldn’t leave that alone. Not try kayaking or canoeing? I love kayaking and canoeing!!
Jeannie: You can certainly return the Kayak Condo.
Just curious, why aren’t you going to give kayaking a try? It can be whatever you want it to be! Some love the thrill of the white water (not me!), some like to explore down twisting, gentle rivers (fun!!) and many just relax on the water. That’s me most of the time. I live too far from the Adirondacks to kayak like I would like, but we do have a Finger Lake right here. Sometimes after a long day at work, my husband and I make that extra effort to get the boats on the car, drive to the lake, and get out onto the water. Being on the water, paddling slowly, relaxes me. And the ice cream after always tastes so good.
But it’s not for everyone. Do what makes you happy!!
Tom: Thanks for the quick and inquiring response. Why don't I give kayaking a try? Jeannie, my response is that I'm not quite sure I want to spend a lot of money on a new sport that I might not be capable of handling, enjoyably, as I age. I'll be turning to age 69 this year and I want to be in a sport that my body can handle as I age. Correct me if I'm wrong, but kayaking seems to be a sport for younger, more able-bodied people. I'm in great physical and mental shape at the moment. Just don't know how long that would last. I notice how tennis players a bit older than me have slowed down on the courts. Plus, I have enough else to to do keep me satisfied. I have tennis, biking, a gym membership, am trying to learn Spanish, and will be going on a London vacation in September.
Jeannie: Wow! You’re running circles around me Tom, and I’m 59! Tennis, biking, working out? That’s all really high-energy activity! You better take up kayaking just to rest :)
You are wrong though, kayaking is not just for the young and able-bodied. That’s why I really like it. Anyone can do it, at just about any age, even at 69, and beyond. ;)
I tried to get our local school to add it to the Phys. Ed program. The high school is right on the Owasco Outlet, just a few paddle strokes from the Owasco Lake. Kayaking is great because it doesn’t have to cost a lot, you can do it alone or with friends, and you can continue to paddle as you age. Not so with football! But, you know high schools and their football. How many 50 and 60 and 70 year olds are out there playing football?
I would suggest you try out some boats. Be wary of the big flat kayaks they sell at Dicks, BJ’s, and the like. They may look fun to start out with it - stable too. But they are so wide, it takes too much work just to keep the dumb things going straight! You can get a really stable boat that still paddles and tacks nicely through the water. Another thing to consider is how heavy the boat is. If you had to lift the boat yourself onto the top of your car, how much can you lift, now and in the future? They make some really light kayaks, the one that comes to mind is SlipStream. One model is only 10 pounds!
I didn’t learn to paddle until I was 50, and I still consider myself a novice. I really don’t get out there that often. I do enjoy it when I do, and therefore encourage everyone to give it a try. My motto is choose something, anything, that makes you happy inside. Just live!! :) Sounds like you do!!
It was nice talking with you - keep active, enjoy life! :) If you have a free moment, try kayaking. :)
Tom: Hello Jeannie,
I'm pleased to report that you, the organizer for Twin Cities' Paddlers, and my first on-the-water experience in a kayak today persuaded me to take the plunge and purchase a kayak. I bought a Perception Carolina 12 after getting back from the lake. So, I won't be returning your company's kayak storage rack after all, and you can tell your boss that you are partly responsible for encouraging me to rethink whether I should try kayaking. I hope you get a promotion.
I am excited. When making my decision, I kept thinking about what you told me, my experience on the water, and that Wes, the organizer for Twin Cities Paddlers, told me that you only live once. Thank you for your encouragement and for sharing your thoughts on kayaking with me.
Jeannie: I don’t know Wes, but I couldn’t agree with him more!! Life is for living - so very happy for you :)
by Jeanne Tucker
Two things happened that have affected the way Talic is going to operate going forward.
1. We went to Spain.
2. I read a book.
If you have read our history, you know that Tim started Talic in his garage. He needed to store his three kayaks, and his prototype turned out so well, he wanted to share it with others with the same need.
Tim comes from a family of helpers. His parents were involved in the community bringing help to anyone who needed a hand - a warm meal, a warm coat, a warm hug. So it was natural for Tim to want to share his solution for boat storage with others.
As the business grew, he was approached by many retail stores who saw a good thing, and wanted a piece of the pie. Tim was flattered! What a great way to get his racks to more people! So he worked harder and longer, and cranked out more racks. But working harder and longer wasn’t as fulfilling as working directly with the customer. You become just another piece of the machinery. You don’t have time to think outside the box, to tweak that one thing that would help out a customer with his special need.
And then we went to Spain.
As we walked the many narrow, winding streets, we talked - struggling with the language and using many hand gestures! - with the shop owners. We met artisans who created their work, and sold it, direct to the customer. This is what it’s supposed to be! Making something with your own hands, helping another with a need. When we came home, we looked at our hometown with fresh eyes. Empty store fronts where Mom and Pop shops have gone under due to the arrival of Wal-Mart, a Mall gasping with it’s last dying breath, an excess of Dollar Stores. People somewhere (China?) cranking the machines, working longer and harder to get the product out.
We’ve all heard “Work to live, don’t live to work” or some variation there of. And although we have always believed that, we were no longer following it. We fell victim to the rat race - more Kayak Tilts, more SeaHorses. Work faster, faster. We need more!
And then I read a book.
God Never Blinks by Regina Brett to be exact. I am an avid reader, and this book really spoke to my soul. Basically, it reaffirmed to me that it’s ok to step back from the rat race, to just do what makes you happy, that you are ok just the way you are, right where you are. It’s all about quality of life, about what - at the end of the day - makes you happy and feel right within your world.
For us, it’s connecting with that customer who needs a paddle rack to hold that special paddle her son used to win the Hawaiian Canoe Paddle. For getting the Bike Rack to the restaurant to hold their vintage bicycle in time for their Grand Opening. For making the boat racks for the custom boat house in Wisconsin, picking the grain and color of wood to complement their new wood walls.
We don’t need to make millions, we don’t need to be in the Fortune 500. After the basics of shelter and food, we need what everyone needs - to be helpful, to be happy, to be loved.
Going back to our beliefs, working to bring the best we can make to you, the customer, does that for us. Quality of life. Ahhhh...
by Jeanne Tucker
7 Bellnier Lane
Auburn, NY 13021
Translation... We're off to Spain!
Opportunities present themselves, but it’s up to us to take them. Take Spain, for example. And we did!!
As I’ve said, my bucket list dream is to see - really see - the 50 states. So vacation plans don’t have me looking at travel across the big pond. However, my youngest son has been in Spain since the beginning of January, doing a semester abroad. He says, “Why don’t you come visit me Mom?” He can’t be serious. I haven’t been to California, or Washington, or Texas. What about Montana?
Then I had to have some surgery. Sitting at home, recuperating one night, I was just peeking online at flights, you know, not really planning on going, but well... And there it was, the flight of a lifetime. I checked our reward points, and OMG!! We could fly round trip to Spain for Next. To. Nothing! Opportunity presenting itself. We took it!!
What a great time. Speaking essentially no useful amount of Spanish, it was great to be met by our son at the Madrid airport. We were thankful to have Nick as our tour guide for the first few days, and then we were on our own. What an adventure! We walked all over Madrid, and took the Metro system too, which was so easy to use. The Palacio Real de Madrid, Reina Sofía National Art Museum, the Prado, Puerto del Sol. Mercado de San Miguel, sangrias, paella. We took the bus on day trips - Segovia, Toledo, Ávila. Gradually we picked up necessary Spanish words - no hablo Español, salida, and most importantly, aseo por favor. And it was fun, like being on a treasure hunt, listening for a word in a conversation that you might understand.
Segovia, Tim’s favorite, is famous for it’s 1st century Roman aqueduct. Like nothing we have ever seen before, this granite block aqueduct is truly an architectural masterpiece. (The US wasn’t even the US until 17 centuries later!) We walked to the end of it, which is a tiny fraction of its original 14 kilometer length. We just had to see how the water ran through the trough. The Alcazar of Segovia, built in 1122, was massive. How did they build these places? While dining on suckling pig in the Plaza de Mayor, we were witnesses to a wedding complete with authentic Spanish dancing.
Toledo was my favorite. Having never been to Europe, I was like a kid in a maze wandering through the narrow winding streets. Toledo is the “City of the Three Cultures.” Muslims, Jews and Christians have all lived here, side by side. Nice.
The Cathedral of Toledo was stunning! Spain really knows how to do it’s churches!
Ávila is home of the Walls of Ávila, begun in 1090 AD. The best preserved walls in all of Europe and you can walk on them. We walked where Romans walked! Ávila is also the birthplace of Teresa de Ávila, a Roman Catholic Saint.
We met Nick’s host mother, Puri, and she invited us to dinner. Nick had to translate for us, Puri doesn’t speak English. She made great Spanish dishes, including a chicken stew. She and Nick had a great laugh when I asked for more polla por favor! Soon it was time to say adiós. We shared hugs, an American Mother and an Español Madré.
Opportunities present themselves daily. Which one will you answer, and what adventures await you?
While surfing through the web the other day, an image caught Tim’s eye. It was a picture of his Woodlands Series - the first ever, all wood, modular wall-mounted storage system. Who put this picture up? he thought. Upon closer inspection, the truth was exposed - it was an imposter.
Talic’s Woodlands Series was designed by Tim - it’s his ideas and sketches brought to
life to aesthetically display your belongings - from boats to skis to fishing rods, bikes, books and clothing, well, you get the idea. Pretty much everything. Beautiful hardwood Ash rails, strong and superior Baltic Birch accessories. Look up the word "wood" in the dictionary, it may as well have a picture of Talic products beside it.
Epic Outdoor Adventures opens in 2012.
The first Woodlands Series was installed in an outdoor retail shop in Fayetteville, NY back in early 2012. Tim worked closely with the owner, creating the look and feel desired. The finished shop was beautiful. And because we love to share what we use ourselves, we offered it to the world. The Woodlands have gone to homes all across America, and across the big pond too.
In November 2015, the Talic Woodlands Series went to Marc W. of California. Marc W. then copied Tim’s designs, created a website in 2016, and is now currently advertising a storage system he took from us.
I suppose we should be flattered - this “founder” comes “from a high adventure sports background." And he chose to copy us?! Woo Hoo!! Meh, not impressed.
Where's the patent?
The point is, Tim designed this system, they are his ideas. No, it isn’t patented. It’s very expensive and time consuming to patent products. We would spend a good chunk of our profits, and hours of our time, to obtain one patent. We know, we’ve done it before. So, we chose not to patent the Woodlands Series.
If Marc saw our system, admired it, and decided to create something of his own that was similar for his own personal use, kudos to him! Then I AM really flattered! But, Marc W. did not create the system - he stole it, and then he marketed it as his own. For someone to pawn off someone else’s creation as his own is low and unethical.
Original and still customizable.
The Talic Woodlands Series was the first, remains the original, and will continue to be the best all-wood modular storage system for all of your needs. Check us out at www.talic.com. If you have a need we haven’t covered yet, let us know, we may be able to help.