Floating On Water and Flying With Birds – Greg Didriksen
Meet Greg Didriksen - Western Territory Sales Manager for Jackson Kayak.
Latest entry in our ongoing Blog series – “Meet Our Sales Reps!”
Tell us a bit about your background. When did you first get involved with the outdoor industry?
I grew up near Chicago, and moved to Eugene Oregon right after high school. I picked up white water kayaking right away in 1991 and became instantly hooked! My brother was working as a raft guide on the Rogue river at the time, and this seemed like a great way to be close to the river to maximize my time paddling so I started guiding rafts. This eventually led me to Coloma CA and the South Fork American for guide work around 1995. Guiding rafts was fun, but my love was kayaking, so I started teaching kayaking full time around 1998 for Current Adventures. During this time I was averaging 250 days a year paddling whitewater and all that time helped earn me a sponsorship from Necky kayaks. The Necky rep then started hiring me to help with special events, and eventually brought me to Outdoor Retailer to help with the demos and meetings, this was my real break into the industry, and I had no idea at the time how it was going to change my life!
What led you to your current job as a sales rep for Jackson Kayak ?
After working for a few of the big players in the paddle sports industry for the last 15 or so years, I had taken a break from sales to help my wife with her business. During this time one of my good rep friends called me to let me know that the position at JK was opening up, and I immediately jumped at the opportunity!
What do enjoy most about being a sales rep? What’s your biggest challenge?
Being a rep in the Western US is some of the most amazing country to travel thru, and the paddle sports industry has the most amazing people involved. So working with these great folks and enjoying the outdoors is the best! The biggest challenge is long stints on the road away from my wonderful wife.
Describe the most unusual trend that you’ve experienced in paddlesports?
Watching the boom in SUP has been interesting. It reminded me of the early days in the snowboard industry where overnight hundreds of manufacturers opened up and with in a few years it consolidates to a few major companies.
What sort of future trends do you predict happening the world of kayak fishing ?
Kayak fishing is undergoing a huge boom right now, and I think it will keep increasing for some time to come. What I see in the future are lighter boats and models becoming even more specialized.
Which Jackson Kayak do you paddle?
Hahaha, this is one of the fun parts of being a rep….lots of choices out of the quiver! I pretty much go to the Kraken for fishing lakes and ocean, the Coosa HD for fishing the river, the Large Zen for difficult whitewater, and the 4 Fun for play.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not on the road as a sales rep?
My passion for the last 6 years has been XC paragliding, so a good chunk of my free time is spent circling in thermals, and trying to fly with the birds.
Anything else you would like to add?
Thanks to Clavey Paddlesports for being a great partner, and awesome specialty store with wonderful staff and products!
Clavey Paddlesports: Thanks Greg!