Sunday, March 22, 2009

Paddling with a paddlesport dynasty

Saturday I went on a paddling excursion with Simon and Naomi Takashina plus their little son 1,5 years old. The Takashinas are a Japanese/American paddlesport -business dynasty who own a paddlesport company group with several interests in the business. Simon & son -youngest paddler of the Wangpu River

Simons grandfather, Tadayoshi Takashina, started making life jackets in Japan back in the 1930s. Now the brothers Simon and Yoshi shoulder the responsibility of the business. MTI, is the Takashina distribution business in the US, distributing paddlesport products there. Hishi Sports produce paddling apparel and pfd's under their own brand as well as for a leading international paddlesport apparel brand. Simon manages their Shanghai factory. Haishi also produces life rafts, life jackets, survival suits etc. The Takashinas also distribute paddlesport products in Japan.
Here Naoyas Hirano, Simon and Naomi Takashina with their baby and my son Axel.

Also joining us for the day was Japanese Renaissance man Naoyas Hirano. He brought this tripple magnum of Spanish Torres which was most welcome to help wash down our picnic. Perfect baguettes from "Paul", Shanghais best bakery (and yes, a franchise from the french chain) and I had brought some goodies from France.
Naoimi Takshina and her son plus my son Axel

Terrine de fois gras de canard and some paté de campagne. I also found some nice ham and salami at the western supermarket in Shanghai. And surprisingly, an excellent Gruyere Suisse, my favorite cheese!! A couple of delicious tartellets was the perfect ending. But disaster struck, I had forgotten my Handespresso at the office so NO COFFEE....

Strengthened after this sumptuous picnic we headed out on the river for my now favorite little Saturday tour.

Here Naomi Takashina in a Cappuchino.

Naoya Hirano was only the second time in a kayak and his first time was back in high school! He did very well and quickly got the hang of it. The more I see beginners in the Whisky 16 the more convinced I am that this is the perfect boat to learn skills in. Naoya was trying some careful edging after 20 minutes. And did it turn!

Naoya Hirano is a very talented artist and runs a dream production consultancy firm. He also owns Shanghais most exclusive Sushi bar Oyama
as well as a very cool Spanish wine and tapas bar El Willy. All on 20 Donghu Lu in a building he manages.

Naoya Hirano, Japanese Renaissance man

The star of the day was little Takashina. I bet this is the youngest paddler to ever hit Chinese waters. The Takashina paddlesport business dynasty is safe for another generation! This guy has it in his blood. Without hesitation he joined his father Simon in the cockpit of a SeaRover. They paddled happily down the Wangpu. He was fascinated by the sand barges and their cranes. Admittedly he more or less fell a sleep in the cock pit after a while.
As no spray deck could protect them for dripping water from the paddle, littel Takashina became quit wet after a couple of hours and let us know that he was uncomfortable.
Only this lady cleaning her catch could cheer him up.

On dryland again. Naoimi, littel Takashina, me, Naoyas, Axel and local boy fascinated by the alien crafts and their captains.


Nicolas said...

Ok you convinced me, i will try a whisky 16. i call fun kayak one day !

Richard at Point 65 said...

merci Nicolas! But I don't think Fun Kayak has them in stock but Tout en Kayak does. Check with them: info (at)

Bon chance!


Nicolas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard at Point 65 said...

Well, you will feel like a much more skilled kayaker in the Whisky. I promise. It is a great feeling.

Nice pictures. You are paddling very close to my house. I have a place in Mayenne, near Laval. I am there a lot. Please let me know when you go on a nice kayak trip again. If I can I will join you. My e-mail is richard [at)