Oscar Chalupsky moves to Nelo

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8 years 6 months ago #23948 by [email protected]
Pretty staggering news: Oscar Chalupsky just announced on his Facebook page that he's resigned from Epic and has been appointed CEO of Nelo Surfski.



www.facebook.com/oscar.chalupsky?fref=ts

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
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8 years 6 months ago #23950 by fredrik
That´s going to be some awesome skis. Can´t wait to see them

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8 years 6 months ago #23951 by zachhandler
Wonder what the reason is. That's not the type of move one does lightly having created and defined the brand.

Current Skis: Epic v10 g3, NK 670 double, NK exrcize, Kai Wa’a Vega, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X
Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Nelo 550 g2, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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8 years 6 months ago #23952 by zachhandler
I do imagine Oscar will enjoy being on firm footing to take on Vajda in Europe, given the bitter history between them.

Current Skis: Epic v10 g3, NK 670 double, NK exrcize, Kai Wa’a Vega, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X
Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Nelo 550 g2, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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  • MCImes
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8 years 6 months ago #23954 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Oscar Chalupsky moves to Nelo
that's crazy. Oscar and Epic are synonymous. That's a bit of a blow to epic to lose their most prominent employee, but I'm sure they'll carry on just fine. I hope they do at least.

on the plus side, Nelo will probably have some kick ass skis in the next couple years.

and congrats on the promotion Oscar. enjoy the Mediterranean

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8 years 6 months ago #23956 by zachhandler
I would predict epic buckets get narrower and Nelo gets wider

Current Skis: Epic v10 g3, NK 670 double, NK exrcize, Kai Wa’a Vega, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X
Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Nelo 550 g2, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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  • kobicohen33
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8 years 6 months ago #23957 by kobicohen33
Replied by kobicohen33 on topic Oscar Chalupsky moves to Nelo
Hard to believe that Oscar left the Epic, but apparently Oscar need new challenge with Nelo.
Epic will continue to be Pro leaders, and Nelo– Maybe improved…

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  • rhainan
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8 years 6 months ago #23993 by rhainan
Replied by rhainan on topic Oscar Chalupsky moves to Nelo
On the face of it, it seems like a terribly unprofessional action. It appears to have caught the rest of Epic by complete surprise. To top it off he moves directly to a competitor. We would call this a total douche move in America.

It doesn't mean much to us here in the USA. As we are a virtually untapped market with no real surf ski history, the name Chalupsky does not really help me sell kayaks.

It will be interesting to see where Nelo goes with this. They are big on calling themselves the world's largest kayak manufacturer, but in my ten years of paddling, I have never seen a Nelo boat. Granted, I do not live in a kayak paradise, but at least I have glimpsed an occasional Vajda and Think. The only companies that I see making any moves to actually have practical boats for sale in the USA are Epic and Stellar.

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8 years 6 months ago #23994 by sAsLEX

rhainan wrote: I have never seen a Nelo boat.


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  • MCImes
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8 years 6 months ago #23995 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Oscar Chalupsky moves to Nelo
Although I know there are many Nelo boats around, they are rare in the US for the most part. I have only seen a couple go up for sale in the last couple years and only have seen 1 on the water (a trainer K1), and that was only because its owned by a youth racing club.

I think his point was that for many people in the US, you say Nelo and they'll say "Nemo? wasn't that a Disney movie?"

Even knowing of them, Im still surprised that they're the largest maker. They obviously sell a lot of boats in the rest of the world, but not many in the US.

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  • rhainan
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8 years 6 months ago #23996 by rhainan
Replied by rhainan on topic Oscar Chalupsky moves to Nelo
I have a hard time with the self proclaimed "world's largest manufacturer" title. What does than mean? Biggest building? Sold in most countries? Total units produced?

Meh, what do I know? Maybe everybody has a NELO in the rest of the world.

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8 years 6 months ago #23997 by sAsLEX

rhainan wrote: I have a hard time with the self proclaimed "world's largest manufacturer" title. What does than mean? Biggest building? Sold in most countries? Total units produced?

Meh, what do I know? Maybe everybody has a NELO in the rest of the world.


75% of the field at the Olympics is a fairly big piece of evidence to back up their claims ( poor reference of their own website but I doubt they are fibbing www.nelo.eu/news/article/olympic_games_2012_report)

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8 years 6 months ago #23998 by Kayaker Greg
Nelo is the first name I think of when thinking about K1. I would suspect kayaking is much bigger in other parts of the world than the US. Europe and the Baltics for eg. I think its almost Hungarys national sport, like they say every Kiwi kid wants to be an All Black and every French kid wants to be a cyclist, every Hungarian wants to be a kayaker.

I know of a few guys here in NZ that have owned and paddled Nelo skis. They are beautiful skis but not for the beginner.

Having someone like Oscar represent Nelo seems like a good move to expand their range and exposure to another market, Epic already has that exposure and be interesting to see if they come up with some other identity to carry on promoting the Epic brand.

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8 years 6 months ago #23999 by sAsLEX

Kayaker Greg wrote: Having someone like Oscar represent Nelo seems like a good move to expand their range and exposure to another market, Epic already has that exposure and be interesting to see if they come up with some other identity to carry on promoting the Epic brand.


Was Oscar selling the skis, or were the skis selling themselves? Epic seems to be leading the field in a number of ways, possibly from Oscars input, but I think their product sells itself.

Yet personalities can make a significant difference, possibly at another end of the retail chain. I never looked at Epic in the flesh after the service I got from our local Fenn agent, which lead my Swordfish. It was a similar situation when I purchased a K1 in Europe where an agent/manufacturer went out of their way(compared to Nelo) to assist with trials and any information so I had them make my boat.

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8 years 6 months ago #24000 by mckengmsurfski
"They are big on calling themselves the world's largest kayak manufacturer, but in my ten years of paddling, I have never seen a Nelo boat."

Interesting. For what it's worth, I also live in the Eastern US and I can think of 5 people I know personally right off the top of my head who own or have owned a Nelo surfski in the past couple of years. That does not include people who paddle Nelo K1s, of which I know several more. I did a race in FL last month and there was a Nelo ski on the start line. I did a race in CT last fall and saw several on the start line. I even owned 2 Nelo Vintage Skis myself prior to co-founding Eliteoceansports and importing first Vajda, and now Think surfskis.
I just looked on surfskiracing.org classifieds and found 3 Nelos on the first page.

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8 years 6 months ago #24002 by zachhandler
I am very curious to see the first Nelo skey made under Oscars's guidance. But honestly I'm just just curious to see the first epic ski made without Oscars input.

Current Skis: Epic v10 g3, NK 670 double, NK exrcize, Kai Wa’a Vega, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X
Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Nelo 550 g2, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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  • rhainan
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8 years 6 months ago #24003 by rhainan
Replied by rhainan on topic Oscar Chalupsky moves to Nelo
Well, for sure the coasts should have more surfski selection than my home where the closest we can get to salt water is boiling pasta.

From my vantage point though, NELO is not making much effort in the USA. Their website does not list any USA dealers. They have something called an agent, but there is only one. Also, and this may seem silly to everybody else in the world, their website does not list the specifications in imperial units of measure. I will take the time to convert the specifications because I'm a kayak nerd but the average American is usually baffled by cm and kg.

Where do I go to paddle a selection of NELO kayaks? I live in the middle of kayak nowhere and yet I'm less than 50km

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  • kobicohen33
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8 years 6 months ago #24005 by kobicohen33
Replied by kobicohen33 on topic Oscar Chalupsky moves to Nelo

zachhandler wrote: I am very curious to see the first Nelo skey made under Oscars's guidance. But honestly I'm just just curious to see the first epic ski made without Oscars input.


FYI- Boyan Zlatarev from Epic surfski center in tarifa equally responsible for the design, planning and improvemen.

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8 years 6 months ago #24008 by Spacehopper

rhainan wrote: From my vantage point though, NELO is not making much effort in the USA.


But given that SA and eastern Europe aside, kayak racing is an extremely obscure minority activity, and perhaps even more so in the US. Is it that surprising that Nelo haven't tried to crack America when they have a bigger market on their doorstep. If anything it's more of a surprise that other manufacturers have been slow to get organised in Europe.

Epic undoubtedly have hit the key drivers good product, good marketing, good distributuion. Many others seem to have good products but let themselves down on the other aspects. It's a running joke with a few other club paddlers that you have to really want to buy a racing kayak before anyone will actually sell you one...!

I think the key thing with Oscar is that he's done much to popularise paddling in accessible boats (ie V7/8) which I suspect will ultimately benefit the whole sport, including Epic, in the long run. Good luck to him.

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8 years 6 months ago #24009 by Stew
Replied by Stew on topic Oscar Chalupsky moves to Nelo

rhainan wrote: On the face of it, it seems like a terribly unprofessional action. It appears to have caught the rest of Epic by complete surprise. To top it off he moves directly to a competitor. We would call this a total douche move in America.


In any industry, people change jobs, change brands, are head hunted etc. To call what Oscar has done unprofessional or a douche move says more of your opinions than what he has done. He now has an exciting opportunity to build a brand with some huge backing. For the industry on a whole I think it's great, as everyone is going to have to work hard with another major player pushing hard. At the end of the day, paddlers are the winners here. I know from Think Kayak's perspective, we're excited by the competition his knowledge will bring as we work hard on our own new ideas and designs for the future.
The following user(s) said Thank You: swell, Hiro, tony h, kmac, gstamer, jrmac, TaffyMick, Joseph Di Chiacchio

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