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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 May 2006, 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK
Company sells kayaks to the Inuit
Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
BBC Wales business editor

Sea Kayak
Sea Kayaking UK has an order from fishermen in Greenland
In a Welsh version of coals to Newcastle, an Anglesey firm is selling kayaks back to the people who invented them, the Inuit.

Sea Kayaking UK, which is based in Holyhead, has already exported 18 of its hand-built fibreglass canoes to Iceland in the last year and is also dealing with an order to supply Inuit fishermen in Greenland.

"We've been exporting to Iceland for two years and this week we're sending two kayaks to Greenland," says company boss Nigel Dennis.

"It's come full circle really. The Inuit who are buying these are using them to hunt in the waters around Greenland."

Nigel Dennis himself is one of the country's most accomplished kayakers, becoming the first to paddle around the UK 20 years ago.

He has also just completed the first circumnavigation of South Georgia in the South Atlantic.

The Kayak, which means 'skin covered canoe', originates from Arctic regions, but people with growing disposable income in newly-wealthy economies like Iceland's are now able to splash out on more expensive products from abroad.

Sea Kayak
The kayak was invented by people living in the Arctic region

Another company which is benefiting from this trend is DMM International. It employs 100 people making high-end mountaineering gear at the foot of Snowdon in Llanberis.

It has just won its first contract to supply Chinese climbers with mountaineering equipment.

"The Chinese aren't going to spend all their time working," says company chairman Richard Cuthbertson.

"As they get wealthier they'll be spending more time doing things like climbing some of their fabulous mountains and buying the best gear to do it with.

"Hopefully, they'll become like the Japanese, which is a very lucrative market for outdoor equipment companies."

It is estimated that the outdoor pursuits industry is worth 8,500 jobs to the economy of north west Wales.

When much of the rest of Welsh industry has been losing jobs to cheaper Chinese imports and labour, this is a sector where there is potential to fight back and sell into emerging markets where customers are becoming wealthier.

Britons celebrate kayaking first
01 Dec 05 |  North West Wales
Kayak four in South Atlantic bid
07 Oct 05 |  North West Wales


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