Fluid, Wavesport, now Liquid Logic
1) LL did not selling direct because they wanted to. It was a last ditch effort to save a company that was losing money. Can't make money selling boats for $600 per boat to shops? Try selling them for $900 direct. Problems are that almost no one will buy a boat they cannot sit in first, and their shipping plan was horrendous. I probably would have if their thigh braces were good, but I'm not paying full price for a boat that probably will not fit well.
2) JK did not kill LL. The whitewater kayak business is killing LL. Most of the boat advice threads here are people wanting to find a boat for $300. The culture of kayaking is so cheap that it is almost impossible to make money.
3) I am personally bummed that things are going this way for LL. They always seemed like a "by kayakers for kayakers company." For whatever reason, you can make better money selling slightly updated playboats every year than good creekboats and river runners, but that is just the state of the market.
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