Our History

At Pelican, we invite you to navigate the magnificent streams, rivers, and lakes around you, explore your territory, and contemplate the wild beauty of nature at home and around the world since 1968.

At Pelican, we are world leaders within the water and nautical sports industry. Renown for its exceptional quality, innovation, and expertise, Pelican has become the foremost global authority in the conception and manufacturing of kayaks, canoes, pedal boats, stand up paddle boards (SUP), fishing boats, and watersport accessories. As an international driving force within the industry, we offer both paddle sports and everyday outdoor enthusiasts a diverse array of products.

Our team is made up of pioneers and visionaries who have been continually pushing our company forward with ideas and development for over 50 years. The first plastic pedal boats, canoes and motor boats were designed by the company's pioneering designers, and those in place today continue to work hard to bring you innovative products with ever-changing technology.

We hope to convey to our clientele our passion for nature, exploration, adventure, and the great outdoors by offering a broad range of products allowing every budget to enjoy watersports — a driving force behind Pelican! Safe boating remains our priority, this is why all our boats are conceived in such a way that you can enjoy the waters with peace of mind.

A Family History

Pelican is a family affair with heart and passion. In 1970, the forerunner Gérard Élie offered the first moulded plastic pedal boat developed through thermoforming. His invention marked the beginning of a grand adventure that continues today with the same craze for innovative technologies. In 1995, his sons Christian and Antoine Élie took up the torch and became owners of Pelican International Inc.

For 50 years, the family business - a Quebec flagship! - has been designing and manufacturing innovative, durable, high-quality outdoor products that are accessible to a wide range of people through their diversity and price range. Pelican is a leader in the design and manufacture of kayaks, canoes, pedal boats, paddle boards (SUP), fishing boats and accessories associated with these water sports. Always with the idea of diversifying its offer to encourage its customers to enjoy the outdoors whatever the season, Pelican also creates sleds and sleighs for winter sports enthusiasts.

Our offering has changed significantly over the past few years with three acquisitions, which has allowed us to pursue our ambition to be an eco-friendly leader in the outdoor equipment sector by investing in a portfolio of renowned brands that respond to the growing desire of the population to connect more with nature.
Pelican International Inc. announced on December 16, 2019 that it has acquired all of the assets of Confluence Outdoor LLC, a company located in Greenville, South Carolina. Confluence Outdoor is comprised of six leading watersports brands - Wilderness Systems®, Perception®, Dagger®, Mad River Canoe®, Harmony Gear® and Boardworks®.
On June 14, 2021, Pelican International Inc. announced the acquisition of California-born Advanced Elements Inc. This transaction fits perfectly into our strategy to further consolidate our position as a world leader within the paddle sports industry and to offer high-quality and high-performance products to diverse consumers across all ages and backgrounds who want to explore the world outdoors. The Advanced Elements acquisition carves a path forward to help us become the premier brand of inflatable kayaks and SUPs in more than 50 countries. It's an ideal addition to our product offering to reach our audience across traditional and e-commerce channels.

Recently, Pelican International Inc. announced the acquisition of GSI Outdoors. Based in Spokane, Washington, USA, GSI Outdoors has been designing and distributing quality outdoor cooking and hydration products for the outdoors for over 35 years. While our last acquisitions consolidated our leading position in the paddle sports, fishing boats and nautical accessories sector, the integration of GSI Outdoors into our fold allows us to diversify our activities and makes a remarkable entry into a sector that has shown sustained growth for several years which is expected to be maintained for the years to come.

Pelican has over 1 100 employees who work across three manufacturing sites in North America — this strategically located distribution system allows our clientele to easily procure kayaks, paddle boards, and boats anywhere they choose to enjoy the waters. Pelican constantly innovates to offer the best paddling sports products across all categories and price ranges. Above all, our passionate team seeks to positively impact the lives of outdoor enthusiasts by offering them safe pleasure crafts so they may relish the wild beauty of nature.

Driven by Innovation

Our team boasts vast experience in developing innovative products. Over the years, multidisciplinary experts specializing in product management, design, engineering, and transformation process have joined our ranks. Thanks to this team, Pelican now enjoys a strong reputation, known for its unique products of superior quality and durability. Innovation is at the heart of our approach and gives us a strong competitive advantage. We have designed RAM-X™, an exclusive multilayer material, that produces a lightweight product with an unmatched stiffness, resistance to impacts, and breakage, with exceptional longevity and superior security. RAM-X™ has become the benchmark of quality within the industry. We are equally proud to be the first North American manufacturer of kayaks to use twin sheet thermoforming technology (TSF). The combination of patented Pelican materials with TSF technology creates an unrivaled product on the international market.     

The Environment — At the Heart of Our Priorities

At Pelican, we possess a strong sense of social responsibility: respect for nature and the environment is thus at the heart of our priorities. Water sports enthusiasts grow increasingly concerned about climate change and renewable energies. As we share these same concerns, we are committed to doing everything in our power to implement fabrication processes that respect Mother Nature. We recycle 99% of all plastic waste generated during production. During colder months, specialized air conduits allow us to warm Pelican factories by recycling and redistributing the heat generated by our ovens during the fabrication process. All our innovations are developed and evolve year after year, with the respect of the environment at the forefront of these efforts. 

We are equally proud to support a wide range of wildlife charities, conservation funds, and children’s and health charities across Canada and the United States. Pelican also supports the efforts of Circuit Bleu(Circuit bleu Charles Bruneau) as the main partner and presenter, whose profits help children with cancer, and Moisson Montréal (Moisson Montréal), which aids families in need. We also happily offer boating products and accessories to share the joy of watersports, in addition to financially supporting the efforts of employees involved in their communities in partnership with charitable organizations.