On any paddle expedition, it takes a team of hard working gung-ho water enthusiasts to run a tight ship. The same is true at Aquaglide. From product design to connecting individual paddlers and resorts with boats, boards and water parks, this team lives, breathes and consumes everything water sports. Below, Director of Product Development Peter Arpag shares some behind the scenes perspective on his life and work at Aquaglide.
Opening rapid fire Q & A…. Go!
Favorite food? Sushi
Favorite drink? Syrah
Favorite musical group? The Movement, no Mozart!
Red or Blue? Blue, definitely.
Personal inspiration? I love life on the water.
Q: Now, let’s dive a little deeper! Tell me about your background in product design? How long have you been with Aquaglide?
A: I have been with Aquaglide since 2006. I have a background in art and studied graphic design, mechanical structures and industrial design to round out my Colorado University Boulder-degree in pre-law Philosophy.
Q: What in your career most prepared you for designing for Aquaglide?
A: My education and previous experience as an international distributor and national sales manager helped me understand the business side, but the most important factor is that I grew up on the water and I’ve never lost my spark for that lifestyle.
Q: Tell me about inspiration for 2021 aquapark items. What modifications have been made and what was the inspiration behind the modifications?
A: In commercial aquapark what we’re really offering is a system. To improve we need to look at how the product range functions overall and add complementary products that are not just unique and fun, but make the entire system work better. For 2021 we added several new items to complement the system, including the exciting new Liquid Lounge Series. Above great fun and excitement, ultimately, aquapark is about spending time together with friends & family. Liquid Lounge Series adds a whole new segment of family/social space to the park venue. It allows people to cluster in intimate family-sized groups and share the experience of having fun on the water.
Q: What feature have you designed on aquapark items that you are most proud of?
A: You want the truth? It’s not released yet, so I can’t tell you. I will say that I’m really proud of the entire Aquaglide product range in Park, Lakefront and Paddle categories. I’m also proud of our tight-knit team and the things we’re doing to take the brand to the next level, and the one beyond that.
Q: What does your park item design process look like?
A: Kitchen napkin and Sharpie. Truthfully, I like to clarify objectives then let ideas simmer on the back burner while I work on other things. Eventually, I’ll sketch-up and scale designs in Adobe Illustrator. Once things are looking good, I work with someone who is much better than me at fleshing designs out in CAD. Next we build, test, tweak, and finally send it to ISO testing for confirmation.
Q: What park, anywhere in the world, would you most like to visit?
A: The next one. We have parks all around the world from America to Australia, Denmark to Dubai. Some of our best and brightest are being built right now!
Q: What is your favorite product you’ve designed and why?
A: Although I didn’t design all of our aquapark products, I was closely involved in shaping most of them. Could you choose one of your kids as your favorite? Probably not, and if you could you wouldn’t tell anyone. It’s a bit like that.
Q: What future technology are you stoked to incorporate in Aquaglide parks?
A: There are already some exciting developments happening for park! We also have some cool new ‘tech’ we plan to use to develop a unique bridge feature. Other than that, take your pick: crazy-exciting new signature items, new shallow-water products, Monsoon spray system developments, and even electronic park monitoring via Bluetooth are all ‘in the works.’
Q: What are your favorite water sports? Adventures? Other sports? Hobbies? A little bird said you may have executed a fairly large scale sailing trip at one point… any good stories there?
A: Kiteboarding, kayaking and SUPing are my favorite water sports at the moment. Sailing in general has always been magical for me, and using the power of the wind to travel still blows my mind. In 2015 my wife and I left our jobs to live aboard our sailboat (Valiant 40) with our 2 kids. We sailed about 25,000 nautical miles from Oregon to New Zealand and back, exploring Mexico and the islands of the South and North Pacific along the way. It did not suck.
Pst – you can read all about Peter’s sailing sabbatical on his blog, the Voyaging Life!
Q: What’s a fun fact about yourself that most people don’t know?
A: I’m way more hip than I look.
Q: Do you boat with your family? With which Aquaglide models? What are your favorite paddle sports? Local and beyond?
A: We still have our Valiant 40 sailboat, and that is our base of operations for water time right now. I have an AG Chelan and Cascade SUP from 2014 – they’ve traveled across the Pacific with us twice and been through hell! Repeatedly dragged out for salt water use and never rinsed. This year I’m looking forward to upgrading to a pair of new boats and doing some kayak floats with the family on the lower Deschutes and John Day river areas.