Many well-intentioned fitness buffs have a rowing machine stashed away in the garage. They've since moved on to a fitness club membership where they occasionally continue to row inside a building. Rowing machines are not much fun. Fortunately for the sport of rowing, Dave Emmer has taken rowing out of the garage and put it back outdoors in the water where it belongs.
"I wanted to create something as efficient to water as a 10-speed bike is to land," says Emmer. What he has come up with is a lightweight dream of an innovation in rowing craft known as the Skimmer-an ultralight, fast rowing craft ingeniously stabilized by two stiletto-thin hulls. The Skimmer can be taken out in the wind or waves that would keep most rowing shells at the dock.
Rowing is recognized as one of the most efficient and complete forms of aerobic exercise, but the lakes and oceans are not full of rowers because traditional rowing shells are cumbersome and notoriously unstable.
"My design overcame the three most common objections of the single-hulled racing shell-too long, too heavy and too unstable for one person," says Emmer. "I shortened the hull, developed duall pontoons for stability and made the Skimmer ultralight."
None of these innovations have compromised the speed of the craft. The Skimmer has consistently placed in the top 20 percent when entered in competitions.
Emmer comes from a high-tech background. Emmer formerly owned a San Jose firm that implants ion into silicon chips. While Emmer's first sketches of the Skimmer were on a napkin in a restaurant, he ultimately incorporated the latest, most innovative technology as well as the best of traditional crafts-manship found in rowing shells.
Each Skimmer is handcrafted using high-tech, oven cured epoxy laminates with a honeycomb core and reinforced with carbon fiber. The result is an elegant and handsome rowing craft that is functional, efficient and suitable for almost any condition from choppy seas to glassy lakes.
The Skimmer is really a stunning example of what can happen when superior design, advanced technology and excellent craftmanship are combined.
As Emmer puts it, "If your fitness routine is a hassle and not fun, you won't maintain the effort. Few activities can match the elemental joy of rowing. None can its benefits. Rowing is an opportunity to trescend the limits of land; to explore nature; to integrate body, mind and spirit in a singular pursuit of fun. Rowing a Skimmer makes fitness fun."
Dave Emmer was born in 1942 in Hungry during World War II and shortly after moved to Austria with his family to escape the devistation of war. It was at the age of eleven that Emmer and his family moved from Austria to the United States. Emmer and his family lived in New Jersey for several years and in 1962 Emmer entered college at New Jersey's State University of Rutgers where he pursued a bachelor's degree in engineering. He continued his post graduate work in science.
In 1968, Emmer moved to Sunnyvale, California to work on the Polaris/Poseidon Nuclear Submarine project as a test engineer with Westinghouse. In 1970, Emmer decided to pursue his own entreprenureal ventures with several patents he was awarded over the years.
In 1972, Emmer joined forces with a slow motion video company, Video Logic, that developed a camera to analyze high speed production equipment in slow motion. After making the product successful, having sold to most companies in the Fortune 500, and taking the company to an established level, Emmer started looking for another challenge. In 1974 Emmer started a solar heating company which produced heaters for pools. His design for panels won him recognition and once again, he had started another very successful enterprise.
In 1981, Emmer started another company, The Implant Center, which facilitates the process of ion implantation on semiconductor chips. Starting with less than $3000.00, the Implant Center became a multi-million dollar company by its second year.
During the course of his career in engineering and production, Emmer started to see a trend in American business: speed. Too often, quality was sacrificed for speed as companies tried to work as fast as possible. Emmer saw how mistakes were being made in this quest for speed, and further that the analogy could be extended to the American pace of life, as well.
Emmer soon became bored with high technology and tired of the pace of corporate life. He wanted to focus on a new company, one that incorporated fitness and the outdoors.
Leveraging his engineering and physics background, Dave created the concept and design of Skimmer.
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