Peter Mitchell, 26, has been involved with the company for most of his life and has worked there steadily since he graduated from college five years ago.
“I’m really excited,” Peggy Mitchell said. “I know Peter has the production skills. I know he knows the product as well as we do-well, I don’t know if I really want to say that.” she said with a laugh. “But he certainly knows the product well. He knows the sport, he knows the industry.”
David and Peggy Mitchell started the business in 1972, to create paddles that would fill a specific niche. Both were world-class slalom racers, David an eight-time British national champion with silver and bronze medals in the world championships. Peggy (then Peggy Nutt) started competing in 1968. She represented the USA in four world championships, earning a silver medal. She also won a gold medal while representing Britain.
Following in his parents’ footsteps, Peter also grew up racing, paddling K-1 slalom from the time he was eight years old until he turned 14. Then he started paddling C-2 and went to the worlds and preworlds with his partner, Ben Thomas. He raced C-1 for his last two years as a junior, and was the top U.S. paddler in the worlds held in the Czech Republic. Now playboating is his favorite form of paddling.
Peter has earned his stripes at the paddle company as well. “I started out doing basic production, learning the process from start to finish, so I know every single paddle, how it goes together,” he said. He also has been working in billing and advertising and has maintained the Web site since he started college.
He plans to continue the Mitchell focus on personal service and high quality, and perhaps further explore the use of synthetics.
Peggy Mitchell said it provided great satisfaction to be able to sell the business to a family member.
“There will be some changes, but basically it will carry on as a family business, making a good product,” she said.