1968 Josef Sedivec escapes Czechoslovakia as Russian tanks roll in to quell the reforms and liberalizations of the Prague Spring. For eight years, he had competed for the Czech National Whitewater Team, winning medals in World Championship races across Europe in both whitewater slalom and downriver events. In the shadows of the cold war, he crosses the frontier with few possessions and a couple kayaks to find freedom in the West.
1969 Settling in suburban Los Angeles but stoked with a competitive spirit and versed in fabrication skills, Josef designs and builds his first boats in his garage during off hours, while pulling a paycheck as an electrical engineer. Humble Seda joins a small group of entrepreneurs in the nascent American whitewater industry, with Joe and his wife selling boats and gear out of a van at whitewater races from California to West Virginia...in between races.
1973 US National Team members paddling Seda Cobra C-2 boats win gold and bronze medals at the World Championships in Switzerland. From this point Seda canoes and kayaks are a solid part of a US National team that wins no fewer than 6 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals during the next World Championship competition. For the first time, the U.S. takes more medals than any other national team.
1974 Seda continues to grow through new products and services, becoming one of the first companies to use DuPont KEVLAR for canoes, kayaks and accessories. A small retail shop, Adventure Boats, in Chula Vista, California serves as the base for an international mail-order business for a diverse line of paddling equipment.
1980's Seda is one of the first companies to offer roto-molded whitewater boats as the original distributor & US importer for ACE canoes and Pyrhana. Helmets, paddles, and life vests round out the product line. Somewhere along the way sea kayaking begins to displace the adrenaline of downriver racing, and Josef's first sea kayaks splash into the Pacific. Epic paddles in Seda kayaks from pioneers in long distance touring follow shortly thereafter. Ed Gillette takes his Seda down the San Felipe to Cabo route, and then tries the coast of Brazil.
1989 Brings the 30 year mark to Seda with the widest range of products yet. Little does anyone realize the industry is poised for a tumultuous decade to come.
1990's While sit-on-tops and rotomolded materials take center stage, acquisitions seem overtake innovation for many of Seda's competitors in the kayak market. Seda keeps on paddling.
2005 Josef contemplates retirement, while somewhere in Southern California a kayaker grows tired of cubicle life in corporate America and proceed to buy out the Sedivec family.
Today With the experience and perspective of over 40 years in the paddlesports industry, Seda continues to concentrate on performance composite sea kayaks for discriminating paddlers.