When Farmville, Virginia, native Bob Taylor met Perception founder Bill Masters back in the mid-70s, he had no idea it would lead to a career change that was all wet. Taylor, a long-time whitewater paddler, bought $2,500 worth of early Perception canoes from Masters and they quickly sold out to locals looking for better boats. Taylor had a new business–which would eventually lead to three stores–and Masters had a paddling friend for life.
“Bill Masters is the smartest guy I’ve ever met in paddlesports,” says Taylor. “In the early days, my wife and I would head to South Carolina, stay at his house, and paddle all sorts of new designs,” Taylor reminisces. “You can still see his innovations in Perception boats and those of other companies.”
Celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, Appomattox River Company was founded in Farmville in 1977.