“John Su is sweating.
On most weekdays, the special education teacher would be in his classroom with high school students. But even under the shade of his garage, Su feels the swelter of the summer day as he hacks away at a worn kayak scraped up beyond repair.
Although Su owns nine different kayaks at the moment — his record is around 18 — this isn’t his boat.
A network of paddling devotees from around the country bring him kayaks like this one that are past their prime and would otherwise be trashed. Su then whittles them down into hand paddles, carving more rustic, scrappier sets than those sold at a sports goods store.”