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In 1979, Rob Kaplan began manufacturing the DaKine® Leash in Haiku, Maui, Hawaii. The DaKine surf leash was designed for rigorous Hawaiian conditions and set the standard for innovative design and high quality. After this innovative breakthrough, DaKine started to build on its reputation by building technical surfing and windsurfing accessories, such as in 1980, when pro windsurfers asked Rob to help build footstraps for their new wave boards. Throughout the early 1980s, DaKine developed the 1st adjustable footstrap, seat harness, and waist harness, defining the company as the leading innovator in technical windsurfing accessories.

DaKine moved their manufacturing and operations to Hood River, OR in 1986; besides being a popular windsurfing location on the mainland, it´s also a gathering place for the best professional snowboarders looking to ride on Mt. Hood. In 1989, after proving themselves as leaders in surf accessories, gear, and bags, DaKine committed to the rapidly expanding snowboard market with board accessories, board bags, and gear bags. By using their commitment to unique designs, high quality, and the desire to stay true to the spirit of the sport, the company would become the world leader in this market over the next 15 years.

Throughout the 1990s, DaKine moved into the snowsports glove category with a modest three styles, and has now expanded that line to close to 70 models today. In 1996, DaKine introduced the Heli Pack, which helped create the new category of minimalist technical backcountry day packs. In 1998, DaKine sought to surpass the Heli Pack and introduced the Heli Pro. In a short time, the Heli Pro becomes the standard for technical daypacks as well as the sport's best selling (and most copied) model. Also around this time, DaKine moved into skate specific packs, such as the Park Pack, which quickly became known for its innovation and durability.

A true leader in the world of bags, packs, and accessories, DaKine has also built a reputation in the travel category, whether it is board sport specific carriers or luggage. After celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2004, DaKine continues to pride itself on developing products for the top professionals in every board sport and building its reputation for innovation and quality for over a quarter of a century.