When an idealistic business professor named Bill Parks set out in 1972 to prove that the principles he taught in the classroom could work in the real world, he had no trouble deciding what kind of startup to launch. Bill was a river runner, and he wanted to help others enjoy the sport he’d come to love so much. Starting with $2,000 from his savings, he stocked an inventory of boating gear in his garage and typed out the first Northwest River Supplies catalog.
Bill was drawn to rivers, to the beautiful places they carried him, to the challenge of running rapids, and to the people and experiences that made every trip a memory to cherish. Now in his 80s, Bill is still running rivers and still working to help others pursue their passions on the water. And the nearly 100 employee-owners at NRS are committed to the same singular vision. What draws us to water is what drives us every day.
In 2014, NRS became 100% employee owned. Every NRS employee-owner is personally responsible for the company’s performance, from customer service to dealer support to product development and quality control.
“What draws us to water is what drives us every day at NRS. Stroll through our headquarters in Moscow, Idaho and you’ll meet passionate rafters, whitewater kayakers, sea kayakers, stand up paddlers, kayak anglers and fly fishermen. Whether designing gear, assembling products, creating catalogs, answering phone calls or shipping orders, we are dedicated to providing the equipment, expertise and inspiration that empowers adventures on the water.
Since manufacturing the first purpose-built dry bag for boaters back in 1974, the NRS name has stood for rugged, reliable equipment built to the standards of our toughest customers: professional outfitters and guides. Outfitters around the world rely on NRS boats, frames, life jackets, apparel and accessories to keep their customers safe, their guides productive and their businesses healthy day after day, season after season.