At Lightning, we are passionate about being “Your Connection To The Water.” Our vision is to bring quality and feature rich pedal drive kayaks at an affordable price. We started in 2018, but our team experience dates back to over 40 years of industry passion and involvement.
Robert Field – Sales & Marketing
Not long after getting his Masters degree in Finance and beginning his climb up the corporate ladder, Robert Field decided the eight-to-five life wasn’t as appealing as society had convinced him it would be. He ditched the corporate grind to pursue his passion for fishing, travel and the great outdoors. Now he lives in a travel trailer full time as he fishes his way across the entire country. Rob fishes primarily from kayaks, so having the right vessel for the job is critical. The Freedom Drive pedal system propels him around while keeping his hands free for fishing and filming.
Robert’s ultimate goal is to help motivate and inspire others to chase worthwhile experiences instead of zeroes in a bank account.
Lee Bonfiglio – R&D
Lee Bonfiglio is a former World Champion Kayaker and has been kayaking for over 40 years. Lee’s wealth of knowledge stretches far beyond the sport of kayaking to include materials research, design, engineering and human factors. With many kayaks and paddles to his design credit, Lee is able to gather team input regarding design and create kayaks from discussions.
Stuart Lee – CEO
The man with the plan! For the last 20 years Stuart has been manufacturing industry leading Kayak, Canoe and SUP paddles. His “grassroots” experience started at the age of 13 when he worked for his Dad assembling paddles. Seeing opportunities to take the canoe and paddle industry to technologically advanced levels, Stuart started Accent Paddles in 2004 with Lee Bonfiglio, and together most recently founded Lightning Kayaks in 2018.
Stuart enjoys Process Engineering and creating better technology to benefit the consumer. He believes that technological advancements in equipment can allow all people greater access to get out and “Connect With The Water.” His real passion and enjoyment is all the time he gets to spend with his family! His core belief is that having a work-life balance is a key to success!
Tim Niemier – Design TeamTim Niemier is a designer of watercraft, currently focusing on kayaks and stand up paddleboards. Niemier is credited with introducing the sit-on-top (SOT) kayak design. In January 1988, Tim founded a kayak manufacturing and sales company, Ocean Kayak, to produce these unique kayaks using polyethylene. We knew that the best way to start building the best kayak possible was to go where it all started. Tim played a huge role in initial design concepts and modeling.