The Backwater Tradition
Family, tradition, and hard work. It was on this foundation that Backwater was built. To understand what this company is about, it helps to know a little about Arlon, Larry and Jake. Their 50+ years of collective mud motor experience — along with a love for hunting, fishing and the outdoors — is the driving force behind Backwater and the best shallow water motors made. Backwater is a passion. It’s a family. We’d love for you to be a part of it.
From young on, whenever he wasn't busy doing chores on the family farm, Arlon was chasing fish and ducks on the local lakes and potholes. He led a rambunctious childhood and, at eighteen, joined the Army. Serving in the military abroad expanded his horizons and set him on the colorful path he would lead. Arlon has worked in a series of careers, ranging from motorcycle mechanic to public education and film production.
Through it all, he never lost his fondness for fishing and hunting, and this is what steered him to the world of mud motors. For over 25 years, Arlon has spent countless hours running the winding turns and fallen trees of the Sauk River. This led to more than just good fishing. He developed ties and worked in the industry for years, and began thinking about how he could take his passion to the next level. This is when he and longtime friend and hunting partner, Larry Hoeschen, began the work of building a better mud motor. Not long after, Backwater was formed.
There are few others who might be able to claim as many hours running mud motors. Whether it's motor R&D or taking an extra hour to make sure a customer is getting exactly what they want, Arlon brings his extensive real-world experience to the table at Backwater every day.
Larry grew up on a dairy farm and implement dealership in central Minnesota. As a boy, he learned the meaning of a hard day's work. The demands of farming and working on machinery honed his ability to work on just about anything that came his way. Larry's skill and work ethic created the foundation for a successful career in the automotive business. For over 30 years he worked in various capacities, including mechanic, computer tech, welder, metal fabricator, auto body restoration, manager, and shop owner.
In addition to his accomplished career, Larry has served the community as an active member of the Freeport Fire department since 1987 — ten of those years as assistant chief & training officer, and three years as chief. To this day, when his emergency pager goes off, Larry puts whatever he's doing on pause and is on his way to the call within seconds.
Larry has always had a connection with the outdoors. Whether it's hunting, fishing, or riding motorcycles, he is passionate about it. In 2008 that passion began to translate into his work as he and Arlon teamed up to develop a new motor. A year later, Backwater was born. Since then Larry has continued to be the driving force behind development and manufacturing. His engineering know-how and ingenuity are evident in each motor we build. In all his years as a mechanic he always looked for ways to build things better, and he does the same with each new motor design.
Pictured with Larry is his son, Zach, who is proof that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. With Larry's guidance, Zach has become an expert welder and is an invaluable member of the Backwater team.
Jake’s passions could have led him to some far corner of the world working as a photojournalist, or maybe a fancy position at a Fortune 500 company, but luckily for the Backwater team, he chose to stay close to his roots.
From little on, Jake had a strong sense of what he was doing and how to do it. At 9 years old he would snag catfish with the assured confidence of a pro-angler, clean and fillet them, and then take over the kitchen to have a fish fry. This assertiveness carried through to everything he did. His passion for the outdoors meshed well with his talent for photography, and he went on to study communications and business. Studying, living and traveling to many parts of the globe, Jake gained an appreciation for the world and human interaction. This helped form his “big picture” vision.
Shortly after Backwater was created, Jake began helping out with key elements of the motor design, testing, and the day to day business operations. It soon became apparent that Jake’s vision and drive were important to Backwater’s success, and he was brought in as part of the ownership. Jake's leadership and keen understanding of the SWOMP lineup are crucial in making Backwater the best at what we do.