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Just read some really good news tonight, the new organization, Paddlesports North America which replaces British Canoe Union North America has just become the official delivery organization for the BCU here in North America. Alec and Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin explained the impact of this development on their website, Have Kayaks Will Travel: This is an enormous development, and one that’s been in process for several years. It means that we can now promote, train and support coaches to deliver BCU programming and maintain all achievement records on this continent, and be more responsive to the needs of North American paddlers and coaches. So congrats to everybody involved in getting this going and I’m really looking forward to watching PNA grow in the coming years.
Looking through the online Google's collection of patents turns up no shortage of weird kayaking related inventions. Here is a quick round-up: The Paddlebow Like kayaking? Like bow hunting? Why on earth would you ever consider looking at them as two different sports when you can combine them for a way better paddling/hunting experience. This little invention allows you to clip on a trusty crossbow to the shaft of your kayak paddle allowing you…to…well, let's let the patent description do the talking: The Paddlebow is a bow which can be easily mounted on the shaft of a paddle and used to shoot arrows. The bow is mounted to a paddle shaft by way of a clamp system. The Paddlebow allows its users to shift from the action of paddling their kayak to the action of shooting an arrow in a quick and comfortable manor. All I want to know is how the inventor expects you to comfortably paddle with a giant crossbow on the paddle. Also with the weight all forward of the paddle, it would just keep falling down hitting the deck of your kayak as you paddled. The patent was issued in 2010 so maybe it just hasn't hit the market yet.   Heated kayak canoe paddle shaft From the patent description: Patent Description The heated paddle shaft is a heating device integrated into the shaft of a kayak or canoe paddle. The pads are placed on the shaft to keep the operators hands warm. A rechargeable lithium ionized battery source is the charge for these pads. Maybe it's just me but I certainly don't paddle enough that I thought, “wow, a heated paddleshaft would come in handy right now.” In 2010 the US patent office issued this idea.   Kayak deck rack assembly Here is an idea! Let's add luggage rails to the back deck of your kayak effectively making it impossible that you will ever be able to get up on the back deck if you need to be rescued. Also, let's stack as much junk on top of your boat and make it as top-heavy…
I love when cool technology comes together. Huntsville, Ontario resident, Ben Carlin started up a new company this past Spring called Intrepid360 with the aim to combine 360 degree video and marketing. He recently partnered up with Algonquin Outfitters to demonstrate the immersive and very powerful form of video by taking us on a family canoe day trip in Algonquin Park. You might recognize blogger, Jennifer Johnson and her family from the site, Backcountry with the Kids. Watch the video below, move your mouse around and visit Algonquin Park in just over 3 minutes.
I love this old footage from 1949 showing the demonstration of a game of canoe polo at a local boat regatta. To both the untrained and trained eye it looks like total chaos but at the same time a serious boatload of fun.
I got a pleasant surprise in the old email box the other day when I discovered that Jeff's Map has released a brand new map for Temagami region as well as a major update to his Killarney Provincial Park and surrounding area. If you are an Ontario paddler who hasn't tapped into the amazing resources that Jeff produces and makes available absolutely free on his website you are missing out for sure. They are easily the cleanest and most comprehensive canoe/kayak route maps out there today. Also, in many cases they are more accurate than the official park maps themselves (I'm looking at you Algonquin Park Canoe Map). The Temagami canoe map is filled with a pile of relevant information for canoeists including: thousands of campsites and portages hundreds of canoe routes crown land ice cold springs historic ruins fire towers historic ranger cabins other notes of interest Also, the northern and western extremes of Temagami region are fully documented for the first time. Sea Kayakers will be happy with the updates to version 2.0 of his Killarney Provincial Park Map which now includes more detailed information for the Georgian Bay area just south of the park. As I mentioned Jeff makes all his maps available for free to anybody who wants to view or print them off yourself (ahem, the colour printer at work) but he also makes them available for a small charge if you wanted to order it on waterproof paper. One cool thing is that 5% of all sales of the new Temagami map is donated to Friends of Temagami who do a great job lobbying to protect that area. More information: Temagami, Killarney, Algonquin Park Map Credits: Jeff's Maps

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