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Found this in the Guardian today: An artist in Japan, who works under the pseudonym Rokudenashiko – which roughly translates as "good-for-nothing girl" – was arrested after emailing the data to 30 people who had answered a crowd-funding request for her recent artistic venture: a kayak inspired on her own genitalia she calls "pussy boat", according to Brian Ashcraft at the gaming website Kotaku. More info.
Kokatat has always been known as an innovative company especially when it comes to dry suits. While they didn't invent them back in 1971 when they first started stitching, there is little doubt that they should get the credit for making them appealing to the masses. Starting next year Kokatat will be taking a giant leap forward with the roll-out of the Idol drysuit with what they are calling SwitchZip technology. Gone will be the giant brass zipper across the chest in favour of a 360 degree waterproof zipper located around the waist. To me this is going to be a huge game changer. The new zipper will still be a 100% waterproof but will allow you to completely separate the pants from the top allowing you to mix and match depending on the conditions and/or water temperature. If you only need a paddling jacket than leave the pants behind or zip them together as a regular drysuit. I will file this whole thing under the why-didn't-this-come-out-10-years-ago-idea. I haven't tried it on yet but I suspect that this is also going to make the fit and comfort of the suit a whole lot better as it should be considerably less bulky upstairs without that stiff brass zipper jammed under your lifejacket. Also ladies, you won't need to order the drop zipper any longer. You know that drop zipper that makes butts look twice as wide? I kid! I kid. As far as the placement of the new zipper, I've been told that when seated, it will sit inside the kayak cockpit between the backband and the seat. Designed into the suit is a simple Cordura cover so it won't get hung up in kayak rigging or PFD's. So when will it be showing up at paddling shops? Kokatat says to watch for the new Idol sometime in January, 2015.
If you have a weekend free this summer and looking for kayak training in a very relaxed environment, make your way to the Ontario Sea Kayak Centre, located 2.5h north of Toronto in Parry Sound. For the first time they are offering a series of theme weekends covering a wide variety of topics including Greenland Paddle building and rolling. Paddle building and rolling is fine and all but I want to highlight two other programs also going on. The first is that I'm teaching a navigation and weather themed weekend coming up in just a couple of days. We will be covering stuff like trip planning, on-water navigation and the basics of weather forecasting as well as getting out and checking out the sights and sounds of Georgian Bay’s 40,000 islands. In the past have you gotten lost listening to a friend trying to explain the wonders of navigation? I will try to sort it out for you. It will be practical, nerdy but certainly not boring. Another weekend that looks amazing and you should for sure think about attending is the leadership and risk management weekend hosted by Alec and Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin of Have Kayaks, Will Travel Paddlesport Coaching in Chicago. Over the weekend they will be covering the latest and greatest kayak rescue techniques as well as how to manage incidents on the water. Of course it won’t be all rescues all the time and they will also be working with students to improve strokes and paddling technique. With a small class there will be lots of one on one time. I know these guys love having fun on the water so I know you are going to have a great time. Looks interesting? You can find more info about the training weekends here.
As a freshwater kid who rarely gets to the ocean, I think that tides are just awesome. That's why I was excited last week when I stumbled upon this very cool collection of low and high tide comparison photos from around the world. I'm always amazed at how much of a difference there is between low and high tide. If you are this guy, I've got a pile of resources that will help explain how tides work so that even a 6 year old will understand. Download your free teaching resources here.
Today I had the pleasure of being invited to Onondaga Camp (just north of Toronto about 2.5h) to do some training with their canoe & kayak waterfront staff. It was fun. When I got home I decided to check out their website and stumbled upon this amazing photo. Sometime last year history was made when a young camper decided to go waterskiing behind a group of burly camp staff paddling a freighter canoe. Oh look, the camper is wearing a cape to boot! This photo is 100% awesome. Photo credit: onondagacamp.com

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