Last Friday the Toronto Star wrote an article about the new Transport Canada regulations that effect instructors, leaders and guides who are on the water in canoes and kayaks.
The article focuses on the confusion that many Canadian paddlers are having with the new regulations and the fact that Transport Canada has yet to come out with some definitive guidelines and steps on if you need to register and how to do it.
All the media attention finally made Transport Canada publicly respond and clarify several items including the perceived notion that they are trying to hinder people from getting out on the water.
Wavelength Magazine has just released their Spring 2011 edition. The free sea kayak magazine has been around for 20 years now which is no small accomplishment indeed.
To celebrate the anniversary, they announced that they have changed the magazine name to Coast&Kayak Magazine. The reason for the name change is mainly because there are several other magazines out there also called Wavelength Magazine. This was never a problem back in 1991 when the internet didn’t exist except for super, super nerds.
Magazine editor, John Kimantas explains it best. "This was fine 20 years ago, but the world is smaller now and the titles are colliding. If you look at the official Wavelength Magazine Facebook Page it's actually a Brit surfing magazine. Not to mention that things like bluetooth technology are based on wavelengths, which really cloud the search function in finding us. So we needed a name that better expressed what we're all about. I think Coast&Kayak summarizes it nicely. It would be Coast&Paddlesports, but unfortunately Paddlesports is a very cumbersome word."
You can read more about the announcement on their website wavelengthmagazine.com (they are rolling out the new domain mid March). Also look for information on how you can win a $4,500 Atlantis Titan VI with a custom Kevlar layup.
Whitewater clothing and gear manufacturer, Immersion Research is currently on the hunt for a European Ambassador for 2011. If this tweaks your fancy then all you need to do is post a promotional video of yourself online and why you would be the best IR ambassador ever.
If you get picked you get all the glory including $1500 worth of IR gear with the expectation that you will post somewhat regular reviews and stories of you’re (paddling) exploits on their .eu website.
I love their tip: We receive lots and lots of videos of people throwing loops and running waterfalls. You may want to consider that while putting together your entry, we understand that you want to show us what you can do in a boat, but we’re also interested in how you interact with the paddling community.
Click through to their site for all the good details.
I noticed last week that several bloggers have posted notices by the climbing gear manufacturer Petzl. It seems Petzl has discovered counterfeit safety gear showing up for sale overseas. So far nothing has shown up in US shops but they are getting the word out to climbers to be on the lookout and to only purchase gear in authorized shops. The reason is fairly simple. The tested counterfeit pulleys and carabineers shows serious performance/strength issues so you are really taking your life in your hands by using it.
The good thing is that it doesn’t happen very often in the paddlesports world though it does sometimes pop-up. You might remember a couple of years ago when Werner Paddles reported that a company in China had stolen their designs and were selling cheap knocks-offs. Also about six months ago I got an email from somebody selling carbon whitewater helmets super cheap. It was pretty clear that they were also a knockoff from somebody.
Counterfeit products tend to show up more in outdoor clothing world then hardgoods. That’s just because there are more people interested in purchasing a cheap gore-tex jacket then bulk orders of whitewater helmets. There is a lot more cash to be in clothing.
Years ago I used to work at Mountain Equipment Co-op in customer service. I encountered a counterfeit Mountain Equipment Co-op jacket when the customer tried to return it saying the stitching was defective. The manufacturing was pretty shoddy but other then that, it looked exactly like the real thing. The real tip-off was that the jacket material was a different colour then the jacket should have come in and after some questioning the customer admitted that they bought it overseas but claimed they had no idea that they were buying a fake.
Sadly it happens in almost every single industry from cosmetics to electronics to DVDs. The worst part about counterfeit stuff is that it’s almost impossible to stop it. There are several different ways that fakes flood the market. The products are purchased, dissembled and the patterns are copied and easily replicated. Another common way is that the offshore manufacturing plant sometimes make a couple “extra” or “loan” out the plans to somebody else who quickly and easily produces the counterfeit product.
Pretty much all the major clothing manufactures including The North Face, Arc'teryx, Patagonia have counterfeit products scattered around eBay. thenorthfaceguru.com is a website specifically dedicated to outing fakes on eBay and is a fascinating read with lots of good examples of how close to the real thing the fakes look.
Finally, researching this I found an interesting article about Canadian winter coat manufacturer Canada Goose who’s has been aggressively battling counterfeits over the past year. They are worried that people buying the fakes will get sick because when they analysed the down they found they weren’t stuffed with the high quality, sanitized goose down but was in fact, “stuffed with mulched up chicken feathers, beaks and chicken feet.” They also discovered the hoods on the fake jackets were from German shepherds, rabbits and even house cats in an attempt to get the "authentic" look Canada Goose is famous for, the company says.
Found a cheap deal on eBay? If it is sold as a new item and it looks to good to be true it probably is. Buyer beware.
I recently got the latest issue of Adventure Kayak and was pleased to see the article I had written on expedition kayak modifications for weekend warriors made it in. It was a fun article to put together as Justin Curgenvan, Bryan Hansel, Derrick Mayoleth and Serge Savard all provided some great tips on pimping your boat.
Turning the page I found what I was really looking for. Adventure Kayak editor, Virginia Marshall wrote a piece on the Georgian Bay Storm Gathering that I co-organize each Fall. I knew she was writing the piece as we did an interview when she attended the event back in October but I hadn't seen anything until now.
I'm pleased the way the article came out and the photos really capture the essence of the event which is all about getting out for some rough-water paddling and actually having fun doing it.
You can find the latest issue of Adventure Kayak online by going here.