A whole pile of kayak paddle related news come across my desk in the past week that it’s time for a paddle round-up.
Werner is adding colour options to their Camano and Shuna blades. Along with the current red, orange and amber colours, you can now order it in Azul and Jade patterns. The good news that the new patterns are the same price as if you ordered solid colours.
More info: wernerpaddles.com
H2O Performance Paddles
H2O is introducing a new lightweight ECO-REC paddle which is unique in that it’s made of 100% recycled nylon. It’s pretty stinkin’ light at only 950 grams.
According to the press release it has, “an advanced dihedral blade design for flutter free strokes combined with H2O’s Fast Ferrule (patent pending) system, this paddle is sure to set the benchmark in the $119 - $139 price point”.
More info: h2opaddles.com
Finally, Novorca Paddles has just announced a design collaboration with Cheri Perry & Turner Wilson from
There is more information in the press release below:
For those traditional paddlers who are seeking either carbon blades that reflect the design principles we have used in our wooden blades, for several seasons now, or for those of you looking for multi-section blades that are designed for air travel, overcoming the increasingly stringent size restrictions of most airlines. Articulated yet comfortable loom sections to encourage canted indexing, lenticular-sectioned blades, with sharp edges and tips that slice at entry without a sound, thus virtually eliminating cavitation.
The design has evolved from testing, and building, then testing, and building again, a series of Alaskan Yellow Cedar paddles that are affectionately called 'Razors'. We will of course continue to offer these custom paddles to folks that enjoy these very lively and resonant paddles for those of you that love solid wood paddles as much as we do.
In the last two years we have taken comments and orders from paddlers all over the world, and we have spun off the design and tested protoypes most of the summer to bring this paddle into being as a foam core carbon sectional with Ron Steinwall of Novorca fame.
In the course of our travels we have had an opportunity to test some of our students' Novorca paddles first hand. We have always been impressed with the build quality of these carbon paddles. We have been encouraging Ron to build a sectional sticks for several years now, and he has really delivered on this idea in these paddles. We think you will agree with us that these are the finest sectional GPs available.
These three piece-paddles are available for order through either Novorca or
Kayak Ways, now! The carbon Kayak Ways Razor will also be available as a one-piece paddle. The inherent design principles of these paddles easily morph into other lengths and widths. More details to follow!
More info: novorca.com
I’m really excited to finally be able to announce the addition of Keen Footwear as a sponsor of paddlinginstructor.com.
For the past several years I had been using low-cut neoprene booties which had been working out pretty good except that the tread had worn down completely smooth making walking through puddles and mud a touch...well dangerous when you have a boat on your shoulder. The biggest downside with neoprene is that they take a very long time to dry out so by mid season, I was always asked to stand downwind of my friends due to the foot stink. I’m not kidding.
As a replacement to the black neoprene stinkers, I was really excited to give Keen’s water shoe, the McKenzie a try and it’s since proven to be a great little paddling shoe. The McKenzie is a hybrid shoe in that it wears like a regular running shoe but it has several mesh panels to drain the water out and dry quickly so it has the light and breezy qualities of a sandal. The shoe dries quick and has great group on wet rocks which were two key qualities I was looking for.
One thing I did discover is that the McKenzie’s fit a little big. In my case I had to go down a full size then I normally would so keep that in mind if you happen to order a pair online.
So I’m pretty excited about this sponsorship. Keen makes great footwear but they are also pretty serious about giving back to the community. They currently budget close to 1% of their profits and give that back to a variety of non-profit organizations around the world.
One cool story that caught my eye was mentioned on the Keen Wikipedia page. Back in 2004 right after the Asian Tsunami, they decided to take their entire marketing budget for the year and donate it in total to relief efforts. That’s pretty serious.
So a special thanks to Keen for sponsoring this site as well as protecting my feet while carrying by kayak to the waters edge.
It looks like Maelströmkayak is quickly getting back on their feet. I got a note today from company President, Charles-Alexandre Desjardins explaining what’s happening over the next couple of months.
First off they have a new website that is supposed to go live any day now. Though a new website will be great to see, the current photo that is on the site current is awesome and better be part of the new design.
I’m told that when the new site goes live we will learn more details about two new boat designs that should be available for Spring 2013 (or hopefully earlier). The two new boats are going to be 16’6” x 21” and 17’7” x 21.5” beam. The solid design details are sketchy right now so we will need to wait until we see better photos of what the boats look like. Here is a tease drawing of what to expect.
Charles-Alexandre had this to say about what’s to come:
The names of the new models will be disclosed on our website, but you can expect a Scandinavian inspiration. We are pushing the envelope a bit with the new designs, with features quite unique. The decks are not designed for carrying all your stuff on them and in my mind, you should only carry a spare paddle, compass and water pump. All the rest should be in the boat or on you. You'll see what I mean.
So two new boats, for expedition and fun in the surf zone. One for small to medium size paddlers and the other one will be for larger paddlers. Great color combination will be made possible with our unique and distinctive hull's wing.
They are planning to test the prototypes this July and August and if the designs hold up, they will be manufactured at a factory in Quebec which is great to hear.
Time will tell what we will get. I’m just glad to see them getting back on their feet after taking quite an unexpected beating this past spring.
Not sure if anybody noticed it or not but buried at the bottom of the latest Paddle
This goes along with all the other discounts available from companies like Red Cross, Sirius Wilderness Medicine, Wilderness Medical Associates, Northwater, Outdoor Research, and Level Six.
Sadly the Keen deal is only limited to one pair of shoes each year so choose wisely. You can find all the details on the Paddle Canada website.
Here is a positive announcement from the kayak manufacturing industry. Swedish company, Point65°N has announced that it will be moving the production of their Apollo and Snap OnTop kayaks from their current manufacturing plant in China to Roth Global Plastics manufacturing facility in Syracuse, NY.
From the press release:
“Roth Global Plastics is excited to be manufacturing kayaks for Point65°N”, says John Pezzi, the company’s Vice President of Plant Operations. “It’s rare that foreign companies bring manufacturing into theUnited Statesand we are thrilled to be a part of it. The seasonality of the recreational water sports is perfectly counter-cyclical to that of our septic tank manufacturing business and helps keep the facility at a higher overall level of utilization throughout the year.”
You can find more information about the announcement here.