Professional Paddlesports Association LogoThe Professional Paddlesports Association just announced a new program called the 9th Grade Paddle Pass. As the name implies, it is a program aimed at introducing students in grade nine to paddling by allowing them to get out on the water for free up to ten times throughout the 2011 paddling season.

I think it is an amazing program idea and it’s perfect for introducing kids to the sport just as they are old enough to get seriously hooked.

The only downside I can see to the program is that there are currently only two outfitters onboard and they are located in Ohio and Missouri. It’s only the first year so low numbers are a bit to be expected though I’m surprised that there isn’t a larger group of paddling schools and outfitters onboard for the initial launch. Here is hoping that more sign on to the program soon.

If you are thinking of taking advantage of the program, you have until June 22, 2011 to get your application in.

More info:

Aquapac LogoAs the calendar moves over into spring, Aquapac® – makers of 100 percent waterproof protective cases – rolls out its brand new Stormproof™ range, a colorful 14-item collection of affordable waterproof packs and pouches designed for outdoor use.

Being delivered in time to stave off April showers, the breadth of the new Stormproof range includes small pouches that hold and protect phones and MP3 players, to camera bags, padded laptop cases, drybags and backpacks. While not intended to be submersible, the Stormproof range offers lightweight and simple-to-use protection for outdoor enthusiasts to safeguard their equipment against the elements.

Friday, 01 April 2011 14:58

SPOT Satellite Communicator Recalled

SPOT Communicator Recall

Spot LLC announced another recall of one of their products. You might remember last year when the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger was having problems transmitting and also got recalled. Now it seems their SPOT Satellite Communicator which comes with the DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w is having similar issues.

In the press release, Spot announced that, “in certain incidents, intended messages may not be transmitted, including requests for help or emergency assistance, when the SPOT Satellite Communicator is used at temperatures below 40 degrees Farhrenheit/4.44 degrees Celsius.”

It seems that the company manufacturing the communicator substituted a couple of parts that were, “not meeting operating specifications”. Those keeping track will note that is what happened last time also.

Here are the full details on the recall including SPOT contact information.

American Canoe Association LogoWant to work for the American Canoe Association? If so, then you are in luck as they just posted the plumb job of Safety Education & Instruction Coordinator.

According to the job description, the Safety Education & Instruction Coordinator position has "primary oversight of the day to day management of the National Paddlesports Instruction Program. This includes working with other staff, individual instructors, the general public, and the appropriate committees and councils of the ACA. The SEI Coordinator must work with a high level of diligence and courtesy while enforcing a national paddlesports standard."

They are hoping to fill the job quickly so if it’s something you might be interested in and you are happy to relocate to Fredericksburg, VA then email the Chief Operating Officer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and he can send you all the information. Handy tip; the email I received said not to call looking for job details so that means email only. Though, that doesn't rule out fax conversations...

If you enjoy watching big ships on the water you might also be interested in watching and following their route while sitting in your gloomy, broom storage size, windowless office at work. integrates Google maps with the live transponder data aboard large commercial vessels. With a couple clicks of the mouse you can zoom in and see what ship you are staring at and learn all about it including name, country of origin and what it carries. Many of the ships also have photos listed that have been uploaded by visitors of the site. A great feature is that you can also track the last 24-48h of where the ship has been.

Stuck ship in the St. Lawrence Seaway. Photo Credit:

Today on CBC I learned that there is a ship blocking the St. Lawrence Seaway in Montreal. I guess it got sideways and is blocking the entire canal from side to side. Just checked and yep, it’s still blocking everything. Below is capture. You can view the live view here. Looks like the tugboats are on their way.

Gerber Gator® Combo Axe

Gerber LogoDo you own this axe? If you do you should know that Gerber has announced a recall of it because the knife was slipping out of the handle and lacerating people while in use. So far five people have required stitches.

If you currently have one, Gerber says to remove the knife from the axe handle then contact Gerber to receive a free handle cap, which will hold the knife in the axe handle during transport and storage.

Maybe I’m just not in touch with my inner lumberjack but I don’t see the improvement of a slip out knife in the handle over a standard axe. I must be missing something there.

Gerber Legendary Blades can be reached at (877) 314-9130 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday. For more info visit

Been to before? If not then you will discover a huge market of people selling crafty or vintage items. Think of it as a classier version of eBay minus the auction feature. More overpriced stuff but not near as much junk.

Hunting around on recently I came upon this cool vintage canoeing manual from 1969 published the American Red Cross. According to the description it, “includes history, instruction, maintenance and rescue info on canoeing.”

American Red Cross Canoe Book

Spot LogoSpot LLC, a leader in satellite messaging and emergency notification technology, has partnered with Backpacker Magazine’s 11th annual Get Out More Tour, a national event designed to inspire others to live healthy, active lifestyles outside.  For the third consecutive year, integrated SPOT satellite technology allows retailers, sponsors and fans to follow the tour online from town to town.  The tour kicks-off on April 7 in Raleigh North Carolina and runs through December 8, 2011.

The Get Out More Tour, led by outdoor experts Sheri and Randy Propster, will make over 60 stops at outdoor specialty retailers and festivals across the country.  At each stop the Get Out More road team hosts an interactive 75 minute seminar where the audience can check out the latest outdoor products like SPOT Connect, a new device that enables some of today’s leading smartphones to send messages via satellite. Additionally, attendees can learn important skills from the Backpacker experts and have a chance to win exciting outdoor prizes.

MTI Adventurewear LogoAfter managing MTI Adventurewear for the Takashina family for nearly a decade, paddlesport industry veterans Lili and Gordon Colby purchased the company from them in February. “Signing the final paperwork just after Valentine’s Day was so appropriate for us” explained Lili Colby, head of MTI sales and marketing. “Our relationship as a couple and as business partners has always been intertwined.” Gordon and Lili met almost 20 years ago while working for Mad River Canoe in Waitsfield, Vermont, where Gordon was brand manager for Voyageur (forerunner of Harmony Accessories). When the company merged with Wilderness Systems to become Confluence Watersports, the couple moved to North Carolina with their newborn son, where Gordon became brand manager of Mad River Canoe and Lili managed the Confluence customer service department. The opportunity to run MTI for the Takashina family brought them back home to New England in 2002, with Gordon as its President and product manager, and Lili overseeing sales, customer service, and marketing.

Confluence LogoConfluence Watersports has expanded its sales team as part of an organizational restructuring of the sales division. Building on the success of the regional field representatives, the reorganization was designed to further drive sales at specialty through a combination of increased technical support, enhanced customer service, new key account personnel, and a dedicated e-commerce manager.

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