Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is pleased to announce that Cascade Designs, Inc. has joined our organization as a Vendor Partner.
For nearly forty years, Seattle-based Cascade Designs, Inc. has led the outdoor industry in designing innovative, useful and long-lasting equipment, manufacturing the majority of products in their Seattle, U.S.A. and Cork, Ireland facilities. From the original self-inflating Therm-a-Rest® camping mattress to the first multi-fuel stove, Cascade Designs has developed products that explorers, adventurers, outdoor enthusiasts and weekend campers can rely on to deliver optimum performance in the outdoors through exceptional engineering and quality.
The Bow-rescue video posted on Paddling TV this past week is pretty decent. It clearly demonstrates the key steps to this quick and dirty rescue but there are a couple of suggestions I would make to the demonstrators to make their rescue quicker and more reliable.
SIERRA Magazine and the Sierra Club once again show their support for the paddlesports industry in the May/June SIERRA Magazine – the Sixth Annual Paddling issue. The special paddling section of the magazine is written by industry leader, Darren Bush – the owner of Madison, Wisconsin’s Rutabaga, the country’s largest paddlesports retailer, and Canoecopia, the country’s largest paddlesports consumer show. Darren’s article is about the joys and lessons learned when paddling solo and with a partner.
An interesting study was released today that seems to debunk the popular believe that most bear attacks happen when you get between a mother and her cubs.
Most of the fatal black bears attacks in North America in the last 110 years were the result of male bears targeting humans as food, according in an article published Wednesday in the Journal of Wildlife Management by University of Calgary professor Stephen Herrero.
Researchers looked at all the black bear deaths in North America between 1900 and 2009, excluding those caused by bears kept in captivity.
The study found that 63 people were killed in 59 incidents. Of those, 88 per cent involved a bear "exhibiting predatory behaviour" and 92 per cent of the bears were male.
Here are some bear safety tips to make your next backcountry trip safer.
More info: cbc.ca
There is a new kayak training DVD about to be released called Sea Kayak Essentials and it’s put together by the same gang that brought us Kayak Essentials last year which we were happy to review at the time.
This time round they are looking specifically at sea kayaking with a focus on the following skills:
- 5 Essentials of Boat Speed, Angle and Trim; Body Position, Stroke Linking
- Fundamentals of Posture, Connectivity, Feel and Power Transfer
- Core skills of Forward paddling, Balancing and Turning
- Use of the Skeg
- Boat Awareness exercises
There are also sections that go into more detail on how to paddle in advanced conditions including tidal races, surfing and rock hopping.
I’m really looking forward to seeing this DVD. Kayak Essentials was well produced and focused a lot on the technical skill development so there was a lot of material to work with. Sea Kayak Essentials looks to be in a similar vein and very promising.
A trailer was recently posted and it’s embedded below.
You can find more information about Sea Kayak Essentials on their website.
My firend Mike sent me this photo of the outdoor shop that he works at in Waterloo, Ontario. He convinced his boss at the Adventure Guide to change the sign to read, “Zombies can’t swim. Buy a Paddle board.”
This comes from a recent post we chatted about a while back where something similar was posted at a marina.
Adventure Guide has had some witty stuff on their sign in the past. Back in January it read, “Ski wax on. Ski wax off.”
Photo credit: The Adventure Guide
If you have ever thought of getting into the world of adventure film production, paddler and film guy extraordinaire, Bryan Smith is highlighted on the latest National Geographic webTV episode of Fringe Elements.
The latest episode called Adventure Vision gives some background of how Bryan got into film production as well as a sliver of insight into how some of those amazing adventure films are put together. If you don't have time to watch the video below the short version is that it's a really huge pile of work to get the shots looking right.
The gear nerd in me was all excited to see that Bryan is now shooting with RED cameras. Not the ultra high-end ($58,000) handheld RED EPIC cameras that Peter Jackson is using to shoot the Hobbit but it’s still pretty cool none-the-less.
We have all been there. There is only an hour left in your lesson but you have two hours of material left to teach. Where did the time go?
A sign of a good instructor is the ability to keep on top of your lesson plan and finish things off in the allotted amount of time. With one eye on the students and the other on her watch, the instructor can keep the lesson going without getting flustered or stressed that she behind schedule.
Below is a set of random tips and ideas to help you manage your time while out teaching this summer:
- Write your lesson plan out on paper in a chronological order throughout the day so you don’t need to waste time trying to find your place while on the water.
- When planning your lessons, be realistic in how long something is going to take or learn. Travel and paddle time always takes longer then you think and don’t forget to take into account wind and a beginners paddling pace.
- Streamline housekeeping. If your students need to fill out paperwork at the beginning of the course encourage them to get there early to take care of it before the course starts. As students finish up their paperwork use that time to learn names and morning expectations.
- Set realistic time expectations with your students. Let them know how much time they have for lunch so they are back on time. Tell them your goal is to be on the water in x number of minutes so they know if they have time to find that last minute item in the trunk of their car.
- Watch your travel time on the water as it eats up a lot of time very quickly. Don’t move your class unless you need to.
- Getting on and off the water always takes twice as long as you think it does (did I mention that before?).
- Try to teach your on-land segments at the same time (just before or just after lunch) to minimize water/land transition time.
- If you need to paddle for a short distance to your planned teaching location, watch and lean how long it takes. It’s important to know how long the paddle home is going to take!
- Take advantage of class downtime for quick mini lessons. For example, lunchtime is a great time for a fast weather or safety lesson.
- When your students are off practising their newly learned skill take a moment look ahead in your lesson plan to figure out what’s next. That will help keep the lesson momentum from stalling out.
- Watch your mouth. If you are running out of time it’s likely because you are talking too much. Start with the goal to cut your talking down by half then go from there.
- If your class runs over two days, hand out homework for them to read. It’s great for theory topics and other easily digestible material.
- If you realize you are running out of time and can’t teach everything in your lesson quickly prioritize and teach only what you can. Is there anything that you can get students to read or learn via a follow-up email later?
- At the end of the day make note of what worked and what took more time then you thought. This will allow you to properly adjust your schedule as necessary next time.
Got other time saving ideas? Post them in the comments area below.
And here is a very unrelated bonus photo for you. Darth Vader busking in Victoria, BC.
The Heliconia Press announced that they have sold off their book and DVD publishing arm to Fox Chapel Publishing who is best known for publishing woodworking books and videos.
Over the years, The Heliconia Press released a wide variety of very good paddling books and videos including Sea Kayaking Rough Waters by Alex Mathews, Rolling a Kayak by Ken Whiting and the highly recommended book, Camp Cooking: The Black Feather Guide to Eating Well in the Wild by Mark Scriver.
So what’s next for The Heliconia Press? Their TV and web TV production line has become so successful that they are going to be exclusively focusing on it. No word on what projects are in the pipeline but they have several extremely popular youtube channels including Paddling TV and Kayak Fishing Tales which is on track to get six million views this year alone.
World Kayak, the online hub of the freestyle kayaking community, is launching the first-ever point series designed to create a system of amateur rankings for recreational kayakers.
The point series will be implemented at World Kayak’s Hometown Throwdowns throughout the US and Canada this year. The system earned nods of approval from the freestyle committees of both countries’ kayaking federations. Hometown Throwdowns are kayak competitions aimed at helping recreational boaters meet others and improve their skills in a fun environment on their home rivers. There are some 160 Hometown Throwdowns scheduled this season.
The North Face today announced its support as a presenting sponsor of Outdoor Nation, the youth-led movement championing the outdoors. Launched in 2010 in New York City with its inaugural youth summit, the largest and most diverse gathering of its kind, Outdoor Nation has sparked a movement that is empowering the millennial generation to reconnect, redefine and rediscover America as an Outdoor Nation and to champion the outdoors on campuses and in communities.
The Learn to Camp program involves a three pronged approach including an online website, community-based evening sessions and overnight classes at several provincial parks.
Throughout the camping season the Ontario Parks staff will be organizing free evening sessions in partnership with local community groups around the Greater Toronto area. The clinics will allow people who are thinking about going camping learn about provincial parks and how to make their first trip a success.
If you are a fan of emersion learning then you could sign-up for one of the overnight programs. It costs $46 and can have a maximum of six participants. It’s much more in-depth then the community sessions as it covers some of the key outdoor skills to make sure your camping experience is successful including settings up a tent, building a campfire, equipment choices, and food prep.
Finally, if you can’t get to an event in person, Ontario Parks has rolled out a fantastic online resource with all clinic materials online. I really appreciate that the site content is very practical and clearly aimed at the beginner camper with the goal of breaking down the intimidation factor. For example, the food section includes a sample meal plan as well as lots of information on things that I would never think about like how to actually cook on a stove safety or how to properly pack a cooler.
I love this initiative and congrats to Parks Ontario for rolling out.
Photo credit: Our camp at Nipigon Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
As you many know one of the great Canadian canoe lovers, Kirk Wipper died back on March 18th of this year.
If you never had the pleasure of meeting this great man you really missed out. He was best known for his massive 600 piece collection of canoes and kayaks which went on to form the
To help celebrate his life, the
The portage has been divided into 13, 10km sections and volunteers will be asked to portage the canoe smaller 500 meter chunks.
The portage starts on Thursday, April 28 with plans to arrive in
If you want to get involved visit the Kirk Wipper website for more info.
The Wipper Portage is something that I would absolutely love to participate in and I’m disappointed that I’m going to be out of town for both the portage and the memorial.
Back in the mid 90’s when I used to work in the head office of Paddle
More info: kirkwipper.ca
Image credit: Paddle Canada
A little bit of outdoor industry business acquisition news to start your morning.
Wenonah will be moving the QCC operation from its current home base of
The good news is that all the QCC employees have been offered jobs over at Wenonah Canoes and QCC founder, Steven Freund will remain with Wenonah Canoe, managing the QCC brand.
This should bring a bit of a shift for Wenonah’s overall business model. QCC was based around the business model of selling directly to customer and shipped out individual boats while Wenonah generally will only sells to customers through its network of outdoor stores. The news article I saw the announcement in specifically said it would continue selling QCC boats factory direct to customers.
I tried to find more information on the purchase on the Wenonah website but they haven’t updated their company news section since August of 2009.
The three new resources are:
- SUP Lesson Plan - Breaking Through the Waves
- Lesson Plan: SUP Tides and Currents
- Lesson Plan: Introduction to Forward Stroke
I’m also pleased to announce that you no longer need to register and login to download the teaching resources. Just go and grab what you want.
Finally, I’m always on the hunt for resources. If you have any lesson plans that you want to contribute, please get in touch with me. I’m very happy to do the legwork to convert them to pdf and make sure you get full credit.
If you want to see what other people have contributed grab a few from the lesson plans category.
If you are new to SUP or an expert looking to get more performance from your paddling you need to watch this very technical breakdown of the stroke used during Stand Up Paddling. It’s developed by Jim Terrell, the creator of QuickBlade Paddles.
The SUP Instructors out there, watch closely when Jim breaks down each of the paddlers stroke pointing out some of the key elements to watch for along with the common mistakes that beginning SUP ‘ers often make.
The video is listed after the jump.