The 7th annual Reel Paddling Film Festival premiered last night at The Royal Cinema on College Street in Toronto, hosted by The Complete Paddler. The keen audience was treated to the first screenings of some of the year’s award winning films. The full list of winners are:
Best Sea Kayaking Film: In Rescues – Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown, you’ll see exciting and practical rescue coaching sessions from one of the world’s top coaches.
Best Canoeing Film: Tracing the Columbia brings together two historical moments: David Thompson’s charting of the Columbia River in 1811 and the 45-day journey paddling the river to mark the 200th anniversary of Thompson’s achievement.
Best Whitewater Film: In Wildwater, journey into the places only river runners can go. It’s a visually stunning feast for the senses, and an expedition into new ideas.
Best Kayak Fishing Film: ExOfficio Presents Kayak Fishing: Game On 4 Jim Sammons hooks up with Paul Harwood on the Fraser River in BC with the goal of catching one of the areas enormous sturgeon.
Best Environmental Paddling Film: The Pipedreams Project follows 3 kayakers on their epic two-month expedition to oppose a $5.5 Billion pipeline project in British Columbia.
Best Paddling Documentary: Chasing Water is the story of Pete McBride, a child of the Colorado River, as he decides to follow the water from his ranch in Western Colorado to see where it ends up.
Best Amateur/Short Paddling Film: So Fine sees Zac Crouse develop banjo paddling with the help from a Muppet.
Best Instructional Paddling Film: Advanced Classic Solo Canoeing with Becky Mason will leave you spellbound by the advanced strokes and maneuvers she shows and the stunning underwater camera angles.
Best Stand-up Paddling Film: In Standup 4 Greatbear, Norm Hann takes us on a 400km SUP expedition through the Great Bear Rainforest, and along the proposed North Coast oil tanker route.
“We have more screenings in more cities than ever before,” says Scott MacGregor, Founder and Publisher of Rapid Media “With so many new paddling shops, clubs and events hosting the World Tour, we’re well on our way to blowing 100 showings right out of the water.”
Katie Mutton, Assistant Manager of The Complete Paddler, the host of the Premiere, said “we had over 190 people attend, with lots of prizes and giveaways from sponsors, this was definitely our most successful show yet. It’s nice to see the word spreading and more and more people taking part in this event.”
The premiere kicks off the Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour, an international paddling film tour with 34 short-listed films screening in 100 cities hosted by paddling shops, clubs and events. Visit reelpaddlingfilmfestival.com for the most up-to-date tour schedule and to learn how to bring the World Tour to your city.
One of the biggest initial capital expenses of any tour operator or guiding company is the purchase of their fleet of kayaks. A small fleet can typically starts at around $20,000 (10 boats at $2,000 each) and keep going up from there.
To help keep those initial costs down, Seaward Kayaks partnered up with Dominion Lending Centres and developed the Advantage Plus Leasing System. The first of it’s kind in the industry.
Very similar to leasing a car, small business owners will be able to lease a fleet of kayaks directly from Seaward for one fixed monthly cost. When the term of the three year lease is over the owner has the option to either buy the boats outright at a reduced cost or return the kayaks to Seaward and renew the lease with a brand new fleet.
To get some more information about the program I contacted Doug Godkin, Director of Marketing and International Sales at Seaward Kayaks.
“Rather than tying up cash flow within the season,” Doug said, “the lease program is based on 1 days rental income per month per kayak leased.”
“Our goal is to offer guiding and rental companies the ability to continue using North American manufactured high quality fiberglassed and thermoformed kayaks. Seaward Kayaks started in the paddle sports industry 25 years ago as a primary supplier to guiding companies and we will always maintain our support and dedication to this area of the sport.”
Like anything in life, there are questions to ask with leasing compared to buying. There are a couple of questions to ask regarding the leasing program. What happens to my kayaks at the end of the lease? Seaward has indicated that at the end of the lease the operator has the ability to purchase the kayaks from the leasing company for a very small residual amount. From there the business owner has the freedom to sell the boats to their customers and generate further revenue for their business. If the operator decides to enter into another lease with a new fleet of kayaks, they can then keep their fleets rotated and new.
I think that the advantage of having a lower initial capital expense will be very appealing to new start-ups but to me the biggest advantage is knowing that as a business owner, you are going to get new boats for your clients after three years of use. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have seen tour operators and paddling schools try to put their clients in worn out and broken boats and hope they won’t notice. They do and that doesn’t win you any points.
More info: Seaward Kayaks
Update [Feb 10, 2012]: Doug Godkin from Seaward sent me this response after posting with an update:
Another advantage to the leasing program is like a business leasing a fleet of automobiles, their payments could be tax deductible as a cost of operations. This is another strong feature of the program as it keeps much more operating capital in the hands of the operator to manage the day to day expenses of their business.
Flickr Photo Credit: Dakiraun Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Did you know that the city of Glasgow is planning to be the home ofScotland’s first purpose-built paddlesports centre?
Located in the heart of the city, the Pinkston Paddlesports Centre will be located on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal.
The paddlesports centre will include an intermediate standard artificial whitewater course, two permanent and two temporary canoe polo pitches and a five metre deep diving tank.
There will also be a clean water basin for triathlon training, canoe & kayak lessons as well as host for races.
The long term plan is to also use the facilities for lifeguard training, swiftwater rescue training for local fire and rescue services as well as police diver training.
There is no word on opening dates as they are still fundraising for the project but after recently being awarded several large grants, the project is looking for secure.
The Eddyline Restaurant and Brewing Company in Buena Vista, Colorado is looking the official photo for their new boater beer can. If you want to get in, post the low resolution photo to their Facebook wall and they will get in touch if they like it.
$200 REWARD!!! We need a perfect picture for our boater beer can! We need a picture of a crashing wave where the water is clear, the tongue leading into the wave is glassy and the top of wave is white and frothy! This needs to be a head on shot where the crashing foam pile takes up the top third of the picture. This pic will be the background of the Can'O'whitewater! In addition to the $200 we will let the winner help with the initial canning run, get two free cases of beer and will be famous to the Eddyline community! We would keep all rights to the picture. Post a low res version here, email us, or drop by and show us.
Single handily, the worst part of kayaking is actually carrying the thing. To help make it easier, Brian Evans developed a clip-on device that allows you to balance the kayak on your shoulders.
“We based the Carry Yak design on the simple truth that balance can be found in heavy objects to lighten any weight,” Evans said. “Distributing the kayak weight makes it easier to carry.”
Developed and manufactured in Nova Scotia, the kayak carrier is made of stainless steel, plastic with foam shoulder pads, can now be ordered online at www.carryyak.com for $147. It isn’t currently in stores yet but they hope to get that sorted out in the very near future.
Thanks Rob for the tip.
Mark Tipple is a surf photographer who got bored of shooting empty waves so he decided to dive down and see what the waves look like from that perspective. The results are amazing.
Mark is also selling a very limited edition handmade book containing his best photos as part of The Underwater Project. Only 250 of these gems are going to be produced.
More info: theunderwaterproject.com
Photo Credit: Mark Tipple
Big news from the outdoor industry. I just heard the sad news from Joe O'Blenis and Bryan Hansel that Quebec kayak manufacturer, Boréal Design has closed its doors and will be filing for bankruptcy on Monday.
From La Presse.ca:
Director of the shop, Frédéric Patry said that attempts by the company management to find new investors were unsuccessful. Forty-five people lost their jobs.
Realistic, Frédéric Patry nevertheless retains a slim hope that a takeover could save the brand.
It’s a shame to hear about them go under. Boréal made fantastic boats and their construction and craftsmanship was second to none for sure. Over the 20 years in business, Boréal expended their company by purchasing accessory company, Beluga. They also developed a fantastic partnership with Maelströmkayak to manufacture and distribute their high-end sea kayaks.
From a business perspective, their product lines were appealing to paddling shops as they were able to offer both boats and accessories for the entire spectrum of paddling; from absolute beginner on a slim budget all the up to the highest end.
I have no idea of how the bankruptcy of Boréal will affect Maelströmkayak as they are a separate company with a factory to build their boats. I reached out to them for comment but haven’t received a response yet. I will update this post if I hear back.
Update [Feb 4, 2012]: I receved an email from Charles-Alexandre Desjardins one of the owners of Maelströmkayak. He said, "We learned about it the same way you did, which is unfortunate. That's about all I can say for now. Maelströmkayak is still very alive and we intend to continue our business."
Update [Feb 6, 2012]: I have written to Boreal Design looking for a statement as nothing has been posted on their website as of yet. I will post if/when I receive it.
Update [Feb 9, 2012]: Nikki Rekman Sales posted the following on her facebook page a couple of days ago:
We received confirmation from BORÉALDESIGN President, Eric Blouin this morning that the company is indeed in the hands of the bank and has closed its doors. BORÉALDESIGN was founded in 1991 by Natalie Simard and Eric Blouin and made a fantastic product. It is with great sadness that our relationship with BORÉALDESIGN has ended and we think about Eric, Natalie and all our friends who no longer have their jobs.
Flickr Photo Credit: Pub de Boréal Design? Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
I love this photo from the 1930’s of two kids learning how to swim. Somebody tell me that wasn’t how everybody was taught back then.
Via Black and WTF
I just heard the shocking news posted on Sea Kayaker Magazine’s Facebook page that Tsunami Ranger founder, Eric Soares has died:
This morning we got the sad news from Michael Powers that Eric Soares passed away yesterday following a skiing accident atLake Tahoe. Eric was well known around the world for the extreme coastal kayaking he did with the Tsunami Rangers and for his many contributions to the kayaking community. He wrote several articles for Sea Kayaker on surf, safety and teamwork. In his most recent article for us, “A Change of Heart” (SK August 2008), Eric wrote of surviving an aortic dissection and the changes that brought to his life. While his physical heart was flawed, his true heart was not. Eric had extraordinary and infectious energy. He never took himself too seriously and you couldn’t help but follow suit when in his presence. We will miss him. Our deep condolences go out to his wife Nancy, his family and his Tsunami Rangers brothers and sisters.
I can’t state how huge of a loss this is to the kayaking community. Eric along with Michael Powers started the Tsunami Rangers back in the mid-80’s and pretty much single handily invented rough water sea kayaking. Long before I had the skills to get out in rough water myself, I loved reading his book, Extreme Sea Kayaking.
Eric also was a regular contributor to the paddling blog world via the tsunamirangers.com website. His articles covered a wide range of topics that were always well written and drawn from his extensive experience. I’m going to miss his regular updates...
Sad day indeed...
Update #1: John Lull posted a comment over on Eric's last blog post about what happened. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Update #2: Moulton Avery emailed me with the following update:
He must have fallen and damaged his aorta. He was skiing at Tahoe and emailed me from Stanford Hospital saying he was scheduled for another aorta operation next week. He said: "c'est la vie. I'm upbeat".
I was worried, but he was such a dear and wonderful man and possessed such a vibrant force of life that I convinced myself he'd weather this storm, just as he did the many that came before it. An indescribable loss. Mates are paying their respects on his site.
Eric was a giant among men, larger than life, he leaves a great void. I know exactly what you mean about his exploits and the pix. He would want us to remember him with a smile on our faces, but that's gonna take some time.
Photo Credit: tsunamirangers.com