MEC Paddlefest Toronto - The Sinking Kayak

Jealous that I can’t make my way to Canoecopia this weekend, I decided to troll through my friend Birgit's Facebook gallery of photos from the Toronto edition of MEC’s Paddlefest last year.

As you can see it’s really more about having fun then anything else.

MEC Paddlefest Toronto - Stand-up Kayaking

The dates for the 2011 Paddlefest were just announced and this year it is taking place June 11-12 at Sunnyside Beach right in the heart of Toronto.

Fun fact: Did you know that MEC Paddlefest Toronto gets more people on the water then any other event in North America? Yep, it’s true. When clinics are about to start it seems like there are 10,000 people running around the beach all trying to find their canoe or kayak. Well not 10,000 but at least 8 of us that’s for sure!

Here is what I love about Paddlefest. It is completely an urban paddling event taking place in downtown Toronto on Lake Ontario. With Toronto being a true cosmopolitan city, the participants at the event reflect that huge diversity. It’s a completely different atmosphere then anything you have ever been to before. At least ½ of all the students in my clinics had never been in a canoe or kayak before and it’s so exciting introducing large groups of new Canadian’s to paddling.

You can get more fun facts and all the details of the event via their website meca.ca/paddlefest. If you are thinking of going, make sure you book first thing on May 29th when registration opens. Last year all 800+ clinic spots completely sold out in just over 24 hours. That’s a true fun fact.

capture_alex_mathews_surge_narrows

Alex Matthews sent me a link to his latest video about a recent trip to play to Surge Narrows near Quadra Island, BC.

For those who have never been to Surge Narrows (including myself) it is a series of tidal rapids that can run in speed of up to 13 knots. This creates large standing waves that are perfect for surfing and large whirlpool which are perfect for trying to pull you under (generally not good).

If you are interested in visiting the area and looking for a place to stay, my suggestion is to start with Discovery Islands Lodge. They are located just a quick 20 minute paddle from the rapids and is the go-to place to spend the night.


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The video is embedded below:

Erik Jackson checking in at work. Image credit: apple.com

Apple LogoJackson Kayak just got a massive marketing boost this week by getting profiled by Apple (yes, that Apple). Jackson Kayak was highlighted as a company that uses Apple products (iPhone and iPad) extensively throughout the entire manufacturing process by JK employees.

Apple produced a very slick 2.5 minute video where company president where Erik Jackson and Chief Financial Officer Dave Olson introduces us to the company and talks about how using Apple products has really changed the way that they do business.

“We’ve been surprised how people have responded when we've given them iPhones and iPads,” says Dave Olson, Chief Financial Officer. “We were getting more time and more engagement from every employee that had an iPhone. So we got everyone an iPhone.”

Two really cool applications they make extensive use of are Facetime and the Square. For example, the staff use Facetime to quickly communicate with other staff (who might be out of the office) and to get a visual confirmation if the boat in question is a blem or not.

Jackson Kayak also makes use of the super cool Square credit card reader. It’s a small widget that plugs directly into the iPhone headphone jack and turns the whole thing into a portable credit card reader. Perfect for then they are out on the road.

It’s an interesting article and you can read the full thing here.

Image credit: apple.com

Kokatat LogoI am very pleased to announce that I have been selected to represent Kokatat as a Regional Ambassador.

I’m really excited to be partnering with them for a couple of reasons. They are an awesome company that has been making well designed paddling and outdoor clothing for 40 years now.

Besides manufacturing great dry suits and paddling tops, they are also known for fantastic customer service that is far more superior then many other companies on the market today. Here is my example. About 5-6 years ago I put a hole in my dry suit (booo). I got the repair department on the phone and they gave me the usual expected repair time. Because I was flying out to an event in a couple of weeks, I asked to see if it was possible to get it fixed as a rush item. They were happy and able to accommodate it even though it was completely my fault and not a warranty issue. Great work people!

Here are my three favourite pieces of Kokatat gear:

Capture: Thank the Laird

Here is a sweet three minute SUP surfing film for your Friday afternoon. About 1 minute into the film it flips over to footage shoot with the camera strapped to the blade of the SUP paddle. It makes for a very interesting and unique perspective.

Nyiragongo Crater. Photo Credit: Olivier Grunewald

Extreme camping has risen to a new level. Back in June 2010, a group of researchers and guides decided to plumb the depths of Nyiragongo Crater which is in the heart of the Great Lakes region of Africa.

Here are a couple photos from their adventure.

Stand Up Paddle Board SUP_09292009 (45)

Did you know that Paddle Canada has been actively developing a new Stand-Up Paddling program over the winter?

The final draft of the Flatwater level is now completed and they are looking for your comments. They also released the first draft of the Flatwater Instructor program so also take a look at it as well while you are at it.

The SUP Program Development Committee also announced that they have written about half of the River and Coastal programs so expect the drafts to be released in due course.

Finally, the PDC is developing a resource manual for SUP instructors and are on the lookout for a couple specific resources. If you can contribute anything it would be greatly appreciated.

We are looking for submissions from you for the Resource Manual.

  • Do you have a lesson plan or script you really like?
  • Do you use a rule of thumb for which board to give which student?
  • Do you have tips for the best way to organize a SUP race?

Almost anything goes. Of course, credit will be given to the author!

Send your comments or resouces to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Image Credit: Stand Up Paddle Board SUP_09292009 (45) / Michael Dawes / CC BY-NC 2.0

Wednesday, 02 March 2011 14:53

Transport Canada Clarifies New Regulations

Transport Canada LogoLast 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.

Monday, 28 February 2011 21:47

The most relaxed person on the water today

Laid-back Kayaker

His doctor suggested paddling to help with his anger management. I think its working.

Image credit: thereifixedit.com

How to pack a kayak - Paul Kuthe

Kokatat Paddlesports has just posted a new video hosted by professional sea kayak instructor, Paul Kuthe.

Packing a Sea Kayak walks you through the fine points with tips and tricks to get more stuff jammed in there.

The Tiderace Xcite sea kayak is one good looking boat. Speaking of Tiderace friend of the site and fellow nerd, Keith Wikle over at gokayaknow.com just announced that he has joining team Tiderace. Good work son! Good work.

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