Thursday, 16 January 2014 10:40

Amazing Film: The Waters of Greenstone

Shot over a period of three weeks around the South Island of New Zealand, you know that place where they shot those movies. Yeah, those ones. This film highlights some of the amazing scenery found in and around the Catlins Forest Park, Fiordland NP, Queenstown, Mount Aspiring NP, Mount Cook NP, Arthurs Pass NP and Castle Hill Reserve.

Just how awesome would this film be if every water shot had a kayak or canoe in it? Super awesome.

This past Monday, a concerned citizen called BC search and rescue saying that a paddle boarder was struggling out in gale-force winds and need help.

Crews geared up and went out to save the day only to find it was Canadian Olympic medallist triathlete, Simon Whitfield who was fine and told the SAR techs that he was, "having a blast in the swells."

All of the excitement took place in the Enterprise Channel off Oak Bay shores just outside Victoria, BC.

"Search-and-rescue [members] are volunteers and I felt badly that they dropped what they were doing and put on all their gear to come out for me," he said, adding they were "all class" on Twitter.

While he had all the gear including PFD and a drysuit, his would be rescuers suggested to him that he carry a VHF radio when out on the board as he could have responded to the general marine broadcast on Channel 16 and let everyone know he was not in difficulty.

Simon Whitfield has had a hugely successful triathlon career. Before retiring 2013 he won the Canadian triathlon championships 10 consecutive times along with gold in the 2000 and silver in the 2008 Olympics.

Glad his adventure turned out ok in the end.

Photo credit: Simon Whitfield

Reuben Buerge of The Hurricane Riders was highlighted on the CBC national news yesterday as a successful graduate of a new BC education program called, Take a Hike.

The goal of Take a Hike is to take at-risk youth and use outdoor education to help them get their education back on track.

Reuben shows up around the 7:45 mark but you should watch the whole thing. It's quite good.

While I am by no means a fan of romantic comedies I did enjoy this clip of Jason Segel from Forgetting Sarah Marshall attempting to get a surf lesson from Chuck (or Koonu, his Hawaiian name according to an internet website) who is played by Paul Rudd.

For you paddling instructors out there teaching, the take-away lesson here is to basically do the exact opposite of everything Chuck does and you are guaranteed to be a more effective instructor than him.

For those who woke up this morning with a dream to watch a kayaker going over a 75 foot waterfall while somebody does a backflip dive into the water right beside him, this should make your day complete.

From the YouTube description:

TWO extreme sports professionals take a leap of faith as they plunge headfirst down a 75ft waterfall. White water kayaker Ben Marr and skier Rory Bushfield executed the death-defying stunt at the Mamquam Falls in Squamish, Canada. Bushfield performed a "gainer" - a backwards somersault while still moving forward - from the top of the falls while Marr descended it in his kayak. However, the stunt was not without its dangers - only a few days before their descent a young Vancouver man drowned after leaping into the waterfall.

All through my teenage years (and pretty much up until mid-last week) I wanted to be a rockstar so bad and the fact that I couldn't play and instrument or sing didn't stop me from dreaming I was Slash in GnR's wicked awesome video for November Rain. I mean how cool is that scene where he leaves the wedding service (half way through!) and walks into the desert just to go play a guitar solo? Both amazing and inspiring.

Slash

So with all those rockstar dreams floating around in my head, I always had a little soft-spot for them doing stuff on the water while they are not rocking it out on stage.

Here is a little round-up on rockstars out on stand-up or surf boards:

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 16:21

What is Sea Level?

I will be honest with you, up until today I had never really put much thought about how they determined that Mount Everest was 8,848 meters above sea level.

Wait; let me back up first lest you think I'm a simpleton. I always understood the concept of elevation but I had never thought about exactly how they figure it out considering that most times the sea is hundreds of miles of away. Also, with all that ocean sloshing around and going up and down, how do they know where to start measuring from?

Leave it up to gang at MinutePhysics to figure it out and explain it to us like the simpletons that we are.

Spoiler alert: Gravity has a big role to play in the whole thing.

Flickr photo credit: cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Jimmy Emerson

The Bay of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium is looking for coaches for the weekend so if that tweaks your interest read the email and apply pronto:

The Bay of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium is currently building their coaching team for the 2014 event to be held September 12-15, 2014 in Argyle, Nova Scotia, Canada. The process is open to Paddle Canada, BCU and ACA sea kayak coaches. There is an application to be filled out and submitted by prospective coaches. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Application deadline is January 15, 2014.

Application can be downloaded here.

If you have never paddled the Bay of Fundy in Atlantic Canada before you need to consider attending this year for sure. It's a beautiful place and last year's event was very well received. Justine Curgenven attended last year and recently posted this teaser trailer for her new short film, Fundy Fun.

Anybody who has spent time in the outdoors can relate when I say that mosquitoes are the scourge of the earth.

But just because we hate them and we know they suck, doesn't mean they are not good for something.

In the video below Rose Eveleth shares a bunch of cool things about the worlds most hated bug next to the Blackfly along with why it probably isn't a good thing to have them completely wiped off the face of the earth.

A collective group of water safety experts from Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand and the United Kingdom are calling on the outdoor industry to drop the term "PFD" in favour "lifejackets" when it comes to water safety education.

It's part of a list of guiding principles related to lifejacket promotion that were recently developed by several water safety organizations including Australian Recreational Boating Safety Committee, Royal National Lifeboat Institution (UK) and the Canadian Safe Boating Council. Here is the full list of the principles.

I think it's a really interesting idea and something I support for sure. Ask anybody on the street what that dapper guy above is wearing and after staring at his moustache, they will tell you it's a lifejacket.

Why would we want to confuse people by using the technical term PFD? Here is the thing; a PFD is just the name of a lifejacket that happens to be classified a specific way due to its design. Nobody cares and neither should we.

So here my challenge to you fellow canoe/sup/kayak instructor. Drop the term PFD from your lexicon and just call them lifejackets. You students will be happy and they won’t laugh at you when you accidently refer to them as a PDF.

Photo credit: cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Andreas Nilsson

More info: lifejacketwear.com

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