For me, the worst part about paddling in the winter is the cold hands. It seems that no matter what I try my thumbs are always unhappy inside of 30 minutes.

To help address the problem, UK wetsuit manufacturer, Ianovated has come up with a unique wetsuit design with an integrated breathing tube to deliver hot air directly to your hands.

The idea is that when your fingers get cold, all you need to do is blow into the tube and deliver a stream of hot air. The manufacturer says it works well with both gloves and open palm mitts.

ianovated mitt

So far the wetsuit has been marketed towards the wind surfing community but I think it could easily be used for paddling due to its loose fit above the waist for freedom of movement. To keep the top from filling up with water it has a neoprene gasket that you can tighten.

Here is a quick video of the suit in action.

Right now Ianovated has a deal going on where all their suits are £250 ($415US). You can also give the new suit a try for six weeks and if it doesn't work out you can return it for any reason. That's a pretty generous offer.

More info: ianovated.co.uk

Photo credits: ianovated

Tuesday, 28 January 2014 14:24

New Rescue Technique: The Dump

Holy crap! Why haven't been using The Dump all along?

Just watch it and be prepared to be amazed with its simplicity.

I can't believe that The Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium starts in less than a week away! I'm sooooo excited about it.

Looking the teaching schedule, I was pleased to discover that I'm assisting on three full-day sessions which include:

  • Rock Gardening Skills & Safety with Roger Schumann and Cate Hawthorne
  • Advanced Boat Control Master Class with Jen Kleck and John Dye
  • Alcatraz SF Bay Journey with Gordon Brown and Bryant Burkhardt

Coaching at the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium

To help prep for the weekend I decided to turn to Hollywood to tell me what to do. Last night was all about Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage in The Rock. They had to run around Alcatraz and save San Francisco from a nerve gas attack while this morning I got ready for the inevitable a real life car chase by watching that famous chase scene from the movie Bullitt. Here it is below because Steve McQueen has never been cooler and the movie is 100% awesome.

Other than that I just need to pack and figure out how I'm going to get my gear on the plan while keep within the super restrictive bag requirements.

Photo credit: GGSKS

Hey all you paddling dames,

Looks like it could be the last year for the infamous (it's not just famous, it's IN-famous) Ladies of the Lake symposium. A note was posted on the organizers website (Down Wind Sports) that due to dwindling participation and rising costs, it's proving to be a difficult event to run.

Gladly they announced that they are going to give it another kick at the can for its 10th anniversary but for it to run it's going to need 100 registrants for their deadline of June 1.

This year the Ladies of the Lake Symposium will be taking place in Munising, Michigan on August 14-17.

If you have never attended before (and you are a lady) you really need to add it to your calendar. Over the weekend they offer a huge boat-load of kayak instructional clinics for beginners to experts in a super low-pressure environment. Ladies of the Lake is perfect if you are the type of person who gets intimidated by the macho-man image that sometimes comes along with the sport or even these types of events.

The pirates of the ladies of the lake.

This year they are doing some sort of cowboy theme and they should have more details shortly on their website. I know last year it was all about pirates and I have a foggy memory of seeing photos of some sort of 1930's flapper dinner party a couple of years ago.

Though it is titled, "Ladies of the Lake", you are welcome to drag your man along. To keep him from getting bored, there is a separate Man Camp program taking place on Saturday. The website describes it as, "Man Camp gives those without the proper gender specific equipment needed to attend Ladies of the Lake a way to have some fun on the water and fine-tune their own paddling skills."

Ladies of the Lake is one of the very few woman-specific kayak symposiums taking place in North America so if you have considered it in the past, show your support and get yourself registered early. Remember, the deadline is June 1.

More info: downwindsports.com/lol/

Flickr photo credits: bill_yumi

Here is a match burning in super slow motion. Now you know what happens every time you strike one to light the campfire.

Sometimes things don't work out the way you picture it but if you keep at it you will eventually be successful.

I read that in a fortune cookie at a Chinese buffet once.

Image capture and video from sixknots.net.

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.

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