Anything that's 3D printed is just awesome in my books. Doesn't matter if it's this thing or that thing, it's awesome.
Leave it up to Jim Smith over at Grass Roots Engineering to take things to the next level with his latest project, a 3D printed sea kayak.
If you find yourself racing somebody on the interstate and looking for that little bit of extra boost, make sure you bring your canoe paddle. The definitive proof is here that it really does make all the difference.
Here it the link to the original video. Just make sure you have your computer speakers turned down. It's a touch loud.
I love this photo of a young Ernest Hemmingway paddling a canoe. Growing up, he picked up his love for canoeing and camping while he spent his summers at the family cottage on Walloon Lake (not quite in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan but almost there).
Here is another one from when he was a very young boy.
Top photo credit: Ernest Hemingway Collection at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Boston
Second photo credit: paulfrasercollectibles.com
I was really excited to get an email late yesterday from Richard Parkin, the editor of Ocean Paddler Magazine announcing that the latest issue is hot off the press and available for download (print copies were going out in a day or so).
I have been waiting for this one as I had a feature article on kayaking around Michipicoten Island on Lake Superior. Since nobody except my mother would be ever interested in reading a pure trip diary type article I decided to talk more about the history of the island and why I think it’s one of the best places to paddle on Lake Superior. I wrote from the perspective that if somebody from the UK is looking to visit Canada and paddle a challenging route, Michicipicoten Island needs to be on your bucket list.
Well it looks like Heisenberg is still sorting out some distribution issues.
Australian police discovered a shipment of methamphetamine worth approximately $163 million (US) this week. What makes this slightly unique is that they found the nearly 400 pound haul stuffed in amongst a shipment of kayaks coming out of China. 19 of the 27 kayaks in the in the shipping container was filled with meth.
This guy just moved into his first apartment and hasn't gotten around to purchasing a sofa yet. He gets my vote for having the right priorities.
Thinking about it a bit more, this reminds me of two other friends below who also had their priorities in order when they decided to trade the entertainment center for a canoe.
This past weekend I had the immense pleasure to be invited to teach at the 6th annual Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium in San Francisco.
Organized by Matt Palmariello and Sean Morley, GGSKS is aimed at advanced beginners and intermediate paddlers who want to push the envelope and paddle in rougher waters in a welcoming and controlled environment.
Looking for a challenge today? Find the kayak in the word search above. Here is a hint; the word appears only once.
The idea for this comes from Charles Lohr who decided to see how hard it would be for a computer to build a word search based on only the letters you gave it.
I wrote a program that creates them in C. It took about 30 minutes. It simply produces letters from a list of letters I provide it, and checks to make sure that the word in the search does not show up. If that word does show up, it starts rewriting some letters. Eventually, it creates a wordsearch without the word that you're searching for.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.