I was terribly excited to get an email from the organizers of the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium inviting me to come teach at this year on January 31 through to February 2, 2014. The GGSKS has been on my bucket list for many years and I’m thrilled to finally make the trip out to San Francisco.

Now in its 6th year; the GGSKS has proven to be the premier rough water paddling event in North America and one of the best in the world. The reasons are simple, the location is superb and the list of coaches is first rate.

As you can tell by the name, the symposium takes place in Horseshoe Bay right in the heart of San Francisco in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge. How cool is that? Paddling in the area is first rate with lots of rock gardens, tidal currents & surf so paddlers of all abilities will be happy.

Paddling in currents at the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium

As far as coaches, the teaching list this year looks pretty first rate with the likes of Sean Morley, Gordon Brown, Rob Avery, Christopher Lockyer, Jen Kleck, Ginni Callahan, Ben Lawry, Cindy & Steve Scherrer, Leon Sommé, Paul Kuthe, Matt Nelson all going to be there. This is just a partial list of coaches so check out the website for more info.

The full weekend schedule should be posted soon (Update: it's posted now!) but in the past they have offered courses focused around topics like rock hopping, surf, working in tides and current and navigation. They will also be offering several ACA and BCU training courses during both the weekend as well during the week afterwards. Keep an eye on the website for the full course descriptions.

So should you attend the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium? The short answer is yes. The event is designed for a wide range paddlers with skills ranging between advanced beginner up to advanced intermediate. If you are interested in working on your rough water paddling skills, this is the place for you.

More info: ggsks.com
Photo credits: Dominick Lemarie courtesy of the GGSKS.

 

If you are just getting into the world of SUP and interested in taking a lesson you don't need to look any longer as SUP Professional, Rod Mentor is here to give you a FREE lesson. In just over 4 minutes you will learn to strengthen your core muscles, learn about the spiritual side of SUPping and learn to dress properly for the water.

Even though you will be looking and talking like a pro in 4 minutes from now, actually paddling like a pro might be a different story but hey, that's over-rated anyways.

Even though the Lumpy Waters Symposium took place just last weekend out in Pacific City, Oregon, several short films have already been released and boy do they look good.

The first one was filmed during the coach's day just before the event started and includes paddlers, Rob Yates, Roger Schumann, Sean Morley and Jamie Klein. Chris Bensch shot and filmed this bad-boy.

I don't need to point out the height of those waves but look at them!

Friday, 25 October 2013 12:14

Look Who is Kayaking Now: Kate Moss

 

Super model and celebrity dater, Kate Moss was on a family vacation in Jamaica recently and spotted out kayaking. From the photo evidence she has the all important, lean-back technique down like a pro.

I'm not 100% positive but I believe she is paddling an Emotion Temptation sit-on-top kayak.

Photo Credit: INFPhoto.com

 

Thursday, 24 October 2013 15:31

Film Trailer: The Last Baidarka

I stumbled upon this trailer for the soon-to-be-released film, The Last Baidarka after somebody shared it on Facebook yesterday. It looks really interesting.

From the description:

In June of 2013 I had the wonderful opportunity to interview traditional Alaskan kayak builder Mitch Poling. I first met Mitch at the Traditional Arctic Kayak Symposium 2010 in Trinidad, CA, where he gave a presentation on the revival of the Chugach baidarka.

Mitch spent part of his childhood in Chenega, Alaska, a small village where the traditional seal-skin covered kayak (known by the Russian term "baidarka") was still being used for hunting and travel. The art of skin-on-frame kayak construction in Alaska was almost completely lost, as new technology was introduced and fishermen turned to using outboard motors and plywood boats. In 1964, a tsunami wiped out the village of Chenega and destroyed the remaining baidarkas. Fortunately, one kayak was left intact, safely stored in a museum in Cordova. Using this remaining specimen, Mitch was able to revive the practice of traditional skin-on-frame kayak construction in Prince William Sound.

Look for the full-length film to be released sometime in November.

More info: dashpointpirate.typepad.com

 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013 16:15

NOAA Will Stop Printing Paper Charts

 

Some interesting news from the map world. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced today that effective April 13, 2014 they will no longer print paper nautical charts.

For those readers who are panicking and already drafting a letter to congress, there is no need to worry as you will still be able to get paper charts via print-on-demand distributors.

According to the NOAA, the decision to stop production of paper maps was due to several factors including the decline for paper charts, the increase in both digital and electronic charts and finally, federal budget realities.

The big change here is that the NOAA is getting out of storing a huge stock of charts that often take years to sell through. By fully switching over to print-on-demand charts, the NOAA is able to push out updates to distributers significantly faster (with monthly updates) and thus you are ensured that you have the most up-to-date version when purchased.

If you use digital charts you will still be able to get them from the NOAA in a variety of formats including electronic navigational charts (NOAA ENC), raster navigational charts (NOAA RNC) as well as full-scale PDF charts as part of a brand-new pilot project.

The new NOAA PDF pilot project looks very interesting. For the next three months they are offering 1000 of their most popular charts available in PDF format. They want to guage popularity and collect user comments before rolling out the entire catalogue. The biggest appeal of PDF charts is that they are easily viewable on many different platforms including phones, tablets and computers as well as easily printed out at home (though they are technically for reference only, not for navigation).

More info: oceanservice.noaa.gov
Announcement FAQ (pdf): nauticalcharts.noaa.gov

 

 

 

Work is boring so here is tease of 12 people having way more fun outside then you are sitting inside.

 

1) This guy surfing in the waves.


cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by UK Ministry of Defence

Here is our last film as part of our week-long series of vintage whitewater paddling videos.

Back in the early 1990's Paddle Canada commissioned somebody to produce a video to introduce people to the quintessential Canadian activity of canoeing. For many years it got lost in the Paddle Canada backroom but sadly it was found and has now seen the light of day.

Highlights of this video gem include a serious fashion disaster in the form hot pink pants, lots of hockey helmets and a soundtrack would be equally at home either in a corporate training video or a porn film.

You can watch "Canoe Canada" below:

We have a change in direction for our week-long tribute to vintage whitewater kayaking videos. This time we go all the way back to 1984 and visit Mother Russia.

Back then, the Soviet Army was looking at new fighting and travel techniques when somebody suggested rafts and double kayaks as a method of transportation down raging rivers.

To help sell the idea, officials got together a troop, trained them up and then turned them loose down the river with the cameras rolling. They then turn the footage into a short film so the Minister of Defense can make a decision.

The whole thing is just over 6 minutes long and you can jump ahead to 1:20 to see the whitewater action. Highlights include an authentic soundtrack (whatever that means), lots of flips and spills (looks like they were demonstrating how safe they were?) and plenty of double kayak action rolling in the water.

Make sure you stick around for the mock battle at the end where the soldiers paddle downstream, jump out of their boats then start shooting everything they see. The mock deaths are super dramatic.

No word on what the Minister of Defense thought about the film.

You can watch the whole video below:

Tuesday, 08 October 2013 13:40

Black Bear vs. Kitty Cat

Here is positive proof that you should always bring a kitty cat out on your camping trips and set her up as your first line of self-defence against bears.*

*Legal disclaimer: Act like my children, don't follow my advice.

 

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