Johnson OutdoorsJohnson Outdoors, a global leader in outdoor recreational products, today announced the launch of, the Company's new on-line destination point for outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

The new website reflects the spirit of adventure on which the Company was founded in 1970 by the legendary Sam Johnson, and which flourishes today under the leadership of his daughter, Helen Johnson-Leipold, Chairman and CEO, Johnson Outdoors Inc. Visitors enter recreational sections of the site thru adventure postcards that invite them to explore outdoor recreation pursuits - from paddling to fishing and boating to camping, even scuba diving and waterfront living. seeks to enhance the outdoor experience with useful "how to," "when to" and "where to" tips from experts. The JOHNSON OUTDOORS JOURNAL also provides an on-line portal to connect the website's visitors with the global community of outdoor recreation enthusiasts.
Tuesday, 16 October 2007 11:55

English Channel Crossing Record Smashed

Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to swim the English Channel. Here she is being greased to ward off the cold on her swim across the English Channel, 1926.
Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to swim the English Channel. Here she is being greased to ward off the cold on her swim in 1926.
People have been crossing the English Channel for a long time. At it's narrowest part, the crossing is 31km.

The first person to swim across it was Matthew Webb on August 25, 1875. The crossing took 21 hours, 45 minutes to complete.

The fastest ever verified swim of the channel was by Peter Stoychev on 24 August 2007. He crossed the channel in 6 hours 57 minutes and 50 seconds.

Though I wasn't able to find out who did the first crossing, Andrew Samuel set a very longstanding record of 3 hours 33 minutes and 47 seconds in September of 1976. On May 18th, 2005, Ian Tordoff broke the crossing record by paddling across in a specialty designed Valley Kayak Rapier.

It looks like the record has been broken again. Olympic medallist Ian Wynne smashed the record again by shaving another 22 minutes. He paddled across in 2 hours 59 minutes and 6 seconds.

The 29-year-old won a bronze medal in 2004 at the Athens Olympics in the 500m K1 kayak event.

Wynne said: "It was very different from short distance sprint racing that I have been used to, but I enjoy the challenge."

More info:
A huge congrats goes out to Bryan Smith and the gang over at The Range Life because their film, "Pacific Horizons" was accepted into the 2007 Banff Mountain Film Festival. For those who have their head in the sand, the Banff Mountain Film Festival is considered one of the most prestigious adventure film festivals in the world.

Bryan will be traveling to Alberta to present the film on November 3rd. If it gets chosen to travel the world on the tour then it should be coming to a town near you.

Look for it out on DVD later in November.
Monday, 15 October 2007 18:29

Blog Action Day – Environment

Michipicoten Island, Lake Superior
Michipicoten Island, Lake Superior
We are also taking part in the Blog Action Day for the environment.

Canoeing and Kayaking is filled with dichotomies. On one hand, we have people who love to get out and enjoy nature and would do anything to keep it from getting wrecked. On the other hand, they are burning a pile of gas, wearing synthetic clothing made from spun plastic and paddling boats that will be around for 1000 years before they start to fade in the sun.

I have had this recreation debate with fellow paddlers. We preach about being gentle to the earth but contribute to its destruction by actually going out and participating in the sport we love.

So what do we do? Sitting at home instead of sitting on a river will keep that area clean and wild for another day but it will also cause us to be disconnected and start taking that clean river for granted. When you take it for granted, you won't care when it gets dammed.

The argument that seems to sit well with me is that there is effect to our actions but the more people we can get out on the river, the more people that will fall in love with it and fight for its long term survival.

In this world, if you don't use it you will loose it. It's almost a fact of life sadly.

That's the end of my late night ramble.
Sunday, 14 October 2007 18:21

News Feeds

RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a web site instead of visiting it. It is an increasingly popular way to access weblogs and news content.

You can get everything on Paddling Instructor by visiting our web site, but we also provide feeds for people who prefer reading the site in an RSS aggregator.

Full Site Content Feed
This feed will give you everything that is posted on Paddling excluding the Instructors Forum.

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Quickly keep updated on the latest posts on the Instructors Forum.

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Sunday, 14 October 2007 18:21


Help content to go here soon. Just haven't had time yet. Sorry!
Saturday, 13 October 2007 19:23

New Boat Stickers

My kids stickers I recently threw some stickers on my boat that my daughters picked out. It is to remind me of them when I am teaching.

I'm on the hunt for a good set of Scoobie Doo stickers. I saw a few stuck to the wall of the living room. I just need to find where the full sticker set is...

Oh, for those of you with no kids. They are from the Disney's Lilo and Stitch movies.

Also, special thanks to Current Designs for sending me a new set of stickers for my Slipstream. I took the old ones off with a razor blade a season ago as they were all scratched and faded. The new ones look pretty fancy (for a season or two!).
Sean checking the weather.
Sean checking the weather.
Out for a quick paddle this morning. We jumped on the water first thing in the morning as there was a small craft wind warning that was supposed to die down around noon.

That morning when we checked the weather again, the system had changed. Winds were 15 knotts from the west increasing to 30 knotts by noon. Seas 1m increasing to 2-3m by noon.


Here in Toronto, winds from the west mean that you are forced to surf near the nude beach. Thank goodness that the cold winds have arrived blowing the sun worshipers back indoors with their artificial sun lamps. Trust me, there are never super models there.

Like normal, it wasn't as big as what they were calling for but it was pushy enough. We surfed for a couple of hours getting trashed several times. Later, we practiced deploying and setting up our tow systems in big water. It is always a little bit more of a challenge than in flat conditions so it is good to practice it.

On the way home, we played around in the large waves which were around 3-4 feet at this time. We tucked our paddles under one arm, closed our eyes, laid back on the back deck and waited to see what happened. Yes, we got knocked over quite a few times. It was a bunch of fun.

Oh yes, we also paddled for a while with our eyes closed. That was weird.

We are kind of geeks about that sort of stuff.

Friday, 12 October 2007 16:57

The Binibottle - Easy fill water bottle

The Binibottle

It's about time. 15 year old Anna Axelsson recently invented a water bottle with a second filler cap on the side. The second cap allows you to fill up your bottle in a shallow sink.

Apparently it can already be found in Swedish sporting good stores for around $5.

The "Binibottle" was created as part of a inventor's contest. She won the gold medal.

More info: boing boing gadgets
A 17-mile stretch that encompasses one of the largest inland dune systems in the eastern Great Lakes would become New York's latest Natural Heritage Area under a proposal announced today by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis.

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