River SUP

River SUP
Slocan River, BC

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

River Cleanups - Are You Going to Participate?

Since moving out to the Fraser Valley we have become very involved in our local river cleanup community. Illegal dumping is a huge issue in the Fraser Valley and unfortunately, in many other municipalities. It's difficult to understand "why" people would do this and "how" to fix it so we do our part by helping to cleanup, educate and "bring back more than we go out with". I am a Director with the Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup Society and my husband, Mark maintains their website and data.

The first community cleanup we attended this year was run by the Fraser Valley Salmon Society (FVSS) and generously supported by Dean (Werk) and his crew at Great River Fishing Adventures. The FVSS is a non-profit society that ensures and advocates for the rights for all anglers in non-tidal waters and works with the Department of Fisheries & Oceans as co-managers in conservation and habitat protection. The FVSS is also heavily involved in the training and education of anglers and the public to sport fishing. Dean is President of FVSS, was born and raised close to the Fraser River and runs his business, Great River Fishing Adventures up and down the river. Please check them out.

Dedicated volunteers braving the miserable weather; collecting garbage on one of the gravels bars of the Fraser River.

The weather was less than ideal but we had approximately 20 like-minded folks come out to pick up garbage on the gravel bars and banks of the Fraser River. I was very fortunate to head out on one of Dean's boats with Aggie and her son, Chris - two, very active anglers and members of the FVSS. With the help of boats provided by Dean and others, we were able to access gravel bars and bring out a lot of garbage. We pick up everything from fast food packaging, clothing to abandoned campsites with tents, cooking gear and more.

View from the boat
While some of us were 'on the water' others headed to a notorious dumping spot at Old Orchard. This area is accessible by car/truck and we know this area well as we have used it as a 'take out' for our paddling trips. It is always a depressing mess and once again, a lot of garbage was collected.

Thanks to Great River Fishing Adventures for sharing their boats and fuel to get volunteers to the remote gravel bars.

If you care about keeping your local waterways clean, get involved with local organizations doing river cleanups or start your own. Here in the Fraser Valley and in Chilliwack specifically, we have a community full of people that are passionate about this issue and plenty of others who provide us with lots of garbage to pick up.
Volunteers enjoying the bbq hosted by Fraser Valley Salmon Society - thanks, Aggie!

Upcoming cleanups are as follows:

Saturday March 28th run by Fraser Riverkeepers and Woodtone - meet at Gill Road in Chilliwack at 10 am. Free BBQ for volunteers at 1pm. Please bring appropriate clothing and footwear - this event will go rain or shine.

Saturday April 18th run by Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup Society - registration starts at 8:30 am at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve at 5200 Sumas Prairie Rd, Chilliwack, BC. Refreshments generously provided by Tim Hortons and the Chilliwack Water StorePlease bring your refillable water bottles and coffee mugs as we want to discourage single use containers.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

CJC Stand Up Paddle Board Fins

CJC SUP Fins... What's Under Your Board?

Availability April 1st

Pricing $110 retail including an EVA sleeve plus taxes per fin.

Nikki Rekman Sales is excited to be helping Chris of CJC SUP Fins get his fins under the boards of SUP paddlers throughout Western Canada.  Chris and his partner, Dorine are well-known in our local SUP community and are committed to sharing their love of SUP and the outdoors with everyone they meet. 

Contact me today if you are interested in selling CJC SUP Fins in your store.

Buzzsaw 210: [buhz – saw]
The Buzzsaw is designed to cut through in tougher conditions. With a larger surface area this fin provides great tracking and stability giving confidence when things get rough. The Buzzsaw is perfect for recreational paddlers as their everyday fin or for racers requiring a more stable and good tracking fin for long distance races in choppy conditions.

A great everyday fin at home in everyone’s fin quiver.

Cleaver 267: [klee-ver]
The Cleaver cuts through anything… period. This is one big burly fin with only two things in mind, Tracking and Stability, that’s it. Are you loaded with gear and on an epic A to B adventure of a lifetime? This is what you want under your board keeping you stable and on track, especially when things kick up.

Are you an SUP Adventurer?  Why isn’t this fin under your board?

Classic 185: [klas-ik]
The name says it all, a spin on a classic longboard design intended for SUP Surfing. Not only does this fin offers a balance of hold and maneuverability providing a whole bunch of fun in the waves but it is also a great all round SUP fin that falls in-between the Halcyon, BuzzSaw and Tamahaac size wise. If your board has thruster boxes combine the Classic with one of our thruster options to fine tune your ride and shred the break.

Are you a SUP Surfer?  This fin is a must in your fin quiver.

Cutlass 136: [kuht-luh s]
Designed for SUP Surfing and utilizing a 50/50 foil the Cutlass can be used as a small center fin or a large thruster depending on the board, the conditions and your needs. As a center fin it offers great response and maneuverability. As a thruster it offers unparalleled hold and great drive. This fin has a FCS thruster mount so you would also require a Longboard Box Adapter to use as a center fin.
Check it out on a break near you.


Rapier 112: [rey-pee-er]
The Rapier is a mid sized thruster fin. The Rapier has a flat foil for maximum drive. This one offers good hold and drive for those wanting to carve an open face or snap off the top. A GREAT all round thruster fin.

Check it out on a break near you and be ready for your next duel.


Dirk 90: [durk]
The Dirk is my smallest thruster fin. This fin has a flat foil combined with the signature base offering great drive for a fin this size but is still small enough to keep the board very “loose”. The Dirk is a balance of drive, pivot and hold for those wanting a combination of speed, maneuverability and flow.

Check it out on a break near you.


Weedless 250: [weed  less]
This one is pretty simple, designed to shed weeds, grasses and kelp. With a long leading edge that is laid back a few degrees more than the competition this fin sheds weeds like no other. As with all CJC SUP Fins using the signature base design maintains great tracking yet allows the fin to turn exceptionally well. Extra volume in the tip increases the stability of this otherwise low volume fin.
If you paddle in weedy areas this one is a must for your fin quiver.  

Tamahaac 230: [tom-uh-hawk]
The Tamahaac was designed for long course racing in moderate conditions. With a 230mm draft it finds a nice balance without creating extra drag while maintaining good tracking. The signature cut away base design keeps the surface area at a minimum also allowing the Tamahaac to turn extremely well compared to other similarly sized fins.
If your looking a moderate condition distance fin the Tamahaac needs to find a home in your fin quiver.

 Halcyon 165: [hal-see-uhn]
The Halcyon is designed for short course racing. With a shallow draft of 165mm you are able to get in the water and standing even quicker for those shallow beach starts without the fear of hitting the fin. Also with its minimal height the fin allows the board to accelerate quickly with minimal drag. When it comes to the quick tight pivot turns the large cut away provides a reduced overall surface area that will have you spinning circles around the competition and if there are any weeds out there, fear not, that 47-degree leading edge drops them without hesitation.
You will be pleased to have the Halcyon 165 in your fin quiver.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

This year, all things SUP and Kayak Fishing

Our slower, winter season gives us an oppourtunity to take a little time off for traveling (in this years case, did some work around our house) and plan for the upcoming, busy season.

This year our focus will continue to be Stand Up Paddling (SUP) and Kayak Fishing.  We will do this through the product clinics we provide, the events we attend and the various folks, in the community we support.  Along the way, we will share with you our own SUP and kayak fishing adventures.

For SUP this year, we have a number of great events on the calendar and I am sure there will be one near you in, Calgary, Vernon, Castlegar/Nelson, Vancouver, Deep Cove, Chilliwack and Sechelt. Watch our blog for more details.

On the Slocan River in Mike Darbyshire's River SUP clinic

We are excited to support the Eastslope Kayak Fishing Classic in June and although we will not be there in person, our brands have stepped up, yet again.  Both, Kokatat and Werner Paddles have been supporting this event since the beginning and count kayak fishing as one of their fastest growing categories, in recent years.  Sign up today for the Eastslope Kayak Fishing Classic.  If you are one of the first 10 people to register you will receive a Werner Paddles 50th anniversary prize pack.

If you are an avid kayak angler who has a strong and growing following on line and on-the-water, get in touch with us.  We are always looking for folks to join our team.

Kayak Fishing - Cultus Lake, BC

Monday, March 2, 2015

AdventureSmart Program - Increasing Your Knowledge

Recently, I became aware of a program through the Government of Canada - National Search and Rescue Secretariat.  

The AdventureSmart program has been designed for Canadians and visitors to Canada, to get informed and go outdoors.  The primary goal is that through education, the number of search and rescue incidents is reduced.  The program addresses safety for land-based, water-based and winter activities.

Emphasis is on the three T's:

- Trip Planning - make informed decisions
- Training - reduce the risks
- Taking the Essentials - change your behaviour

For a free download of a trip plan go HERE.  All paddlers know that filing a "float plan" is part of responsible paddling.      

These are great reminders, even for those of us that are more experienced in the outdoors. We do not want to become too complacent with our skill set and forget the basics.

For more information check out the following links

National Search and Rescue Secretariat www.nss-snrs.gc.ca

Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada (SARVAC) www.sarvac.ca

Paddle Canada www.paddlingcanada.com

Canadian Avalanche Association www.avalanche.ca

Canadian Red Cross www.redcross.ca

National Trails Coalition www.ntc-canada.ca

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It Takes A (Kayaking) Village

Another blogpost about the adventures of motherhood and kayaking from guest-blogger, Lori Neufeld

Dan and I learnt very early on, even before Finley was born, that paddling as a family would require a lot more hands than just ours.  But we didnt expect to have so much support from our families, friends and the paddling community.

Christine Haylock -My dear friend and the editor of my blog posts!  She's full of wisdom and encouragement.  Kayaking photo taken by Dan on the Kananaskis River.
Finley has some pretty great people to stay with when its an adults only day on the water and were grateful for the many hours that our parents, siblings, and others have spent caring for her.  But its been other kayakers that have surprised me the most by their patience and willingness to help whenever possible.  From rocking an upset newborn at paddling festivals, to unloading my gear while I get Finley out of the car; our paddling friends are always stepping up to the plate.  Theyve blessed us with all sorts of gifts, given up their own paddling time so I could get on the water, and continue to carpool with me, even if that means some extra work or an early curfew.  Theyve lugged strollers and diaper bags through airports, done laps around the pool with a toddler in tow, and one of my friends has even started his own, get young mothers who paddle on the water program;  Im currently the only member.

Sierra Stinson -Auntie Sierra swears she's never having kids of her own, but she adores Finn and is always up for an adventure!  Kayaking photo by Hayley McKee at Pushbutton on the Ottawa River.

So what can you expect when you invite a new mom like me on your next paddling adventure?  Well, first off, THANK YOU!  Yes, my life is in chaos some days and I spend more time washing laundry then wearing it, but I still want to go kayaking!  I wont always say yes, but I really appreciate your invite.  Secondly, when I get into the car and look like Ive been up all night I have been.  But give me an hour or so of peace and quiet and Ill be good as new.  When we get to the put in and you notice that Im taking far longer than everyone else to suit up, dont worry.  My gear just doesnt quite fit the same as it used to and Ive got hip pads to adjust and clothing to work my way in to.  If this is a day that the little one is coming along, youve got a whole new set of challenges to work with.  Between extra clothing, carseats and piles of snacks, youre losing at least 2-3 seats in your shuttle vehicle.  But there will be Goldfish crackers for all!  You might feel more like a Sherpa than a paddler and wonder why I packed so much stuff.  Trust me, its all necessary.  Throughout the day there will be many bouts of crying.  If Im not stressing over it, you dont need to either.  Kids are funny and mine talks about those tearful times with memories of laughter and joy.  And at the end of day, when youre unstrapping my boat and Im chasing my runaway toddler down the sidewalk, know that this might have been the only day this week that Ill get to exercise, socialize, and enjoy my favourite hobby.  Ive got another sleepless night ahead of me, but Im more energized than ever.

Cathy Woods -An art teacher by day, Cathy is great with kids and has a passion for getting them outdoors.  Kayaking photo by Dan on the Kananaskis River.

Continuing to kayak during this stage of parenting has been a lot more work than I anticipated.  But its not impossible, especially with others who are so eager to help us.  So whether youre one of our close paddling friends or support another kayaking mom, Dan and I salute you.  Were beyond grateful for everyone supporting us on this journey.

Andy Hill -Andy was terrified to go near Finn when she was first born.  Now they're buddies!  Kayaking photo taken by Thomas Farren at Bus Eater on the Ottawa River.

Steven Walker -At only 18 years old, Steven paddles hard, he's the kindest and most helpful kid around (we're not sure how his mom got so lucky!) and he babysits for us on weekends!  Kayaking photo by Dan at Sturgeon Falls.

Judy Wilson -A true river mom, Judy's constantly checking in on me and helping out.  I don't know where I'd be without her!  Kayaking photo taken by John Woods at Fort Whyte Alive.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Cultus Lake Summer SUP Series

Ken Larsen of Pure Life Paddle Boards in Chilliwack, BC is doing great things in the Fraser Valley programming from a Beginning SUP course, to warm locale tours in Costa Rica to River SUP.
to introduce people of all ages and abilities to Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP).  Pure Life Paddle Boards offers a variety of

We want to help Ken promote SUP and are excited to let  you know about two fantastic programs you want to get involved with:  Cultus Lake SUP Series and the Youth Program, the Fraser Valley Rippers (we will tell you more about Ken's youth program in an upcoming blogpost)

What is the Cultus Lake SUP Series?

A series of 8 fun races hosted by Main Beach Boat Rentals and Pure Life Paddle Boards, intended to continue growing the paddling culture and community at Cultus Lake. The events will follow the same format as last year with each race including shorter and longer course options, followed by a barbeque and numerous draw prizes donated by local businesses.

Who is this series intended for?

These events are truly all-inclusive! Everyone is welcome to come and participate, regardless of paddling experience. Last year saw participants with age differences spanning decades, parents paddling with kids, countless first time paddlers and even dog owners paddling with their four legged companions. Two different course length options will be available for every event.

Where does this series take place?

All events are run out front of Main Beach Boat Rentals at Cultus Lake.

What is the cost to participate in the SUP series?

The cost is only $10 per event and includes race entry, a post-race barbeque, and an entry ticket for the prize draw. If you are in need of equipment, Main Beach Boat Rentals is providing gear for a reduced rate of only $10 more.

When do the events take place?

They start May 13th and continue every second Wednesday right through to August 19th. Registration runs 6-6:45pm and the races start at 7pm with BBQ and prizes afterwards.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

One Fishing Adventure After Another

If you are dreaming of some kayak fishing in 2015 take a look back at the 2014 fishing season of Nikki Rekman Sales and Kokatat Regional Paddler, Laura Demers.  If you want some kayak fishing advice you can also contact Laura at Western Canoeing and Kayaking in Abbotsford, BC where she is the in-house kayak fishing and SUP expert.
Ross Lake
       In mid July I came across the opportunity to go fly fishing in the backcountry west of Quesnel, BC on the Blackwater River. The special invite from Marlin, my boss along with good company from friends couldn’t be turned down.  This was going to be the first time I ever went fly fishing.

The Cabin
    The trip took a downward turn before we even left home when we found out that there was a forest fire burning fairly close to where we had planned to go.  We decided to make the most of it and go anyways, although not to our original destination.  We came up with some alternative fishing options and set forth on one adventure after another.

          For our first adventure we loaded up our Clipper Tripper and Tripper-S canoes for a trip down the nearby Euchiniko River. I geared up with my Kokatat Orbit Tour PFD, can’t live without it. We bumped, dragged and portaged down the shallow river only to catch a few squawfish.  It did give me a chance to work on my cast while I only snagged a few trees ;)

I'm pretty sure I wore my Kokatat Wool Core for a total of
7 Days and no one even noticed because unbelievably it
smelt great!

      The next adventure was to tackle a section of the Blackwater River where the fishing was supposed to be better.  This time only three of us went and so I spent a decent amount of time soloing the Tripper-S while dragging a fly behind.  Then, bang I caught my first ever trout.  Landed it in the boat...didn’t use a net...I’m sure you know what happened next.  My first ever trout hoped and bounced itself right back to where it came from!

First moose I've ever seen!  She sat there just long enough for
me to get out the SLR camera from my Overboard Dry bag.
  Alas the fish.  We were there for 5 days and on the first day Marlin let us know about a fishing whole on a creek with no name.  My friend Sandra and I ended up going there day after day and being successful after everything else failed.  

And for the final adventure.  As we drove home a couple days early Sandra and I decided we just hadn’t had enough.  We arrived in Abbotsford after nearly 8 hours of driving only to re-pack our gear, load up our kayaks and drive 2.5 hours in the middle of the night back the direction we just came from to Ross Lake and the Skagit river.  With only 3 hours of sleep we awoke early to get to the fishing and the fishing was good!

1st Trout on 

Here’s to the best job ever for letting me enjoy my adventures!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Kayaking the Aleutians DVD is available for PRE-ORDER

We are happy to announce that we will be distributing Justine Curgenven and Sarah Outen's DVD, "Kayaking the Aleutians" in Western Canada.  They are en route to us now, contact us today to pre-order your copy.

Justine and Sarah

"No-one has succeeded in kayaking the length of the remote and stormy Aleutian Islands which stretch from Russia to Alaska. Explorers Justine Curgenven and Sarah Outen set out to paddle 2,500km along the archipelago to the nearest road confronting more than 20 long crossings which separate the tiny unpopulated islands. Sarah faces an even more formidable challenge as this is part of her round-the-world human powered journey and she has limited kayaking experience. Alone for 101 days in one of the windiest, roughest places on earth, these two women are swept away from land by unknown currents, pounded by rough seas and approached by bears. Experiencing an edge-of-your-seat journey, they gain a rare insight into themselves, the rich wildlife and the lives of the few people who live in this harsh yet beautiful landscape." 

Music: Chilled Out Ocean by Videoblocks.com. 

Filmed & Edited by Justine Curgenven. 

ZatzWorks Stabilzed Aerials by Scott Dickerson & Daniel Zatz

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Paddling Adventures Have Begun

I'm not going to lie, I am not a huge fan of our Wet-Coast (aka West Coast) rainy weather; even though its probably been one of the sunniest winters in years. Most folks would escape to  a warmer/drier climate but not me, I headed to the winter wonderland of Northern BC.

After landing in Smithers it was a 2+ hour drive to the small village of Fort Babine and our put-in on the Babine River. As you can see from the photos the weather was stunning but warm it was not.

Paddling in the winter obviously means having the right gear and well Kokatat Watersports Wear delivers, as usual.  My favourite piece, the Goretex Whirlpool Bibs and Mark's the Tempest Pant kept us warm and dry on the bottom.  The Goretex Full Zip and Anorak Jackets kept us dry up top.

Check out this ice-breaker

Winter wonderland!

Temperature was approximately -11 deg. Celsius and the snow depth at the put-in was about 4'.  Water was low this year and snow was deeper than the last time we were up.  This made for more challenges at the put-in and take-out and a few spots where we bottomed out en route.

Photo credit: Melaney C.

Home Sweet Home Photo credit: Melaney C.

So excited for another season of paddling adventures ahead. Looking forward to hearing all about your time on the water too.  #gobecauseyoucan

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Dynamic Duo: Bringing Family and Friends Together on the Water

Today, we welcome again, Guest Blogger, Lori Neufeld.

I knew we had to own a Jackson Dynamic Duo after paddling one for only a few minutes.  While the 12 foot boat may not seem practical for Manitoba rivers, we actually used the Duo a lot this summer.  With only a few mishaps and a lot of laughs, our family and friends got to experience kayaking either for the first time or in ways they had never thought possible.

Being a “Go Big or Stay Home” kind of season, Finley spent most of her time paddling the Duo at the beach.  It was during one of these days that my mom went kayaking for the first time and Finley's friends got to join us, too.  Who knew that a kayak could also serve as a daycare?
Finley and friends, Carter and Landon enjoying the water with "Cool-Mom", Lori.  Photo: Cheryl Falk
The Duo was our go-to boat for after work adventures on the rivers within the city.  The swifts and eddy lines were fun to experiment on and it was good practice for bigger water.  The Duo is stable, fast and very manoeuvrable, and it didn't take long for me to feel in control and confident while paddling it.  There's often a stigma about Winnipeg's rivers that they're dirty and dangerous, so many people stay away from them.  But thanks to the Duo, the proper safety equipment, and an experienced paddler in the stern, a number of people got to see our local rivers from a whole new perspective. 
Lori, Finley and Grandma, Marilyn.  Photo: Cheryl Falk
But it was the days that we took the Duo out to Sturgeon Falls that really stand out for me.  Dan and Finley happily watched from shore as my friends and I punched through giant foam piles and surfed the waves.  While I left the attempted airscrews to the boys, I thoroughly enjoyed carving back and forth.  Communication and feeling your partner's movements were key in getting the Duo to surf smoothly.  I loved those days on the water.

The Dynamic Duo bringing folks together on the water.  Photo: Lori Neufeld

Our Dynamic Duo brought people together this summer.  From experienced and sponsored boaters to newbies and toddlers, everyone who sat in the Duo came out smiling.  It was a fantastic teaching tool and I'm looking forward to introducing Finley to whitewater with this boat.  The Duo is really one of a kind and I glad we invested in one!

The Duo from Dan Neufeld on Vimeo.

Green River, UT

Green River, UT
Photo: Shawna Franklin