Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fraser Valley Whitewater Trip Report - Puntledge Paddlefest 2012

Check out Ryan's report from the Puntledge and be sure to check it out in 2013!

Waiting in the line up for BC Ferries
Nikki Rekman Sales was happy to help get some of the crew over to the Island so Island Paddlers could take advantage of the Jackson Kayak demos!! 

Ryan's first Funrunner vertical on the Browns River. - Photo by Dan Bentley

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

National Canoe Day - June 26th

- published 3/26/12 on

People and groups across Canada and around the world come together on or around June 26 every year to help celebrate canoeing and paddle sports – how will you be celebrating?
We’re asking everyone across Canada and around the world to register your participation here - let us know how you’ll be joining thousands of people around the world as they get involved!
You can check out our Events page to find groups in your area, or you can participate on your own – the only limit is your imagination! Whether your a canewbie or a paddling enthusiast, you can celebrate the wonder that is the canoe.
However you choose to participate, please register with us – whether large or small,
How will you participate?
  • Go for a paddle
  • Make a canoe craft with your family, school, or group  (click here to download our free Mini Canoe PDFs)
  • Organize a canoeing event (and register it with us!)
  • Paddle to work
  • Portage down Main Street
  • Learn how to paddle
  • Participate in our ‘You and a Canoe’ photo contest 
  • Create a canoe-themed display in your shop window
  • Become a Member of the Canadian Canoe Museum
  • Plan a canoe trip
  • Teach someone how to paddle
  • Wear a canoe
  • Visit the Canadian Canoe Museum
  • Offer canoe-themed discounts in your shop
  • Visit your local canoe outfitters
  • Restore or build a canoe
  • Drink a canoe-themed beverage
  • Join your local canoe club
  • Buy your own canoe
There are hundreds of ways to celebrate – how will you?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Kootenay Whitewater Kayaking Festival

Kootenay Whitewater Kayaking Festival

A Whitewater weekend packed with exciting
events, prizes, concert and a LOT of paddling!

Kootenays- Borderline Boaters is stoked to be presenting this year
Kootenay Whitewater Festival from June 23th to the 24th,
hosted at Endless Adventure in Crescent Valley. 

The weekend starts off with
some meet and greet at the Endless Adventure campground and leads up to some
exciting paddling! This is an intermediate paddle fest with a variety of
clinics for all skill levels, including beginners, creeking and playboating

registration is before Thursday June 21 for a discount of $10 at Endless
Adventure, or register at Endless Adventure on Saturday June 25, $60 for the
weekend which includes lunch both days, t-shirt, prize, Party, camping. 

Saturday night is jammed packed with live music, auction for a Jackson Kayak
and an Ecuador Trip with Endless Adventure International and a ton of other
great prizes... Everyone leaves with some AWESOME on Sunday! 

Come out join the
fun and paddle your butt off.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Euro vs. Greenland: Teacher Knows Best about Paddles

Welcome, Guest Blogger, Mark Whitaker from Columbia River Kayaking!!!
When I first started paddling in 2004, it was so that I could be an assistant guide for Elderhostel programs and beginner tours here on the lower Columbia river. I had no idea that eight years later, I would be a BCU four star leader, an L2 coach, and that kayaking would be my main source of income for over half the year as well as a means of getting out to go birdwatching, fishing or just plain exploring all year round. In 2007, I became one of the owners of Columbia River Kayaking, LLC, here in Skamokawa, WA.

During that first year, I was paddling an old plastic Necky Looksha IV from the rental fleet, and using one of the old rental paddles. I didn't mind the boat so much, except for the rudder, but I did not like the paddle at all. It was heavy and long, and seemed to have a mind of its own when it came to how it interacted with the water. I struggled to learn to roll with it, and was successful only some of the time.

That fall, I went to the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium for the first time, and took a couple of short, on-the-water classes. The first one was a class comparing and contrasting three kinds of paddles: the standard "euro" blade paddle, a lightweight carbon fiber wing paddle, and a Greenland stick. I was intrigued by the Greenland stick, and the next day, I took a class just about that paddle and how to use it effectively.

I loved how well behaved and neutral the blade was in the water, I loved how it braced, I loved the larger diameter shaft and the feel of wood in my hands, as opposed to fiberglass, and I soon would come to love the way that using a Greenland stick would connect me to the history of kayaking, and a whole lot of other nerds who felt the same way. 

When I got home from WCSKS that fall, I immediately went online and found a set of instructions for making a Greenland paddle, went to Home Depot and scrounged up a perfectly clear cedar 2x4 out of the decking bin, and carved my first of several Greenland sticks. I never looked back at that heavy, long and cumbersome rental paddle again, and for several years, I used Greenland sticks exclusively. Rolling became not only easy, but an end unto itself, as I worked on the competition list of Greenland rolls.

After a couple of years, I got involved in the BCU coaching track, taking first the old L2 course, then the new L1 and L2 courses. Along the way, the feedback that I got from my teachers included the advice that I should learn to be proficient with a Euro paddle as well as the Greenland stick, since most of my students would probably be using the Euro blade. This was not something I wanted to hear, as my main experience with Euro paddles was limited to those old, heavy ones from the rental fleet. 

But then I tried out a carbon fiber, foam core Werner Ikelos, and realized right away that it was not at all like those old heavy clunkers that I was used to. Still, having gotten used to the skinny blades of a Greenland stick, the big fat blade on the Ikelos was more than I wanted, so in August of 2008, I finally coughed up the dough and ordered a bent shaft, 205 cm, carbon fiber Werner Cyprus, the smaller bladed version of the Ikelos. 

For the first year or so, this mostly served as a spare paddle and as an instructional aid for demonstrating things. I wasn't really crazy about it, and still preferred the GP most of the time. But I gradually started making myself use it more and more for "regular" paddling, so that I could become better at it. Now, a few years on, the Werner has actually become my primary paddle for most situations, and my custom Beale Greenland stick rides along as the spare. I still trade back and forth between both paddles during the course of a day, but my initial dislike of the Euro style paddles has been largely left behind.

Some of the things about this paddle that I have learned to love are similar to the GP, actually. Cedar GPs are traditionally much lighter than most fiberglass paddles, and the carbon fiber paddle is even lighter still. This makes a big difference over the course of a long day.

The smooth back of the carbon fiber, foam core Werner blade, as opposed to other Euro style paddles with a "spine" down the back of the blade, allows the carbon Werner to behave in a more neutral fashion in the water, making it far less "grabby" and "twitchy" than other Euro style blades can be. This makes it an ideal paddle for teaching beginners, since people can focus on good form without having to deal with the paddle's tendency to twitch and dive around.

I prefer the bent shaft to the straight shaft. It feels easier on my wrists, for one thing, and also makes indexing the Euro blade for rolling a much easier and quicker task. In a real pinch, when the surf is thrashing me all around, and I need to roll up quickly, and from any strange position, I'd still rather have a GP in my hands, but the Werner has been a very friendly Euro blade to roll with, and over the last year or so, I've gotten much more comfortable in rough water with it in general.

Over the last couple of years, I've tried several other makes of Euro paddles, but none of them have impressed me as much as the one I already own.

Check out Mark's paddle of choice the Cyprus on Werner TV

Photo: Mark Whitaker, Paddle: Werner Paddles Performance Core Cyprus

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

River SUP with Aquabatics

If you are interested in learning to Stand Up Paddle (SUP) on rivers head to Aquabatics in Calgary, AB and talk to Blair, Matt, Dean or Mitch and they will give you all the info.

Here are some photos from one of their recent sessions on the Bow River right in Calgary.  Thanks for the exposure in your Kokatat Drysuits and your Werner Paddles guys!!!

Looking forward to seeing you all later this week for your clinic.



Monday, May 21, 2012

Windy Demo in the Kootenays!

Saturday was a windy day on the Columbia River near Castlegar/Robson in the beautiful BC Kootenays but that did not stop us from getting out on the water with a few of the staff and customers of Endless Adventure

Our Jackson Kayak and Werner Paddles demo day started off with a yummy smoothy breakfast courtesy of Endless Adventure owner, Chris Ryman.  Chris hosted us at their home situated on the Columbia River, a short paddle to the pub and our demo location.

En route from the Ryman's to the Lion's Head Pub for some dinner the night before the demo.  How cool is that?!?!?

Despite the wind we had some adventurous folk join us at the demo to try out the fleet of Jackson Kayaks.  Whisper the dog, also got in on the fun.

Check out Endless Adventure at their location in Crescent Valley and if you are really up for an adventure join them in Ecuador through Endless Adventure International.

Nikki giving a young paddler some tips with Mark looking on.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Book Review - Onward by Howard Schultz

How Starbucks Fought For Its Life – Without Losing Its Soul.

I gravitated towards this book because I was interested in the topic of authenticity in business.

Onward is a book about leadership and the value of people.

- 2000 Schultz steps down as ceo
- 2007 Starbucks stock begins to steadily decline
- 2008 Schultz returns to turn around a company whose stock declined to a record low of $7.17 a share by going back to the company’s core values and culture
- 2010 closes with Starbucks back on top after a tumultuous but inspiring two years.  Stock closes at over $39 a share.  

How did Schultz return his failing company to grandeur without “Losing Its Soul”?

He believed.  He believed in the power of his brand, his founding mission, and, most of all, in his people 

Rekindled in his partners (employees) the love and pride that had fueled the company for years.  Introduced initiatives that brought a return to their core- coffee, customers, innovation & values.
Moved “ONWARD”!
            - honours the past while re-inventing the future. 
            - fighting not with just heart and hope, but also with intelligence and operational rigor – striving for balance.
- forging ahead with steadfast belief in oneself while putting customers’ needs first and respecting the power of competition.

Created a team of people who could help implement the Transformational Agenda (a.k.a. strategic vision)  A team that had the combined skill set and the belief that it could be done.

Proceeded with courage, innovation, conviction, balance and conscience.

Words of Wisdom
Grow with discipline. Innovate around the core.  Don’t embrace the status quo.  Find new ways to see.  Never expect a silver bullet.  Get your hands dirty.  Listen with empathy and over communicate with transparency.  Tell your story, refusing to let others define you. Use authentic experiences to inspire.  Stick to your values, they are your foundation.  Hold people accountable but give them the tools to succeed.  Make the tough choices; it’s how you execute that counts.  Be decisive in times of crisis.  Be nimble.  Find truth in trials and lessons in mistakes.  Be responsible for what you see, hear, and do.  Believe.

Onward is a book about leadership AND the value of people.

Definitely worth the read – check it out.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Puntledge River Paddle Festival - May 25th - 27th

Save the date - May 25th - 27th and head over to Vancouver Island for the...

 8th Annual Puntledge River Paddle Festival

Jackson Kayaks will be available for demo and Kokatat is a BRONZE sponsor this year too.

Schwag from Jackson Kayaks, Werner Paddles, Kokatat and Seals Sprayskirts!!!

For more information check out the Vancouver Island Whitewater Paddling Society webpage.

The festival was also in the news recently, check out the great cover shot on About Town Magazine's Spring 2012 issue featuring JK boats!!!

Special thanks to Dave Prothero Photography for use of the above photo

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Hottest SUP Paddle on the Market

The Werner Paddles Grand Prix SUP Paddle Series is the hottest SUP paddle on the market and Werner's Danny Mongno tell us why.

Don't forget to share this video on your own blog or FACEBOOK page.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Another SUNNY weekend for a demo day!

Mountain to Sound Outfitters staff clinic
Another sunny and warm weekend for a demo - hurray!!!

We had a great couple of days down in Issaquah, WA at the Northwest Paddling Festival, giving new and experienced paddlers some time in Jackson Kayak's and Werner Paddles!!!

On the Friday, manufacturer's reps like myself, had the opportunity to spend time with the floor staff from local shops.  Along with Jackson Kayak VP of Sales, Marty Cronin, we took the staff of Mountain to Sound Outfitters through the Jackson Kayak line up.  The fun part was of course getting on the water with these guys.  Check out how much fun they are having.

Roman from Mountain to Sound Outfitters and Marty Cronin JK VP of Sales
Sonia assisting an interested paddler in JK boats

If you are interested in Jackson Kayak's check out Mountain to Sound Outfitters in West Seattle for all your paddlesports needs.  You can find them HERE.

Save the date for NEXT year's Northwest Paddling Festival at beautiful Lake Sammamish Sate Park in Issaquah, WA - May 10 & 11, 2013.  

Mountain to Sound Outfitters owner, Greg Whitaker enjoying the Coosa
For more photos check out the Nikki Rekman Sales Facebook page.

Friday, May 11, 2012

It's Clinic Season

At this time of year we are on the road visiting our dealers throughout Western Canada and beyond. This week I had the pleasure of taking a number of retail floor staff through the Werner G.U.I.D.E. clinic and the Kokatat Watersports Wear line up. An opportunity to take retail floor staff through the gear, educating them on everything from paddle materials and design to why a Kokatat Goretex drysuit will be one of the best investments a paddler can make. A special thanks to the crew at Ecomarine Ocean Kayak Centre, Valhalla Pure Outfitters - Squamish, Escape Route and Western Canoeing and Kayaking. As I write this blogpost this morning I am also thinking ahead to my Jackson Kayak Clinic with our new dealer in West Seattle, Mountain to Sound Outfitters. This is a fantastic shop, owned by Greg & Kara Whitaker. The staff is young and enthusiastic and I am stoked to get them on the water at Lake Sammammish this morning. This will also be the site of tomorrow's Northwest Paddling Festival so if you are in the Seattle area please come by and check out everything paddlesports. We'll be there with our fleet of Jackson Kayaks!!! This 2nd year event, in this new location is setting the stage to becoming the largest outdoor paddlesports festival in North America. I'll be writing from the road a lot in the next three weeks so if the format seems a bit off my apologies, finding the right software can be challenging. In the meantime, have a great day and get outside (even if that only means walking outside during your lunch break)!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Jackson Rogue: How to Support Thyself in the Grand Canyon

Welcome, guest blogger, Jenifer Jakub!!!

At the end of January 2012, I took a Jackson Rogue 9 down the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River for a ten day self-supported trip. Here is my review of the boat and the details of how I packed for this adventure.

I found the Rogue to be a sweet ride for the Canyon, and I most definitely hope to take it down the Canyon again next year.  It was easy to pack, stable, and had a good place for a groover.
My favorite thing about the boat was the skeg.  It makes a huge difference in the flatwater, as you avoid spin outs and it cuts through boils like butter.  I ended up leaving the skeg down through most of the rapids, too.

When loaded, the boat handled great in the rapids.  It was stable and easy to sail right through some big holes.

One downside is that it is relatively slower than some other boat choices which can make it hard to keep up with a fleet of, ya know, sea kayaks and green boats.

Another downside is that it is relatively small compared to some other boat choices (those sea kayaks); however, there was ample room for everything I needed and wanted. I felt the smaller size allowed me to keep it simple and prevented me from over packing and bringing things I didn't need.

On Packing... The nitty gritty details for those who want to know!

 1 - The Rear Hatch

If you've ever packed the stern of a boat by cramming dry bags behind the seat and into the stern, it's a pain. The rear hatch makes it easy.

I packed my sleeping bag, most of my food supply, and other odds and ends in the stern. It does get wet in there, so anything you want to keep dry needs to be in a dry bag.  It's a great place to stuff filler items that don't need to be in a dry bag, like tuna fish packets, energy bars, and extra fuel.

I found the cover of the hatch easy to take on and off.  It also stayed put and nothing was lost, even when I swam.

 2 - The Cavernous Bow
First of all, instead of a bulkhead, the Rogue has little foot pegs on each side. If these are in your way at all, you can easily slide them in and out. There's nothing to unscrew.

Secondly, the center pillar slides right out. This is a great spot for a groover. If you aren't replacing the groover with a center pillar, then you can clip your dry bags directly to the back of the center pillar. Then you can easily access your dry bags by pulling out the pillar, and there's no need to go digging into the bow. It's a great design.

I used two long 35L tapered dry bags and put those in the bow alongside the groover. First, I put things like a tarp and tent (not in sacks) to fill out the bottom of the bags. Then I pack things like my sleeping pad and Jetboil.  Anything I want to keep dry, like clothing, layers, and down, go into smaller dry sacks, which are the last thing I put in the larger dry bags.

 I gotta say, it's easier to stuff those big dry bags into the bow of the Rogue than into the stern of the Villain S (I did this on the Selway)! Since you don't have to get behind the seat, you get a bigger opening and they just slide right into the bow. In the Villain, I had to put the bag in first, then cram each individual item in one by one... and the sleeping bag, OY!

Now, although those bags slide right in, each morning I needed to use my feet to stuff the bags further into the bow.  I'll admit, it was a tight fit, until I ran a rapid and they got pushed further into the bow.  At that point, I fit rather loose without the foot pegs.  I didn't find this to be a big issue.  And I doubt it would even be an issue without the groover.  This set up may not work as well for a taller person and should probably be tested in advance of the trip.

3 - The Cockpit

I packed a day bag of frequently accessed items so that I wouldn't need to access the bow or stern during the day.  The day bag clipped onto the elastic cord used to secure the groover or center pillar, placing it directly in front of me.

I tied some cord around the section of seat by the hips, on each side.  This gave me a place to secure a water bottle on each side of me, under my knees.

Lastly, there was additional room behind my seat, where I kept a dry bag, throw rope, and first aid kit.

All in all, I was quite happy with the Rogue and look forward to taking it on my next adventure.

For more details on how to build a groover and secure it in a Jackson Rogue, see this post on the official Jackson Kayak website.  Note that if I had the center pillar in advance of the trip, I would have considered cutting it to snugly secure the groover inside it.  I did not, and I found the cam straps to work just fine.

To hear more about my adventure in the Grand Canyon, stay tuned to the Jackson website.  Part 1 of 3 of my trip report is posted at this link, and next parts will be posted soon!!

Blogpost by Jenifer Jakub - please check out Jen's blog and follow her paddling adventures!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Join us at the Northwest Paddling Festival - Saturday May 12th

We are looking forward to another busy weekend getting paddlers on the water in Jackson Kayaks and Werner Paddles

The event is from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at Sunset Beach in Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah, WA.

The Northwest Paddling Festival is a Free event. If you are interested in paddling the gear, there is a nominal $5 per person charge for those interested in demoing boats or Stand Up Paddleboards (credit/debit cards will be accepted).

It is shaping up to be an amazing event with over 60 vendors from the paddlesports industry!

Come out and see what the biggest collection of manufacturers in specialty paddlesports looks like in one location.

Schedule events is here

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fantastic Weekend on the Chilliwack River

We had a great weekend at the Vancouver Kayak Club Paddle Festival on the Chilliwack River.  It's a total treat to have an event in our home-town (means we get to sleep in our own bed!!!) and not drive for hours :)

Saturday was cool and at times overcast but the turn out was great and lots of paddlers were demoing Jackson Kayaks and Werner Paddles  and lovin' the fact that we were loaning out our Kokatat Drysuits.  Nothing better than a clean run and being warm and dry!!!  Sunday was warm and sunny and again the turn out was high with lots of interest in our new Jackson Kayak Zen and Fun Runner series.

We were joined by two of our BC dealers, Endless Adventure from the Kootenays (thanks for making the 8 hour trek down guys!) and the crew from Western Canoeing and Kayaking.  Both shops brought demo boats so along with our demos, Jackson Kayaks was well represented and we had LOTS of boats to share.

You can check out more photos on the Nikki Rekman Sales facebook page.  These two were just a couple of my favourites featuring, Western Canoeing and Kayaking's, Ryan Bayes paddling the new JK Fun Runner!!!  Check out Ryan's blog, Fraser Valley Whitewater.

Photos: Nikki Rekman

Friday, May 4, 2012

Vancouver Kayak Club Paddle Festival THIS WEEKEND!!!

Once again it will be held in the beautiful Chilliwack Valley that offers several excellent class II – IV river runs with boulder gardens, pool drops, and surfing waves for paddlers of all interest and skill levels. The Festival is a great way to kick-off another year of paddling with a laid-back, social, and fun weekend of events.

The festival brings together paddlers, from novice to advanced, for a weekend of fun on and and off the river. It's a great way to meet new and old paddling buddies, demo the latest in gear and boats from our sponsors, and enjoy the shuttle service to several
spots on the Chilliwack River.

Always a spectator favorite, the festival offers paddlers a chance to compete in a downriver race and other popular on-river contests.

Off the river, the festival has lots going on including a silent auction and raffle where sponsors have donated some amazing prizes, such as boats, spray decks, paddles, helmets, PFD’s, and other kayaking-related products and services. Live music by the band "Switch", draw prizes, and race awards make for a busy Saturday night.

Festival registration includes 2 nights of camping, one dinner, and two breakfasts; as well as a free T-Shirt (while supplies last).

We will be there with Jackson Kayak demo boats and demo Kokatat drysuits.

See you there!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Endless Adventure Gear Swap is back - this weekend!!!

This outdoor water adventure “Swap Meet” is an opportunity for you to sell your old equipment and pick up new stuff for the 2012 season.   

The event will also be awareness and fundraiser for the Borderline Boaters Paddle Club, a not for profit water-user group that has a “leave no trace” policy and promotes responsible waterway management.

Registration to sell your equipment is from now until 6pm May 4th  then the parking lot of Endless Adventure gets transformed into a “Gear Swap”, there is a $5 fee for selling your equipment with all proceeds going to the Borderline Boaters Paddle Club. “As a group, we contribute to the well being and vitality of the community via social interaction, recreation and fitness using water and fun as the common medium.”  Carl Jacks, Club President.
All people are welcome down on the weekend to ask questions and find out more about water sports.  Endless Adventure will also be announcing their spring/summer schedule and new programs for people at all levels. We are excited about May healthy living and introducing a new Kayak Fitness Program that strengthens your core and gives people the opportunity to work on their paddling technique in an enthusiastic environment.”  Andrea Miller, Endless Adventure.

Come on down Saturday May 5th and Sunday the 6th from 10-6 to Gear Swap located in the Endless Adventure Parking Lot at 1286 Hwy 6 downtown Crescent Valley  (Beside Evergreen Foods)

For more information please call 1.877.386.8181 or email

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Kayak Fishin' on the Bow River with Jackson Kayak Angler Stephen Laurie

Check out our Nikki Rekman Sales, Werner Paddles, Kokatat Watersports Wear and Jackson Kayak Angler, Stephen Laurie on the Bow River.

Stephen in collaboration with Undercurrents in Calgary will be offering Kayak Fishing Seminars this summer.

Check out the Undercurrents website for more details and don't forget to follow Stephen's blog.

Green River, UT

Green River, UT
Photo: Shawna Franklin