Thursday, January 31, 2013

Introducing the Men of the Nikki Rekman Sales Team

It's not just a couple of great women paddling for Nikki Rekman Sales and our brands but some great guys as well.

They do it all from Kayak Fishing, Stand Up Paddle Board racing and river running to "hucking" themselves down waterfalls!

Mike Darbyshire (SUP/River SUP)
Mike currently works for Deep Cove Kayak School as the School Director as is a graduate of the Outdoor Recreation Management Program at Capilano University.  Mike’s passion for paddling comes from the amazing places a kayak or SUP board can take you, along with teaching all levels of paddlers.  In more recent years, Mike has spearheaded the Stand Up Paddling Programs at the Deep Cove Kayak School and been a founding member of the BC SUP Cup Series.  Mike competes in SUP throughout Western Canada and the Western USA and is often seen on race podiums.  It’s not just about racing either, Mike has embrace the river too so watch for him on local rivers like the Seymour or surfing at Skooks!  Follow Mike’s blog here.

 Eli Fischbuch (SUP/River SUP)

imageI have been paddling most of my life – my family has some kayaks and a canoe and my brothers and I were  on a dragon boat team for one year when I was about 9yrs old. We have a cabin near Shuswap Lake in BC so we have always spent lots of time playing in the water.
About 4 yrs ago my family was on vacation in Vancouver and I saw some people on Stand up paddle boards.   I wanted to try it so we did a lesson with Kalavida Surf Shop at Lake Kalamalka.  After that I was hooked and I’ve been paddling SUP ever since.  Over the past couple of years I’ve entered some fun races which I really like.  This year I took part in the BC SUP Cup Series and ended up being the Junior Champion.
During the fall of 2012 I took part in a few River SUP Clinics through Aquabatics, Calgary.  I had a lot of fun paddling on the river and we spent a day trying some river surfing in Kananaskis.  I am looking forward to getting out on the river some more in 2013 as well as competing in the BC SUP Cup races again.

Stephen Laurie (Kayak Fishing)

Although born in St.Johns, Newfoundland Stephen grew up in Victoria, B.C. and it was Salmon fishing trips as a child with his family that his foundation for and love of fishing comes from. A move to Calgary, Alberta and days spent fishing the local river systems is all that it took to cement his addiction to fishing . It was on those same rivers and lakes that kayaks, having the unmatched ability to catch fish where most can’t, became his platform for exploring  those waters. As director of The Eastslope Kayak Fishing Classic and through his blog ,Fishnhound, Stephen shares his passion for kayak fishing while promoting sustainable fishing practices. Stephen can be found spending most of his free time on the waters of Alberta looking for that next trophy fish with friends, family and fellow members of Canada’s kayak fishing community “Canadian Kayak”. 

Website: Fishnhound – Kayak Fishing

Luke Vollmerhaus (whitewater kayaking/sea kayaking/SUP/River SUP)

I was introduced to sea kayaking when I was seven on a base camp style trip in Belize. My family fell in love with the sport and continued to hit different destinations around the globe on week long trips including Tonga, Fiji, Bahamas, Baja and some home turf on the west coast of Canada. When I was 14 we decided to take our love of kayaking to a new level and get onto the river. Through Aquabatics Calgary we took a couple of courses and dove into this new branch of kayaking. I comp got into Slalom kayak racing early in my White water career and attended the Alberta Summer Games and brought home a few medals. I am now an avid White water kayaker and work as an instructor and shop personnel at Aquabatics while trying to earn a degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Calgary. Recently I have found a new passion in River SUP boarding. I fell in love with Surfing during two separate yearlong stints living in Australia and I am so stoked to find a sport that replicates the feeling of surfing on my home rivers.  I look very forward to being a part of a sport that is as young as River SUP and helping it grow to whatever it will be!

Len Zilkowsky (Kayak Fishing)

I am lucky enough to have been raised by parents who absolutely loved the outdoors, in what I consider, to be one of best places on earth to live.  I have been fishing for as long as I can remember.  My first memories of fishing are fishing from a canoe where my father taught me how to work the fly rod on numerous lakes throughout the Okanagan.  His passion was dry fly fishing, so that is what I focused on for most of my earlier life.  It was love at first cast.   Like a lot of fly fishermen, we bought into the Belly Boat trend and started accessing remote lakes on our quads with boats strapped to the bikes.  During the summer months my brother and I visited my mother on the Sunshine Coast where we spent many days chugging up and down the inlets around Sechelt in a forty foot fishing boat that was converted to a live-a-board.  Amazing memories there as well.  Cod, salmon, sea-run cutthroat, shell fish………  Awesome!
Now that I am older with kids of my own, I look back at how simple things were back then and how those memories have helped make me the man I am today.  Respectful of the environment, people, and the creatures that share this earth with us.  I currently live in Chilliwack, BC with my wife, two daughters and two dogs.  Fishing has continued to be a big part of my life.  I am extremely lucky to have parents in the Okanagan and on Vancouver Island that allow me the opportunity to fish those areas on a regular basis for very little cost. When I am not visiting family I am only fifteen minutes away from one of the most amazing river systems.  Over the past 5 years since I moved to Chilliwack I have enjoyed fishing the Vedder/Chilliwack, Harrison and Fraser rivers making new memories.
Around the same time that I moved to Chilliwack I was looking for a way to fish more areas that I couldn’t reach on foot, belly boat, or through a friend with a boat.  That’s when I realized that I could combine fishing and kayaking.  I did some research and bought my first sit-on-top fishing kayak.  I have been hooked ever since.
Follow Len’s fishing adventures on his website here.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Kayak Fishing with Kids

Fantastic report from sponsored angler,  Stephen Laurie about kayak fishing with kids.

Here are a few of the things I’ve picked up while kayak fishing with my kids. Hopefully some this information will help make it easier to get your kids fishing out of kayaks.

Kids and Kayak Fishing 

Keep’em Comfortable
Of all the things I’ve learned while trying to get my kids into kayak fishing their comfort is quite possibly the most important. While I and most of the kayak anglers I know will put up with bugs, rain, cold weather, hot weather, hunger and even a little snow and ice while looking for the next lunker I can tell you kids won’t. Until such a time that there enthusiasm for fishing is as great as yours providing them with comfort may be the most important thing you can do to ensure they enjoy their time on the water. Food is super important to kids and making sure you have items they will enjoy with you definitely helps. Lots of snacks to munch on when the fishing is slow will help to pass the time and getting them involved by letting them pick out the snacks helps even more. No one enjoys bugs so be sure to hit’em with bug spray often. Nothing will have them heading back to the launch quicker than being eaten alive. You’ll also want to be sure you have sunscreen and extra clothes if the weather changes. Keeping them comfortable is the first step in improving your chances of ensuring the have an enjoyable experience.

Where to Go
Keep your trips short. Driving hours to your destination never sits well with kids. I’m sure we all remember long trips in the car as kids and the intolerable boredom that seemed to ensue. Try to focus on easy to fish locations. Although put and take stocked trout lakes aren’t always the most attractive to seasoned anglers they are perfect for children and that’s who these outings are for. Smaller stocked trout seem fairly eager to bite most of the time and when hooked can put an a pretty good show. I’m not a fan of using bait ,due to the higher mortality rates it can cause, but these bodies of water typically allow for the its use. Bait can increase the odds of success and after all that is the prime objective when introducing children to fishing. Pike and Goldeye can also be more than willing participants when your kids are fishing. Whatever location you choose try to keep it relatively close and keep in mind kids aren’t looking for trophy fish they’re just looking for fish period. Any fish will do.

Kayak Fishing with Kida

Stay away from the cutesy rods market for kids. They’re cheap for a reason and typically have poor quality reels with even poorer quality line. I suggest starting them out with a 5’6’’ to 6’ light weight rod. It will for most situations and is a reasonable length for smaller children to use. While it seems to be the norm to purchase closed faced reels for kids ,I disagree. Closed face reels can still tangle and when they do they may just be the hardest to deal with. I find, probably because I’ve had enough of them, that tangles on open faced spinning reels are easier to deal with. With a small amount of instruction children seem able use open faced reels just fine and usually are a little happier that they haven’t been relegated to the kiddy equipment.

First and foremost. Always ensure your kids and yourself are wearing a PFD. All too often we hear of people drowning while fishing and the one common factor each time is the absence of a PFD. I also recommend beginner kayak classes for children once they are old enough to understand some basic paddling techniques and concepts. Although you may be able to teach them yourself kids tend to listen much better when others are giving the instruction. You can then reinforce what they have learned with your own experience and knowledge. The classes help in building their confidence and yours in them when out on the water. Start out by taking them to smaller lakes and be mindful of the weather ,especially wind. I prefer visiting bodies of water with non motorized craft rules when with the kids. It’s one less thing for them to be intimidated by well learning new skills.  If your children are a little small to paddle on their own invest in a tandem kayak. It’s a great way for them to get comfortable with kayaking and it’s much easier helping them fish when they are close to you. As with most things use common sense and be aware.

Overall keep it simple. I’m sure we’ve all been out fished at some point by a kid floating a bobber and some bait. Until your kids have spent a bit of time getting comfortable with both basic kayaking and simple fishing don’t overload them with information on specific fishing techniques. Make sure to keep it fun. Let them guide the pace at which they take in the information. If they are enjoying themselves it won’t be long before they start asking you How and Why and when they can go again.


Friday, January 25, 2013

In Support of Paddle for the North

Six mates, six rivers, three canoes, two months, 1300km (800+ miles), Yukon to Alaska. The trip of a lifetime.

Paddle for the North, is the adventure of Gabriel Rivest, Scott Sinton, Simon Lucas, Alexandre Deschênes-Dénommé, Matthew Holmes and Michah Rauguth and their desire to bring awareness to the importance of protecting Canadian Watersheds and more specifically, that of the Peel Watershed.

"Unfortunately, the Yukon government is planning to open up this untouched area for mining. Which mean roads, development and destruction. This simply isn’t good enough.
Our hope is that by sharing our experience, others will see the untouched beauty and it will inspire people not only to protect these areas but also to plan adventures of their own."

For more information about the Peel Watershed check out the Paddle for the North website.

Nikki Rekman Sales is very happy to help this group of paddlers out and connect them with the best paddles in the world - Werner Paddles!  Also supporting this important adventure is Werner Paddles dealer, Up North Adventures in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Please follow their journey via their Facebook page.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jackson Kayak Uni-Shock Bulkhead System

Fantastic video featuring Jackson Kayak's, Clay Wright walking the viewer through our Uni-Shock Bulkhead System.  Jackson Kayak, we are keeping you safe and comfortable.  It gives you access to storage at the front of your boat too!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Introducing the Women of the Nikki Rekman Sales Team

It is with great excitement that we introduce you to the talented women of the 2013 Nikki Rekman Sales Team.  Watch for both of these women at a SUP race near you!!  
Or in Laura's case, a kayak fishing event, a whitewater canoeing or kayaking event!

  • Lina Augaitis - (SUP)
DSCN0470I first found SUP in California in 2009 when some old friends had just bought their first SUPs and let me try it out. My first SUP race was in Spring 2010 and my first real win was the the inaugural 2010 Kalamalka Classic in Vernon BC. Following this race and a couple of small races I wanted more. I went to my first BOP race in 2010 and got hammered by the waves but excited by the flurry and growth of the sport. I started teaching some intro to SUP courses and SUP-fitness classes with Deep Cove Canoe and Kayaks.

I love to race, teach, and complete expeditions on the SUP. In 2011, I was the first to SUP 715km of the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson, then in 2012 I was part of a group of people that were the first to SUP the 32km channel from Koh Lanta to Koh Phi Phi in Thailand, and in the summer of 2012 I was the first to SUP a popular 6-day canoe route in Algonquin Park.

August 2011, I moved to China for a year. A year away from SUP made me realize how much I missed it. Upon my return to Vancouver, August 2012 I have immersed myself in the world of SUP and haven’t looked back.

I look forward to what 2013 has to bring. I am excited to race, teach, explore, inspire, and discover as much as I can while standing up!

Live, love, laugh,…DREAM!  Follow Lina’s blog here.

  • Laura Lee Demers - (Whitewater – Kayaking and Canoeing/Kayak Fishing/SUP/River SUP)
Laura Demers 004Laura Demers is a Sales Associate and Stand up Paddleboard Instructor at Western Canoeing and Kayaking, BC’s largest paddle sports store.  She has been an active part of all things paddle sports for over 6 years and as a paddle sports fanatic she loves sharing her knowledge with others.  

Laura can regularly be found bouncing down the Chilliwack River on her SUP, sometimes her canoe and often her kayak.  

She has also become a regular part of the SUP racing scene.
In addition, as the sport of Kayak fishing has exploded she has caught on to that too.  

Amongst all of her paddlesport accomplishments it is worth noting that Laura was the first person to do the 116km Bowron Lake Circuit on a Stand Up paddleboard.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Christmas in January

Christmas in January is courtesy of Kokatat Watersports Wear and Jackson Kayak.  As many of you know Kokatat Watersports Wear and Jackson Kayak collaborated to create the Kokatat Jackson Kayak Collection of technical apparel and they have come together again to hook you up!!!

From January 15 to February 15 we want to grow our LIKES to 500+ people so we can share all things paddlesports and very specifically our awesome brands.

Please spread the word and on February 28th, if we have reached our goal of 500+ we will draw from ALL of our FB friends and those that tweeted us, the following THREE (3) prizes:

Prize Package #1 - Kokatat Watersports Wear Prize Package includes: 2 x glass Kokatat Pint Glasses, Kokatat Screened Tote Bag and Kokatat Military Style Cap

Prize Package #2 - Jackson Kayak Prize Pack includes:  Jackson Kayak Screen Tote, JK Dealer Summit Long Sleeve T-Shirt signed by: EJ, Emily, Dane, Nick and Clay, Jackson Kayak miniature rotomolded kayak, Jackson Kayak Sponge and Sticker

Prize Package #3 - Jackson Kayak Prize Pack includes:  Jackson Kayak Screen Tote, JK Dealer Summit Long Sleeve T-Shirt signed by: EJ, Emily, Dane, Nick and Clay, Jackson Kayak miniature rotomolded kayak, Jackson Kayak Sponge and Sticker

How to enter:

1.  LIKE Nikki Rekman Sales on Facebook
2.  If you have already liked our page, SHARE the contest on your wall
3.  Re-tweet the contest and tag nikki_river

***Please note we can only ship within Canada***

Monday, January 7, 2013

Join us for evening out with FEAT Canada

We are excited to let you know that our very own, Lina Augaitis has been invited to speak at the FEAT Canada event.
FEAT stands for, Fascinating Expedition & Adventure Talks as noted on their website it's an annual event highlighting invited individuals accomplishments in expedition. 

It is, "an annual evening of time-limited presentations. Each presenter speaks for seven minutes; no more, no less. With images. Although the speakers are invited because of their achievements, presentation themes focus on an aspect of their expedition – not the entire extended expedition. With stories of adventures on land, water and in the air, you will be enthralled."

Friday March 8, 2013
*Doors open at 6:30pm, show starts at 7:30pm 

Rio Theatre

1660 East Broadway
Vancouver, BC
(604) 879-3456 

Lina Augaitis along with other adventurers we know like Kris Holm (I know Kris from my days at Ocean River Sports in Victoria, BC) and Jen Segger (racer-extraordinaire from Squamish, BC and the beautiful partner, of our friend, Norm Hann).  Lina will be primarily discussing her passion for SUP (Stand Up Paddling).

Buy your tickets online HERE

Trip Report - Gulf Islands SUP Solo with Mike Darbyshire

What paddling did you get up to over the Christmas holidays?

Nikki Rekman Sales, Kokatat Watersports Wear and Werner Paddles sponsored SUP paddler, Mike Darbyshire took to the water and did a solo, multi-day trip through the Gulf Islands.

Check out his trip report HERE and be sure to come back as we will be featuring Mike's 2013 paddling adventures on our blog throughout the season.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year and Welcome, Guest Blogger, Chris Ryman

Well, after being knocked out by the head/chest cold thing going around, we have joined the land of the living again.  HAPPY NEW YEAR to all our friends and colleagues!  We wish you a year full of EPIC, fun and safe adventures.

I am excited to welcome our first guest blogger of 2013, Chris Ryman of Endless Adventure

Chris, his wife Andrea and their daughter are based out of Castlegar, BC running their shop in Crescent Valley and their adventure tourism company, Endless Adventure International down in Ecuador.  Please check them out.

Chris reports from Ecuador on the Kokatat Jackson Collection - Hydrus 3L Mythic Shorty Dry Top

Over the last five years I have been testing out equipment in the most harsh conditions on the planet, Ecuador.  Kayaks break often, skirts leak, helmets change colour, and drytops de-laminate.  If gear can survive the intense UV rays, humidity, and the jungle hikes of Ecuador top marks are awarded in my books.  I generally paddle eighty plus days during my stay in Ecuador, everything from class IV/V creeking to class III big volume.  Our tour company, Endless Adventure International, generally visits two paddling areas:  The Napo Valley, a hot and humid amazon jungle rain forest and the Quijos Valley, a cooler climate cloud forest.  Paddling in the Napo Valley does not necessitate the use of a full  drytop however, a shorty is a solid option if you want to keep a dry boat providing your skirt is still intact.  Since my first year in Ecuador I have tested three different shorty dry tops-- The Level 6 Chochee, the Stohlquist Swicx, and the new Kokatat Jackson Mythic.  I will use my  experience with all the models to compare and contrast to the new Kokatat.  

Kokatat Watersports Wear and Team Jackson Kayak have teamed up to introduce a new line of PFD's and dry wear.  The new line is bold and bright and made in the USA with top quality fabrics.  In classic Jackson style the colours coincide with the JK brand- Yellow, Orange and navy blue.  The shorty is complete with neck and bicep gaskets, skirt tunnel, but no fancy zipper pockets or unnecessary bling. Top quality latex gaskets are covered with light-weight neoprene providing protection for the latex and comfort for the paddler.  The shell is made of a breathable three layer fabric called Hydrus 3L, even on the hottest days in the jungle the top breaths avoiding the “OMG I am wearing a garbage bag” feeling. Kokatat has scored huge with this new fabric as it is lighter and dryer than both the L6 and Stohlquist.  Thus far with over forty straight days cooking in the sun and rustling through mysterious jungle plants the top looks brand new. 

The fit of the Mythic is perfect.  I am 6 feet tall (182cm) and a slender 175lbs (80kg) The medium fits just right but I could probably go for a large if I were to layer underneath as the top JUST fits.  Roomy in the shoulder area and slim in the torso with enough room for rotating the design is made for hours of play boating at your favourite spot.  Large velcro tunnel adjustments stay intact even while throwing your body about completing huge loops and twisting cartwheels.  Other tops I have tried will creep up on your lower back exposing you to leakage after aerial moves, the Kokatat remains in place most of the time. 

Yes, the colour of the new line of tops may seem a little ah “gaudy” but I personally am all about being seen on the river.  I am well aware that there are numerous Star Wars/ninja fans out there that insist on wearing black in hopes of looking like a force-less Darth Vader swimming out of their kayak.  This top may not be for you but I offer this piece of insight-- when your crew is searching for you after a unfortunate swim do you want to look like a rolling log, rock or garbage bag or something that screams out “save me now”!!! I have been waiting for years for function to take over style with river gear, gone are the days of plaid drysuits and dark colours.  Unless you are sneaking through private property to access some whitewater goodies camo has no place on the river.  When I am expedition kayaking I want gear that can be see from google earth if the shit hits the fan.  Not to mention dark green, black, and blue suck for photos, ask any photographer the brightest colours are yellow, orange, and red.  Lead guiding a river trip? Wrap yourself in the new Kokatat gear and tell your duckies to follow the light to safe lines!

So far so good with durability while other brands have slipped the ranks from my go-to top to “sure I have a top you can borrow” you will not pry this one from my hands.  Lightweight, excellent fit, bright colours, awesomeness. I give this piece of gear a good ol' nine out of ten, only losing one point for the occasional disturbing flashes of light I experience as my arms pass my peripheral vision and the blur of neon reminds me of my university disco days. 

Thanks for the good stuff Kokatat.

See ME on the river,
Chris Ryman

***now all we have to do is get Chris into the new Maximus Prime PFD and he'll be set!!!!***

Green River, UT

Green River, UT
Photo: Shawna Franklin