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.

Green River, UT

Green River, UT
Photo: Shawna Franklin