Friday, February 28, 2014

Win some Werner Paddles Kayak Fishing Shwag!!!

In celebration of all things Kayak Fishing, Nikki Rekman Sales is going to give away the new 2014 Werner Paddles Kayak Fishing specific shwag!! The Werner Hawg Trough and our Hooked ball cap.

Send us your kayak fishing photos featuring Werner Paddles and your name will be entered into a draw. We will choose the winner on April 1st. 
Nikki on Cultus Lake photo: Len Zilkowsky

If your photo includes more of our brands ie. Kokatat Watersports Wear, Seals Sprayskirts, Esquif Canoes, Jackson Kayak, Hurricane Kayaks and will get an extra entry.  Many of our brands have kayak fishing specific products from drysuits and jackets to kayaks and canoes.  Follow the links above.

This draw is open to anyone in Canada so please share and submit your photos today!!!

Thanks for participating and go "get your fish on"!!!!

Check out Werner Paddles kayak fishing news HERE.  Learn more about our Hooked Paddles on our website.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Paddling to Protect Our Precious Waterways

In the summer of 2013, I had the pleasure along with, Werner Paddles to help sponsor a group of guys with
a mission, a mission to bring awareness to protecting rivers in the Northern Yukon, Northwest Territories and Alaska.  As the guys said, "we didn’t want to just complete it (a massive paddling trip); we wanted it to mean something."  Paddle For The North they are Gabe Rivest, Simon Lucas, Scott Stinton, Michah Rauguth, Matt Holmes and DD aka. Alexandre Deschenes-Denomme!

On July 3rd they set out on a 1500km adventure that we take them on the Hart, Peel, Rat, Bell, Porcupine and Yukon Rivers - sometimes going UPSTREAM!!!  See the map of their route HERE.

Armed with their beautiful and lightweight Werner Carbon Bandits they had one hell of an adventure and they documented their entire trip.

In the fall of 2014, they will premier their paddling documentary in Whitehorse, Yukon and then hopefully around the world.

Here is teaser...

Trip leader Gabe, gave a presentation at the Yukon College in Whitehorse, here's the link if you would like to check it out.

We know these guys won't be sitting still for long and we are exciting about the possibility of working with them again but with more of our awesome brands!!!!

Looking forward to my next trip the Yukon!!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Introducing the Jackson Kayak Karma RG (Rock Garden) and the Karma Unlimited

After speaking with Jackson Kayak Team Paddler and Western US Sales Rep, Sean Morley I got the 'skinny' on the new Jackson Kayak Karma RG (Rock Garden) and the Karma Unlimited.

PROTOTYPE - Photo: Bryant Burkhardt, Paddler: Jeff Laxier of LiquidFusion Kayaking in Mendocino

The Karma RG, is THE hottest ocean play boat to come to market in 2014 and we have a demo coming to the West Coast!


Length - 11'10"
Width - 25"
Height - 14.75"
Vol. - 94 gallons
Weight - 55 lbs. (prototype)
Sugg. Paddler Weight - 140-210 lbs.
Cockpit - 34.5" x 20.25"


The boat in the video is a prototype.  The final boat will have deck rigging, a rear bulkhead and hatch as well as a drop-down skeg.

Performance notes from Sean, "The performance of the hull is excellent. It is just the right balance of length and width, with enough planing surface to make it surf well (much better in my opinion, than the competition).  It is highly forgiving and maneuverable in amongst the rocks; and is fast with good tracking.  The outfitting is the same as what appears in our JK whitewater line up = it's awesome!"

If you are looking for a whitewater boat with speed and overnight tripping capacity keep the Karma Unlimited in your sights...this is also the ultimate big river "touring" boat.  Think - Grand Canyon.  Check out a video HERE.

The Karma Unlimited is coming out of the same mold as the Karma RG and it designed for you creekers and racers looking for SPEED!  It is a hybrid between our popular Karma and Zen creekers - think longer.  With the planing hull you've got an easy to control bow at high speeds, while the bow rocker keeps you dry.  The Karma Unlimited will also remind you of days gone by, enjoy a little nostalgia while you are on the river!

Unlike the Karma RG, the Karma Unlimited will not have a skeg, the stern hatch or the deck rigging.

Bottom of the prototype hull.  The Karma RG will have the skeg boxPhoto: Sean Morley

Monday, February 17, 2014

Interview with Canadian Adventurer & Filmmaker, Frank Wolf

Recently I had the opportunity to connect with Esquif Canoe adventurer, Frank Wolf and talk to him about his adventurous life.  I had some very specific question for him too.

The backstory...I have known Frank for 10+ years from back in my North Water days and have always admired his ability to make time for his expeditions and for his love of tackling remote waterways throughout Canada and beyond.

Who is Frank?

I'm an award-winning filmmaker and writer specializing in adventure and environmental documentary film. As director and host I've covered stories from around the globe using a unique shooting style and humorous approach in order to make the often esoteric outdoor world appeal to a broad audience.  

My adventures are really just another way of traveling.  I'm drawn by curiosity to blank spaces on maps in wilderness areas- places with no guidebooks telling me what to do and where to go ...canoeing, kayaking, walking, cycling, skiing...I use whatever self-propelled means of transport works best for the mission.  The personal reward of experience always exceeds what I can imagine in the planning stages.  

I hate using inspirational quotes from long-dead people of the past but I'll make an exception in the case of Haiku poet Matsuo Basho. He said "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought." In life and in adventure, that pretty much sums it up.
1.       How do you choose where to go?
I essentially look for blank spaces on the map I haven't visited and then figure out a way to do a trip through them. From years of experience, I can look at a topographical map and tell if it's possible to canoe through an area.  I also never repeat myself- every trip has to have the freshness that comes with experiencing a new landscape. Once I've decided on my route, I'll do a bit of research on issues facing the area so I'll have some context when it comes to interviewing people we meet along the way for the film. 
Labrador Plateau Camping
2.        What is involved in preparing for an Expedition?
I try to keep it as simple as possible- preparation for a month-long canoe trip is the same as preparing for a weekend trip except you have to bring more food.  My filming kit fits into a small pelican case.

3.       What is the most challenging aspect?
The most challenging aspect is usually unknown until you're face to face with it.  For example, with the Kitturiaq expedition, I knew our portage up to the Labrador Plateau would be brutal but didn't realize how tough until we were in it- and then you just stay in the moment and make the best of it. Figuring out a way to make it through the challenges is very satisfying indeed.
Caribou Crossing

4.       What is the most rewarding?
The most rewarding aspect is the moment to moment discovery of experiencing a landscape you've never been through before- every paddle stroke reveals something new that you are seeing and will never see again once you pass by it.  You become completely in tune with your environment. I often feel I'm only truly at home when I'm on trip- which is why I plan and execute a new one year after year.
Turning in on the Natikamaukau River

5.       Where to next? 
After attempting to row the Northwest Passage last summer, I'm keen to try out another canoeing line in the Boreal forest.  It will be a 1300 km route from the narrows of Lake Winnipeg up to Hudson Bay- a nice mix of upstream, whitewater, and flatwater....and we'll be using an Esquif Prospecteur 17 of course- the best all-round tripping canoe in the world!

Check out Frank's latest Esquif-sponsored film KITTURIAQ about a first-ever canoe trip across the Labrador Plateau into Nunavik at

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Save the Date and Start Your Paddling Season Off Right With SKILS!!!

An invitation to any of you Western Canadian Paddlers who are interested in obtaining your Paddle Canada Level 2 Instructor Certification with our great friends at SKILS in Victoria, BC on beautiful Vancouver Island.
SKILS is running this course on April 4-6, 2014.  (Online classroom starts on March 4, 2014)

If you have not met or been on the water with SKILS instructors, JF Marleau (also a Nikki Rekman Sales Team Member and Kokatat Regional Team Paddler) and Michael Pardy, then you are in for a great time.

These guys will challenge you, inform you and most of all show you a FUN time!


  • Paddle Canada Level 3 Skills
  • Paddle Canada Sea Kayaking Level-1 Instructor certification.
  • Paddling experience in a wide variety of conditions and locations
  • Wilderness First Aid (16 hours minimum)
  • CPR
  • Previous experiential and outdoor teaching experience is a definite asset

Significant teaching experience in a wide variety of conditions and locations as a level-1 instructor. The prospective candidate must have taught a minimum of two (2) level-1 skills courses within the past two (2) years, being the lead instructor on at least one (1) of those courses.

Instructor: Michael Pardy

Instructor: JF Marleau

Friday, February 7, 2014

Is The Paddle Worth The Price? by Kayak Angler, Sonny Mills

When I saw this article by kayak angler, Sonny Mills aka Tail Tail Signs I knew I had to share it.
Photo courtesy of Sonny Mills aka Tail Tail Signs

The question Sonny asks is, Is The Paddle Worth The Price?

The quick and simple answer is YES because the best kayak fishing paddle, is the best paddling paddle but check out Sonny's article HERE to find out more.

To learn more about are awesome new Hooked series of paddles go to the Werner Paddles website

Werner Paddles has also partnered with Kayak Fish Magazine for 2014 and this is great news for all of you kayak anglers looking to replace your old clunky paddle with a beautiful and lightweight Camano, Shuna, Skagit or Tybee in the Hooked series.

A FREE year's subscription with the purchase of any our our Hooked paddles.  Dealers in Western Canada carrying the Hooked paddles in 2014 are: 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium 2014 - Rough Water Paddling is a Team Sport by Kate Hives

Thanks to Nikki Rekman Sales team and Kokatat Regional team member, Kate Hives for this great write up of her recent experience at the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium.  

 It will never cease to amaze me how much I love packing up my kayaking gear, tying down my boat and lashing my paddles to a trailer getting ready to jump into a cramped car for 18 hours with 4 other people. With full knowledge that I will be drinking gas station coffee, eating biscuits smothered in gravy at strange roadside diners at 2:30 in the morning and traveling the same distance back not 3 days later with the same stinky boys and the added bonus of wet gear...I couldn't be more stoked!


The whirlwind trip down to San Francisco for the 6th annual Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium was even better than I had imagined. Traveling with coaches Rowan Gloag and JF Marleau, film maker Marty Perry and with Sterling from Sterling's Kayaks at the helm, the drive was an entertaining blur, streaking across Washington and Oregon into Northern California. This event brings together paddlers from across North America of all skills and abilities, with a stellar lineup of coaches, and then lets them loose in one of the most scenic and dynamic ocean environments around.
The monolithic icon of the Golden Gate Bridge frames the awesome ocean playground of tidal races, pounding rock gardens, surf break, kayak fishing and coastal tours of infamous places like Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary.

Organized by Sean Morley and Matt Palmariello both dedicated to the paddling community, the Symposium offers collaborative teaching opportunities for coaches from around the world. It focuses on intensive skill building workshops for students seeking everything from basic rough water skill and rescue refinement to dynamic conditions coaching in rock gardens and surf, long boats and short. The end result is a high concentration of quality coaches and motivated sea kayakers all brought together to create a tight-knit community that rivals the enormity of it's red-gated backdrop.

            ...And all that brings me to the point...
 Rough water paddling is a Team Sport!!! The thing that makes all this rough water paddling possible, what allows us to push the limits of what has been done before and have more fun than should be legal while doing it, what helps us to access that deep visceral connection to 'play' is... the people who you get to do all of that with, who support you in your growth and that you trust to save your ass in a tight situation. Yes, sea kayaking can be about the freedom to pick up and leave, off on our own and in charge of our own adventures. This freedom is something that I value deeply and am so often grateful for, but when I decide to go PLAY in some big water, surfing waves into beaches or over rock shelves, I know I will have so much more fun if I know I have my team watching my back...and my boat.
On day two we shuttled down to Halfmoon Bay, California. This spot is said to have a great break and the right aspect for the direction of swell we had for the day. Just outside of 'Mushroom Rock' where we were surfing, is where the famous 'Maverics' wave forms up, with the right conditions, for big wave surfing. The swell report was not epic, but we hoped to catch some good waves in more moderate conditions. When we arrived, the sea state was small with a 10-15kn NW wind, creating a little chop and confusion. The waves seemed to be ghosts. One minute you were looking at a 5-6 foot face and the next it had been reduced to a tiny white ripple. As students learned about waves and how to catch even the most elusive, my favourite part was hearing the calls from a friend and fellow paddler sitting outside the surf break, hollering to paddle harder to catch that perfect wave. It's about knowing that if something goes wrong that there will be someone working on making it right. It's about solving a puzzle with the input of other experienced boaters and about the smile on your face when all the pieces finally fit together. What I saw at Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium this year was a sport reinvigorated, tonnes of new and young paddlers bubbling to the surface ready to learn from the masters in order to push this sport into the future.
Kate proudly paddles in #Kokatat gear, using #Werner Paddles, while in a #Seals Sprayskirt :)
On night two of the event I had the opportunity to present The Hurricane Riders premier screening of our latest film edit called 'King of the Beach' in front of a good sized audience. They were not all there to see me, no, they were all gathered to see what was about to be a most amazing presentation from Eric Boomer and Sarah McNair-Landry about their epic journey across Baffin Island by kayak, ski and foot. It was packed with film and photo eye candy and I am glad I did not have to follow that act, but feel honoured to have been able to experience the energy of this community.  Events like Golden Gate not only bring together world class coaches and students but they also create a sense of belonging to those who otherwise enjoy the freedom and autonmy of the kayak. 

 Being jammed in a car for 36 hours is totally worth it, to then be swept up with a whole bunch of strange, usually interesting, talented and often independent people together for a weekend of inspiration, great conversation and some good ol' fashioned shredding! I'm so excited to see so many good friends and new faces and can't wait to see where we steer this ship!!!

Green River, UT

Green River, UT
Photo: Shawna Franklin