Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Stand Up Paddling Program for Youth in the Fraser Valley!

Fraser Valley Rippers

Pure Life Paddle Boards is stoked to announce the start of our new youth SUP development program, the Fraser Valley Rippers. This program is designed to get more of our young people on the water and enjoying our environment. The focus of the program will be on developing proper paddling skills and techniques, water safety skills and decision making, and environmental awareness. There are two options within the program, each designed to cater to the needs, goals and ages of interested individuals.

Option 1:  -less competitive with a focus on fun paddling and skill/strength development
- 10 sessions, meeting once a week for 1.5 hours (Saturdays)
-ages 8-12
Cost: $200 plus GST includes board, paddle, life jacket, leash rental ($150 plus GST with own gear)

Option 2: -more competitive with a focus on race specific paddling skills and fitness 
-21 sessions, meeting twice a week for 3 hours total (Wednesdays and Saturdays) plus 8 Cultus Lake SUP Series races
-ages 10-16 (flexible based on sign-up)

Cost: $400 plus GST includes board, paddle, life jacket and leash rental, as well as the $10 entrance fees for the 8 Cultus Lake SUP Series races ($300 plus GST with own gear). Sibling 

Special – in an effort to help lower costs for those families with more than one active kid, the first enrolled will be full price, second will be 20% off and third will be 30% off (any more than that and we can chat!).

I am a Paddle Canada SUP instructor for flatwater, river, surf and touring skills, and hold safety certifications in swift water rescue and a wilderness first aid. Ideally, I would like to see this program grow and be able to offer the paddlers involved opportunities to further develop their paddling skills in the river, surf and touring environments.
I also believe paddle boarding is a great way for families to enjoy the outdoors together. Many parents are already involved in paddling and may be looking to improve their own skills and paddling fitness as well. Because of this, parents will be 100% welcome to come and paddle with their kids during the training sessions.
Looking forward to getting your kids (and possibly yourselves) out on the water!

For dates and details, contact Ken Larsen @ Pure Life Paddle Boards Inc. at 604-798-2349 via email

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

Green River, UT

Green River, UT
Photo: Shawna Franklin