Q: What have you been hit with over the years?
A: A two-man kayak was one of the stranger ones. Some fans had brought it into the arena and passed it into the ring. They went to so much effort I felt obliged to use it. I hit my opponent with it and he hit me back. There also used to be a fan who’d pass his prosthetic leg into the ring for us to hit each other with.
- Wrestler Mick Foley (and all-round super nice guy) as part of an interview he recently gave to the Metro.
I will be honest, I would have liked to have seen that match.
Last week we talked about a new custom kayak option that Folbot Kayaks rolled out. You can read the full article explaining the process but the short version is that Folbot now offers custom printed kayaks for some models. All you need to do is to email them a photo or pattern and they will custom print it directly on your folding kayak. At the end of the day you get a kayak that is as original as your fingerprints.
This got me thinking that it’s about time that PaddlingInstructor.com run its first contest. So it makes me very proud to announce (in partnership with Folbot) the, “Design your own Folbot” contest.
It’s easy to enter. Grab one of the official Folbot design templates below. If you have photoshop you can make use of the layered file. If you don’t, grab the .jpg image and fire up your trusty graphic design software. (See the Q&A section below).
Anti-drug people talk about gateway drugs. You know, basic drugs (like Popeye candy sticks) that eventually lead you into the darker world of hard drugs (like Swedish Berries).
I’m completely convinced that kayaks is another tool of the devil to get you in trouble. Don’t believe me? Prepare to have your mind opened and blown.
Example one: A Michigan man was sentenced this week to two years in jail, 3 years probation and ordered to pay 56,000 in restitution after he was caught faking his death. How you ask? He decided to throw a his kayak, lifejacket and paddle in lake Michigan in hopes that he would be declared lost at sea.
After the Coast Guard searched for several hours, he was caught when he decided to return the messages that were left on his cell phone.
Example two: A month ago Lou Zimmer (kudos to his Mom for the great name) pleased guilty in Kingston, Ontario to creating a public disturbance by being intoxicated.
He got himself in trouble when he decided to go out kayaking one afternoon last spring. He remembered his booze but forgot his clothes.
He had the best excuse as to why he was paddling naked that day. Zimmer said, “I have psoriasis, a troublesome skin condition. The sun helps."
I bet it does.
So what’s the common thread amongst this massive list of hard core criminals? Yep, kayaks are clearly the Swedish Berries of the world.
Remember kids, stay away from your kayak because if you dance with the devil you are bound to fake your death or at least be compelled to take off your clothes and worship the sun. Don't cry that I never warned you.
Flickr Photo Credit: Étienne Ljóni Poisson
Long distance kayaker, Andy Corra has officially been certified by Guinness as the official record holder for the longest distance in a canoe or kayak in a 24 hour period.
Back on June Andy started in Whitehorse, Yukon in Canada and paddled 434.06 km (269.71 mi) before taking a break twenty four hours later.
The former record was 261 miles.
More info: jeremyrodgers.blogspot.com
The Great Lakes were hard this week by wind. By wind, I mean windy wind. So much wind that the NOAA actually named the storm The North American Extratropical Cyclone of October 26-27, 2010.
Lake Superior got hit the hardest. Friend of the site, Bryan Hansel from paddlinglight.com has been documenting the destruction and awesomeness in Grand Marais, MN so check his flickr page full coverage.
Bryan also tweeted yesterday the following: “The Rock of Ages observation on Isle Royale, MI recorded a sustained 68 mph wind with gusts to 78 mph. http://bit.ly/dye38s.”
With all that wind, how high were the waves you ask? Well, a buoy on Lake Superior was measuring waves at over 5.7 meters high. For you Americans, that’s 18.7 feet! Remember, that’s freshwater and not the ocean. Let it never be said that the Great Lakes are nothing like the ocean.
So what happened? The short story is that a low pressure system formed but kept getting deeper and deeper and turned into a very rare overland cyclone. If you are interested in the science of the weather system, the NOAA website for Duluth, MN has a great summary of the whole thing. According to the web page they set a record pressure low of 955.2 millibars for Minnesota. My guess is that all the senior homes in the area were filled with people with painful knee joints for the past couple of days…
Lake Ontario was on the outer fringes of the weather system so we didn’t have the same high wind or waves compared to Lake Superior but they were big enough for sure! Wind waves larger then 6ft are just too scary for me.
Here in Toronto we couldn’t pass up on such a good opportunity to get out and play so yesterday I went to work early and also worked over lunch so I could duck out early before closing time.
My paddling partner Erik and I headed out from the Toronto Harbour to the Western Gap and fooled around there. The Western Gap is a great training ground in rough water as the water bounces around and quickly turns into clapotis waves. I have written about the Western Gap before as a great training ground before. With all the clapotis wave action in that area, it isn’t uncommon for the water to fall out from under you and drop 3-4 feet with no warning. It’s worse then a rollercoaster because if you don’t see it coming it can be a little unnerving.
Once we got bored of the wave elevator ride we headed off south around the point to the “clothing optional” beach for some fantastic surfing in the consistent 6 foot swells that were forming. After a couple of runs we had to head out pretty quick as our path home took us back through the Western Gap chaos and needed to get through before we lost all our light. Now that would have been scary!
Below is a small collection of photos that I took. These were taken in conditions weren’t as rough as the bigger stuff made me to scared to haul out the camera and get a steady shot. That being said, it reminds me of a fisherman’s tale, “I could only take one photo and decided to take a photo of the smallest fish I caught…”
For reference, the breakwall you can see in a couple of photos is six feet out of the water.
On a completely different yet similar note, my friend Mike sent me a link last night of crazy boogie boarders playing around in a clapotis wave refracting off the sea wall.
This just in: My friend Megan from Naturally Superior Adventures on Lake Superior just sent me this report of the gang out surfing. Sounds mental. If you hurry today you might still catch some of the action on their live webcam. Megan also posted a great collection of storm photos on the NSA blog. The lightstand in the photo below is 20 feet high.
The gang came back at lunch and said that it was a bit intense. One report was that Ray was completely vertical and yet his whole hull was still on the wave. Another was that Ray did a surf ender where his bow just stayed under the water while he got surfed in. He said he didn't feel too heroic afterwards just trying to breathe.
They think the river mouth might be a bit too big of this afternoon but were just going to check it out. They might go back to Sandy or try Celery Beach. I might go out and take some pics later but wish that the sun would at least try to show up. Super grey here.
Lighthouse Photo Credit (Top): Bryan Hansel
Lightstand Photo Credit (Bottom): Megan Gamble