People

Actress, Amber Tamblyn (of House, M.D. fame) got married a couple off weekends back to David Cross (Arrested Development) in a non-traditional wedding that involved a yellow-dress and canoes for both her and the wedding party. I would have been quite happy to have been invited to the wedding since Yo La Tengo performed during the reception and Questlove served as the deejay. Photo credit: Questlove
Outside of Bo and Duke, Thomas Magnum from Magnum PI was the coolest guy and television when I was a kid growing up. I jealous of both his Ferrari and moustache and couldn’t understand why my father didn’t have either of them. Besides the car chases and bad-guy brawls, I thought it was awesome that he got to spend spent a lot of time out on the ocean in his kayak (or more specifically a surf ski). Throughout the series Magnum got out paddling in nine different episodes which is quite a bit considering he lived in Hawaii and didn’t really surf. Also remember that it was 1980-88 and hardly anybody in North America kayaked in those early years so it’s interesting that the writers kept the character involved in such a local, niche sport. As far as what he paddled, there isn’t a lot of specific information but throughout the series Thomas Magnum used several different models including a custom designed kayak which was manufactured by Hayden Surf Ski. Most of the other episode stills with his boat don’t show any logos so it’s harder to tell the specific manufacturer. I’m not sure if Tom Selleck gets out paddling today but he did use his surf-ski quite a bit to relax in-between takes during shooting. I found an old news report of him getting in a small bit of trouble one afternoon when he got caught in the surf and almost got washed over a reef. The April 7, 1981 edition of the Weekly World News carried the story of his brush with death at the hands of 6-foot monster waves. That being said, the Weekly World News loved to be a bit over-dramatic as shown by the other headlines in that issue including, “Bee Gee’s visit brings child’s miracle recovery” and “Girls tortured in satanic rites in castle of horror” so I’m sure he just got pushed around a bit in the waves then went back to the set to sign more autographs. The headline, “Magnum star Tom Selleck beats death in terrifying ocean ordeal” sold a lot…
It’s been a couple of months since our last instalment of “I Want Your Outdoor Job”. This time we catch up with René Seindal is a Danish paddler who lives in Venice, Italy where he has run Venice Kayak since 2008. Like many others René got trained to work in the IT field and spent most of his time inside with very little physical activity. Of course that lifestyle leads to some problems later in life. “When I was forty”, René said, “I started kayaking following a problem with my back. I was told to lose weight and strengthen my back muscles, without stressing my spine, and the choices I was given were swimming, going to the gym or rowing. I went swimming but found it boring, and the gym was even worse, but practically all the rowing clubs around Copenhagen only take in children, and their focus is almost exclusively competitive, which I abhor.” “I found sea kayaking by chance, signed up for beginner’s course in 2006 at a newly opened kayak shop on Copenhagen beach, and was immediately hooked.” “At about the same time my marriage was going badly, and as a consequence I got a fairly severe depression. My reaction was as it often is for men when life hurts: I ran away, or rather, I kayaked away.”   1) How long have you been in business and what got you started? I started Venice Kayak in 2008, so this is my fifth season kayaking in Venice. As part of my coping (or not coping) with my illness in 2006/7, I wanted to go kayaking in Italy, and I was searching for interesting places to go. I looked at a map, followed the coastline with a finger, and took notes about possible destinations. At the very end my finger ended on Venice, which I had only visited on two very short visits years before. The idea of paddling in Venice immediately attracted my attention. I spent a long time searching for outfitters, clubs, rental places, kayaking schools or just somebody with some gear, but there was nobody.…
Christopher Stec hails from south Louisiana and has been working in the paddlesports industry for many years in a variety of jobs.  Prior to becoming the Chief Operating Officer of the American Canoe Association, he worked as an outdoor instructor for the YMCA, a field assistant for Davidson College’s off-campus Biology semester, and a raft guide for the Nantahala Outdoor Center to name a few. An avid instructor (of course!), he holds ACA instructor certifications in whitewater canoeing, river stand-up paddleboarding and swiftwater rescue. When not on the water teaching or in the office crunching numbers, Christopher sits on several national committees including the National Safe Boating Council, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and U.S. Coast Guard’s National Boating Safety Advisory Council He is also a poetry writer, an Eagle Scout, an Assistant Scoutmaster, fly fisherman and duck hunter. Oh yeah he also has a family with two kids aged five and three. I recently sat down with Christopher to find out how he is able to keep so many things in the air at once and what keeps him motivated to go paddling with his family weekends after thinking about canoes all week. 1) How did a guy like you land a job at the ACA? After essentially failing my first canoe instructor certification course back in 1995, I began to volunteer at the regional level for the ACA.  After over a decade of volunteering, and improving my paddling ability, Pam Dillon (Executive Director at the time) actually hired me to work in the ACA’s Safety Education and Instruction Department.  Over time I worked my way to the Chief Operating Officer position and now oversee all of the ACA operations in the U.S. and abroad.   2) How long have you been working in the outdoor industry and what got you started? After canoeing with my high school English teacher, Cabel Tutwiler and the E.S.A. Outing Club (Episcopal School of Acadiana) from the drainage canal behind our school through a south Louisiana swamp to the nearest town, I knew that paddlesports, and the beautiful natural world…
For many people working in the outdoor industry you need to be able to do many different things to either make ends meet or avoid job burn-out. One of these multi-talented people is Steve Weileman from Washington State. When not sitting in front a computer as a web-developer/database administrator for a small outdoor retail business he is off instructing or taking clients out on trips as a sea kayak guide. Along with a passion for paddling, Steve is an amateur historian and film maker researching many of the small abandoned communities along the Washington coastline. Over the next couple of months Steve is going to be putting his talents to good use as he was recently Steve was asked to join The Ikkatsu Project (which we highlighted here) to help document the Japanese tsunami debris which is starting to wash up on the Washington coast. Look for reports to be posted on the project website when the project starts in June. I recently sat down with Steve to find out what his job is like and what makes it the greatest way to making a living ever. 1) How long have you been working in the outdoor industry and what got you started?I’ve been in the industry for 12 years and ironically what got me started was a mishap while kayaking onVancouver Island, which I wrote about in Sea Kayaker Magazine. That misadventure led me to start looking for advance training which in turn led to the BCU, which in turn led to my first job offer as a guide.   2) What’s the best part of your job?There are many aspects of guiding that are rewarding but for me the most rewarding is when you see the excitement in someone who is experiencing the outdoors for the first time in unique perspective you get from doing so in a kayak and the relationships that develop as a result. I receive regular emails with either questions or trip reports from clients who I introduced to the kayaking from years back. 3) What’s the most difficult aspect of the job?The long…
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