Industry Stuff

The sea kayaking community lost one of its true legends today. Derek Hutchinson has often been called the father of the modern sea kayak as he one of the first to bring sea kayaking to the masses with is many books and DVD’s. I remember when I was young being fascinated with his book, Derek Hutchinson’s Guide to Sea Kayaking and for me was one the key books that got me interested in paddling. Derek was also a prolific designer and over the years designed several kayaks including the famous Gulfstream and its little sister, the Slipstream for Current Designs. At the time (early to mid-1990’s) both boats were years ahead of the market curve compared to what the other North American manufacturers were putting out. The Slipstream was the first kayak I ever owned and still look back in fondness to the many adventurers (and mishaps) we had together. Earlier today Wayne Horodowich from University of Sea Kayaking posted this note on Facebook: At 4:12 PM GDT I said my final farewell to my adventure partner, my mentor and dearest friend Derek Charles Hutchinson. Derek passed peacefully in his bed. His adventure on this earth started June 30, 1933 and ended Oct 10, 2012. He has now launched for his next adventure. I wish to thank all of you who have sent your comments to Derek. It meant so much to him, his family and his friends. It is typical to wonder if you have made a difference during your time on earth. The comments you have sent are just a fraction of the number of people Derek has touched. There is no doubt he made a huge impact during his life. Derek was an innovator, a thinker, a designer, a teacher, a writer and was never shy to share his opinion on any topic related to paddling. He will be missed indeed. Paddle on brother, paddle on.
It’s been a bad week for kayak thefts. The Seaward Kayaks storage compound in Chemainus, British Columbia was broken into over the weekend and had six thermoform kayaks stolen. This was posted on their facebook page: Well, Seaward kayaks was broken into & robbed at the weekend. We have two separate fences, outer & inner, with barbed wire on them. Our compound is not easily accessed & is highly visible. 5 kayaks were stolen - all new thermoform kayaks: Intrigue - Mango - QKN03465 I 212Intrigue - Red - QKN03466 I 212Halo 130 - Yellow - QKN03420 G 212Compass 140 - Mango - QKN03461 I 212Compass 140 - Mango - QKN03405 G 212 So, if you are offered a new thermoform Seaward Kayak, please let us know - we'd appreciated it! Just as heartbreaking is news that Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer just had their Tahe Marine Greenland kayaks stolen from the roof of their car. Mark posted this today: Please be aware that two Tahe Marine Greenland kayaks have been stolen from the roof of Helen's car. One is the distinctive all black one featured in the DVD. The other is white decked and black hulled. The theft occurred on the Canadian side of the Peace Arch Border. Please spread the word!!! I feel terrible about these thefts. If you live in the British Columbia/Washington State area keep an eye out on your local used gear bulletin boards as they are sure to end up there. It’s not like these are easy to stash somewhere...
A whole pile of kayak paddle related news come across my desk in the past week that it’s time for a paddle round-up. Werner Paddles Werner is adding colour options to their Camano and Shuna blades. Along with the current red, orange and amber colours, you can now order it in Azul and Jade patterns. The good news that the new patterns are the same price as if you ordered solid colours. More info: wernerpaddles.com   H2O Performance Paddles H2O is introducing a new lightweight ECO-REC paddle which is unique in that it’s made of 100% recycled nylon. It’s pretty stinkin’ light at only 950 grams. According to the press release it has, “an advanced dihedral blade design for flutter free strokes combined with H2O’s Fast Ferrule (patent pending) system, this paddle is sure to set the benchmark in the $119 - $139 price point”. More info: h2opaddles.com   Novorca Paddles Finally, Novorca Paddles has just announced a design collaboration with Cheri Perry & Turner Wilson from Kayak Ways who will be helping to design several solid and three-piece models. There is more information in the press release below: For those traditional paddlers who are seeking either carbon blades that reflect the design principles we have used in our wooden blades, for several seasons now, or for those of you looking for multi-section blades that are designed for air travel, overcoming the increasingly stringent size restrictions of most airlines. Articulated yet comfortable loom sections to encourage canted indexing, lenticular-sectioned blades, with sharp edges and tips that slice at entry without a sound, thus virtually eliminating cavitation. The design has evolved from testing, and building, then testing, and building again, a series of Alaskan Yellow Cedar paddles that are affectionately called 'Razors'. We will of course continue to offer these custom paddles to folks that enjoy these very lively and resonant paddles for those of you that love solid wood paddles as much as we do. In the last two years we have taken comments and orders from paddlers all over the world, and we have spun off the design and…
I’m really excited to finally be able to announce the addition of Keen Footwear as a sponsor of paddlinginstructor.com. {source}<!-- You can place html anywhere within the source tags --><script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.avantlink.com/product_ad_widget/paw.php?pawid=53519&amp;pw=52027&amp;output=js"></script>{/source} If you haven’t heard of Keen before, they are one of the go-to companies for paddler footwear ever since their sandals first showed up in stores back in 2003. Since then they have branched out in several different directions by introducing hiking, cycling and casual shoes that the local hipsters would find ironic wearing. For the past several years I had been using low-cut neoprene booties which had been working out pretty good except that the tread had worn down completely smooth making walking through puddles and mud a touch...well dangerous when you have a boat on your shoulder. The biggest downside with neoprene is that they take a very long time to dry out so by mid season, I was always asked to stand downwind of my friends due to the foot stink. I’m not kidding. As a replacement to the black neoprene stinkers, I was really excited to give Keen’s water shoe, the McKenzie a try and it’s since proven to be a great little paddling shoe. The McKenzie is a hybrid shoe in that it wears like a regular running shoe but it has several mesh panels to drain the water out and dry quickly so it has the light and breezy qualities of a sandal. The shoe dries quick and has great group on wet rocks which were two key qualities I was looking for. One thing I did discover is that the McKenzie’s fit a little big. In my case I had to go down a full size then I normally would so keep that in mind if you happen to order a pair online. So I’m pretty excited about this sponsorship. Keen makes great footwear but they are also pretty serious about giving back to the community. They currently budget close to 1% of their profits and give that back to a variety of non-profit organizations around the world. One cool story that…
A couple of months ago we talked about how Boreal Design had gone bankrupt leaving kayak company, Maelströmkayak in the lurch as Boreal Design was building their boats. It looks like Maelströmkayak is quickly getting back on their feet. I got a note today from company President, Charles-Alexandre Desjardins explaining what’s happening over the next couple of months. First off they have a new website that is supposed to go live any day now. Though a new website will be great to see, the current photo that is on the site current is awesome and better be part of the new design. I’m told that when the new site goes live we will learn more details about two new boat designs that should be available for Spring 2013 (or hopefully earlier). The two new boats are going to be 16’6” x 21” and 17’7” x 21.5” beam. The solid design details are sketchy right now so we will need to wait until we see better photos of what the boats look like. Here is a tease drawing of what to expect. Charles-Alexandre had this to say about what’s to come: The names of the new models will be disclosed on our website, but you can expect a Scandinavian inspiration.  We are pushing the envelope a bit with the new designs, with features quite unique. The decks are not designed for carrying all your stuff on them and in my mind, you should only carry a spare paddle, compass and water pump. All the rest should be in the boat or on you. You'll see what I mean. So two new boats, for expedition and fun in the surf zone. One for small to medium size paddlers and the other one will be for larger paddlers. Great color combination will be made possible with our unique and distinctive hull's wing. They are planning to test the prototypes this July and August and if the designs hold up, they will be manufactured at a factory in Quebec which is great to hear. Time will tell what we will get. I’m just glad…
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