Industry Stuff

Not sure if anybody noticed it or not but buried at the bottom of the latest Paddle Canada instructor newsletter was the announcement of a very cool new benefit for instructors. Paddle Canada Canada and Keen Canada Footwear have partnered up and are now offering instructors 40% off the suggested retail price of their entire line of which includes watershoes, sandles, shoes and hiking boots. This goes along with all the other discounts available from companies like Red Cross, Sirius Wilderness Medicine, Wilderness Medical Associates, Northwater, Outdoor Research, and Level Six. Sadly the Keen deal is only limited to one pair of shoes each year so choose wisely. You can find all the details on the Paddle Canada website.
Here is a positive announcement from the kayak manufacturing industry. Swedish company, Point65°N has announced that it will be moving the production of their Apollo and Snap OnTop kayaks from their current manufacturing plant in China to Roth Global Plastics manufacturing facility in Syracuse, NY. From the press release: “Roth Global Plastics is excited to be manufacturing kayaks for Point65°N”, says John Pezzi, the company’s Vice President of Plant Operations. “It’s rare that foreign companies bring manufacturing into theUnited Statesand we are thrilled to be a part of it. The seasonality of the recreational water sports is perfectly counter-cyclical to that of our septic tank manufacturing business and helps keep the facility at a higher overall level of utilization throughout the year.” You can find more information about the announcement here.
There is a bit of an upset at the Outside Magazine Gear of the Year awards this year. Rather then awarding the best boat category to one of the major players (Confluence, Johnson, etc.) Outside gave the honours to the Sterling Reflection. Haven’t heard of Steling Kayaks you say? I don’t blame you as not many have. Right now they are a small hidden secret amongst some rough-water paddlers on the West Coast of North America. Think of the Sterling Reflection as the cool hip band that your teenage nephew saw in concert nine months before they became popular. The Sterling Reflection is described by the designers, Reg Lake and Sterling Donalson on their Geocities inspired website as a “playful multipurpose craft that will excel where control is the primary goal, be it in wind, currents, waves, chop, obstacles, explorations, instructional or teaching situations.” I know it gets great reviews from Rowan Gloag from The Hurricane Riders as well as Warren Williamson who you have most likely seen on YouTube paddling with his Greenland Blade at DeceptionPass. Posted boat specs: Length overall - 15’ 11 3/8”Beam - 23 1/8”Cockpit size - 17 1/4” x 31 3/4”Cockpit coaming height – Forward - 13”, Aft - 8 1/4”Height of seat - 1 1/8”Weight - 41 to 55 lbs.
An interesting story is coming out of the UK this week. On the 19th of April, seven sea kayakers were out paddling in very rough seas when they got into trouble and had to be assisted by Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). What’s interesting about this is that they were all advanced paddlers and several of them were sea kayak instructors. From the RNLI press release: Initial reports indicated that there were people in the water. When the lifeboat arrived on scene it was quickly established that three people, one of which had been washed out of his kayak, were ashore on Porthmelgan beach. It was decided that St Davids inshore lifeboat should be launched to escort two of them back to Whitesands while St Davids coastguards brought one person to Whitesands in their 4x4. I wanted to do dig more into this and went to my trusty UK news source, ukriversguidebook.co.uk/forum. There I found a forum thread with a more detailed report and discovered that the incident actually took place during a BCU 5* assessment. Taran Tyla posted the following: The incident happened on a 5 star assessment I was attending. One of the Guinea Pigs was struggling a bit with the conditions & had capsized a few times which were quickly sorted out. After one capsize it was decided that he should paddle into Gesail-Fawr, the last get out before St Davids Head, he was doing great considering he had a boatful of water but unfortunately he capsized again just before Penllechwen & got swept past that headland minus his boat. Just prior to this I was told to tow his boat onto the beach which I did. This left the swimmer, assessor & the other 5 star applicant heading around St Davids Head whilst myself, two other Guinea Pigs & the Assessors assistant landing on the beach. There is more to the story and you should read through the entire conversation thread. Taran also posted a detailed report on his blog with some amazing photos of the sea conditions, riding home on the rescue boat and close-ups of…
Congratulations are in order to waterproof case manufacturer, Aquapac for receiving The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade – the UK’s highest accolade for business success – for the third time. The awards website describes The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for "outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of Innovation, International Trade and Sustainable Development." "The awards are made annually by HM The Queen, and are only given for the highest levels of excellence demonstrated in each category. They are judged to a demanding level and winners receive a number of benefits and worldwide recognition." I had no idea that Aquapac sells their cases in 61 countries. They have only 12 employees yet manufacturer almost 200,000 products a year with 93% three per cent of their products completly manufactured in the UK. Here is the full list of the 2012 winners.
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