The Great Lakes is the Place to be for Rough Water Paddling Events this Fall

Friday, 16 September 2011

Getting started at the Georgian Bay Storm Gathering. Photo credit: Virginia Marshall

Summer has somehow slipped into history and the Fall paddling season is just ahead of us.

If you live in the Great Lakes area of Canada/US then you are going to want to look into attending one (or both) of these events this fall.

The Gales

The Gales Storm Gathering Logo

This is a brand new event being held in Marquette, Michigan on October 8-10.

It’s being described as, “a fun, invigorating sea kayaking instructional event for students looking to gain experience “in conditions” on the Great Lakes.”

Keith Wikle from Go Kayak Now! has partnered up with Downwind Sports and the Geneva Kayak Center to put it on so you know it’s going to be top notch.

The list of guest instructors is quite impressive and represents some of the best instructors in North America. The list includes Shawna Franklin, Leon Somme, Ryan Rushton, Keith Wikle, Sam Crowley, Scott Fairty, Kelly Blades, Alec Bloyd-Peshkin and Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin.

Session topics throughout the weekend include surfing, long boats in current, open water navigation, rock gardening, rough water rescues and incident management.

If you are thinking of going then you had better jump on it today as it’s over half sold out already.

More info:


Stuck on a rock at the Georgian Bay Storm Gathering


Georgian Bay Storm Gathering

georgian bay_storm_gathering_logo

The Gathering is taking place for the fourth year on October 13-16 in Parry Sound, Ontario.

I will come clean and tell you that this event is organized by me in partnership with White Squall Paddling Centre so you are welcome to take it with a grain of salt when I say that this event is awesomely awesome.

Like the Gales we will be working through a wide selection of rough water paddling skills including working with waves and surf, towing & open water rescues and rough water paddling.

We have a whole pile of facilitators coming in from across Canada who are there to make sure you get a chance to work on those skills you always wanted to try out in rough water. The list of leaders include, Tim Dyer, Gary Doran, Ray Boucher, Charlotte Jacklein, Myself, Graham Ketcheson, Greg Mason, Erik Ogaard, Liz Burnside and David Wells

The Georgian Bay Storm Gathering dock launch throwdown.

Finally, we will also have our infamous dock launching competition once again. The dock launch never fails to provide a lot of laughs in the audience towards to those who land on their heads. Good times.

It looks like registration is going quite well and there are only 5-6 spots available so get on it if you haven’t already.

More info:

Photo Credits: Top photo: Virginia Marshall, Middle Photo: Rob Dale, Bottom Photo: Virginia Marshall

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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