HBO released a new trailer for the fifth season of their amazing comedy show, Veep. I'm a big fan of that show and I've always thought that Julia Louis Dreyfus is one of the funniest women in Hollywood. She plays the role of a dumb President very well.

Watch the trailer below but keep an eye out for when she holds a press conference to congratulate the US kayaking team for bringing honour to America with their gold medal win only to be corrected by her aid (played by the amazing Tony Hale) that it was just a bronze.

What's that paddle she is holding? It's a Shuna sea kayak paddle manufactured by Werner Paddles.

Published in People
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 00:00

Weird Kayak Inventions We Are Better Off Without

Looking through the online Google's collection of patents turns up no shortage of weird kayaking related inventions.

Here is a quick round-up:

The paddlebow

The Paddlebow

Like kayaking? Like bow hunting? Why on earth would you ever consider looking at them as two different sports when you can combine them for a way better paddling/hunting experience.

This little invention allows you to clip on a trusty crossbow to the shaft of your kayak paddle allowing you…to…well, let's let the patent description do the talking:

The Paddlebow is a bow which can be easily mounted on the shaft of a paddle and used to shoot arrows. The bow is mounted to a paddle shaft by way of a clamp system.

The Paddlebow allows its users to shift from the action of paddling their kayak to the action of shooting an arrow in a quick and comfortable manor.

All I want to know is how the inventor expects you to comfortably paddle with a giant crossbow on the paddle. Also with the weight all forward of the paddle, it would just keep falling down hitting the deck of your kayak as you paddled.

The patent was issued in 2010 so maybe it just hasn't hit the market yet.

 

The heated kayak paddle shaft.

Heated kayak canoe paddle shaft

From the patent description:

Patent Description The heated paddle shaft is a heating device integrated into the shaft of a kayak or canoe paddle. The pads are placed on the shaft to keep the operators hands warm. A rechargeable lithium ionized battery source is the charge for these pads.

Maybe it's just me but I certainly don't paddle enough that I thought, “wow, a heated paddleshaft would come in handy right now.”

In 2010 the US patent office issued this idea.

 

The Kayak Rack

Kayak deck rack assembly

Here is an idea! Let's add luggage rails to the back deck of your kayak effectively making it impossible that you will ever be able to get up on the back deck if you need to be rescued. Also, let's stack as much junk on top of your boat and make it as top-heavy as possible.

Not sure why it hasn't taken off since the patent was issued back in 1993.

 

The paddle mirror invention.

Kayak paddle with safety mirror

So this inventor clearly hated looking behind him and felt that there were huge crowds of people who also only wanted to look at their friends via a mirror and felt there was some sort of market for this.

It's exactly what you think it is. A mirror that attaches to your paddle so you don't need to turn your neck.

The patent description is priceless:

A major problem in kayaking is that the user must normally turn the kayak to some extent in order to view the area behind the user, which turning is difficult and time consuming, and also very dangerous in white water kayaking conditions. Also, a busy kayak user must generally keep both hands on the kayak paddle for control of the craft, which is quite tipsy in the water.

 

kayak breakaway hatch

Breakaway kayak cockpit and method

Ok, here is one invention that is an interesting idea but there some real world design flaws with it.

The idea with the breakaway cockpit is that if you are kayaking and get stuck in your boat that you could push up and against the front of the cockpit, the panel would release giving you lots of room to escape.

The problem with it is that the deck of the kayak would lose a lot of structural integrity epically in a small whitewater kayak where having the deck of the kayak implode is a realistic scenario. That's why they put those vertical foam pillars down the length of the boat.

Also, it looks like the breakaway panel and by what I can read in the description, the coaming itself is held in place by rubber gasket. That might keep things together while the kayak is on the shop floor but the stresses on these areas of the boat are considerably greater than what a little gasket can stand up against. I'm pretty sure that the whole system would just fall apart.

Looks like the idea never really panned out as a patent was filed way back in 1985.

 

The Kayak airway system

Emergency air system for kayaks

This seems like an interesting concept in principle but wow, look at the huge number of parts making the simple idea of a breathing tube for whitewater kayaks overly complicated.

I like how the inventor has added a snorkel mouthpiece to make breathing more comfortable (like you are going to be using it all the time).

The inventor got his patent back in 2004.

 

Published in Funny

The short answer is yes.

Published in Funny

Check out this super dramatic footage of two kayakers in a double kayak getting lifted up by a whale. You got to see it to believe it.

According to the Youtube title this took place near Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

Published in General News

The other night on "The Late Night Show with Jimmy Fallon" Jimmy challenged Cameron Diaz to a kayak race. Though it didn't actually take place on water it was clearly just as dangerous as they had to run a through a waterfall, dodge a cranky old fisherman and salmon swimming upstream as well as two super dangerous obstacles that consisted of an Elton John impersonator singing the most annoying part of "Crocodile Rock" and another on a jet ski singing the worst part of "Bennie and the Jets".

You will need to watch the race to find out who was victorious and who sunk...

Published in General News
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 16:10

Seven Kayak Facts You Didn't Know

Here are seven random fun-facts or stories related to kayaking that you likely haven’t heard of.

Kayaks have been used many times in battle

The Cockshell Heros

Back in World War II, the British Special Forces first conceived the idea of using kayaks during military raiding missions and they proved to be quite useful due to the fact that they were fast, quiet and easy to fold and store when the mission was over.

Jump forward to today and you will be pleased to know that, kayaks and canoes have been used for special mission by the US Marines, British Commandos, and the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command.

Some publically available examples of their use in military operations include early reconnaissance missions by the British in the 1982 Falklands War and a 1992 raid in Somalia where US Marines snuck into the country unannounced to set the stage for a full-force siege.

 

In 1932, Oskar Speck paddled over 50,000km in a kayak

Speck Expedition Map

Arguably one of the greatest kayak expeditions you have never heard of started back in 1932 when Oskar Speck decided to take the bus to the Danube River in Ulm, Germany and start paddling towards Cyprus. Over the next 7 years he continued working East paddling over 50,000 kilometers and eventually making his way to Australia where, September 1939, he was promptly arrested on suspicion of being an enemy alien (after all, Australia was at war against Germany at the time). He was sent to an internment camp where he stayed until the end of the war in 1945.

There is no word Oskar participated in any other major kayak expeditions after the war but several artifacts including compass, personal diary and video clips he took are now on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

Image credit: wikipedia.org

 

Pope John Paul II loved to kayak

Pope John Paul II Kayak

Back around 1949, a young Pope John Paul II (before he was the Pope of course) was introduced to kayaking when he was working at Saint Florian's parish in Kraków, Poland.

He fell in love with kayaking so much that he quickly bought his own folding kayak (a Klepper) to take on vacations and meditation retreats. John Paul was also quite competitive and entered several downriver races including one on the Dunajec River in 1955 where his boat got a hole in it and promptly sunk just before the finish line.

Image credit: Fr. Rick's Sabbatical

 

Saint Innocent of Alaska: the patron saint of kayaking

John Veniaminov was born in near Irkutsk, Siberia in 1797 and knew he wanted to be a priest from an early age. Over the years he traveled between Siberia and what is now Alaska spreading the good word and it wasn't long however that he discovered the importance of becoming an expert in kayaking so he could travel solo during the summer months.

At six-foot-three inches tall, he was both imposing and highly respected by the local people for his skills. For example, there is a story of him traveling out to minister to his people in 1828. Things were going well as he kayaked his way out along the Aleutian Islands until trouble found him while he was between the Unalaska and Akun Islands. During that trip he was forced off the water twice due to storms and then almost capsized by a pod of whales. When he got back he told the story as if it was a routine trip.

He was canonized on October 6, 1977 by the Russian Orthodox Church and while "patron saint of kayaking" isn't his official title, I'm going to start lobbying that it should be.

 

The farthest distance paddled in a kayak by a female in 24 hours was how far?

Robyn Benincasea from the US of A currently holds the Guinness World Record for the farthest distance a woman has ever paddled in 24 hours when she paddled down the Yukon River in Yukon, Canada back in June 2011. Over a 24 hour period, she covered a distance of 371.92km (231.1 miles). Yes, she had the current helping to push her along but I'm 100% confident she went farther than you ever could.

 

The largest group of kayaks & canoes ever to raft up was over 1900

kayak flotila world record

The official world record was broken on September 24, 2011 when 1,902 boats formed the world's largest raft of canoes/kayaks in Inlet, NY. That being said, the record might not stand to much longer as an attempt to break it was just held in Suttons Bay, Michigan with 2,099 people registered. They are still waiting for the official verification from Guinness.

The Guinness rules stated that the flotilla must be a contiguous floating raft of touching kayaks held together for at least 30 seconds. The count is verified using aerial photos.

Image credit: National Geographic

 

Remember that time somebody made a kayak essentially out of poo? Yep.

Kayaks have been made with a variety of weird things over the years including concrete, aluminum and even pumpkins but I think one of the weirdest has to be the kayak manufactured from paper that came from sheep poo. Back in 2009, Lez Paylor, a partner in the UK paper business SheepPooPaper.com took an old Folbot frame and replaced the standard canvas skin with the poo paper (which had been waterproofed soy based marine grade waterproof resin).

Sadly their maiden voyage didn't inspire confidence as it started to leak within about 5 miles and they had to make a quick dash to shore.

 

 

Published in General News
Friday, 05 July 2013 15:23

Look Who is Kayaking Now: John Kerry

US Secretary of State, John Kerry was on vacation during the 4th of July at his home on Nantucket Island when he decided to go out paddling in his kayak.

I'm going to pretend that he is reaching for his life jacket to put on while out on the water.

Photo credit: Ryan Hutton

Published in People
Friday, 14 June 2013 11:15

A Map of Every Single River in USA

I stumbled upon this very cool map this morning showing every single river in the lower 48 states.

It’s all part of a new vector map project released on GitHub by Nelson Minar so if you are techy, you can install the software on your own server and depending on your project, configure it to display the river information slightly different. Or, you can be like me and just play around with a live map here and dream of future trips.

Rivers of USA Vector Map

All I know is that there is a whole lot of water out there to paddle on.

Published in General News

Oh John Rambo, why do you tease us with those massive God-given pipes while kayaking with your daughter on vacation in Hawaii last week?

The Daily Mail wins the award for the worst headline in the Sylvester-Stallone-going-kayaking coverage: Don't Rocky the boat! Sylvester Stallone enjoys kayak ride with daughter in Hawaii

Photo Credit: Splash News

Published in People
Thursday, 21 March 2013 08:00

A Brand New Kayaking Stoke: The Haghighi

New kayaking strokes (let alone one that you can actually use) come along once in a blue moon but I think we might have a possible winner here with The Haghighi.

Taught to us by Leon Sommé from Body Boat Blade, The Haghighi is intended as a very powerful stroke when you need to turn your kayak downwind or if you need to quickly turn and catch a wave downwind to surf.

Leon explains the whole thing in the video below so take a look. I haven't played with it yet so I'm keen to see what you think about it after getting out on the water and trying it out. Post your comments below.

Cool history to this stroke, it was invented by Leon's dentist, Dan Haghighi.

Published in Coaching
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