I’m really excited to finally be able to announce the addition of Keen Footwear as a sponsor of paddlinginstructor.com.
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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 caught my eye was mentioned on the Keen Wikipedia page. Back in 2004 right after the Asian Tsunami, they decided to take their entire marketing budget for the year and donate it in total to relief efforts. That’s pretty serious.
So a special thanks to Keen for sponsoring this site as well as protecting my feet while carrying by kayak to the waters edge.
Adventure Technology paddles have been a mainstay in whitewater culture since they first hit the market in 1993. The support from the community has been deeply appreciated as Adventure Technology (AT) refined the art of ergonomic paddle design. In 2011, the brand gives back with national sponsorships and a significant number of paddle donations.
I am very pleased to announce that I have been selected to represent Kokatat as a Regional Ambassador.
I’m really excited to be partnering with them for a couple of reasons. They are an awesome company that has been making well designed paddling and outdoor clothing for 40 years now.
Besides manufacturing great dry suits and paddling tops, they are also known for fantastic customer service that is far more superior then many other companies on the market today. Here is my example. About 5-6 years ago I put a hole in my dry suit (booo). I got the repair department on the phone and they gave me the usual expected repair time. Because I was flying out to an event in a couple of weeks, I asked to see if it was possible to get it fixed as a rush item. They were happy and able to accommodate it even though it was completely my fault and not a warranty issue. Great work people!
Here are my three favourite pieces of Kokatat gear:
Whitewater clothing and gear manufacturer, Immersion Research is currently on the hunt for a European Ambassador for 2011. If this tweaks your fancy then all you need to do is post a promotional video of yourself online and why you would be the best IR ambassador ever.
If you get picked you get all the glory including $1500 worth of IR gear with the expectation that you will post somewhat regular reviews and stories of you’re (paddling) exploits on their .eu website.
I love their tip: We receive lots and lots of videos of people throwing loops and running waterfalls. You may want to consider that while putting together your entry, we understand that you want to show us what you can do in a boat, but we’re also interested in how you interact with the paddling community.
Click through to their site for all the good details.