|Posted by Joe O Paddles on March 8, 2011 at 7:25 PM|
As the days get longer in northwestern Ontario and Spring draws near, we anxiously await the melting of the ice and the opening of our local water ways, Lake Superior most of all. Just a matter of a few short weeks now and our rivers and lakes will again be wide open, ready for us to do what we love the most, both canoeing and kayaking. This year will also see a strong growth in SUP in the region I am sure. Last year, we brought in some of the great boards from Surftech and have been bringing our demo model of the Blacktip over to some of the weekly pool sessions we do through the club we run, https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=74649089911" target="_blank">Superior Kayak & Canoe Club.
The SUPs have proven to be very popular with everybody who has tried them and i think they are set to take off in the region this season.
Another SUP project we have in the works involves our friends from WoodSurfboard Supply down in California..In the coming days you will find a section on our website dedicated to promoting and selling their fine line of kits for building your own wood-strip SUPs and Surfboards! We just received our frist kit last week with which we will be building up the first of our demo boards, this one the "Malco", designed by my long time friend Malcolm Schweizer of Schweizer Surfboards from the Virgin Islands. I'm very excited to build this board and can barely wait to paddle it! It will be the first of several custom boards that I will be building this season. And of course, the kits for the do-it-yourselfer will also be available from us shortly!
These beautiful wood-strip boards should go nicely with our new line of hybrid SUP paddles coming out soon featuring carbon fiber shafts, molded carbon fiber grips and a laminated wood blade covered in fiberglass & epoxy.
The Pool sessions have been a blast for everyone coming out, not just for the SUPs but also for the rolling practices we have been doing, particularly the Greenland Style of rolling whih we heavily promote, especicially since bringing in 5-time gold medalist from the Greenland Kayaking Championships, Helen Wilson from Arcata California three times between August and January alone.
Helen Wilson in our front yard, making a snowman. Darby dog in the background checking things out.
Diane Hogan doing the Balance Brace at our most recent session.
Our good friend Sean Smith, AKA Fat Paddler, from Australia at our rolling clinics with Helen wilson back in January.
Another long time friend, Seth Wotten. Seth is another Cross Canada solo canoeist and has an awesome site from his 3-year solo canoe trip across Canada
After one of our sessions, Diane and i played around with a bit of video footage and put together a little video clip, all tongue in cheek and just for fun. You can check it out here on our on Youtube
As you can see, we have been having a lot of fun at the pool all winter long! But pool sessions are just part of the fun. We have also been snowshoe events on a regular basis and having a blast with this as well. Next snowshoe outing is this Thursday night, followed by rolling practice on Sunday.
In addition to playing in the pool and out on the snow, things have been very busy in the "Work Department". Our sales of custom built Greenland Paddles has kept us hopping all winter long with order shipping out throughout north america to places as far away as California, British columba, Yellowknife Northwest territores etc. Wholesale orders have been going off to places such as Iceland, Austria, Australia etc. And we are working on an order now for Italy as well as some paddles for none other than three members of theTsunami Rangers!
Now if that were not enough, we also have decided to expand our little operations somewhat and start developing more of an online store. Recently we have been receiving our first orders of stock for the new venture, bringing in items such as Princeton Tec hedlmaps, Brunton camp stoves, Backcountry snowshoes, some new lightweight dry bags, waterproof daypacks, a selection of gear from Level Six and much, much more! Check back soon for a Blog entry on some of the new gear we are bringing in. It is an exciting time for us and our small, family run operation. Lots of work but somehow, it does not feel like work. I guess we are just enjoying it all far too much.
Cheers... Joe O' & Diane