Joe O' Woodshop


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Kayaks & the Inuit of Northern Canada, Cabin restoration in Nova Scotia. Canoe review, Woodshop news and the Great Canadian Kayak Challenge...

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on January 26, 2017 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Good Day everyone,

As I type away on my laptop in late January late at night while enjoying a beer shortly after shutting down the woodshop for the night, I'm working on my first Blog entry for 2017.

I am going to try something new here. Rather than just posting/ sharing links at random on Social Media, I thought that instead, when I come across interesting items, that I will save them for later and pick out a few things to include in a Blog entry now and then. Whether this turns into a weekly Blog entry or maybe once or twice a month, only time will tell.

In the Blog entries of course, I will also talk a bit about my paddle building, other woodworking projects and, of course, some outdoors stuff such as kayaking, canoing, cycling etc from my own experiences. Years ago I used to write on a regular basis but as life got busier and busier, that all gradually faded away. So, let's see how this new idea of blogging works out. I will of course still post to Social Media a fair bit as well. And new Blog entries will naturally be posted to Social Media of course.

So, here are a few things I'll throw out there for this blog entry.


From Nova Scotia:

Nice little article on our CBC website on some stuff going on down in my original home province of Nova Scotia. A group of volunteers took on the job of restoring a remote cabin deep in the woods of southwestern Nova Scotia, just a few kilometres from the edge of Kejimkujik National Park. The nearly hundred year old cabin itself is considered a part of Nova Scotia's history.


It took a two day canoe trip just to reach the cabin in order to start the needed work.

Click the link below for the rest of the article.



Timmins Ontario:

Great Canadian Kayak Challenge


Mark your calenders for the 9th annual “Great Canadian Kayak Challenge” to be held in Timmins Ontario on August 25th to 27th.

From the Event Website...

“There is something for everyone at the 9th Annual Great Canadian Kayak Challenge & Festival. This non-gated event is a showcase of kayak & stand up paddleboard challenges, seminars & workshops, arts & culture exhibitors & vendors, live performing arts which include free admission to live concerts both Friday & Saturday night, an interactive Aboriginal village, fireworks, and children's activities. This end of summer celebration occurs in Timmins, Ontario August 25, 26 and 27th 2017. “


Some of the events are a series of races, ranging from a 3 Kilometre Youth Race, right up to the showcase event, the elite 35 Kilometre race. Yeah, that is the one I might be interested in doing. Click the link below for more.




From the Woodshop:

Back in December, working on some items in the shop for the local Arts & Crafts Show sales before Christmas, I was running some wood through my trusty old Delta bandsaw when all of a sudden....oh oh...no more bandsaw. Motor was still running but the blade was not moving. I think to myself, well....I can't cut wood with my bandsaw if the blade is not moving. So I shut off the motor, unplug the machine and open it up. Ah...the drive belt has snapped. I already replaced this once several years ago. Also replaced the guides bearings, the pulley bearings and a few other parts. No doubt I've spent more this last 8 years keeping this older saw running than what it would be worth now. Oh, the rubber tires on the wheels really should be replaced too.

Thought about things for a long time, maybe 10 minutes, and decided it was time to buy a new bandsaw. Ended up picking up a King Industrial 14 inch bandsaw with a cast iron table and frame as well as a re-saw fence. All good upgrades over my old 10 inch Delta. The new saw has been running great. Picked up some spare blades for it the other day and will soon mount it to a portable base on castors to make it easy to move around in the shop, making it easier to maximize my limited work space.


From the Canadian Encyclopedia website:


Brief entry from the Canadian Encyclopedia site about the history of kayaks with Canada's Inuit peoples. Click the link below for more.




Gear Review:

Clipper Jensen 18 Review from Canoe & Kayak Magazine


Good little review on a very nice canoe, Clipper's Jensen 18 Stock. This is the most popular canoe used in the Yukon River Quest and is what I paddled when doing the Yukon River from the capital city of Whitehorse down to Dawson City several years ago.

Click the link to see the review.

https://www.rapidmedia.com/canoeroots/categories/7779-boat-review-clipper-canoes-jensen-18" target="_blank">https://www.rapidmedia.com/canoeroots/categories/7779-boat-review-clipper-canoes-jensen-18


And for more information on the Jensen 18, here is a link to the Clipper Canoes website.


Shown below, the Jnsen 18 in the base model fiberglass layup. Also available in kevlar, kevlar ultralight and in there “Pro-Boat” racing layup.

And this concludes this blog entry. Please feel free to comment directly on this web page and/ or through Social Media links where I will have it posted on Twitter, Facebook etc.
I'm also considering a new YouTube Channel in addition to the blog. Let me know what sort of things you might like to see on YouTube?

Cheers... Joe O' 

Back to Blogging?

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on June 11, 2016 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Well folks, I used to do a fair bit of writing in the way of trip reports and other associated articles that I would post. It used to be a lot of un and I realy enjoyed it. As life got busier and busier however, particularly with paddle building consuming more and more of my time, along with getting two awesome puppies, Plaid who has been with us just over 4 years, and then Sandpaper nearly 2 and a half years ago. both of whom take a good bit of my time as well....daily walks and other adventures such as paddling, running and hjust having them hang out with me in the woodshop. The 2 photos below, that is Plaid, the fluffy one, and Sandpaper, the one with the pointy ears. 

I have been meaning to start working on more writing for years now but keep putting it off. Hopefully, that changes as of NOW.

Today's blog will be a pretty short one, just to get things going. The focus of this one will be a trip report from 2007 by Geoff and Pam that outlines a portion of their multi-year Cross Canada Canoe adentures. The section covered is the same as what I did back in 2004 on my 6-month solo Cross Canada adventure. Geoff had contacted me about the route I had taken and I was happy to go over it with him. Reading their trip reports again certainly brings back a LOT of memories for me from my own journey. 

Here is the link to their trip report for the section from Kittimat British Columbia, down to Kemano and the big potage up and over the Coast mountains and on to Cheslaata Falls (getting close to Prince George BC). Kitimat to Cheslatta Falls, BC Gardner Canal, Kemano, Sandifer Portage, Tahtsa Lake, Ootsa Lake June 12 – July 1, 2007

One of my next Blog entries, coming soon, will be about my trip through this section of British Columbia from my 2004 trip. Below are a couple of preview photos from my own trip through this section.

Next Blog entry should be up in a few days or less.

Cheers...Joe O'

Contest Time... win FREE gear!

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on October 15, 2013 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (5)


 Well, time to revive the "Blog" here on the website. This is the first entry in ages! We will however been doing blog entries on a regular basis from here on. So...who wants to win some free gear?

Okay folks, here is the first of a series of contests/ gear give-aways that we will be doing over the next little while. Be sure to read this entire post...

For this one, we are focusing on our Rolling Sticks/ Norsaqs (2 versions) and our Transitional Sticks and “Dog Bones (The new version 2 of our Transitional Sticks).

3 prizes up for grab in this one, your choice of any of our two versions of Rolling Sticks or our two versions of “T-Sticks”. Please note, if you already have one of our Rolling Sticks or T-Sticks, or order one during this contest, you can also substitute the prize for a $50.00 off credit towards anything from our line of Joe O Paddles’ on our website http://www.joeopaddles.com/apps/webstore/products/category/120063?page=1

To enter for your chance to win, you must do 3 things... “Like” our Facebook Page. You need to comment on this post and you need to “Share” the contest to your own Facebook timeline and/ or Facebook Page or Group that you are an admin for.

Contest runs from noon Eastern time October 15th to 6:00 PM Eastern Time, Friday November 1st,

The names of THREE winners will be drawn and they will all receive their choice of any one of the products featured in the contest.


Our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Joe-O-Paddles/187232517971106


Transitional Sticks (Original version)


“Dog Bone “Transitional Sticks (Version 2)


Rolling Stick/ Norsaq V1


Rolling Stick/ Norsaq V2



Winter Fun in Thunder Bay Canada

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on March 8, 2011 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (2)

   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.


740 K Race, Kayak Sale and Rolling Clinics with Helen Wilson...

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on November 5, 2010 at 12:02 PM Comments comments (1)

   Plenty going on here these days (as usual). Registration just opened up a few days ago for the Yukon River Quest. "The Race to the Midnight Sun" and early reports say that about 15 boats are already entered in this the longest annual kayak & canoe race in the world, stretching 740 kilometers from Whitehorse to Dawson City in Canada's Yukon Territory. Right now I'm debating on which class to enter, solo canoe or solo kayak...decisions, decisions. Good thing is, there is no wrong choice in this one!

   Coming up in the next few days will be an announcement of a sale on many of our in stock sea kayaks and numerous accessories. Time to make some space and get ready for the 2011 shipments of sea kayaks and related gear. Also coming out soon should be the first prototypes for my carbon fiber Norsaqs and T-Sticks. The first carbon fiber Greenland Paddles should be coming out soon as well, hopefully before Christmas but we can not guarantee that just yet.

   On November 27th and 28th, we are happy to be bringing in Helen Wilson once again for a series of Rolling Clinics and Slideshows. Click HERE for more information. 

   One of the new lines of sea kayaks we are bringing in for 2011 is Atlantis Kayaks , hand built on Vancouver Island in British Columbia Canada. Shown below is the Spartan which I'm quite excited about!

   In other Paddle News, we are now shipping paddles to a new distributer in Iceland and will be supplying a brand new paddling shop in California as well. Details coming soon. Our paddles are also available in British Columbia Canada, in the U.K., throughout Scandinavia and direct by contacting me using the "Contact Us" button on the right side of our website.

See our Dealer Page for more information.

   More news coming soon including details on our newest sponsored paddler!

Cheers...Joe O'

New Speed Record for Vancouver Island Circumnavigation

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on September 10, 2010 at 4:27 PM Comments comments (2)

   Mission accomplished!


   At 8:22 Pm Saturday evening, Sept. 04th, 2010, exactly 16 days, 12 hours and 14 minutes after launching my kayak in Nanaimo BC on Vancouver Island, I returned to the same location and reclaimed the speed record from British paddler Sean Morley. And yes, this entire trip was done with a pair of my hand crafted Greenland Paddles, proving that the GP's are indeed very efficient for long distance cruising and can set, and maintain, a very good pace. I would not have even tried this expedition with any other type of kayak paddle, the GP is what made it so easy on my body and allowed such full recovery overnight throughout the full journey.


   The entire expedition went by in a blur and I'm still trying to sort through my thoughts and memories from the entire event. I leave today to travel eastwards once again and during the trip (by Via Rail for a relaxing way to end the journey), i'll work on the photos and on doing a bit of a trip report which will be posted on the website and blog next week sometime.


   Hope to also have a small slideshow ready by the following weekend for my friends back home as well as, later on, a few slideshow presentations back in BC.


   A HUGE thank you to the many, many people who helped make this happen and to those who encouraged me along the way. Far too many people to list here but a few of the folks at the top of the list include Diane Hogan, Helen Wilson, Chris Hudema, Dawna & Rolf, my parents back home, Robin & Karen Thacker of Atlantis Kayaks, Nigel Dennis of Seakayakinguk, Tahe Marine kayaks, Kokatat, John Kimantis & Wavelength Magazine/ Wildcoast Publishing, Speedstroke Gym, Kayakpro and many, many more. Also, a very LARGE thank you to my friend Sean Morley who raised the bar so high in 2008 that I just had to come back and take another shot at this thing. Thanks Sean, you rock buddy!


   For now, you can view the posts from throughout the expedition that my better half, Diane added to the website here: Vancouver Island 2010


   What's in the future? Too early to tell but... after swearing off another speed run around the island last week, I must say that the temptation is still strong to do it again, for speed, but in a different manner. Time will tell but here is a hint at what may be to come in 2011....



   More coming in a week or so once comfortably back home.


Cheers.. Joe O'

Finally...Expedition launch is only hours away!

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on August 19, 2010 at 1:27 AM Comments comments (1)

It is finally time to get on the water and start the expedition around Vancouver Island to reclaim the speed record. After having to postpone it by a year last summer due to not being able tokeep up with orders for my paddles as I expanded the little home grown business, I thought I'd be on the water in June for this expedition. 

But as the season approached, I was again overwhelmed with orders and had to once again postpone, this time though only for a couple of months.

I finally arrived back on Vancouver Island Monday afternoon and am now ready to get out on the water and take a quick little trip around the island.

The goal for this nearly 1200 kilometer trip is just 16 days!

You can follow my progress by clicking the link for my SPOT Mesenger on the Vancouver Island 2010 Expedition page.

Eventually we will post full results, a day to day journal, Google Maps, photos etc...once I'm back home again.

I'd love to write more but I'm exhausted as it is and need some sleep before launching in roughly 8 hours time.

Full report coming in just over two weeks!!

Cheers...Joe O'

Vancouver Island Expedition/ Speed Record

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on July 22, 2010 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)

   Well, just under one month to go before launching the expedition to reclaim the speed record for circumnavigating BC Canada's Vancouver Island.

   The goal for the roughly 1150 kilometer trip is 16 days.

   Just booked my ticket today to British Columbia and I'm aiming for a launch sometime in the third week of August. Time to get to work and finish up the food lists, gear list etc and pick up the new Spot Messenger and a new VHF Marine Radio in the next few days.

   Going to be a good time for sure, I can hardly wait to get out there and have a little fun!!

New 24-Hour Kayaking world Record!

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on July 11, 2010 at 12:57 PM Comments comments (1)

   Just recently, the 24-Hour World Record for kayaking(moving water) was raised even higher. 

Andy Cora, paddling an Epic V12 surfski raised the bar to just over 439 kilometers, paddling his way down the Yukon River, located in Canada's Yukon Territory. A  very impressive feat indeed. This breaks the 6 year old mark set by adventure racing legend Ian Adamson.

Click HERE for the full report, as written by Jeremy Rogers.

Beating this one will be a tall task indeed!

Congratulations Andy, job well done.

Cheers...Joe O'

2010 Paddling season is here!

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on March 8, 2010 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)

   The local rivers are really opening up now and paddling season is ramping up!

Got out on the Neebing for a paddle this weekend in my C1 marathon racing canoe and it felt great to have it back on the water. Still plenty of ice around but is is opening up fast.

   Weather forecast is looking good for the next couple of weeks as well so winter just may be over. May have to grab one of the sea kayaks this afternoon for a paddle.

   Speaking of kayaks, I took in a Wilderness Systems Freedom 15 sit on top yesterday and it is for sale. More details can be found on the "Kayaks" page of my website.

   Going to post this now and then get some work done. Need to get forms made up for some of the events we are putting on for the Superior Kayak & Canoe Club and get some more paddles finished up for folks. As always, going to be another good but busy day.

Cheers...Joe O'