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Historic Agreement reached in BC Canada. Queen Charlotte Islands RENAMED Haida Gwaaii

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on December 11, 2009 at 9:48 PM Comments comments (0)

B.C.'s Queen Charlotte Islands have officially been renamed Haida Gwaii as part of a historic reconciliation agreement between the province and the Haida Nation, Premier Gordon Campbell announced Friday in Vancouver.

Read full story here:

More here on video:

As winter settles in....

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on December 8, 2009 at 6:22 PM Comments comments (0)

    A balmy 12 degrees below freezing outside today, certainly feels like winter has arrived here in northwestern Ontario Canada. Time to change the tires on the mountain bike tomorrow and put on the studded ice tires I bought last winter from Petrie's Cycle and Sports in Thunder Bay and get ready for some winter riding now that the local waters are starting to freeze up.

The above photo is from a recent paddle on the Neebing River ( the put-in just 100 meters from the house), note the ice forming along the side of the river.

Note the ice formed on my heart rate monitor in the above photo. Late season interval training in my marathon solo race canoe.

A couple shots from some mid November paddling in one our Tahe Greenland kayaks, both shots also from the Neebing River (about a 35 to 40 minute easy paddle from the western shores of Lake Superior).

    When not paddling these days, I've been spending my time building and shipping out Greenland Paddles, Rolling Sticks etc through North America and beyond. Just shipped some more to California today and am sending some stuff off to British Columbia tomorrow. More orders to ship within days to Washington State, southern Ontario and more stuff to California.

     An item I just recently started building are the Norsaq Rolling Sticks. I built the first few for fun thinking I may sell one or two. Little did I know I'd be suddenly backlogged with orders to places as far away as Argentina, California, British Columbia etc.

    Between the Greenland Paddles, Storm Paddles and the Rolling Sticks, the paddles have been keeping me hopping lately for sure. Within a couple months i hope to be posting new photos of some hybrid carbon fiber/ wood Outrigger Canoe/ Marathon Canoe racing paddles that I'll be developing next month.

   The big challenge it seems is to find the balance between time in the wood shop and setting aside time to train. In just over 6 months, I'm set to launch a solo expedition around Vancouver Island to reclaim the speed record that was broken last year. Lots of work to do to get ready for this trip. Going to have to sell lots of paddles to pay for it too. Oh well, all part of the fun!

   For those into the Greenland style of paddling, here is a new website you may be interested  in, it was recently launched by a paddler over in Australia and it is well worth checking out. http://greenlandpaddlers.com/

   And for those of you with Facebook, I've recently created a Group page on Facebook for the custom Greenland Paddles, Storm Paddles, Rolling Sticks and Canoe paddles that I build by hand, one at a time from our little home based shop. Joe O' Paddles on Facebook.

Cheers...Joe O'

A busy, but good, week...

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on October 14, 2009 at 8:39 PM Comments comments (2)

Well, fall is certainly here in northwestern Ontario. Already we've had snow a couple of times, some frost and some ice inside of my kayaks. 

Closed down the in ground pool for the year, bye bye rolling pool, see you next May!  Next rolling practice for me will now be in the VERY cold waters of Lake Superior...water temps in the big lake have been falling steadily these days.

Also built up another set of boat racks today and have a load of the kayaks & canoes loaded onto it already out in the workshop. Next project is to start laminating together another 10 or so Greenland Paddles, most of the wood is now cut and ready to be laminated  and then onto hand shaping. Hoping to get a little inventory built up soon for the Christmas season. Speaking of the Greenland Paddles... I'm about to have a price reduction for the next couple weeks as well. All Greenland sticks will drop by $40.00 per paddle for the next little while!

On expedition news, I'll have my new kayak for the Vancouver Island Expedition shortly. Tahe Marine is helping out with a kevlar Wind 585 for the expedition. Should be just the right kayak for getting back the speed record again.

The new kayak should arrive in December....many thanks to everyone at Tahe!!

Also hoping to head out on Lake Superior later this week for a few days of touring and camping in one of the kayaks, possibly in one of my Tahe Greenlands.

Check back soon for photos and trip reports from the upcoming trip.

Cheers...Joe O'

This and that....oh, and that other thing...

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on September 19, 2009 at 8:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, sitting here at home now after doing a bunch of rolls in the pool, working on a couple new Greeenland Paddles, a couple canoe paddles and refinishing some tools and an old bike around the house. and now enjoying a couple of cold brews.

First off, here is a bit of footage from this years Yukon River Quest, the longest annual Canoe & Kayak race on the planet at 740 kilometers. I'm itching to get back up to the Yukon to do thisone again!

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A good friend of mine, Tim Hogson, was teamed up with Jane Vincent in a mixed tandem canoe. Not only did they win their class, they were the top tandem canoe for the entire race. Way to go Tim and Jane!!

Also race related, there is another major long distance race on the calendar in Canada for 2010, the Saskatchewan Canoe Quest, modeled after the very successful Saskatchewan Centennial Canoe Quest from 2005. The race will be 570 kilometers in length and done as a stage race with a projected $90,000 in prize money. Voyageur Canoes only for this one!

On the local front, there is a strong chance that 2008 greenland Rolling Champion, Helen Wilson, will be coming to Thunder Bay and doing a rolling clinic and demo. Here a couple of photos and some video links of her in action. 

This was is shortly after she received her first Joe o' Greenland Paddle (shown in the photo).

Here is another view as she goes for a little paddle...upsidedown. ;)

And this next one, is again Helen and in this one, she is doing a Rolling demonstration in a Tahe Greenland kayak ( Same as what I was just rolling here in the backyard pool an hour ago as we have 3 on hand at the moment).

This clip is from the Michigan Training Camp where Helen was instructing last month.

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In the above video clip, Helen is using her old 2 piece paddle, better for frequent airline travel. I'm still waiting for the ferrules to come in for my new 2 piece Greenland Paddles. Next project after that may be the first prototypes for my carbon fiber Greenland sticks...the plug for the first mold is pretty much done now, just have to order some more composites material for construction my mold.

More coming soon, I'll likely be posting some more stuff tomorrow.

Cheers...Joe O'

Tahe Greenland on Lake Superior

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on September 6, 2009 at 5:08 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, the day after the first load of Tahe kayaks arrived here in Thunder Bay, I grabbed one of the Greenlands and did a 100 meter walk over to the Neebing River, paddle down to the MacIntyre River and then onto Lake Superior to get a feel for one of the new kayaks.

It paddled very well, has decent speed (was hitting 11+ kilometers paddling against a headwind and small wind waves when pushing it) and turns fairly well when edged over, sharper turning than my NDK Greenlander Pro I believe which surprised me.

I'd been hoping for some rougher conditions but had to settle for about 1 foot waves at best, pretty flat. Hopefully next time out I can catch a few surf waves with it and see how it handles in those conditions though I've heard it does surf farily well.

The previous day, after doing a couple dozen rolls in our pool, I was quite happy to see that both the front and rear compartments were completely dry. Tahe uses Kajaksport hatches on their kayaks so I was not expecting anything other than dry compartments anyways. 

All of the kayaks we brought in are fiberglass but with the Greenland, the eight is still only a mere 38 pounds!! Very nice indeed. 

Over the next few days I'll posst some photos and such on the Tahe Gulfspirit and the Tahe Reval as well which are the other modes we have brought in. The Gulfspirit by the way, I just had it in the pool an hour ago for about 20 rolls and it was quite impressive as well! This line just looks better and better!


Vancouver Island Speed Record... change of plans!

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on August 30, 2009 at 10:26 AM Comments comments (0)

    Well it is now August 30th, 2009. The plan was for a quick trip back to British Columbia early in September and then a high paced expedition around Vancouver Island to get back my solo speed record.  Close to 1200 kilometers, my goal was, and still is, 16 days! 

    The one thing that has changed however is the time frame. Rather than an early September launch, I've postponed the expedtion until June of 2010. Quite simply, with my paddles sales picking up pace as they have, I've had to devote more and more time to working in the woodshop building paddles and less and less time on the water, so much so that I quit my day job earlier this season and am working full time now on my paddles.Going into September, I still have a number of orders to complete and paddles to ship to places as far away as California and to South America in addition to the more local sales.  The expedition is NOT cancelled, it is merely postponed. 

   This winter when things slow down, I'll do extensive off season training to build up my conditioning for next year. Once the ice is off Lake Superior in the Spring, then the long days on the water will resume as I get prepped for Vancouver Island. And when I do the expeditin next summer, it will certainly be using my own Greenland Paddles. The goal of the expedition calls for an average of over 70 kilometers per day, every day for 16 days. The tidal rapids of the Inside Passage, the infamous Cape Scott. The exposed west coast and Brooks Peninsula and the "Graveyard of the Pacific" the Juna De Fuca Stait.... it is going to be a hell of a ride! Will it hurt? Oh yeah... but that's OK, nothing wrong with pain, all it does is hurt.  And "Pain is Temporary"!

    For more information on the Vancouver Island 2010 Expedition, just click the link.

   For now, it is back into the shop to work on a few more paddles and then hopefully get out on Superior for a couple hours or at the very least to do a bunch of rolls in the backyard pool.


Tahe Kayaks on the way!

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on August 27, 2009 at 11:03 AM Comments comments (0)

Well I just got off the phone with my shipper and they will be picking up my first shipment of Tahe Kayaks sometime in the next few days and I should have them here within a few days afterwards.

Models ordered include the Greenland.

The Reval.

The Gulfspirit.

Needless to say, I am very excited about bringing this great line of sea kayaks into the Ontario region!

Looks like it is now time to try and sell my carbon/ kevlar Nigel Dennis Greenlander Pro right away. This is the sponsored kayak i received from Nigel back in 2007 when I went out and established a solo speed record for circumnavigating British Columbia's Vancouver Island. Great kayak, still in very good shape. Willing to let her go for about $2750 once the new kayaks arrive.

I'll post again when the kayaks arrive. The Reval, I'll likey use for a series of upcoming Lake Superior Expeditions as I prepare to start writing a guidebook for sea kayaking the north shore of the largest lake on the planet! 

Plenty of new photos will be coming once the tahe kayaks arrive. Check back soon.

Cheers...Joe O'

Vancouver Island Speed Record

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on August 7, 2009 at 12:09 AM Comments comments (2)

Well, busy as I have been lately, building paddles and all, the Vancouver Island  Speed Record had slipped to the back burner due to time constraints. However, THAT has now CHANGED!

It is now back in my thoughts, front and center. We will see how training goes the next few weeks. The  expedtiontion will either start this fall or next Spring. Either way, the record is comng home! Last time was a walk in the park despite headwinds 18 of the first 19 days...and still knocking off 5 days from the old record. Sleeping  in and walks along the beaches were normal last time around.

This time...I'm calling it "16 Days of Pain". I'll take another chumk off the record and will again enjoy a glass of red wine on the Brooks Peninsula while enroute!

Will it hurt?  Oh yeah.....but it is just pain. I recall a comment from the lad who broke my record last year... he said "Anyone who wants to beat this record,vhe's going to have to hurt!"

I say.......Nothing wrong with pain...all it does is hurt. And...Pain is temporary!! Here comes the Pain!!

Cheers.... Joe O'

Tahe Greenland Kayak

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on August 2, 2009 at 2:01 PM Comments comments (0)

Well I just got out of our backyard pool after test paddling the Tahe Greenland kayak. The Canadian distributer stopped by the house today with his demo fleet and I was blown away! This thing rolls like a DREAM and is SEXY as can be! 

You'll be seeing more of this line in Thunder Bay in the very near future and I'll have a couple available for test paddles later this month!

More photos will be posted tonight.

Rolling Demonstration/ Helen Wilson

Posted by Joe O' Woodshop and Joe O' Paddles on August 1, 2009 at 4:51 PM Comments comments (0)

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Want to see a pretty cool rolling demonstration? Click the link above and see 2008 Green

land Women's rolling champion Helen Wilson out playing. 

Helen just received her first new paddle from me yesterday and i should be posting some new photos and video clips of Helen with the new paddle sometime in the next week or so.

Here is a picture of Helen's new Greenland Paddle, just before I shipped it off to her in California.

Built from Western Red Cedar and Eastern White Cedar, it came in at around 26 ounces. Length, width, loom etc.  were all custom as to Helen's specs. Go to Helen's website www.greenlandorbust.org

for more information, photos and video clips from her. 

Cheers...Joe O'