Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Question:Phone or tablet Apps?

Do you have a phone, or tablet app for kayaking that you love? A friend recently showed me an android app that did currents, and I have found some apps for tides, but very few for kayaking? Do you have an app that you love? Let me know in the comments and include an email address so I can ask you some questions.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Now available on iTunes

I started this blog in March of 2010 as a tool to force me to write. I had been working on a book for some time, and 3 or 4 times I had gotten through the bulk of the writing and decided that I didn't like what I had. The fourth time it was followed by a hard drive crash - thereby losing everything.

After replacing my computer I decided to start over using a blog, which would force me to write - I had a self imposed schedule of three posts a week - and also be a built-in back up, as everything would be saved on the web. I finished writing around a year later, but then the really hard part started. I had no idea how much work was involved after the writing was done. So two years and a few months later it is truly completed. Enlightened Kayaking: A clear path for new paddlers is now available on the iTunes store for iPad ($8.99). The reason it is only available for iPad is the 28 HD videos included. The final form is very different than the form on the blog - including a section on paddling like a zen monk, which I think should be T shirts and water bottles! - There are also videos in the book that aren't on the website. I think it is a great resource for new paddlers, and a new way for experienced paddlers.

I have to say thank you to Mark From Geckopaddler for writing a portion of introduction. Also thanks to Karl from Pinin for the fjords for some great insight. A massive thank you to Catherine from the Confessions of a pugophile for doing an amazing job editing for me - I owe her big! And I couldn't have done any of this without the assistance of my wife who writes at Dirt and Rocks

Check out the book, maybe pass it along to a friend who is interested in paddling. I am very excited to have it done, but now daunted by the work ahead. The next project, and expedition.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Once again, the allure of whitewater...

Whitewater paddling is frequently used in marketing, marketing like this:

It makes for great visuals, dramatic and cutting edge. It is a great way to showcase products. I vaguely recall a Nissan xterra ad that had a sea kayaker, the paddler was an older man with a beard who couldn't find his take out because of fog. So he hit the button on the key fob, and the horn sounded and the lights went on and off on his car, and he was able to see it through the fog. Slightly different kind of marketing.

But most of the people using the new otterbox armor series won't be white water kayakers. They won't even be people who need that kind of protection. They will however THINK that they need that kind of protection. I guess whitewater is an easy metaphor for the life people wan't to have, people with nine to five jobs want to wake up in a tent or get out of their hammock and go paddling, while documenting it on their iPhone. Adventure marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing in the US, going all the way back to the Marlboro man. I guess sea kayaking doesn't offer much of a 'Marlboro Man' quality.

I guess that is my goal, to give sea kayaking a bit more of that allure. if you can think of marketing around sea kayaking - where the image and feel of sea kayaking is used to sell a product -  let me know.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Editorial - Global Climate Change

This morning I paddled on a lake with water Temperature around 90ยบ, a few degrees warmer than I have ever experienced. This summer wild fires raged across the west, which isn't unheard of but they were fed by the worst drought in 50 years. Because of that drought farmers are expecting the worst corn crop in decades - bad enough that they are trying to get the ethanol law lifted so what corn there is can be used for food. Of course, the corn used for ethanol can't be eaten by humans, it will be fed to cows that will be eaten by humans, but that is a discussion for another day. The ice sheet on Greenland is melting faster than anyone thought possible, and a chunk of the peterman glacier - also in Greenland -  broke free, but not to worry because it was only twice the size of Manhattan.

They - meaning climate scientists - told us this was going to happen. In fact, it is happening faster than they said it would. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that global climate change is a direct result of heavy industry combined with deforestation. 99% of climatologists think global climate change is man made. Here is a nifty infographic I found:

If that isn't enough, the CEO of Exxon agrees. He says global warming is caused by burning fossil fuels, but that man will adapt.

These are people that are all smarter than I am, I am notoriously bad at math, but when I look at the things in front of me, and what scientists are saying, it makes sense to me. In this case 2+2 does equal 4.

Here is what dumbfounds me. I talk to people on a daily basis who believe some part of the following:
       A) Global climate change is not happening
       B) it is happening, but it is part of a natural cycle
       C) Scientists have a secret agenda that benefits from making climate change man made.

These are intelligent people who see the same things I see, but still think that we shouldn't change any of the things that we do, to make the world a better place. They are against using any form of renewable energy - 'it isn't financially viable will be their argument' - despite the fact that if solar energy got the same subsidies that the oil industry got, solar would be cheaper. Again, I am not the smartest guy in the world, but if we pushed solar energy in the US wouldn't that create thousands of jobs?

If that same CEO of Exxon said 'We know fossil fuels create global climate change, and that is why we are getting into the solar and wind business, and we won't rest until every home in America is powered by solar' wouldn't you buy gas for your car from Exxon?

I know that change is hard, and I am far from perfect - I drive a car, and have electricity in my home. But couldn't we make these kinds of changes without dramatically impacting our lives, and still have a dramatic impact on the planet? I ran a little poll on the sidebar, and while the participation numbers are small the vast majority of people that come to this site accept that global climate change is man made. But what if we are wrong? What would the consequences be of making these changes, and then we find out that global climate change is a plot by scientists:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Level Six's incredible new shirt

I just stumbled across this video from the most recent Outdoor Retailer. In general the coverage of OR was great - I think Gearjunkie is the best coverage - but as usual there wasn't a lot of paddling specific coverage. I have decided I am going to go next year if I am not in the final planning stages of an expedition. I have always wanted to go, and a friend offered a place to stay.

But to the clothes! This is a wicking/sun shirt for paddling that I suspect has the same coating as Liquipel for phones. Looks amazing, but I am wondering what happens when you fully submerge it? Available spring 2013 and I will be online to buy it as soon as it is available.

Monday, August 6, 2012

This is what it should look like.

There is no better way to see what a correct forward stroke should look like, than to see a skilled racer do it. Remove all the layers - the PFD, the Spray skirt, The paddling jacket and you see perfect torso rotation. You see legs pumping, you see arms straight. It looks so simple, yet it takes years and hundreds of thousands of paddle strokes to perfect.


We all have something to shoot for.