I have just arrived back in Seattle after a great weekend in Wisconsin at the Canoecopia tradeshow. This was my first time at this show and I was wonderfully surprise by the event, not only was it a condensed toy store of most of the latest and greatest paddle sports toys, but also of all the tried and true goods, pool demos, instruction and speakers from all over the world.
I was here to represent TRAK Kayaks and share my stories of the boats in action and help sell the product off course. The cool thing for us with our booth this show is the addition of a big screen stand that can support two TV’s, and also the addition of a big banner reading TRAK performance Kayaks two images, one of myself surfing the TRAK at Surge Narrows and the other of Allie Carroll paddling in a tidal lagoon on Isla Coiba in Panama. It is a nice addition to the booth, really stating TRAK’s presence, while the TV played a loop of the TRAK Files Series and some rough water footage of the boats in action.
I got to attend some great talks, particularly one by John Turk about his Ellesmere Island expedition with Eric Boomer, A journey where there was more walking and dragging kayaks as rafts than there were times that they actually sat in the boats and paddled. This journey was a huge undertaking and almost killed Jon, though hasn’t seemed to have slowed him down and at 6? He is still planning amazing trips to come. Jon is a most entertaining speaker and has a great way of sharing his adventures and conveying some of his deeper philosophies in life. Jon and I talked more about some concepts of adventure and of ideas to come; I am excited to here more of his new adventures as they develop this year. Read more about Jon’s adventures and his books at his website http://jonturk.net/
Justine Curgenven was also a wonderful speaker and I attended her talk on her Tierra Del Fuego Expeditions, and how the first attempt was aborted due to injuries of her paddling partner Barry----- then continued to success some time later. Justine is an amazingly honest and open person who shares all the honest highs and lows of her journeys in a very exposing way that other people would more than likely shy away from in horror. This willingness to share the true nature of adventure, with lows and highs, the journey of the mind while on these trips is most amazing and I respect her immensely for it. Justine’s Website here http://www.cackletv.com/
I was lucky enough to share some tales with Justine over a couple of pints, and then there was the band at the Canoecopia event on Saturday.....half the room couldn’t resist dancing to the “Rasta Billy” band Mad Polecats http://www.myspace.com/madpolecats, they were a great Fusion of Blue Grass and Reggae and did fun covers of Led Zeppelin, ACDC and more.
I also was given a new tool (or toy depending on how you look at it) from Lendal. one of their new Rebel White Water Paddles, customized to my preference. The prototype Rebel paddles had been used by us on the Grand Canyon Sea Kayak project over Christmas and I had been also using one in the surf and in Canoe Polo games, so I am keen to give the new production version and good beating.
The last day was a tiring one for most as we had been up till 2am dancing and now we worked the show till 5pm, packed up the displays and then headed out into the strangely rainy night of snowy Madison to have burgers before I crashed.
What a fun venue, if you get the chance to attend in coming years I recommend it. Now I am prepping for travels to Costa Rica in the next couple of days, bring on the surf, sand and jungle.