I would not describe myself as an expert kayaker, but I do have some hard won experience and a unique perspective I think is valuable. I've always loved the ocean (see my post Why I Love the Ocean), and kayaking has offered me a new way to explore it. I have been kayaking and waveski surfing for many years, and the differences in my boats and the conditions in which I paddle provide a unique contrast, and sometimes compliment, to each other. I'm also very independent in how I source my gear, how I fix it, and what I recommend. I don't think you'll find quite the same perspective elsewhere. I like things that last, that don't break, that don't cost a lot, and that are dependable. Sometimes, that means I sacrifice on weight and performance, but I'm willing to make that trade. I can't stand anything in life that's too precious to take a couple knocks, and my paddling life reflects that. 

I hope you find something useful on my blog, and I look forward to maybe learning something from you. Here's the link to my posting schedule. You can always find my most recent post on my HOME page.


TB on the Water  

Other posting locations:


Also, check out my health & wellness page on Facebook: @wellnesscurated

Surfing my Walden "Milo" waveski

Paddling the Concord River in a touring sea kayak (carrying a bunch more lbs. than I do now 😜)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hey Kayaking.Surf,

The beauty to the paddle industry for me is that it's a family, and no matter where you go in the world, if you are a rafter, kayaker, or SUPer, there exists a comradery like no other industry. The last 12 months, nobody could predict, and we see two extremes in the paddling world. One is the retail and the outdoor and paddle boom of shops, outfitters, and brands having record years. It could not have happened to a better industry.
The other side of the paddle family is international travel. While great success is happening to retail and local outfitters, the international outfitters are shutting down daily as the pandemic stretches on, and adventure travel sits at a hault.
I own a raft in a raft out lodge on the Pacuare river here in Costa Rica. We operate trips for some of the more well-known adventure companies like Intrepid Travel, Road Scholar, etc, to name a few. Since the start of the pandemic, as with the entire international travel industry, we have been stuck on a strainer with no end in sight. Anybody who paddles in their life as a passion knows that some days the current, wind, and crew are certainly different than others, but you have to keep paddling on.
Part of our effort to get through this craziness has been to look to our families in the paddle industry that is having success and see if we can get a safety rope tossed to keep us afloat. We are honesty having a great turn out and many retail paddle shops, outfitters, and other paddle related industries are joining in to help us. While my goal started as a method to save my own business, I think the word needs to get out that many paddle outfitters around the globe could try and do exactly what I am doing to help save their own operations. It's not easy and it's been more work than I signed up for after wanting to make a living off just paddling, but it been a beautiful reminder of just how strong that comradery in the paddle family is.
I figured most paddle places are having record years, and after working your butt off for 18 months, the one thing they need is a vacation. We started a very easy to use affiliate program where paddle companies and shops are promoting an affiliate link that helps us sell trips, and in return, the shops or brands are earning credit to come down to Costa Rica and hang out for a week on an epic adventure or $300 per trip sold to keep some extra revenue coming in after things slow down. It's a win-win, and we are keeping it in the family, as my Italian grandfather would have said.
Let me know if a story, press release, or any safety rope can be thrown as we are motivated to save our own company and at the same time be an example for other companies out there. It has been so much fun catching up with shop owners, brands, and anyone else in the paddling community as they have given us hope and optimism to see the calm waters ahead.
Pura Vida,Tom