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Join the Paddle Canada community on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn JOSEPHINE MATYAS IS THE EDITOR OF KANAWA


The Director’s Strokes


WE HAVE ALL WITNESSED the explosion of standup paddleboarding (SUP) in Canada. Just today the Paddle Canada office received eight requests from businesses wanting SUP training for their staff. As more and more people get involved in the sport—many of who—come from non- paddling backgrounds—there has been confusion over the regulations for SUP. At this time, Transport Canada defines


a SUP as a human-powered craft with similar equipment requirements to a canoe or kayak but only when being used for navigation (point A to point B).


The required equipment is a lifejacket (or PFD), floating line/rope and a whistle. However, if a lifejacket is worn (rather than strapped to the deck of the board) with a whistle attached, then no floating line is required. A waterproof flashlight is in order if you are out at dusk or after dark. These regulations are working their way through the government legislation process now and will come into force in time for the 2017 boating season. On a Paddle Canada organization front,


we are overhauling the member website this year to better serve our members and public course participants. Paddlebuzz.ca manages our membership and certification tracking, course reporting and payment systems. It was originally built in 2009 and has now


come to the end of its life and usefulness. We have been researching and budgeting an upgrade of the system for a number of years. We are very happy to announce we have been successful in securing funding with Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Capacity Building Grant for $25,000 to partially fund this project. There were 106 organization applicants of which 17 were awarded project funding this year. We are very thankful to have MEC’s support and we look forward to updating you further on this project as it develops. Look for an expected launch of the new members’ site in early 2017.


Graham Ketcheson | Executive Director graham@paddlecanada.com


TIME TO CHECK THE GEAR, DEAR!


After the icy hand of winter finally let go of our rivers and streams, broken and sweeping branches became less of a hazard as levels dropped and spring torrents settled down. Migration began, as we proud and optimistic recreational paddlers poked our heads out of doors to shake our winter hibernation. Like so many turtles we hefted our canoes, kayaks and boards onto our shoulders and cars in search of new waters to conquer. Some of us may have ventured out a little too


early this past spring. In hindsight, some were less prepared than they should have been. Warm temperatures, sun and open water beckon to us all, and it’s easy to be more fueled by excitement (and perhaps a little bravado) than by focus and a wide- awake brain. Please take time to check the gear, dear! Look over the rivets, crazing, scratches, cracks and last season’s repairs. Stretch out the ropes and examine for fraying and make sure none were cut to make clotheslines. Make sure the drysuit keeps you dry and the slip-proof shoes are intact. Look at the PFD/lifejacket and make sure seams are solid, sun bleaching hasn’t created weak points and it floats you effectively. Remember the three T’s: Take your essentials, trip plan and take the training you will need or re-cert the training you have if needed. If you are going to be a statistic on the water this year, make it one that counts as a happy, healthy paddler or as a new


PaddleSmart presenter or attendee (www.adventuresmart.ca). Hope I see you out there, and bring a friend!


Dawn Callan | PaddleSmart Program and National Paddling Week Co-ordinator | events@paddlecanada.com www.paddleweek.ca | www.facebook.com/NationalPaddlingWeekCanada | 1-888-252-6292 or 613-547-3196


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