The Paddle In The Park Contest is back for 2015!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Who's Who of Devoted Paddlers-John Ozard

There truly are a great many of us who are devoted to our passion for paddling - and while some get recognized for it, others never really do.

Badger held a contest for people who love to paddle and who also enjoy expressing their devotion to paddling in writing.  We called it Badger's HighWater Marks - A Who's Who of Devoted Paddlers Contest.  There was an "exam" given and the results were.. well.. remarkably high!

And we found many people who aren't famous or known for their paddling adventures or exploits but who are just as devoted as those who are.....

Here is one of the winning entries* with a significantly HighWater Mark by John Ozard:

John's entry was originally published on his Facebook profile via his "Notes" and is our first "FEATURED PADDLER".  You can see that original entry here: Badger Paddles' High Water Marks Honour Roll John owns a Badger Sliver and is an instructor with many years of experience on the water....

Real Name: John Ozard
Entry Name:
Approximate Age: Old enough to know better, but too stupid to stop.
Country:  United States

1.# of Years Paddling:  ~37.

2.How many boats in your fleet? Household paddle craft (as of 11/22/2010): 12, plus one duck boat (rowed) and one aluminum rowboat.

3.Oil verses Varnish?  Both.Do you have a preference?  Prefer varnished canoe paddles with oiled grip, varnished gunwales, and oiled Greenlandic qajaq paddles. Why? Basically, too lazy to maintain an oil finish, but I do prefer an oiled grip.

4.Where do you paddle?
The Hudson River and the Mohawk River are close to home. Adirondack lakes, like Lake George and Lake Champlain, aren't too far. Coastal paddling whenever I can. Primarily, I paddle in Eastern and Northern New York.

5.Are you, or have you ever been, part of the paddle sports industry professionally? No.

6.Do you have a blog, facebook or twitter account where you advocate for the power of self-propusion?  Not currently, but I should. Problem is, I'm Facebook challenged (or so I've been told). What is it?
7.Favourite wood and paddle shape? Cherry for canoe paddles and cedar for Greenlandic paddles. I grew up using beavertail style canoe paddles, but I'm lovin' my Badger Sliver.

8.If you were a Badger WaterColours Paddle - what colour would you be?  I'm thinking a dark forest green.

9.Have you ever tipped your canoe  & how did that happen? Oh yes! Aren't we all just in between swims? A memorable swim was on one fine December day on the local creek - during a snowstorm. Rains from the previous day had brought the creek level up to just about 'dangerous'. We came around a bend to find the creek offering several route choices around some small islands. Either farther right or left would have been a better choice. A tree was down, completely blocking the channel I chose, right at gunwale height. We rolled out after hitting the tree broadside and then made our way to shore only to find we were surrounded by water. We found ourselves on one of the many islands! After shimmying across the channel on another downed tree to get to the mainland, we set out to search for canoe and gear. The canoe was recovered about 0.25 miles downstream, after getting hung up at a bend in the creek. Did I mention I was wet and cold?

10.What is your favourite wilderness tripping meal/paddling snack?

Idahoan Instant Potatoes.

11.Do you solo? You bet I do.

12.What’s the best advice you have to give to a beginner paddler? It's about the journey, not the destination.

13.What 3 words best describes the way you feel about paddling or that inspire you the most to get out on the water, year after year?? Ice is out!

14.Where does your heart truly lie: Wooden/Canvas, Composite (i.e. Kevlar, Fibreglass etc.), Plastic or Aluminum? 

I love the look and feel of paddling wooden boats, so wood/canvas canoes are great, wood strippers are beautiful, and skin on frame kayaks are wonderful. I also like the weight savings that can be obtained with modern composite materials. It's all good. Just being on the water puts a smile on my face :)

15.Who took you out for your first time paddling and what was your age when your took your first adventure in a canoe/kayak? My high school buddy first took me paddling in a canoe. I was probably 17.

16.Who was your best paddling partner or inspiration? See question 15. We paddled together through our college years.

17.Do you know of or can you describe a canoe/paddling game?Gunwale Jumping. Using a tandem canoe the two paddlers stand on the gunwales at opposite ends. Each paddlers tries to dislodge the other while maintaining their own position atop the gunwale. 

18.How tall are you and what length of paddle do you prefer? I'm 5' 8" and I've been settling in on 53-54" canoe paddles for cruising. Total length is less relevant, however. While longer overall, my 57" Badger Sliver has the shortest shaft of any in my stable. I like an ~ 84" Greenlandic paddle and primarily use a 210 cm double blade when kayaking.

19.Have you ever tried Stand Up Paddling?
You bet! Once.

20.Do you have nicknames for your boat(s), paddle(s), and other gear?  If so - what are they? No, I stopped doing that. They were always jealous, thinking I liked the other ones better. My mom always liked my sisters best, too.

*John was one of the many winners in our contest, and for his entry he received a Badger Paddle Sock and Gift Card from Algonquin Outfitters.  To see the winning entry (for the top prize of a Badger paddle, Paddle Sock and gift card from Algonquin Outfitters) by Pawistik, click here: The Mundane of Adventures of Bryan. To see all the winners and more, please visit: Badger's Who's Who of Devoted Paddlers on the official Badger Paddles website.
Or visit the websites of our HighWater Mark Professors (a.k.a. the Judges) for this contest:
Badger's HighWater Marks Honour Roll
Algonquin Outfitters

Badger's HighWater Marks Honour Roll
Swift Canoe

Badger's HighWater Marks Honour Roll
Fat Paddler

Badger's HighWater Marks Honour Roll
Badger Paddles

Please note: We'll be featuring other winners and exceptional entries from our Devoted Paddler contest thru-out our winter season so keep an eye out for yours! And don't forget to watch our Facebook page or Twitter feed for more contests and great giveaways from Badger...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Algonquin Outfitters Mini Contest

We've heard a rumour that Algonquin Outfitters is having a mini contest but it will ONLY run on Christmas and Boxing Day!

All you have to do is provide a gear review for any of the gear brands that Algonquin Outfitters carries in their store (Badger Paddles included!).

You can see a list of some of those brands here:

The prize will be a Souvenir Badger Paddle and a moose antler Badger pendant necklace set PLUS a $50.00 GIFT CARD FROM ALGONQUIN OUTFITTERS!!!

For full details visit the AO Facebook page and be sure to visit them on Christmas day or Boxing day morning to enter...

Their Facebook page says to: Think "Gear Review", what's your favorite, what's your best story...

We say: think $50.00 to spend on more gear!!

Sounds like fun, doesn't it?!  And just think of the new gear you can buy with a gift card...

Thanks Algonquin Outfitters!  Guess it really 'tis the season of giving!!!

Good luck if you enter and have a safe and happy holiday everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Paddler's Take on Christmas

While we all have memories of holidays past where we sing the traditional carols and read the traditional stories... this year we thought we would bring you the "Paddler's Version" of some of the classic and more famous Christmas tales and tunes.  Versions of The Twelve Days of Christmas, Deck The Halls, and also The Night Before Christmas (by author Mike Ormsby) can be seen and below... feel free to share with your paddling friends....
"Digger" thinks he can out-paddle Rudolph!
And please know that we, at Badger, wish each and everyone of you a very happy holiday - Click here to see a special holiday message from Fiona and her family: A Special Message for Paddlers and Those Who Dig The Water.

A Paddler's 12 Days of Christmas:
by Fiona
(sung to the tune of the famous Twelve Days of Christmas carol)
On the 1rst day of Christmas my true love gave to me:
A canoe and a PFD

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me:
2 Badger paddles, a canoe and a PFD

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me
3 new tents
2 Badger paddles, a canoe and a PFD

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me
4 packs for tripping
3 new tents
2 Badger paddles, a canoe and a PFD

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me
5 Early Springs!
4 packs for tripping
3 new tents
2 Badger paddles, a canoe and a PFD

And so on until you get to the last of the song (see all days below):

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me
12 routes for mapping
-11 bag for sleeping
10 yards of roping
9 hooks for fishing
8 drinking filters
7 suits for swimming
6 strings for strumming
5 Early Springs!
4 packs for tripping
3 new tents
2 Badger paddles
and a ca-noo and a Peee-eF-Deeee!!

Have Yourself a Merry Lil'Paddle:
by Fiona
(sung to the tune of the famous Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas carol)

♫ ♬ ♪ ♩ ♪♫ ♬ ♪ ♩ ♪♫ ♬ ♪ ♩ ♪♫ ♬ ♪ ♩ ♪
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
May your paddle be light
Pack your boat and gear until it feels just right.

And, have yourself a merry lil'paddle,
Find a quiet bay
Peace and silence,
Now let yourself dream away...

As is found in the olden days,
happy golden days of yore.
The boats that are dear to us
Should be used by us, once more.

Through the wind and water you will find me
If the Fates allow
As a cherished friend sits up in the bow,
And so we'll have a Merry little Christmas now!
♫ ♬ ♪ ♩ ♪♫ ♬ ♪ ♩ ♪♫ ♬ ♪ ♩ ♪♫ ♬ ♪ ♩ ♪

Twas Canoeing Weeks Before Christmas:
Written by Mike Ormsby *
(based on the popular story "Twas The Night Before Christmas")
Twas out paddling my favourite wood canvas canoe mere weeks before Christmas
The lake still being open with weather so balmy that no snow had yet come to pass

Still the water was more than quite frigid and so brisk was the early morning air,
Maybe too windy to be out in a canoe, but it wasn’t a gale force blow so I didn’t care.

I paddled over to the far side of the lake to where a river spilled in
Landing my canoe at the portage next to the whitewater roarin’.

I sat on a rock in the warming sun wearing layers of fleece under my old PFD,
Right next to the moving water, leaning my back up against an overhanging tree.

When further upstream there arose such a clash
I was startled, and slipped, and fell in with a splash.

My glasses went one way, my paddle went another.
Cold water went down my back….more than a bother.

The gleam of the sun on the river around,
Was lovely, but heck, I was going to drown!!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear?
One of those tupperware boats. Was my rescue near?

This bright red canoe had a jolly old fella, rather too fat to fit into a solo playboat,
With such a wide girth it was hard to imagine how his canoe could ever stay afloat

Even through the rapids he teetered, bouncing off each and every big rock.
This old guy looked to enough of his own big trouble, I thought with a shock.

But he slid in so slowly, so graceful, even stopping to surf the waves in one huge hole
As if none of the river’s challenges had ever required him to have to attempt a roll

And then he glided in softly, as smooth as can be,
Into the eddy, bothering nothing except maybe me.

And then in a twinkling he popped out of his craft
Like a cork from a bottle, I shouldn’t have laughed.

With flowing long hair and very scruffy beard, all of which were quite white
His unkempt appearance, complete with such frosted whiskers was really a sight.

He looked like he had been on the trail for far too many weeks
His canoe was covered in duct tape to prevent any further leaks

His paddling jacket encircled his ample frame
With pockets full of gadgets, too many to name.

He waded right in to help pull me out of the water where I’d fallen
He didn’t waste a second or even a minute standing around or stalling

Then just as fast back out in his canoe, twirling his paddle high over the top of his head
He chose to surf the waves or play in an eddy rather than accept my praise or thanks instead

Yet he still hadn’t spoken a word but went straight to his fun,
And he portaged his canoe back for yet another river run.

But before putting in, he turned to me and said “I got something to tell ya”
“I’m Santa Claus….although I’m still mistaken for that Bill Mason fella.”

He sprang to his red tupperware boat, out into the current with a good pushing.
And then he shot downstream with a splash and nothing from rocks to cushion.

Now I’d have thought old St. Nick would be more of a traditionalist in his choice of boat
Something all wood or a canoe of wood and canvas with a shiny red painted coat

Something in keeping with his image (and likeness to such a famous paddler of Chestnut canoes)
Yet it appeared that Santa had taken to the synthetic materials and much more modern views

But I heard him exclaim as he drifted almost completely from sight.
“Always paddle safe, and remember to keep your canoe upright.

I have a number of canoes and kayaks up at the North Pole
And my favourite wood canvas just isn’t the easiest to roll

Although I’d have far more room for all these gifts in a Prospector
These tiny play boats don’t have enough space to properly store

Now I’ll have to get used to making my deliveries by paddling a boat
Because a sleigh and twelve reindeer just never could float

With global warming and polar ice caps beginning to melt, raising water levels so high
Soon a canoe could be the only answer to getting around rather than having to fly

Although I admit it won’t be so easy once the snow has started to fall
But for now let me just wish a Merry Christmas to all.”

And with that old St. Nick was very much gone
His concern about the environment was obviously quite strong

But I liked his choice of a canoe of any type as a mode of transportation
So I’ll just add Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the whole paddling population!!!!

Badger's HighWater Marks Honour Roll

Gunwales, Decks and Bows with Holly:
by Fiona
(sung to the tune of the famous "Deck the Halls" )

Gunwales, decks and bows with holly,
Fa la la la lah la la la lah
Grab your boat and you'll be jolly!
Fa la la la lah la la la lah
Don we now our paddlin' apparel,
Fa la la la lah la la la lah
Grab a dry bag or a barrel
Fa la la la lah la la la lah

See the water layed out before us
Fa la la la lah la la la lah
Feel the quiet of the the forest.
Fa la la la lah la la la lah
Find a paddle for your pleasure,
Fa la la la lah la la la lah
Make your own way at your leisure
Fa la la la lah la la la lah

Fa la la la laaaa ... la la... la... laaaaaaaah!!!!

*Re-published here with the author's permission.  First published on Reflections on the Outdoors Naturally blog here:  Thanks to Mike for letting us add his wonderful "Paddler's Version" of this Christmas classic to this post.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Who's Who of Devoted Paddlers

Badger’s High Water Marks Honour Roll
A Who’s Who of Devoted Paddlers Contest

This past September, we put the call out to all avid paddlers who love to write and talk about their passion for the power of self propulsion... and we made it a contest.

The winner (Highest WaterMarks) would receive a Badger Canoe Paddle, a Sock and a $50.00 Gift Card from Algonquin Outfitters. Those "Devoted Paddlers" with the next four highest “watermarks” would win a Badger Paddle sock and a $10.00 Gift Card from Algonquin Outfitters.

But when it came time to "mark the exams" - it was clear to see that the HighWater Marks were very close... very close indeed... your devotion and true passion for paddling was inspirational.... so we decided to add in some extra prizes and now the top 10 highest scoring "exams" are all winners!!!

  • Highest Water Mark Prize (1 winner) = Badger Canoe Paddle, Paddle Sock, $50 gift card from Algonquin Outfitters
  • High Water Mark Winners (4 winners) = Badger Paddle Sock, $10 gift card from Algonquin Outfitters
  • Truly Devoted Paddlers (5 winners) = 250 mL tin of Badger Paddles' 100% All Natural Wood Oil

Thanks to our judges; Randy from Algonquin Outfitters (who helped to sweeten the prize pot with some generous gift cards); Carm from Swift Canoe & Kayak; and to the most famous Fat Paddler of them all, Sean.  We truly couldn't have done this without your help!

Links to our "HighWater Marks Professors":

And big thanks to all the devoted paddlers who entered our contest - we had entries from around the world including Australia, the U.K., USA and Canada - we are honoured to be part of such an amazing community of self-propelled enthusiasts!  And don't forget to keep checking in with Badger  for more Contests & Giveaways to come...