The Paddle In The Park Contest is back for 2015!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yoga Sequence for Paddlers

Most of us agree that paddling is a great way to leave the stresses of our modern life behind. But not all of us are lucky enough to live in a region that provides open water year round. In Huntsville, Canada, winter lasts for many months and those muscles used when paddling (or on a canoe trip) can loose strength over a long cold Canadian winter.

To help keep stress at a minimum during the winter season, and to help strengthen those muscles needed for the power of self-propulsion (and other activities), more and more of us are discovering and practicing Yoga. With paddling being a big focus in our Canadian lives, it wasn't long before some of us started to look at various Yoga positions and sequences that would best suit a paddler.
The following sequence was put together with a focus on strengthening the upper body and core muscles used in paddling a canoe or kayak.

A Yoga Sequence for Paddlers...
  1. Begin in Mountain Pose, inhale and circle sweep your arms up
  2. Exhale into a Forward Fold position (knees slightly bent with your chess pushing towards your legs). Hold and breathe.
  3. Exhale moving into Downward Dog position, hold and breathe.
  4. Inhale and move into the Plank position hold and breathe.
  5. Exhale and move down into Crocodile hold and breathe.
  6. Lower yourself to the floor. Inhale and move into Upward Dog, hold and breathe.
  7. Move into Chid's Pose, hold and breathe.
  8. Perform a Half Knot stretch on both sides 2 or 3 times each arm.
  9. Rest if needed or inhale and move move into Locust, hold and breathe.
  10. Rest if needed and then move into Cobra.
  11. Next perform a sitting Spinal Twist. Both sides.
  12. Lay on your back and rest if needed. Move into the Bridge position. Hold and breathe. Then rest, if needed.
  13. Move into Bridge position again. Hold and breathe. Then rest, if needed.
  14. Lying down, again, move into a LYING DOWN Spinal Twist stretch. Both sides.
  15. Relax into the Corpse (or repeat sequence from here by inhaling and moving back into Plank and then exhale into Downward Dog and hold. Exhale back into Forward Fold and finally into Mountain. Start again at beginning)
Click to enlarge if needed.
If you perform and repeat this sequence daily, you will be sure to feel the difference! But if you want, you can just add a few key positions to your regular workout routine, i.e. Cobra, Locust (and Full Locust if you are able), Plank and Boat. To see the illustration of these core moves, see the first image in this post or click here: Core Yoga Positions for Paddlers. Or just add a few of these moves to your favourite Yoga sequence or Salutation.

Happy Paddling and Namaste!

Please note: Fiona is not a Yoga Instructor and has only been practicing Yoga for a short time.  She originally began by performing simple positions with her son Makobe, who has autism, to help decrease some of his anxiety and to help with regulation of his breathing. But it wasn't long before Fiona saw the benefits of practicing Yoga for herself and quickly became hooked. Feeling the results after just a few sessions, it wasn't long before she started to believe Yoga was a really great low impact way to help keep stronger during a long winter, and in between digging the water, all year round. Remember to consult with your doctor before trying any new exercise regime, including the Yoga positions and/or sequence of positions stated in this post and be sure to educate yourself about Yoga (and how each position is performed) to save yourself unnecessary strain or injury.  There are many Yoga Practitioners who can help you get started, as well as online forums, Youtube videos and books.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

FATPADDLER in Toronto - a Trip Report

This past January, the HUGELY AWESOME, Sean Smith (a.k.a. the FATPADDLER) from Australia, ventured to the northern hemisphere for a short visit.  After a whirlwind of a trip to Toronto, Thunder Bay and then on to Chicago, before finally returning home just this past week, Sean reported a wonderful adventure on his website about some of his experiences in Canada. And while Fiona is usually the writer of Badger's Blog, this special occasion inspired Mike to create a short trip report of his time spent with Sean (FATPADDLER) for the short 24 hour period that Sean was in Toronto. 

Here is Mike's unedited Toronto Trip Report:

Headed down to the city on a wintery Thursday night to meet this crazy Aussie who thought that it would be a good idea to leave his warm home to paddle in Canada in January. I didn't want to miss this.
Sean's first taste of Canadian Poutine.
The verdict? He likes it, hey Mikey!

We all met up at the Bier Garden on King St. for food and spirits.  Sean turned out to be a great guy and a good rum drinker too.  The company was a lot of fun with many familiar faces around the table all ready and willing to share some Canadian hospitality and poutine with our Aussie guest. 

Sean (FATPADDLER) and David (
smile for  Mike's camera

Jim Walton (H2O Performance Paddles)
with his beautiful fiance Sammy...
looks like all are having fun!
Cheers from two hemispheres!
The evening carried on, perhaps a little later than expected.  At the end we all headed our seperate ways with Alan, Sean and I  agreeing to meet for breakfast at 6:30 a.m. at the Queensway Diner before heading off to paddle at Cherry beach in the morning.

Cha-Ching!! $$ That was some mighty fine Poutine!
End of the evening: (part of) Team FatPaddler in Toronto*
Everyone arrived on time for breakfast but with just a little less vigor and some noteably tired eyes. We took our time eating a big breakfast then headed over to Complete Paddler to get changed for the adventure.  By the time Sean the big Aussie had experienced climbing into a dry suit for the first time, I think he was already begining to ask himself why exactly it was that he wanted to do this.  Too late now. The plan was already in action.  We headed off for Cherry Beach.

"Hey... sausages!"
Sean (FATPADDLER) and Alan Drummond
(Toronto Team Fat Paddler Rep) early a.m.
When we arrived there where some pretty nice size rollers coming in to thin undercut ice on the beach.  We eventually found a safe albiet rough spot to get in the water, unloaded the Chestnut and Alan's kayak and dropped the canoe in the slushy water.  I am not used to being the smaller paddler, but I definitely was this time, so I climbed into the bow and waited and braced while the giant rugby player plunked himself down in the stern seat.
Looks like some cold hard fun!
Photo courtesy of Alan Drummond
At the end of this process we already had a fair bit of slushy water slopping around in the poor cedar canvas boat and the canvas was grinding on floating ice.  We stayed in long enough for a couple of pictures and quickly ended the shortest paddling adventure of my life.  It sure felt good getting into the warm truck afterwards and I couldn't help feeling bad for the tired big guy sitting beside me.  He had been in Canada less than 24 hours, met a ton of people, partied downtown, seen most of the city in Alan's jeep and paddled in lake Ontario.  Later that day he would hop on a plane to Thunder Bay where his Canadian experience would continue. And by the photo's, blog posts, etc.. that I have seen would end up being no less eventfull.

Thanks for visiting Canada, Fat Paddler.  Next time you'll have to come for longer so we don't have to fit in all in to such a short time.

Written by Mike Ramsay for Badger Paddles... for those who dig the water.
Alan and Sean (a.k.a. FATPADDLER)
Photo courtesy of Alan Drummond
Mike puts his arm around Sean to keep him warm. (joke)
The man, himself:
Mike's long journey home became a big snowy mess with a
terrible accident on Hwy 11 Southbound. Fortunately for Mike,
though, he was headed north and only had to sit in the traffic.
All in all, the entire trip turned out to be quite the journey! 
So a big "fat" thanks to Mike for sharing his account of a winter's paddling adventure with us all, and to Sean for being such a great sport and amazing advocate for the power of self-propulsion plus to Alan for making it all happen for Toronto!  Note: you can read Sean's (a.k.a. FATPADDLER) account of his January paddling adventure in Lake Ontario here: Thanks also to our sponsors Algonquin Outfitters, Swift Canoe and others, who helped to celebrate Fat Paddler's visit with us by way of a contest.

*In attendance for this photograph from L to R: Sammy & Jim of H2O Performance Paddles, Sean of, Mike of Badger Paddles, Kelly of The Complete Paddler, James and Dympna of LearnToKayak.Ca, and last... but not least... Alan... Team FatPaddler Rep, Sean's Personal Assistant and Paddling Instructor.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Welcome FatPaddler - CONTEST Results

This past January, the HUGELY AWESOME, Sean Smith, (a.k.a. the FATPADDLER) from Australia ventured to the northern hemisphere for a short visit.  After a whirlwind of a trip to Toronto, Thunder Bay and then on to Chicago, before finally returning home just this past week, Sean reported a wonderful adventure on his blog about some of his experiences while here, and there. Mike also had a trip report to share with us.  Read it here: Fat Paddler in Toronto Trip-Report.

In honour of Sean's visit, Badger held a Welcome FATPADDLER Contest with prizes from various sponsors including Algonquin Outfitters, Swift Canoe & Kayak, H2O Performance Kayak Paddles, Badger Paddles and too!

Sticker Prize Pack for
General Draw Winners

There were 3 sticker prize packs up for grabs by way of a General Draw, a paddle sock (for best message to FATPADDLER), and a great prize BONUS DRAW PRIZE pack of some great FREE SWAG including a hoodie from Algonquin Outfitters, a great cap from Swift, a Badger Paddle T-shirt and more!

The General Draw Winners
(for the prize of a sticker prize pack) are:
Lauren B. from Canada
Chris J. from Canada
Mandy M. from the U.K.

The winner of the Badger Paddle Sock for BEST MESSAGE for FATPADDLER is Bob S. from Canada who wrote to us:

"Holy !@#% Cow,   Fat Paddlers on Lake Ontario,
I don't now who I felt worse for, the Chestnut or the "Fat Paddlers"
Canada defianatly has the "coolest" paddlers on Earth

nice Badgers"

 And, FATPADDLER liked this message so much, he added his own personal reply to Bob saying:

"Well done Bob, and I completely agree. I'm not sure if the chestnut was sinking or simply dying!! Cheers - FP"

And finally, the winner of the big BONUS DRAW (for the Algonquin Outfitters' hoodie, Swift hat, the much coveted FATPADDLER sticker, and more - see image on left), and whose country had the most welcome messages for FATPADDLER by far, is Trevor P. from Canada!!!

Bonus Draw Prize Pack
Congrats to all the winners and thanks to all who participated in this friendly paddler's contest to celebrate our international similarities when it comes to our passion for paddling... something FATPADDLER does every time he gets in a boat and shares his adventures with the world on his famous blog.

Also a special thanks to all the contest sponsors, especially Algonquin Outfitters and Swift Canoe and even H2O Performance Paddles, who also welcomed FATPADDLER's visit with such generosity by adding prizes to the lot in celebration of this hefty's man's visit.

And last but not least, the BIGGEST of THANKS to FATPADDLER, himself. Not only for allowing us to run this contest in honour of his visit to North America, but also for going out there every day - regardless of his fear of "falling out of his kayak and attracting sharks to his fat injured seal-like profile" - for sharing his paddling adventures with the world and for inspiring so many to get out there and paddle!