I’m very fortunate that with my job I get to meet a lot of people that love to kayak fish. I met Mike Morales from Fin Factory Kayak Charters in Corpus Christi when he and his wife visited the store. We’ve talked pretty frequently about getting offshore down to the coast, so when Mother Nature recently gave us a break with the surf conditions we decided to go for it.
Here at ACK two of our favorite things are camping and paddling. That’s why, for the second consecutive year, we’re very excited to attend the Corpus Christi Paddlefest. The event consists of 3 full days on the beach of camping, product demos, instruction, tours, beach fires and, of course, some Texas BBQ (another one of our favorite things). We are particularly excited this year because Ben Lawry, an internationally renowned kayak instructor, will be attending and instructing event goers on a variety of subjects. This is an event that draws paddlers from all over the state to attend so if you’re even remotely in the area, you should consider coming out to see what it’s all about!
For those interested in attending courses during the event, please see below for more about Ben and how to sign up. We hope to see you out there… I will be there, can’t wait! – Joseph@ACK
Ben has been paddling for over 35 years, and teaching/guiding for over 20. He has taught paddling on five continents and competed on three. Presently he works as head instructor and owner of Kayak Camp. He has taught kayaking at most of the leading Kayak Symposiums around the country, and now will teach at Paddlefest in Corpus Christi.
Ben presented at both the US WW symposium and the National ACA Conference in 2010. He has led trips and traveled extensively in South America, South Africa, Europe and North America. Ben splits his time now teaching paddling and working with stores to promote kayaking.
- Outdoor Education Management Diploma, Bicton College, Exeter, GB, 1992
- ACA Advanced WW ITE (Level 5), Advanced Open Water ITE (Level 5), Surf Level 4 ITE, Level 4 Swift Water Rescue, Level 2 SUP instructor and former Level 4ww OC + OC Level 2 coach.
- 2010 WW Symposium Presenter and ACA Nation Instructor Conference
- AFAA Certified Personal Trainer
- BCU Senior Instructor and Advanced Proficiency Inland Kayak and 4 Star Sea
Signing Up for Courses:
Ben’s Teaching Schedule for Paddlefest 2012:
Friday afternoon, Sept 28, and Saturday morning and afternoon Sept 29. Ben will teach his famous Forward Stroke class (see video below) and a Kayak Surfing and Rough Water Handling class in addition to other classes.
The normal charge for Ben’s classes is $150 per person per class. Fortunately Austin Canoe and Kayak and P&H Kayaks have sponsored him for Paddlefest so his classes can be offered at $25 per person per class. There will be no more than 10 students in each class.
If you would like to sign up for Ben’s classes at Paddlefest 2012, please e-mail the event coordinator at email@example.com by coping the below ‘form’ (ending with ‘Name of Paddler’) and indicate what subjects you would be interested in, when you’d prefer the time, your name and paddling experience level:
Kayaking Basics for Beginners
Turning the Kayak
Edging and Bracing
Surfing and kayaking in rough waters
Greenland kayak strokes
Please indicate your kayaking experience level:
Best time for your classes:
Name of Paddler: ______________________________
There will also be other instructors offering free basic kayaking skills instruction at Paddlefest on all three days (Fri, Sat & Sun). You can sign up for those classes at Paddlefest.
All the above classes will be scheduled at appropriate locations depending upon the weather at the time.
Once they have determined the number of kayakers interested in this instruction, they will form the classes and let you know what classes you are scheduled to attend.
ACK employees, Nate from Houston and Seth from Austin, will be heading down to the 2011 Paddlefest in Port Aransas, Texas. For those of you who haven’t heard about Paddlefest it’s a four day long event being held in Port Aransas, Texas by a group of like minded paddlers from all over the state this Halloween weekend. There will be camping, guided kayak tours, kayak demonstrations, basic sea kayaking instruction and a swap meet amongst a variety of other activities. What better way to spend a weekend! We asked both Seth and Nate to give us some insight into this event and here’s what they shared with us.
Paddlefest looks like it should be a huge hit this year. With paddlers from all over the state coming together for this weekend’s event, I look forward to meeting them and offering up my advice and experience any way I can. I’ll be spending most of my time helping fellow paddlers with repairs on their boats, assisting with paddling trips and teaching clinics.
This is also going to be a perfect time for me to pass on roach motels to put some great camping gear to the test. The main items I am interested in using are the Kelty Salida 2 and the Sierra Designs Zeta 3 tents. I guess Nate and I will have to do a coin toss to see who uses which tent. I’ve had my eye on the Kelty LumaCamp LED lantern to help light up our base camp kitchen along with the GSI Bugaboo camper cookset so we’ll be bringing those along. We are also going to try out a few different boats this weekend including the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 and the Hobie Revolution. Personally, I am looking forward to hitting the surf with my personal Pyrhana Rev whitewater kayak. Nate was able to round up a small generator so I’ll also be bringing an extra heat gun and scraps of plastic to do on the spot repairs as needed.
I am really excited about this trip and I can’t wait to share my experiences with you when I get back. Just checked in on the weather report and this cold front that blew in is going to keep the conditions perfect for paddling this weekend.
– Seth @ACK Austin
Both Seth and I are excited about attending Paddlefest 2011 and honored to be representing ACK — you should be too! Why you might ask? Because we’re bringing demo boats and paddles! Expect to see us with a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140, Wilderness Systems Tempest 180 (composite), Current Designs Kestral 160 (composite) and one of Necky’s newest, the Vector 14. As for the paddles, we are bringing a Werner Camano Fiberglass 230, Werner Camano Carbon 230, Werner Kalliste Carbon Bent Shaft 230, Werner Cyprus 220 and a Bending Branches Navigator 230 — yep, some nice paddles.
In addition to product, we’ll also have tools, hardware and spare parts available to assist anyone who is having gear malfunctions. If you are planning to attend this weekend you can look for us at the IB MGEE Beach Park headquarters in the mornings and afternoons. This is where paddlers will be meeting before they disembark on various trips in and around the area and where we’ll be camping.
Seth and I are looking forward to paddling with you guys and gals!
Nate @ACK Houston