Practical Solutions for Your Paddling Endeavors from North Water

North Water Logo
Made for paddlers.

The name North Water isn’t anything new in the world of paddlesports or to In fact, the Vancouver based manufacturer is a widely known brand among experts and professionals in the field of paddling and professional rescue. The reason? Their variety of specialized products to help keep users comfortable, safe & organized come with a guarantee – that North Water products are made by experienced professionals with a dedication to quality.

Safety is the Solution to Help Prevent a Problem

The company got it’s start as a response to tragedy. Founder & owner, Lindsay Merchant witnessed his friend and paddling partner in a life ending canoeing accident. Afterwards, he found the resolve to take paddling safety seriously resulting in the design of his first product. He had this to say in a recent interview for the North Water blog:

“From the beginning we have designed all North Water safety and rescue gear to be as effective and reliable as possible , always with an emphasis on custom designing related to the specific needs of a paddler, being able to keep turning that product out in record time while making it last beyond the life of the paddler. I think water rescue is as dynamic as its environment, so I often tend to over engineer what I build, trying to make it work for as many different scenarios as possible.” – Lindsay Merchant

Today, they’ve designed a wide range of paddling safety equipment which can be found at, all with  glowing reviews from our customers. Take a look for yourself – not a single product has less than four out of five stars!

North Water Designs For Paddlers With Specific Needs

Interior Mounted Cockpit Bag
Not something you’ll find at Walmart.

A browse through the’s selection of North Water products and it quickly becomes clear that these are some very niche products designed by people who know paddling. Need a tow line that puts the strain on a kayak’s coaming rather than the paddler? What about interior mounted cockpit bags for sit-inside paddlers not wearing a spray skirt? Each product is made to serve specific needs for paddlers.

One of their more unique products is the 4 Play Paddle Float, which serves not one but, as its name implies, four different purposes beneficial to paddlers. It functions as a paddle float, camp chair, extra sleeping cushion for camping and protective padding for your kayak. See it in action in this video:

So paddlers, what’s your need? Take a look & see if there’s a North Water product for it. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for on our site, comment below – we want to know, plus we always have the option to put in a special order! Ask us about their custom made Canoe Spray Deck too – with a 2-3 week turnaround time they can build exactly what you need.

In Focus: Unique Products

As ACK’s photographer, I’ve had my hands on a majority of the products we carry at some point and if I haven’t had to photograph something we carry, I’ve at least seen photos of every item. That means long hours in the studio and staging the shoots allows me to become more familiar with their features. We stock a ton of great products but from time to time, something stands out because of its unique features or functionality, here are a few I thought I’d share…

Something that caught my eye a while ago was the SteriPEN Adventurer Handheld Water Purifier. For starters, I didn’t really know the technology existed in this form. I was under the impression water filtration and purification for personal use was mainly through pitcher filters, refrigerators or tap add-ons but a handheld water purifier can be your best friend if you’re camping, hiking, paddling or doing most anything outdoors where you might be away from clean drinking water. This guy works quickly and, well… it works! It even doubles as a backup light so you can use it in the dark or use it to light your way. Its compact and lightweight so its a great gadget even for those outdoor minimalists.

Another product that peaked my interest is North Water’s Four Play Paddle Float. Some paddle floats are generic and perform the minimum task expected but this one rises to the top for several reasons. While the Four Play performs the advertised task with ease it also has several alter egos. It has multiple uses like a camp chair, a sleeping pad, a cushion on top of your car when unloading a kayak or canoe, a skid stopper to protect the bottom of your boat from scraping the ground and more. I prefer products that surprise you with their functionality and this is certainly one.

As I continue on with the clicking, I’ll be sure to stop by from time to time to offer some insight on some unique and usefull products that I come across. -Trent @ ACK