ACK at Paddlefest

Our P&H kayaks just waiting to be demo’d!

ACK attended the 2012 Corpus Christi Paddlefest put on by the Corpus Christi Kayak Club for a weekend filled with sea kayaking (plus a bit of stand up paddleboarding) despite bad weather. Representing ACK was Seth Bowles of the Austin store and myself, though we were joined by Jonathan, SUP expert and Rob, paddling enthusiast and friend of ACK. We partnered with our favorite maker of sea kayaks, P&H, who sent world renown sea kayaking instructor Ben Lawry as their representative.

Seth preparing a pair of paddlers for his edging and bracing class.

The Corpus Christi Paddlefest is an opportunity for paddlers to learn technique from experienced ACA certified instructors, demo new boats from retailers like us and spend time enjoying the water with like minded individuals. The event itself is in its 9th year and normally draws over 100 paddlers to the area. This year we saw a little bit less than that number in attendance, the obvious reason being that between heavy rains Friday & Saturday and 15-20 mph winds on Sunday, the weather wasn’t all that great for paddling. While most of the half-day tours were cancelled, event goers were still treated to lots of quality instruction and had plenty of time to paddle during the overcast Saturday and Sunday.

Ben instructs a full class on turning technique.

The P&H kayaks we brought were a big hit. Lots of paddlers seemed interested in the Scorpio for it’s multi-day storage capacities and touring abilities as well as the Delphin for it’s unique chines that make it ideal for playing in the surf. Ben’s classes were all very popular as well! I had a chance to watch parts of his lesson on proper turning technique and was very impressed. That particular class was interesting to watch as he had paddlers practice their technique off the water before even getting in the kayaks!

All in all it was a very excting event and we all had a great time! Aside from the paddling, there was tons of wildlife to be seen including dolphins and a large variety of waterfowl. We were glad to have been a part of such a great event. Until next time, thanks for reading and happy paddling!  – Joseph@ACK

View the Flikr photo gallery of the event here. Also, here is Seth showcasing his rolling abilities using a GoPro.

Calling All Texas Sea Kayakers and Beyond to the 2012 Corpus Christi Paddlefast!

All sorts of kayaks show up!

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

About Ben:
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.

Ben’s Qualifications:

  • 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
Learning to roll at the 2011 Paddlefest.

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 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:


Course Topics:
Kayaking  Basics for Beginners
Forward Stroke
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:
Friday afternoon
Saturday morning
Saturday afternoon

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.