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.

New Video: Kayaks 101 – Differences Between Kayak Designs

Are you looking for a kayak but overwhelmed by all the different choices? Well you’ve come to the right place! In our continuing “101” video series, ACK’s Roland Jimenez walks you through the basics of choosing the right kayak by identifying the differences between sit-inside, sit-on-top, whitewater, touring and the canoe/kayak hybrid design types.

Still have questions? You can leave a comment here or shoot us an e-mail to and we’ll be glad to help!

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.