GLSKS 2015 Dates Announced!

July 22nd, 2014 Comments off

 

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Thank you to everyone who made this years symposium so special!  There will be a recap of the event coming up soon but we wanted to get next years dates out so folks can start to make plans.  The 2015 GLSKS will take place July 16th-19th

This great birds eye view of GLSKS was provided by Pete Kuhn

 

 

 

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Lunch Box Lecture Update!

July 13th, 2014 Comments off
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We are now entering the final stretch and putting the final touches on the symposium!  Don’t forget there is no need to stop learning during your lunch break….join us each day for a variety of interesting Lunch Box Lectures.  We’ll bring the information you bring your sack lunch!

 

  • Dick Silberman- “Kayaking secrets for intermediate paddlers”
  • Zorbari and Fred (from the GGP)- “Grand Island Expedition Report” from their trip to Grand Island last month.
  •  Pete Kuhn- “Packing your kayak for a trip”
  • Bill Thompson- “Knots for paddlers”
  • David Feucht – “Layering for cold water”
  • TBA- Buying A New Boat- “Get It Right The First Time”
  • Danny Mogno- “Choosing The Perfect Paddle”
  • Jeremy Vore- ” “Repairs in the Field”
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Stan Chladek

July 6th, 2014 Comments off

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You may have heard stories about a mad Czech who kayaks the Great Lakes, for the stories range far and wide. There are tales of storm-tossed crossings, Winter expeditions, Spring descents of Canadian rivers that turned the front half of a whitewater boat inside out, three-piece kayaks and far-off destinations, brown bears, and much more. So much more, in fact, that the stories seem impossible. But, they’re true. The mad Czech is actually a man named Stan Chladek who divides his time between Southeastern Michigan, Colorado, and many wilderness camps around the world. Stan and his wife, Ema, are both former whitewater world champions who moved to the United States after their European careers ended. After finding themselves in the Detroit area where Ema worked as an engineer, Stan opened Great River Outfitters and began importing British sea kayaks into North America. Stan, Ema, and Great River Outfitters planted the seeds of what has become today’s Great Lakes sea kayaking community and most Great Lakes paddlers can trace their lineage to them through instructors, mentors, and the various gatherings and events on our shores. Indeed, Stan and Ema are the founders of the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium, which is now in its 30th consecutive year and the oldest paddlesport symposium in North America.

As the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium celebrates its history and the vibrant community of paddlers who gather in the Grand Marais Harbor every July, a special invitation was extended to Stan and Ema to join us once again. Fittingly, Stan declined because he already had plans to paddle the West Coast in sea kayaks and sneak in some Western white water on the way there. But, even without a physical presence, we will all remember our roots this year and keel Stan and Ema in our thoughts as we bask in a mid-Summer weekend on the shores of Lake Superior. And, maybe, if Lake Superior throws her waters against the beach and the roar of the surf can be heard from the Rec Center, you might see a Valley Canoe Products Nordkapp HM with an inlay of the great horned lynx, Mishipeshu, being paddled by a wild man who laughs as his kayak bobs in the waves. After all, it would be just one more story to tell about the mad Czech who gave us all a reason to be here…

Jeremy Vore

 

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A legend in the watersports world,  few kayakers of any age could match the paddling résumé of Stan Chladek.  Chladek’s adventures have taken him to waters in North America, Europe, Australia and Antarctica, but it was his 1999 circumnavigation of Easter Island with fellow paddler Nigel Dennis, a first for sea-kayakers, that solidified his status in the paddling world.

We are very proud of the GLSKS heritage and are forever grateful for the hard work and foresight that Stan and Ema Chladek contributed!

 

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Who Wants Some Cash?

June 17th, 2014 Comments off

We are really getting excited for the up coming GLSKS!  We have 90 participants signed up and ready to learn from some of the greatest coaches on the planet!
Here the deal:  We would really like to hit the 100 mark for participants so we have come up with an idea to try to make it happen.  All you have to do is recruit a participant to sign up for the GLSKS and if they use your name as a referral- you will get a $50.00 gift card to Down Wind Sports!  If we reach the 100 mark (only 10 more participants) we will enter all of the referral and new participants names into a drawing for a FREE Werner carbon paddle!  Participants must register between 6-18-14 and 7-14-14

 


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BCU WEEK!

June 15th, 2014 Comments off

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We are excited to announce the return of BCU Week! July 13-16th

 

Scott Fairty of The Power of Water (www.thepowerofwater.net) and Alec and Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin of Have Kayaks, Will Travel (www.havekayakswilltravel.com) are offering a series of BCU Skills Trainings and Assessments from Sunday, July 13 through Wednesday, July 16.

 

Here is what is being offered:

BCU 2 Star training and assessment on Sunday, July 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A two-star paddler demonstrates fundamental paddlesport skills in canoe and kayak on flat water, creating the desired movement of the boat and understanding how the paddle, boat and water interact. This award is a great way to build and benchmark your skills. Come find out why the best kayakers also paddle canoes! The 2 Star is also a prerequisite for anyone considering becoming a UKCC Coach Level 1.

Foundation Safety & Rescue Training (FSRT) on Monday, July 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This course – which is a training and assessment in one – teaches safety and rescue skills in a variety of craft. Learn to empty a swamped canoe, identify and avoid common hazards, communicate clearly on the water and more. This award is a great way to attain the knowledge and skills to keep yourself and others safe on the water. It’s also a prerequisite for anyone considering becoming a UKCC Coach Level 1.

BCU 3 Star kayak training on Tuesday, July 15

A three-star award is craft-specific. This 3 Star kayak training focuses on the skill, understanding and knowledge necessary to be a contributing member of a group journeying in a moderate tidal environment. Many trips require participants to be at a 3 Star level; this is the course that will enable you understand and work toward attaining that award.

BCU 3 Star kayak assessment on Wednesday, July 16

For those who are ready to assess, conditions permitting.

 

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For more information or to sign up for the courses, please visit the Power Of Water website at www.thepowerofwater.net/calendar/ and scroll to July.

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Coaches Profile- Danny Mongno

June 13th, 2014 Comments off

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Sometimes I look back in time and wonder how I met this crazy friend of mine. Our paths crossed during of all things….a kayak symposium in Bayfield Wisconsin, and the rest is history.  Danny exudes a palpable sense of self-confidence and positive energy and is one of the finest coaches in the country.  Besides being a damn fine coach- Danny’s “day job” is with the family owned business of Werner Paddles.  During the GLSKS, Werner Paddles will offer a unique opportunity to demo paddle one of the finest kayaking paddles on the market.  How do you get in on this deal?  Look for Danny sometime during the event and he will personally fit you with the Werner paddle that will best fit your paddling needs!

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If you have never met Danny, or have never taken a course from him- do yourself a favor.  Sign up for this and hang on….it will be a wild, wonderful learning experience!

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Danny Mongno

“Werner Paddles has given me the opportunity to do what I love for a living and a day does not go by that I am not thankful.”  It is quite the lifestyle as Danny, now 39 years old, paddles most every day spending 8 months a year living in the Werner rig.  Keep an eye out for him when he swings through your town on the running trail, SUP race, local surf spot or anywhere else paddlers gather.  Bar stools not excluded.

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Bomber Gear- A Big Presence At This Years GLSKS!

June 2nd, 2014 Comments off

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It’s cutting loose and taking off. Chasing a dream. Finding your passion. And making the most of your journey with the best gear possible.  With this years cold water being safe and comfortable on the water is a high priority.  We are so excited to announce that Bomber Gear has made a huge commitment to the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium and to the Gitchi Gumee Project.  This year when cold weather gear will be so important Bomber Gear is supplying demo gear for all of the GGP participants to use and to follow their dreams.

We are also excited to announce that we will have the largest selection of Bomber Gear ever at the GLSKS headquarters for all of our participants to check out.  Word on the street is that there will be a limited supply of demo Bomber Gear as well!

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BOMBER GEAR

Adventure. At Bomber Gear, that’s what we live for. And making the most innovative and technically advanced kayaking equipment in the world. Our journey started back in 1992, when an expert caver, ice climber and kayaker bought his first sewing machine. His name was Rick Franken. And he and a small group of adventure-seeking friends needed better gear. Better gear that let them push the limits and perform at their best while staying warm, dry and comfortable. So Rick set himself a challenge: To design and manufacture task-specific paddling gear that worked for everyone from playboaters to sea kayakers. When Rick put down his paddle and took up a needle, he discovered that his passion for the sport fed a passion for design and construction. He had big ideas and a flair for invention. But he also knew that what he put down on paper had to work on water. And every time a design met his exacting standards, he drove himself to make it even better.

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That’s why today, decades later, our material bonding techniques set the standard for the industry. And our exclusive Sub-Screen technology makes the K-Bomb the driest spray skirt on the water. That’s why Bomber Gear endures season after season. Feels so good. Looks so good. And, very simply, works. Because adventure is out there. And the last thing that should hold you back is your gear.

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A super duper big thanks goes out to Bomber Gear and Edith Nelson for helping to get some of the best gear made out to our symposium so everyone can continue to follow their passion and dreams and to be safe on the Great Lakes this year.  Interested in seeing what Bomber is all about?  Check them out here to get a preview of what will be at the symposium!

 

 

 

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A Full Day Of Kayak Training On The Warm Grand Sable Lake!

May 28th, 2014 Comments off

Rotate, draw, skulls.

Cowboy, Eskimo, or T.

Paddles float v. Paddle floats.

What in the world does all this have to do with kayaking? Everything, and this full day of kayak training at the beautiful (and much warmer) Grand Sable Lake will explain this while bringing the total beginner or slightly experienced paddler who has not taken any formal training, up to a point where you (and those who care about you) can feel safe as you paddle Michigan waters. This camp will give you great basic skills to groom and fine tune during the rest of the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium, allowing you to improve as a paddler and in turn expand your horizons and your kayaking experiences. Instruction is presented in many ways so all types of learners gain new skills, and always with patience and understanding of each participant’s particular needs. During the day we will learn and practice; °  Paddle Strokes °  Rescues °  Safety °  Fun Kayak Games °  Where and When to Paddle – And Where and When Not to Paddle °  What to Always Have with You When You Paddle

Perfect for beginners and teens and is Included in your registration fee!

Join the fun Thursday 9am and meet at the Community Center

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Coaches Profile- Dave Olson

May 5th, 2014 Comments off
Dave Olsen preaching the gospel at the rolling beach

Dave Olsen preaching the gospel at the rolling beach

 Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.

“Superior is a sea. It breeds storms and rain and fog like the sea….It is wild, masterful, and dreaded”

-Rev.George Grant, 1872

 

Hailing from Minnnnesoooota, the land of 10,000 lakes, professional wrestler Jesse Ventura, and the Mall of America, is our good friend and coach extraodinaire Dave Olson.  A huge supporter of the GLSKS, Dave is a person who loves sharing his passion for kayaking, Lake Superior, and the outdoors with others.  Dave is a level 3 American Canoe Association kayak instructor.

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When not instructing one of our courses, Dave can be found “in the right spot at the right time” as can be seen in these photos!  It’s always a pleasure to have Dave helping us out during the weekend and having the opportunity to hear of his latest adventures.

 

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Dave Olson

My folks took me to the north shore of Lake Superior for the first time when I was about 7 years old. Towering rock cliffs, ore freighters, crystal clear water that I couldn’t see across and I was hooked. When I began sea kayaking Gitchee Gumee in 1997 I instinctively knew it was the perfect way to interact with the lake. I haven’t looked back since. You can keep up with all things Dave at his blog:  The Lake is the Boss

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Werner Paddles Presents: Danny Mongno’s Rough Water Skills Progression Thursday July 17th

April 30th, 2014 Comments off

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Werner Paddles Presents: Danny Mongno’s Rough Water Skills Progression Thursday July 17th

Prior to embarking on a journey that could lead you into more challenging, rougher, waters a solid base of both mental and physical skills are required. Spend the day with our coaches as we look at the core skills needed to be physically successful in advanced conditions while making the correct decisions to keep you and the group from harm’s way, or deal with the situation if trouble should occur. Class will start in calm water and progress through-out the day depending on the comfort level of the group. This will be an all-day class that may take you away from the bay. Plan to have lunch and warm clothes. Immersion is guaranteed and practice with rescue scenarios is certain, so be prepared with the gear you have for these situations and a helmet is not a bad idea either. A roll is not required but an open mind to be rescued in bumpy water is.

 

Sometimes I look back in time and wonder how I met this crazy friend of mine. Our paths crossed during of all things….a kayak symposium, and the rest is history.  Danny exudes a palpable sense of self-confidence and positive energy and is one of the finest coaches in the country.  If you have never met him, or have never taken a course from him- do yourself a favor.  Sign up for this and hang on….it will be a wild, wonderful learning experience!

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Danny Mongno

“Werner Paddles has given me the opportunity to do what I love for a living and a day does not go by that I am not thankful.”  It is quite the lifestyle as Danny, now 39 years old, paddles most every day spending 8 months a year living in the Werner rig.  Keep an eye out for him when he swings through your town on the running trail, SUP race, local surf spot or anywhere else paddlers gather.  Bar stools not excluded.

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