Letting go to the Colorado

By Max Finkelstein and Constance Downes There is a moment when all talk stops. The water is glassy smooth, inexorably pulling the raft into the ‘V’ towards a thin line where the river seems to end. A few wrinkles appear in the surface of the water as the raft accelerates smoothly. All discussion is over. There is no going back now. The mind-deafening roar of the rapids inexplicably fades away. There is just you and the river. This is our favorite moment. Twenty-six years. That’s how long it took to get a permit to run the Colorado River. Permits for […] Read More

Tokyo 2020-one Olympians talk about their sport journeys and lifestyles

Florence Maheu, Cameron Smedley and Michael Tayler The three first slalom Canadian athletes selected for the next Olympic games, talk about their training, lifestyles, and paddling journeys. Interview conducted by Anthony Colin. Do you have any favorite quotes or songs to motivate you? Florence – Any songs that I like at the moment. I will add to my playlist for when I warm up or when I analyze the course. My favorite quote before I race: just paddle like you’re training. I try to put aside the race and just focus on paddling like it was any other training session […] Read More

A Letter From Hugh Fisher to the National Team

On March 22, 2020 The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), backed by their Athletes’ Commissions, National Sports Organizations and the Government of Canada, made the difficult decision to not send Canadian teams to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Olympian Hugh Fisher penned this letter to the Canadian Canoe Kayak National Team.

Pioneers of Whitewater: Hermann and Christa Kerckhoff’s Story

By Jacques Bourbeau Pristine waters coursing through river beds nestled in the coarse rock of the Canadian Shield. The thunderous sound of rushing water, foaming and swirling. The sun reflecting off the river, throwing off diamond-like glitter. Drifting downriver, watching a giant blue heron lazily take flight. The thrill and exhilaration of paddling a canoe or kayak through rapids, plunging through pillowy mounds of water. This is the world of whitewater paddlers. A world that thousands of people have been introduced to, thanks to the pioneering efforts of Hermann and Christa Kerckhoff. Born in Germany, Hermann and Christa emigrated to […] Read More

Canoeing to Concordia

By Isaac and Max Finkelstein My Dad says that just about everything he has ever learned, he learned from a river (well, and from our mothers). So when it came time for me to head back to school after a summer guiding rafts on the Ottawa River, it just made sense to follow that same river from our home in Ottawa to Concordia University in Montreal. When my parents came to visit me at my summer job (they actually paddled there from their home in Ottawa), I had a crazy idea.  “You know, Papa, we should paddle back to school.” […] Read More

THE BURGEE – A closer examination of Canada’s top prize in canoe kayak club supremacy

By: Liam Birch While Canoe Kayak Canada (formerly the Canadian Canoe Association) can boast 119 years of excellence and dedication to the sport of sprint canoeing in Canada, not all aspects of the Association’s history can claim the same duration. Here is a deeper look into when certain traditions and items were introduced to the National Championships regatta. THE CHAMPION The very first championships in 1900, hosted by the Bohemian Amateur Aquatic Association on the St. Lawrence River in Brockville, Ontario, only ever intended to determine the best competitor in each event, not the best club in the country. As […] Read More

Paddling Goes Full Circle

By: Andrea Waters (Corbin) Orenda Canoe Club was founded in 1977. I began paddling in 1980 at the age of eight at this small grass-roots club in Lake Echo, Nova Scotia. Who knew that 4 years later I would be winning my first medal at Nationals and Orenda would be making their mark on the national stage? Orenda Canoe Club would finish in the top five at Nationals only a few years later (1985/86), and won the Nationals Championship Burgee in 1987, 1988, and 1989. These years marked my memories of childhood and forever ensured paddling would be a part […] Read More

Canoe Sport: A Lifelong Passion

My name is Peter Courtney. I am a 52 year-old husband, father and grandfather, a former competitive paddler, a life-long fan of the sport of Canoe-Kayak and I’m currently training to compete at the master’s level. I began paddling at the age of 13 when Sack-a-wa Canoe club opened its doors in 1979. Sackville Nova Scotia is a bedroom community just outside of Halifax with a population of approximately 30,000. Both of my parents grew up in Dartmouth and both paddled when they were young. Knowing the many benefits the sport offered, both physically and mentally, they encouraged us to […] Read More

William “Bill” Griffith – Olympian, Sports Entrepreneur and Musician

In 1972 Cobourg was once again represented at the Olympics. W.R. (Bill) Griffith competed at Munich, Germany in the XXth Olympiad, One-Person Canoe (C1) Whitewater Slalom. Bill’s love for the sport began when he was paddling with his Dad and Scout troop in Algonquin Park. Bill Griffith tells his own story: I remember an elderly paddler in Algonquin Park saying that if I ever tried whitewater paddling I would be hooked. A few years later, in 1969, I transferred from the University of Waterloo to the University of Washington in Seattle, Wa., to study Aero and Astro Engineering. Once there […] Read More

What is Team Red?

An Interview with James Cartwright, Anders Gustafsson and Ian Mortimer At the Annual Summit in Ottawa, this past December CKC Technical Leaders shared their concept of Team Red. The slide deck from that presentation is available here. Below is a Paddles Up Q & A about Team Red with Senior Manager Slalom High Performance and Coach Development, James Cartwright, Sprint National Team Head Coach, Anders Gustafsson, and Director of Development, Ian Mortimer, discussing Team Red. What is Team Red? Ian Mortimer: Team Red is the concept that we have adopted at a National level to focus our own thinking and approach […] Read More