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Jersey Paddler’s Paddlesport 2015 – Remix

March 30, 2015
Belly Rubs - $1.00

Belly Rubs – $1.00

$1 belly rubs? Greatest fund raiser ever. With a willing yellow lab “accomplice” lying there comfortably on a large sot dog bed, one of the exhibitors at Jersey Paddler’s Paddlesport 2015 show was raising donations for pet rescue with one dollar belly rubs! This was just one of the many memorable moments at this weekend’s show held at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, NJ.

It’s always so fun to be at the Paddlesport show. We lived in the Garden State for 9 years and it was the first paddlesports show we ever went to. Attending it is kind of like remembering your first kiss (or your first unexpected wet exit). It’s a community gathering, a paddling community gathering. Sure we would have all rather been on the water, but since we were there we might as well make the best of it. All the big companies were there with their goods and experts. NRS, Werner Paddles, Jackson Kayaks, Kokatat, Hobie, Johnson Outdoors, Thule, Confluence Outdoors, Bic Sport, EPIC kayaks (I spotted 12 time Molokai World Championships Surfski title holder and co-founder Oscar Chalupsky at the booth). Super fun to see all the gear and learn a ton. Thanks to Ken Driscoll, designer from Glide SUP, who gave us a nice education on SUP design.

Glide SUP booth

Glide SUP booth

Wilderness Systems Booth

Wilderness Systems Booth

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Oscar Chalupsky at the Epic Kayaks booth

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Friendly smiles at the entrance

Friendly smiles at the entrance

One of the cool things about #Paddlesport2015 is the pool on the exhibit hall floor. We got the chance to see Jackson Kayak ProStaffers Matt Trucks and Mark Wheeler demo some kayak fishing techniques.

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Jackson Kayak Pro Staffer Matt Trucks demonstrates paddling techniques unique to kayak fishing

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Virginia Beach native, Mark Wheeler, showing us how to make the hook up

 

We also got to see the “Kids in Kayaks in-water demo.”

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It’s always good to chat with Justine Curgenven. I always enjoy her sea kayak talks, but I couldn’t go because of the schedule of my talks didn’t work with her speaking schedule.Her new DVD “Kayaking the Aleutians” is great – if you don’t own it – you should buy it. Now, seriously. Click on the link and buy it. Now. Good. Now we can move on while you wait for it to be delivered.

“You’ll never guess who I ran into”

I presented two talks this year at Paddlesport. “Paddling Chincoteague” is one of my favorites and is always well attended. “Understanding Cold Water Immersion” is a newer talk for me and I’ve only presented it once before (at Canoecopia in Madison, Wisconsin). This talk was one I spent months researching and crafting back in 2013. At the time I felt “full” with all the newly acquired knowledge and ready to lay it out for the audience. I haven’t looked at it since and was so busy recently that I didn’t back to it until last week. I felt a little nervous heading in there, but I figured I had done a lot of work on it and I comforted myself with the thought that I had probably spent more time thinking about it and studying it than anyone who would be in the audience. The Metedeconk room cleared out from the previous talk at 10:50 am and I went in and got busy getting my laptop setup. Just as I finish fiddling with the AV setup, in walks a very familiar looking figure – tall, graying, distinguished looking. I immediately recognized him. Sure enough, it was the man Sea Kayaker Magazine featured in June 2009 as one of foremost authorities on keeping paddlers safe in cold water. A man who, according to the article I studied before my talk, is “an expert in the physiology of cold water immersion and outspoken advocate for cold water safety.” I thought I was dreaming but then, I saw it. There it was, hanging around his neck – the bright pink Paddlesport name badge with the name in bold black letters: “Chuck Sutherland – American Canoe Association.” WHAT? Dr. Charles Sutherland? PhD in endocrinology, multiple post doctoral fellowships in biochemistry and pharmacology Chuck Sutherland? Attending my talk on Cold Water Immersion? Good Grief Charlie Brown. That’s like Charles Lindbergh walking into your “Solo Crossings of the Atlantic” talk. It’s like Einstein walking into your physics talk. So much for the “spent more time studying it than anyone in the audience” idea. Whattya gonna do? I gave my presentation and I think it went well. Afterwards, we had a chance to talk and he was so pleased that this kind of thing is still going on. He understands the importance of disseminating the information more than just about anyone. It’s hard to get people to attend such a lecture who don’t already have an interest, but it is something that anyone who paddles needs to know. He gave me a copy of his most recent brochure and better yet, his email address so I could correspond with him. It was really a memorable moment – definitely the most memorable moment from this year’s show.

Dr Charles "Chuck" Sutherland - Cold Water Immersion Expert

Me with Dr. Charles “Chuck” Sutherland – Cold Water Immersion Expert

 

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Getting some pointers from Dr Sutherland after my talk. He was very encouraging and supportive.

 

Thanks to John and the entire Jersey Paddler family for hosting this wonderful event every year.

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