Monday, December 31, 2007

Ion-Mask waterproofing technology

Mobile phone you can use in the shower

Soon there really will be no escape from mobile phones. They can be used on the world's highest mountains, on planes and even underground, but phone manufacturers now want customers to use their products underwater.

Electronics companies plan to use military technology, developed to protect soldiers from chemical attack, to make mobile telephones and other equipment waterproof.

Phones treated with the coating will be protected from moisture, rain and accidental immersion, according to the experts behind the technology. Tests have shown that treated phones can be used in wet environments without damage.

It could enable text addicts to use their devices in the shower. But it also means, of course, that you will have no excuse for refusing to take that early-morning call from your boss.

The technology involves an invisible coating that is chemically bonded to the surface of the instrument, repelling water and preventing it from seeping into the device where it could damage circuitry.

It has been developed by Ministry of Defence scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in Porton Down, Wilts. A spin-off company, P2i, is in discussions with three leading phone makers about using the coating, Ion-Mask, on their products.

"Mobile phones and MP3 players are too small to be fitted with seals to make them waterproof, so water inevitably can creep in," explained Ian Robins, a development director at P2i. "By making the surface repel water, we have been able to take devices that fail the normal… shower tests, and make them pass.

"Obviously, how waterproof a device is depends on design, but we can ensure that water doesn't seep through joins or small gaps. Some electronics companies want the individual components to be treated too, so they have a much greater level of protection."

The technology works by bonding a protective layer to the device using a plasma - a gas that has been electronically charged. The chemical properties of the layer allow it to repel water and oil. It was developed for treating soldiers' uniforms, so they would repel toxic vapours and liquids in a chemical or biological attack.

While Ion-Mask coating is still used on military gear, it will soon appear in sports equipment for the first time. The shoe giant Hi-Tec has announced that it is launching a range of footwear that will be treated with the Ion-Mask technology.

Rather than absorbing water and dirt, moisture will instead bead off the surface of the specially-designed shoes.

For electronic devices, protection from water is also important. Water damage is one of the top reasons for insurance claims on mobiles, with more than 1.2 million being dropped in lavatories, drinks or put through washing machines last year.

A spokesman for Carphone Warehouse, the UK's largest mobile phone retailer, said: "Most owners are looking for fashion and functionality when they buy a phone, but if it was waterproof too, it could provide a unique selling point."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Kayaking Links

Kayak Wiki


Baidarka or Iqyak

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Canoe Instructor Development

American Canoe Association
Canoe Instructor Development
Workshop and Certification Exam (IDW/ICE)

When: May 9, 10, & 11, 2008
Where: Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI
What: Instructor Development Workshop and Certification Exam

{for paddlers interested in being certified as ACA instructors}

●To become certified as an instructor you must be
at least 18 years of age and complete both the IDW and ICE.
You must also be an ACA member ($40/year)
and maintain your SEI Dues ($25/year).

3-day Instructor Development Workshop & Certification Exam

●ACA Member $270
Cost includes: SEI Dues, books, and materials

●Non-ACA Member $310
(Cost includes: ACA membership, books, and materials )

For More Information and Registration Materials:
Contact Dr. Lynn Dominguez at: or phone at (989) 774-7305

Registration requires a non-refundable $50 deposit by April 28th to reserve your seat and make sure we have your materials ready

Co-sponsored by the Recreation, Parks & Leisure Services Department at Central Michigan University

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Vibram® FiveFingers®

Vibram FiveFingers Named
A "Best Invention of 2007" By TIME Magazine
Monday, 12 November 2007

Vibram® FiveFingers®, a unique glove-styled shoe, was named one of the "Best Inventions of 2007" according to TIME magazine. All of the products named to TIME's list "represent the coolest stuff from the most innovative minds in the world," writes TIME managing editor Richard Stengel in his notes to readers in the November 12th, 2007 issue.

Originally developed as a "barefoot alternative" for sailing, climbing, and light trekking, FiveFingers footwear is quickly gaining popularity among runners; fitness enthusiasts; yoga and Pilates practitioners; martial artists; surfers; kayakers; hikers and travelers. This amazing footwear alternative offers all the health benefits of going barefoot with the protection and grip of a Vibram sole.

Technology writer Lev Grossman and his team of TIME writers and editors, chose 45 of their favorite inventions and 17 clever reinventions of everyday items. Vibram FiveFingers was touted as "Reinvented: The Sandal" in the Health section.

TIME continued, "With a rubber sole contoured to the shape of your foot and a separate pocket for every toe, the Vibram FiveFingers shoe feels like going barefoot without the calluses."

"We are thrilled and honored to make TIME's Best Inventions list," said Tony Post, president & CEO, Vibram USA. "It's exciting to have the world's leading news magazine recognize our passionate commitment to product innovation and the many health benefits of wearing Vibram FiveFingers."

FiveFingers add a unique sense of feel to any activity, putting the user more in touch with their body and their surrounding environment. Wearing FiveFingers not only strengthens muscles in the feet and lower legs, it can improve one's balance, agility, posture, range of motion, and general foot health.

Currently offered in three models, Classic, Sprint and Surge, FiveFingers is available in men's sizes 41 to 47 (8 to 14) and women's sizes 36 to 42 (5 to 11.5) and ranges in price from $70 to $100. In 2008 two new models, the KSO and Flow, will be launched. Each style features a patented, non-marking Vibram outsole designed to follow the contours and flex points of the foot and toes with razor-siping for a sure grip on wet, slippery surfaces. The inner footbed utilizes the AEGIS Microbe Shield® application that kills odor-causing microbes without any adverse environmental impact.

Vibram® is recognized worldwide as the leader in high performance soles for outdoor, recreational, work and fashion footwear and is relied on by the world's greatest climbers and athletes. Vibram® soles have set the standard since Vitale Bramani created mountaineering's first rubber lugged sole in the late 1930's. Vibram® soles have gone on to conquer Mt. Everest, K2 and a host of the world's tallest peaks. Today, the company works with premium brands including Danner, La Sportiva, Lowa, Merrell, Red Wing, Scarpa, The North Face, Timberland, Vasque, Wolverine and many more. For further information please visit or

Originally disovered by me at

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pre-planning all outdoor trips

Just a little reminder to dress properly
- carry spare dry clothes in dry bags.
Let people know where you went and when you'll return.

CELL PHONES - They DO NOT work everywhere !!!
(rely on yourself, not other people)

Basic essentials :

- Drinking water
- shelter rain-gear
- flashlight (spare batteries and bulb)
- fire starters (various kinds if one fails)
- map
- compass
- knife
- basic first aid
- food ( things that don't easily spoil )
- signaling equipment (whistle, mirror, flare, fire/smoke)

Be prepared - prevent accidents

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Canoe Video on Shiawassee

Autumn paddle on the Shiawassee River Oct 22, 2007
- launching from WaterWorks Park in Holly,MI
and traveling 7 miles of numerous twists and turns,
finally taking out at Strom Park in Fenton,MI.

We saw geese, ducks, swans and even a large green Bullfrog.
The video shows how the river quietly meanders about,
being narrow in some sections while widening out in others.
The transitions from forest to marsh and back again show
the diversity in the watershed ecosystem.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

2006 Top 10 AA NiMH Batteries by Integrity

The real deal on rechargeable nickel metal hydride batteries used in Garmin GPS units, Petzl Duo Led 14 headlamps, CatEye OptiCube biking lamps, VHF radios, etc., etc.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

EcoTourism - DownRiver Rebirth in Detroit, Michigan

A great video explaining the wonderful paddling resources in the Detroit, Michigan area.

read more | digg story

Metropolitan Affairs Coalition (MAC)of Detroit, Michigan

Friday, October 19, 2007

Inter-Active Google Map for Shiawassee River

Click on the Map - It's interactive with your mouse.
All the buttons function - Zoom, Pan, Satellite, Hybrid, etc.

Just click and it works ! --Satellite view shows the river well.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Kayaking - Waterproof Digital Camera - Pentax Optio W30

* Waterproof down to 10 feet! - Perfect for kayakers, canoeists, paddlers of all sorts.* Excellent underwater image and movie quality - great for snorkeling, pools, bathtubs, etc.* Digital shake reduction - ideal for waves and surf which bounce the camera around. Marek Uliasz has an excellent web page for kayak photography, many tips, hints

read more | digg story

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Midpoint Landing on the Shiawassee River

The twisting headwaters of the Shiawassee River surprises people with it's beauty in OakLand County. The seven miles of the premier paddling river from Holly to Fenton seems like a long way for many paddlers. A mid-point landing is really needed for true optimal recreational enjoyment.

"Mighty 200" is the answer.
We are looking for 200 people willing to contribute $100 each
-- $25 each month for four months.
Together these donors will show their "might" by raising enough money to purchase an acre of land at Fish Lake Road.

Donation Link:

read more | digg story
Headwaters Trails Inc. is a non-profit group (501 c3)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Head Waters Trails Inc.

Headwaters Trails Inc. is a non-profit group dedicated to the construction of a trail network in North Western Oakland County's Headwaters region in Michigan. The group creates new recreational opportunities for residents and visitors. Contact Sue Julian 248.634.3523 ph. or sjulian @ for more info on projects.

read more | digg story

Friday, October 05, 2007

WaterWorks Park in Holly, Michigan

-WaterWorks Park -
602 South Broad St, Holly, MI 48442-1674
It's on Broad Street aka (Milford Road) in Holly,Michigan
Launch for Shiawassee River paddles between Holly & Fenton

read more | digg story

Paddle Video Shiawassee River Holly Fenton Michigan

Video of various scenes on the Shiawassee River along the 7 mile navigable canoe kayak waterway.Launched at WaterWorks Park on Broad Street in Holly, Michigan and the Take Out was at Strom Park in Fenton, Michigan.

read more | digg story

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Shiawassee River Map

New Link Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail Map of Shiawassee River between Holly and Fenton in Michigan used by both canoe paddlers and kayak paddlers

read more | digg story - -

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Kayaking along the Shiawassee

Tri County Times
Fenton, Michigan 48430

Kayaking along the Shiawassee

Shiawassee River - It was a beautiful, sunny day when I kayaked seven miles along the river with Susan Julian, vice president/president-elect of Headwaters Trails, Inc. After she provided me with some information about Headwaters Trails, Inc. and its activities, for another story, she asked me if I wanted to try kayaking.

The rest, as they say, is history.

We made the trip last Wednesday, during 80-degree weather. It was cool and pleasant, though, as we paddled from Waterworks Park in Holly to Strom Park in Fenton. Susan, who obviously knew the Top of the Shiawassee Canoe Trail well, pointed out when we left the Village of Holly, entered Holly Township, moved into Fenton Township and reached the millpond in Fenton.

The trip, which took us four hours, usually takes three or four hours to complete, she said.

Along the way, Susan collected seeds from native plants. These will be placed in Waterworks Park in Holly. Plants she pointed out included virgin's bower, turtlehead, smartweed, button bush, cardinal flower, nightshade - and poison ivy.

The poison ivy had wound itself around some trees where we left the kayaks to go around a beaver dam. We took turns using a paddle to balance as we walked along the surprisingly sturdy dam, avoiding the poison ivy vine.

Susan said people are allowed to clear a notch in a beaver dam so canoes and kayaks can pass through. The notch can't be so large that it disrupts the beavers. Beavers often build right over the notch again in two or three days, or even the next day.

Beaver dams can cause flooding and change the course of a river, she said. She pointed out an area where the river's course had moved by 100 feet because of a dam.

In the area frequented by beavers, we saw floating twigs and tree trunks where the animals had stripped the bark off to eat it. They also made "slides" where they enter and leave the river at its edge.

We saw a beaver at one point, swimming across the water in front of us. We knew it was a beaver because of its size. Susan also said muskrats swim more smoothly. When I developed my film from the trip, I could see the animal's large tail.

Our trip took us through woods, marshes, Haddon Lake and the Fenton Millpond. We heard deer moving in the woods, and a couple of spiders hitched a ride in the kayak I was using. The spiders joined me after I floated into tree branches at the edge of the river. Kayaking is not, for the record, as easy as it looks, but it is a lot of fun.

The important thing to do when the kayak floats into overhanging tree branches is not to panic and unbalance it. Kayaks are very stable when you are sitting in the middle of them. Pushing off from a tree, or using the paddle, will take the kayaker away from the edge again.

We went through some culverts and under a bridge or two. The kayaks got stuck every now and then on a sandbar or a rock, or even a large tree branch that had fallen in the river.

I really appreciated all of the hard work Headwaters Trails, Inc. members and other volunteers did to clear a path through the river after the Aug. 24 tornado. Susan took photos as we floated along of more projects that needed attention.

There was a large tire discarded in one area, piles of debris from fallen trees and a rock in a bad place at the other side of a culvert. Susan said moving a large rock is relatively easy, when using the motion of the river to carry it along. Unfortunately, the motion of the river can move rocks back where people don't want them.

We saw an area where the emerald ash borer had turned a leafy canopy into a bunch of barren, dead tree trunks. The dead ash trees were still standing after the tornado because they didn't have leaves to catch in the wind. A lot of healthy trees blew over, because of their leaves.

The toughest part of the trip was getting across the beaver dams. With most of them, we were able to push, pull and scoot our way over without leaving the kayaks.

The Shiawassee River where we traveled is pretty shallow. Deeper areas are located where it narrows, Susan said. The river mostly stays the same depth, according to measurements that have been taken.

We startled some large herons that were fishing in the river, watching them fly off with their long legs dangling. A pair of them were roosting in a tree on the edge of the Fenton Millpond. And when we got close to Strom Park, it was like a scene out of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" when the flock of ducks started flying away.


Having now kayaked, I made these observations:

* Seven miles is a lot longer than it seems.

* Susan is a very patient person.

* Beavers don't seem as cute and unique after you have struggled to make your way over several of their dams.

* Taking photos while kayaking can land you in the tree branches at the edge of the river.

* If you haven't ever kayaked before, you will likely have some sore muscles the next day.

* I am "hooked." Kayaking is really fun and I want to get one so I can go paddling some more.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Canoeing in Color - Oct.6 - 1:00 pm

Canoeing in Color,
- co-sponsored by North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy
Come out and experience a wonderful fall paddle

Maps : see LINKS section (right hand column of blog)
  • MAP of Shiawassee River

  • Date : October 6th

    Time : Launch at 1:00 pm in the water (arrive early to set-up)

    Launch : WaterWorks Park on Broad Street in Holly, Michigan

    Take-Out : Strom Park in Fenton, Michigan

    Contact : Sue Julian e-mail ........


    Bring your own canoe or kayak or
    call Heavner Canoes at 248-685-2379 to rent one.

    Return trip transportation will be provided free.

    For more detailed information
    just call Sue at 248-634-3513.
    An RSVP is appreciated by phone or e-mail at

    Friday, September 14, 2007

    Other Trip Reports from Paddling.Net

    Shaiwassee RiverReport

    Type: Destination Report
    Nearest City: Linden, MI
    Difficulty: Easy

    Description:I put in at the Mill Pond in downtown historic Linden. I paddled east against a slow current. The water is clear and you can see many Bass and Panfish.
    Leaving the mill pond you enter the river and can paddle about 2 miles. On this stretch of the river there is abundant fish and shore wildlife. There are very few homes at this time.
    Once through the river you enter into Tupper Lake. The river picks up again on the east side of Tupper Lake and in a short distance you will be in Lake Ponehma. The trip back to the landing is enjoyable going with the current. Great after-work paddle or extend all day by exploring Lake Ponehma.
    Accommodations:Restaurants and shops in Linden
    Directions:US23 North to Silver Lake Rd exit. West on Silver Lake Rd. to downtown Linden. On the North side of main street is the mill pond.

    Shaiwassee RiverReport

    Type: Day Trip Report
    Trip Dates: July 2005

    Nearest City: Durand, MI
    Difficulty: Easy
    Submitted by: Mike Willits

    Description:I found a river close to home(45min from Highland Mi.)that reminds me of many rivers up north.Not many houses or people and lots of wild animals(Deer, Beaver, Turkeys, Mink, Ducks, Geese, Turtles, Fish, & on and on). I went on a 4hr trip with Cheff's canoe rental and can't wait to go on their 6hr trip. If you like an almost wilderness experience that's close to the Detroit area then this is it. There's even a campground(Walnut Hills) on the river. The people at Cheff's canoe rental were really nice they even get you into your canoe and started down the river(that's a first). I'm going the end of May 2006 and will update everyone.

    Fees:$30 for a 2 hr trip and $1 for parking

    Directions:I-69 to the Durand Exit, South on M-71 to Durand rd., South on Durand Rd. to Cole Rd., West on Cole Rd to Reed Rd., South on Reed Rd. to Walnut Hills campground.

    Contact : Cheff's Canoe Rental : 1-989-288-7067
    Walnut Hills Campground : 866-634-9782 (open 4/15 to 10/15)

    Thursday, September 06, 2007

    Greg Barton Paddling Technique

    Greg Barton Paddling Technique
    - Olympic Medalist/World Champion/Kayak Marathon Champion

    Original Link:

    Most of this article applies to WING PADDLES

    The Catch - At the catch, you want to have your body rotated out, which means that your knee on the side away from the stroke should be pushed down almost straight. You should be rotating from the hips, too, not just from the upper shoulders while keeping your hips straight. Your bottom arm should be nearly straight, but like the leg, not locked out. Being locked out can be a dangerous position with which to enter the water. The shock can hurt your elbows or shoulders. The push elbow should be bent, but never more than 90 degrees and usually a good deal straighter than that. This differs from stroking with the traditional paddle. With the traditional paddle, you needed to bend your lower elbow at the end of the stroke much more in order to keep the paddle close to the side of the boat and yet not go too deep. So when you exited the water, the exiting hand was closer to the side of the boat than with the wing. This meant that as this hand came up and became the pushing hand of the next stroke, it started out close to the head. By way of contrast, the wing stroke goes out to the side, so you finish a stroke with the exiting hand further from the side of the boat, and thus starting as the push hand in the next stroke further away from the head. This enables you to keep your top arm much straighter both during the pull-through and the push, which is good because it enables you to use your back more and your arms less.

    The most important thing at the catch is to get the blade in the water as quickly as possible and bury the entire blade - but no more than that - before you start pulling back on it. Barton sometimes puts pieces of red tape at the tops of his blades so when he looks at a video of himself he can judge whether he is at the right depth. This results in a top arm push at eye level. ''This is what I learned years ago," he said. "Then, in the late 70's and early 80's, a lot of people, especially the Soviets and East Germans, tended to push out at shoulder level. But when the wing appeared, top arms started going back up again."

    Initiating The Catch
    To initiate the catch, the paddler should use both arms to push the paddle down into the water. “To me the catch is like spearing the water and a lot of it is done with the top arm." As he inserts the paddle into the water, Barton brings his top hand forward a little bit to help get a good, clean catch. It is important to insert the blade as close to the side of the boat as possible for three reasons:
    1) it makes the paddle more vertical, as viewed from the front;
    2) since the wing paddle moves sideways from the boat, a wider start a wider finish, which isn't good -it's easier to pull when the paddle is closer to the boat;
    3) the closer the paddle is to the boat's center line, the less it will cause the boat to yaw.

    The Pull-Through
    Barton appears to execute the pull-through almost entirely with the body and not the arms. He appears to plant the paddle when he is rotated completely out, and then simply holds the paddle in the desired vertical position while he unwinds his torso. It looks as though the arms simply provide a link between the paddle and the body. Once the catch has been initiated, he takes care not to push out too soon, or too much with the top arm. For Barton, the top arm push is about 25 percent of the force on the blade and the pulling about 75 percent. He thinks about using the top arm "almost as an anchor," as though the top arm was locked in place and he is pulling as hard as he can with all the muscles on the stroke side -back, shoulders, obliques, and arm. He lets the top arm almost stay stationary at this point because he is trying to get a "high pivot!' point on the shaft. What is a high pivot point? During the stroke, as seen from the side, there is a point on the shaft that does not move either forward or backwards during the stroke. It is the place where the top hand pushing the shaft forward merges into the bottom arm's pulling the paddle backwards. This is called the pivot point. If you were to put the paddle in the water and just push hard and not pull at all, you would have a very low pivot point. If you did the opposite - didn't push at all, and just pulled - you'd have a very high one. A high pivot point is desirable because it keeps the blade vertical longer .

    Pumping with the Legs
    Not only is he thrusting back with his leg on the stroke-side, Barton also is swaying his knees inboard and outboard to compensate for the shifting of his torso weight during rotation. As he rotates out for a stroke on the right, his knees sway to the left; as he rotates to the left, they sway to the right.

    Application of the Power
    When he takes a forward stroke, Barton thinks about the following things:
    I try to get maximum power on as soon as possible in the stroke, but you don't want to slap the water at the catch. That's really important, getting the blade in the water, instead of thinking about pulling back right away.
    Submerge it first, then pull on it, and then keep the power on evenly throughout the stroke.

    The Finish
    Barton believes you should start to take the blade out of the water when it passes your knees and it should be completely out of the water as it passes your hip. You need to think about the blade not getting buried too far in the water so you can avoid a problem with the release. This means possibly bending the bottom arm slightly to keep the blade at the required depth. 'This is not as critical as it was with the traditional paddle," Barton remarked, 'but you still need to think about it." He also thinks about "counter-rotating," which he picked up from his old coach, Andy Toro. Counter-rotating means continuing your rotation even after you're pulling the blade out of the water. You don't simply finish the stroke and abruptly pull the paddle out of the water. That causes a slight braking action on the boat. Instead, it is better to continue to rotate a little more even when the paddle is out of the water. That way you are sure not to stop the blade in the water.

    The Release
    The wing is both better and worse than the traditional paddle on the release. It is worse because it lifts more water at the release, due to its thicker size. Overall, though, it is better because of the way the blade moves out to the side. This way, you can keep the power on the blade right up to the end, even when you take it out (counter-rotate).

    The following describes how Barton thinks about his forward stroke:
    It helps if you think that someone has taken a series of poles and driven them into the water, down into the bottom on both sides of the boat, and you are able to grab each one and pull yourself by. Only take it a bit further and pretend that you've got this big old row boat that's out in front of you and you're actually suspended just above the water behind it, pushing it forward with your feet. So, you're grabbing this pole and trying to push the boat forward with your feet. And there's another pole on the other side and you do the same thing with that. If you think of it that way, it really helps to get the forward force on the legs. In paddling you have to transfer your power to the boat and the two places you are touching are your feet and the seat. But I think the forward force is coming almost entirely from your feet and your rear end is stationary.

    Thursday, August 23, 2007

    Cut -Away Kayak Paddling Video

    Notice that if you strive for maximum rotation of your shoulders,
    your legs will move up and down to help the body rotate further.

    ****Go here to watch a video demonstration: *****

    You can add even more power to your stroke by using your legs and hips.

    For a stroke on the right, start with your right knee slightly bent and as you pull through the water, extend/straighten this leg.
    - This pivots the right hip back in the seat and this hip rotation multiplies the rotation you can get with your shoulders.

    Better Kayaking Stroke Technique

    Taken from techniques and training.

    Spend short time - realize significant performance gains !

    Focused on five primary areas where most developing kayak paddlers need improvement to build efficiency. They are Rotation, a proper Elbow Lift with the top arm, the Catch, pushing with a bent elbow through the Power phase, and the Exit.

    Rotation is the single most important component to building a powerful and efficient stroke, but is the one that is most underutilized by paddlers. The concept is to use the large muscle groups of the back and abdomen to power the boat forward rather than the small muscle groups such as the biceps and triceps.
    People who have heard that rotation is important may feel like they have taken steps to use good rotation, but are still usually only rotating their upper torso rather than twisting from the base of the spine. One way to overcome this is to try to exaggerate your rotation on dry land.

    Try to exaggerate rotation, and reach with a relaxed front shoulder and arm. Feel the potential energy getting ready to explode from the abdomen. Note how the back arm is already in line with the wrist and shoulder (the chicken wing described below).

    Try to imagine a steel rod that runs through the top of your head to the base of the spine. Sitting on dry land in an upright position, try rotating back and forth along the length of your spine with your paddle resting on your shoulders. You should feel that same pull at the base of your spine when you are paddling. This is the only way you will employ the larger muscle groups during the stroke. You must be able to power the boat from the rotation of the hips as well as the back! It will also give you an idea of some of the muscle groups that are important to address when stretching before and after a workout.
    When you are learning to rotate, watch out for an exaggerated side-to-side rocking motion in your boat, which actually slows you down by making the boat bob up and down. If this is happening, you need to "quiet" your lower body.

    The Elbow lift (chicken wing)
    With your top arm, raise the elbow and wrist up as one horizontal unit, rather than leading with the wrist and letting the elbow following at a lower plane.
    Imagine a chicken raising a wing as a single unit.
    The key to the "chicken wing" is to align the joints of the shoulder, elbow and wrist so that they are ergonomically sound, as well as to lock in and transmit the rotational power from the torso to the paddle blade.
    -Imagine throwing a punch. To knock down the other guy, you would line up your elbow with your fist and shoulder to get the best horizontal power, whereas throwing a punch with the elbow lower than the wrist and shoulder would be little more effective than a slap to your opponent. You wouldn't do'd lose the fight! So don't do it when you paddle. Many paddlers who suffer from wrist tendonitis may be able to fix their problem by making sure their joints are aligned horizontally.

    The Catch
    This is the place where people lose the most efficiency. The kayak stroke is usually only about three feet long, and the key problem to overcome is to not allow your body to unrotate until the blade is completely buried in the water.
    -If you start to unwind AS you plant the blade, rather than before the blade is fully buried beneath the surface, you will unnecessarily lose several inches in the stroke length and lose a lot of power stored up in your rotation. These inches can add up to as much as an 18% loss in efficiency over the course of a race.

    Spearing the salmon: Transfer the consciousness of power from the bottom hand to the top, and slide the paddle in beside your toes. Pulling too early with the lower hand can mean critical inches lost in the stroke's length.
    -Timing during the catch is also very important. If you can pause just a millisecond and allow the paddle to be fully submerged before you pull on it with your lower hand, you will have much more power at the front one-third of the length of your stroke. The pause should be very short, yet fluid with the rest of your stroke.

    The best way to ensure the blade gets in the water as far forward as possible is to reallocate the energy from the lower hand to the top hand. If your top hand is sliding the blade in beside your toes, as if thrusting the blade in a spearing motion, the lower hand will not hurry the catch. Intuitively, one wants to start the blade in with the lower hand, which is something to overcome. Changing your attention to the top hand will also help you relax you lower hand, arm and shoulder, which can actually help extend your reach by a few more inches.

    Pushing with a Bent Elbow
    There are two rules that a lot of kayakers learn that are incorrect. They are that "you should punch forward down the center of the boat", straightening your arm, and that "your top hand should never cross over the center of the boat". These rules were fine in the days of arm paddling. But to be fast , you have to unlearn these two rules. So write them both down on a piece of paper, crumple the paper up, and toss them away forever.

    Just prior to the exit, your top arm should be bent ninety degrees, and you should be looking right across your forearm.

    -Pushing with a bent elbow is the part of the stroke that helps you take advantage of your rotation during the power phase. You want to push with your top hand as though you are throwing a crossing blow, elbow bent ninety degrees, with the stroke ending up with you looking just over the top of your forearm.
    When you incorrectly push straight ahead instead of pushing across, then the path of movement for the blade is an arcing movement that pushes up and down on the surface of the water, rather than down the long of axis of the boat. If you push straight ahead with your top hand, all you are doing is lifting water with the blade and pulling the boat down deeper--a huge impediment to efficiency.

    Imagine what the perfect paddling machine would look like: it would take the paddle, place it vertically in the water at the front of the boat, and pull it back along the long axis of the boat vertically the entire time the blade is in the water. Since we are human and limited by having to hold the shaft with two hands, pushing across the center line of the boat is the closest we can come to an ideal vertical blade position. Once again, It is okay to cross the center line with your top hand, and is key to transferring your rotational power to the blade.

    The Exit
    Most paddlers hold onto the exit too long and very few take it out too soon. The blade should come out of the water when your hand meets your hip. So imagine that you have a steel rod across your hips that extends on either side of the boat. Once your hand hits the rod (not the blade), then get the blade out of the water.
    The blade should come out effortlessly because this is the only split second of rest that the kayak stroke actually allows; don't make yourself work here!

    Imagine your hand hitting a steel rod jutting out sideways from your hip. Get the blade out quickly when your hand hits the rod.

    Let the blade come out where it "wants" to come out. Forcing the blade further than its natural exit zone wastes energy. If you are making the blade come back further in order to help set up rotation for the rotation and set-up for the next stroke, remember that you can more easily rotate with the blade out of the water than in it.

    Putting these components together takes some effort, and the mind works best when you slow the stroke down and think "rotation, catch, chicken wing, exit" as a tantric chant. Try concentrating on getting the technique down on one side, then the other, and then together in a fluid motion. In a very short time, you should see improvement in how much further you can go with far less energy output.

    Monday, August 20, 2007

    Paddle Stroke Manual

    Quiet Boat: Your boat should be steady and not move around (bobble). Whether your goal is to paddle straight ahead or create beautiful turns, smooth transitions while blending strokes, heel control and a solid boat is key to efficient paddling.

    Quiet Paddle: Your paddle should not create a lot of noise or splash. If it does, work on feeling how the paddle moves in the water and practice quietly. For most strokes, avoid pushing down on or lifting water. Make your paddle "stick" during the catch phase.

    C P R : All strokes have at least three parts: Catch, Power, Recovery. Some strokes have added parts : exit, transition, control, correction. But they all have a beginning middle and end... C.P.R.

    Move to the Paddle: The boat moves up to the paddle during a stroke. The paddle stays at the catch position.

    ** You are not pulling the paddle to you. **

    Power Stops at the Knee or Hip: During the forward stroke all power stops at the hip.

    Dynamic vs. Static: Dynamic strokes are when the boat is pulled toward or pushed away from the paddle, while during static strokes the paddle is planted and held firmly in place while the boat moves.

    Posture & Pelvis: By sitting up straight and balancing equally on your sitz bones, you create a strong pelvic base that will liberate your upper-body motion. Once your arms and legs are connected to a reliable center, tension decreases and flexibility improves.

    Nose and Navel Over The Centerline: Keep your nose and navel over the centerline of the kayak and you will stay upright. This position is important for good posture, balance, presentation and effective heeling. The eyes also help maintain balance…so maintain a well-aligned head and look up.

    Torso Rotation: Arms are connectors to the real source of power. Incorporate torso rotation into your strokes. The large torso muscles are an efficient source of power. Wind them up and use them.

    Stay in the Paddler’s Box: Keep arms and hands in front of the shoulder plane to create a "paddler’s box." By using torso rotation to maintain this position during strokes, power is maximized and shoulder safety is maintained.

    Breathing: Don’t hold your breath – let it go. Awareness of your breathing will help minimize tension, enhance the flow of your strokes and improve balance.

    Intention: Intention is the beginning of every movement. If you focus on a movement a split second before you initiate movement, the ensuing movement will be clearer. Visualize it, and then do it. Look where you want to go.

    Less is Usually More: Go for quality not quantity. Practice maneuvers, strokes, heeling and transitions slowly and precisely and then build up speed

    Sunday, August 19, 2007

    J Stroke Paddle Canoe Technique

    Watch the placement of the paddle and the body movements carefully.
    Notice I said body and not arm ? There is a reason why.

    The Basics of the Forward Stroke

    The first thing to know about efficient canoe paddling is that the most powerful muscles in the upper body are in the back and shoulders.

    The muscles of the arm such as the biceps and triceps are best used in a supporting role, not as the major movers.

    The arm muscles will tire long before the big muscles of the back.

    Thursday, August 02, 2007

    Capistrano flip canoe rescue

    Check out July 2007 "Canoe and Kayak" Magazine--
    Canoe Self-rescue with the Capistrano Flip--Written by Conor Mihell

    It will describe in detail what to do when
    a canoe is flipped on a large body of water.
    Step 1 - get under the boat in the air pocket
    Step 2 - synchronize with partner ( face each other)
    Step 3 - swim kick hard, use arms to lift boat
    Step 4 - flip boat keeping edges out of water
    Step 5 - partner holds boat steady for re-entry

    **see video clip below for a demonstration**



    Have fun this summer - -

    Wednesday, August 01, 2007

    Video - Technique to Right a Flipped Canoe and Re-Enter

    Additional Canoe Flip videos
    Title:--2007 SMAC Adventure Race--

    River Clean Up on August 11

    Shiawassee River Cleanup on August 11th, 2007 in Holly, Michigan

    The Shiawassee River needs your help!
    The river is shallow in August and it is the best time to work.

    On Saturday, August 11th, volunteers will meet at Waterworks Park,
    opposite the Mill Pond on Broad Street in Holly, MI at 9:00 am.

    Teams of people will depart from there to half a dozen river
    access points to remove trash and clear the river .
    Learn how to create new fish habitat and properly clean a river.

    This work is supported by a mini-grant
    from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality ( MDEQ )

    Please call 248-634-3513 to get an assignment and
    learn what tools to bring and clothing to wear.

    A light lunch will wrap-up the morning's clean-up.

    Thanks for volunteering! The Headwaters Trails Team

    Friday, June 15, 2007

    Lower Shiawassee River paddle

    Taken from June 2007 edition of Eddy Lines

    Lower Shiawassee River paddle
    The day started out cool and comfortable as we loaded two
    small recreational kayaks onto the truck for the trip out to
    Holly and the annual Shiawassee River Holly to Fenton pleasure
    paddle. Since this part of the river is very twisty with
    many quick turns and obstacles to navigate, Sharon and I decided
    to use short recreational kayaks instead of a canoe.
    However, if all goes well, next year we may enter the race
    that is run earlier in the day. Once we arrived in Holly and
    got out of the truck to register we were amazed at how cold it
    had become. While we were driving we naturally didn’t notice
    the temperature change but we certainly did as soon as
    we got out into the weather. Fortunately we had brought
    along extra gear. The short pants and T shirt were quickly
    replaced with fleece pants, warm shirt, fleece vest and jacket.
    I would have liked to have had my Chota boots used for winter
    paddling but did not even think about bringing them in the
    At the registration table we met Nikki who was volunteering
    for the event. Since she is recently from California the cold
    snap had her wishing for the warmth of California , but she
    kept on with her duties with no complaints. During registration
    we also noticed Laurie in the staging area getting ready
    to launch. After registering and receiving our free beer cup
    bailers we unloaded and made our way down to the launch
    area and got under way. As is usually the case, once under
    way with PFD on and the physical exertion of paddling we
    were soon heated up enough to start removing layers. The
    river is a fun paddle. There are many technical spots that test
    your paddling skills. The river is small and typically shallow
    in most parts of this seven mile run, but offers many different
    types of water from fast and narrow to the ponds that the beavers
    helped construct. Headwater’s Trail did a great job of
    marking the river so that you knew exactly where you were
    and having spotters staged at all the difficult to navigate areas
    such as the low bridges and to help line up boats for going
    through the tubes at the railroad bridge. If you haven’t tried
    this event before, bring a friend & get in on the fun next year!

    Tom Brandau

    Upper Shiawassee (N. Davisburg paddle)

    Taken from June 2007 Eddy Lines

    Upper Shiawassee north of Davisburg paddle
    On a pleasant Saturday morning Sharon and I met Mike Vlaikov to paddle the Upper Shiawassee north of Davisburg from Rattalee Lake Road through Rattalee Lake to the railroad bridge which crosses the river. Only a small culvert flows under the river where the railroad bridge crosses, much too small for any boat to get through, and we decided not to Portage over the railroad tracks. However, the paddle up to this point was just enough for the time we had for paddling that day.
    The river had many tight turns at the start and was good practice for Mike in his kayak. In our canoe with steering in both the bow and stern Sharon and I managed to navigate fairly well. It was good practice for all of us.
    This is very much a wetlands area and very grassy.
    The river winds through the area with a couple of islands and small lakes scattered about. One island in particular not too far from the end of our paddle near the railroad tracks worked well as a landmark. Since it was higher than the surrounding area with some trees growing it stood out well from the grasslands. When paddling
    the lakes seemed to suddenly appear from the grasslands and wisting river. We would then paddle to the far end seeking the continuing river that we knew would be there somewhere. Numerous muskrat dens were seen and a couple of muskrat, but no beaver. The water was surprisingly deep in the stream sections considering how narrow it was, and some small fish, probably trout, were seen. The fish were more in the beginning of the river near Rattalee Lake Road .
    On our return paddle the trip seemed to go quickly.
    We had the wind at our backs and even though we were paddling upstream the trip ended much too quickly. At the takeout there was a very green frog who seemed to like his picture taken and was just
    hanging around right where Mike needed to come in to get out of his boat. With a bit of prompting the frog finally moved out of the way so that Mike could come in and pack up his boat and gear for the trip home.

    Tom Brandau

    Thursday, June 07, 2007

    Flint Journal - Shiawassee River Article

    Thursday, June 07, 2007
    By Elizabeth Shaw

    HOLLY TWP. - Well, it's official: I would never, ever have won the Holly to Fenton Canoe Race.

    Two weeks after the third annual event on the Shiawassee River Water Heritage Trail, a group of us decided to explore the route.

    It took the four of us three hours to paddle our kayaks along the seven miles from WaterWorks Park in Holly to Strom Park in Fenton - a far cry from the hour-and-a-half pace set by competitors during the May 20 race.

    That's OK by me. My advice is to take even longer if you can. The view is worth the leisurely float.

    The well-maintained waterway is a pleasure to paddle, fairly easy for beginners with its shallow, slow-moving water that's mostly clear of deadfall and other obstacles.

    But there also are enough twists and turns to keep more experienced paddlers occupied, winding through an ever-changing panorama of backyard gardens, open marshlands and lushly shaded woods.

    This year the upstream end has seen huge improvements, thanks to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and REI Inc. of Troy.

    Paddlers now start the route at WaterWorks Park by carrying their boats from the gravel parking lot across the new wooden Charles Harding Mott II Footbridge and down a groomed path to the easy canoe launch site.

    I've been on stretches of the Shiawassee and Flint rivers where private landowners have refused to let volunteers clear fallen trees back to the shore, apparently in an effort to discourage paddling traffic.

    Not so here, where friendly riverside residents seem to welcome the chance to smile and wave.

    "Stay to the left going through the tunnel. The other side is all rocks," a homeowner warned as we drifted past his fence toward the metal culverts under Legrand Street, the first road crossing as the river heads north and west.

    Further on through the village, another couple waved down at us from their backyard deck.

    "The current picks up a little toward Fenton. It's not bad, but you wouldn't want to try paddling back upstream," the woman called out.

    We were lucky enough to reach the railroad bridge just in time to meet a freight train roaring overhead.

    "Hurry up! We're going to miss it!" my son Nate shouted, paddling furiously to reach the culverts. Just as he reached the bridge, the current caught and held his kayak as he tried to point it through the middle culvert. He was still turning his bow into the tunnel when my own kayak swept in and struck him broadside. Our laughter echoed off the sides of the metal tube as we glided through beneath the thundering train.

    Some of the best things weren't on the map at all, such as a beaver dam completely blocking the river near the halfway point. Not exactly white water, but a fun challenge nonetheless. One at a time, we pushed out and over the top of it like a slide made of sticks, our kayaks neatly dropping down to the water about two feet below. (Not to worry: There's also a portage ladder for those who'd rather get out and haul their boats across.)

    In a wide flooded marsh, a pair of swans stood guard over their cygnets as we slowly glided past.

    It wasn't even hard to keep our weary shoulders working through the wide, weed-choked millpond at the end. All it took was the thought of iced tea and sandwiches awaiting us at the French Laundry just a few short blocks walk away.

    Maybe somewhere else it's easy to take days like this for granted. But around here, it's only through the vision and hard work of individual volunteers that our waterways are slowly opening up into the recreational assets they deserve to be.

    In this case, the ones to thank are the volunteers and donors of Headwaters Trails, Inc., a nonprofit group dedicated to the construction of a complete land and water trail network in northwest Oakland County's headwaters region.

    The group recently received $25,000 from the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network to create interpretive signage, pointing out natural and cultural history as well as mileage and directions.

    Right now, they're trying to raise $20,000 to buy a one-acre parcel on Fish Lake Road to build a mid-point canoe landing.

    The much-needed landing will help keep paddlers off private land - right now there's nowhere to legally stop for a rest break - and offer a shorter option for those who don't have the time or energy for the entire seven-mile stretch.

    The Riverducks also are always seeking volunteers to help keep the route clear of obstructions

    Headwaters Trails Inc. meets at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month in the Holly village chambers, 315 S. Broad Street, Holly.

    The Riverducks volunteer to help clear obstructions from the river several times during each season.

    Donations are now being accepted for a new canoe landing at Fish Lake Road.

    To volunteer, join or donate, visit or call (248) 634-3513.

    Want to paddle?

    Join the Fenton Area Paddlers for a Sunday float at 2 p.m. at the west end of Holly Mill Pond at Holly WaterWorks Park, on Broad Street north of Rose Street. Details:

    Water wonders

    First-place winners of the third annual Holly to Fenton Canoe Race were:

    Expert Class: 1:20, Martin Spees of Flint and Jimmy Spaulding of Grand Blanc

    Novice/Youth Class: 1:21, Tim and Kurt Marth of Holly

    Kayak/Single-person canoe: 1:15:31, Ken Foss of Holly

    Pleasure paddle: 1:51, Bruce Lowe, Ben Lowe and Ben Curtis of Holly

    Friday, May 25, 2007

    Mileage Marker Map

    Mileage Markers along River
    (click for full size view)

    Sunday, April 29, 2007

    Take-Out in Fenton = Strom Park

    Strom Park at 299 South East Street, near the East Street Bridge.

    Heavners Canoe will have a van and trailer to shuttle boats back
    to the starting point at WaterWorks Park on Broad Street in Holly.

    A dam is located on the other side of the bridge.
    DO NOT paddle over the dam, the police station is only 100 ft away !

    Friday, April 27, 2007

    New Bridge & Canoe Launch

    Image hosted by
    by willi_h2o

    Click on picture to see all the photos

    Monday, April 09, 2007

    Registration for 2007 Race / Leisure Paddle

    Advance registration is preferred for the May 20, 2007 Paddle

    Entry Forms are available at :

    Onsite Registration begins at 10:00 am on May 20, 2007
    Waterworks Park in Holly, Michigan

    Thursday, March 29, 2007

    May 20 - Leisure Paddle and Race

    Holly to Fenton Canoe/Kayak Event

    a.) Leisure paddlers and families welcome

    b.) Canoes available for rental thru Heavners Canoe Rental
    who will be onsite that day with plenty of canoes for all that want to paddle


    Friday, January 19, 2007

    Paddle Event - May 20, 2007

    This years 7 mile race and leisure paddle
    on the Shiawassee River will take place
    on Sunday May 20, 2007 .

    Starting Point - WaterWorks Park in Holly
    TakeOut Point - Strom Park in Fenton, MI

    New for 2007 :
    A bridge and canoe/kayak launch

    For detailed maps, pics and video

    scroll down or check the archives.

    Friday, January 05, 2007

    Paddle on Shiawassee -- Jan 4, 2007

    On Thursday morning Doug Lanyk and I decided to paddle the 7 miles from Holly to Fenton along the Shiawassee River. The weather was a mix of clouds and sun with a little wind mixed in.
    Upon arrival at the put in next to WaterWorks Park in Holly we ran into 2 other kayakers ready to go. They had already staged their shuttle vehicle at Strom Park in Fenton.
    The bridge construction is underway and hopefully will be completed in time for the 2007 race. The bridge will be a huge help allowing people to easily launch canoes and kayaks from a little peninsula in the river.
    The Shiawassee has a large amount of marsh and wetlands that act as a sponge, moderating fluctuations in water levels. The beaver dams add another interesting component as the river finds new ways of winding between the trees.
    The full 7 miles of river is open and easily navigated with the exception of a few spots where a tree or two had fallen. We didn't have to portage at all on Thursday. A wonderfull day on the river.
    A late lunch at the French Laundry in Fenton was washed down with a few beers from their amazing selection of brews.
    Headwaters Trails is ramping up to promote and host Roz Savage in her one and ONLY stop in Michigan for a speaking engagement Saturday March 24, 2007 .

    Beaver Dam -- Jan 4, 2007

    Please click on image for larger picture

    Doug at beaverdam -- Jan 4, 2007

    Please click on image for larger picture

    Swollen riverbanks -- Jan 4, 2007

    Please click on image for larger picture

    Beautiful Marsh -- Jan 4, 2007

    Please click on image for larger picture

    Low Bridge -- Jan 4, 2007

    Please click on image for larger picture

    Wildlife -- Jan 4, 2007

    Please click on image for larger picture

    Bridge Waterworks Park --Jan 4, 2007

    Please click on image for larger picture

    Expected to be completed in time for the 2007 race !!

    2 Kayakers at Put-In -- Jan 4, 2007

    Please click on image for larger picture