Recent Photos From ORS
- No public Twitter messages.
Tag Cloudadventures arctic birds brian british canada canoe cause columbia course discovery french gary doran gorge greenland gulf islands harbour henry how to island jacques kayak kayaking kayaks marathon mega yacht marina ocean ocean river adventures outrigger pacific paddling race river rolling sirois sports staff stand up paddling SUP surf vancouver vancouver island victoria victoria harbour wild
By Brian Henry | Published: October 29, 2012
Derek passed away on Oct. 10th 2012 and I heard a very few hours later.
He was one of the most amazing men. Frustrating, exciting and always interesting and most important to me, a friend of mine. He will be missed.
I will always remember the dinners together when Derek would tell the waitress that he was allergic to greens and not accept anything on his plate that was remotely healthy. I remember the time we were flying to a trade show together and we both had laughing fits that lasted about 20 minutes. The good stuff and the other stuff that went along with being a friend of Derek’s is what I remember. I enjoyed them all and will miss Derek.
I was lucky enough to have visited Derek in June when I was kayaking in the Scottish Hebrides and I drove to visit Derek at his home and even in poor health, we went out to the local pub and had dinner and a beer – it is a very good memory and one I am so glad I have.
Derek’s fight with cancer was a long one and I know he fought it all the way.
The below image is on of the many art pieces that Derek did as a figurehead for his famous Gulfstream kayak. This image is of a Dolphin and mermaid to represent the Gulfstream current that joins Europe and North America, to symbolize the collaboration of ours to produce his design in North America.
By admin | Published: October 4, 2012
Did you know that we get some of the biggest snowfalls in the world, right here on Vancouver Island? Ocean River is pleased to offer Avalanche and backcountry ski courses and tours.
This season, Ocean River will be selling a variety of services for the winter sports enthusiast, including:
Mount Washington ski tickets / passes
- Avalanche Skills Training One -
(AST 1) Mount Washington PRICE: $250.
A two day introductory Avalanche course that will give you the basics.
Dec 1-2, Dec 8-9, Dec 15-16, Dec 22,23
Don’t see a date that works, contact us
- Avalanche Skills Training Two -(AST 2) Mount Washington PRICE: $495.
A four-day course with 2 evening sessions. Pre-requisite is AST 1
Dec 7 – 10. Don’t see a date that works, contact us
Life After AST -a one-day back country tour for grads of AST1Mount Washington PRICE: $150.
Dec 22. Don’t see a date that works, contact us.
Backcountry Performance - $495
- Three 2 ½ hour lessons plus one full day of backcountry skiing with fully certified guide. With 2:1 ratioPick a date and call us to arrange.Powder Skiing opportunity:
TWO (2) TO FOUR (4) people needed to join an organized backcountry lodge based trip at Powder Creek LODGE - www.powdercreeklodge.com
IN THE PURCELL RANGE NORTH OF NELSON, BC. Cost per person ABOUT $2,250, SOMEWHAT LESS IF WE FILL THE LODGE. Includes helicopter in and out, lodging, TWO PROFESSIONAL GUIDES and all food – it also includes some of the best back country skiing in the world.
Brian and Rosemary Henry of Ocean River Sports will also be on the trip and there are FOUR more spots left – applicants must have experience back country skiing, have either Telemark or AT ski gear AND A MODERN TRANSCEIVER, PROBE AND SHOVEL. – Date Feb 16th to 23, 2012.
Contact JULIA BENT AT email@example.com IF YOU ARE INTERESTED.
By Peter@OceanRiver | Published: October 4, 2012
By Peter Lerch, retail manager at Ocean River Sports
Who would steal kayaks… not here, not in BC, for sure not on Vancouver Island! The sad reality is that kayak theft is no longer a “big, bad city” phenomenon. Yes, kayaks are being stolen all over BC and on Vancouver Island, and not only in larger urban centers like Vancouver, Victoria or Nanaimo. Mostly we don’t hear or read about these thefts, but when they happen to paddlers that are more visible in the sport we begin to take note.
Staff at Ocean River Sports interact with many kayakers and outdoor enthusiasts daily, and do hear first-hand accounts of kayak and other gear thefts. Most recently staff came across a disturbing blog entry in Sea Kayaker Magazine posted for Mark Tozer and Helen Wilson, two prominent Team SK paddlers: (http://www.seakayakermag.com/blog/?p=849). The article describes the recent theft of two beautiful Tahe Marine kayaks from the roof racks of their car in Surrey, BC.
Theft usually occurs as a more random act by ‘punks’, or a more planned and orchestrated affair by highly trained and quite intelligent groups. Both kinds of thief can be deterred, and even the ‘pros’ will scout for an easier target – less work and less risk for them. So, lets focus on deterring the punks and making it more difficult for the pros to steal your kayaks and gear.
Kayaks and gear are usually stolen from homes, beaches, parks, vehicles and other places where they are left unattended for longer periods of time or for periods of time that follow a pattern set by the owner/user. A general rule of thumb is to avoid leaving your boat/gear unattended in a place where the possibility to lock it all up does not exist. If the possibility to lock your boat/gear exists there are a number of items available to make that a fairly simple task.
Lasso Security Cables manufactures a series of very effective locking systems that are quite effective in deterring thefts. These cable locks can be used to lock a kayak or other gear to roof racks, or other stationary objects. On that note, I have seen kayaks locked to roof racks with the Lasso system, but the racks themselves had no lock cores to prevent them from being easily removed from the vehicle, boats and all! Quality rack systems like Yakima or Thule have long provided lock cores for their rack and accessory systems exactly for that purpose. They work! Yakima also makes a lockable strap system called the Ripcord. It may be used on canoes and kayaks and has excellent reviews. For long one-piece paddles that won’t fit in your vehicle, Thule makes a nifty paddle lock system called the ‘Get A Grip’ paddle lock which securely locks paddles to the roof racks. It also has excellent reviews. There are companies out there that have identified a real need for such security items and have stepped up to provide quality products that work. It is up to us, the gear users, to take the initiative and use common sense to take the needed steps to protect our investments.
Some additional tips to avoid the disappointment of theft: never leave gear in your vehicle in plain sight – cover it or put it in a trunk, avoid plastering your vehicle with gear stickers – looks cool, but alerts potential thieves to check your vehicle out for something juicy to steal, mark your gear with something that is not easy to remove, take digital pictures of serial numbers and create an ID file on your PC, and most importantly always ask yourself honestly if your gear is ‘safe’ before you leave it unattended! All of the staff at Ocean River Sports wish you safe and fun-filled adventures and encourage you to ‘get out there’ and back with all of your belongings intact!
By Yannick Michaud | Published: August 17, 2012
Tofino was a blast! I recommend SUP surfing; you don’t need to do the big stuff to enjoy yourself out there! A couple of small bumps and you are on your way.
Got here late Thursday afternoon and met with Dave and Kristen (starboard rep). I was a bit done from the drive and just felt like chilling out so we did just that!
Next day I helped the Starboard demo get on its way, talked boards to some keeners who later joined a number of us that felt like paddling and stretching our arms for a coastal cruise. I got on a coast runner carbon Starboard and the rest of the demo boards went out. Mike was playing with his new inflatable Astro – nice board, super stiff for an inflatable.
The morning of the race the wind picked up a bit which made for some surf to race with: super small but good for race boards that have never been in challenging water.
Kids went first for the first race of the day; it’s great to see them with so much energy!
And then women raced. That category is growing fast as more and more of them love the challenge.
And for the end the men! I got all warmed up ready to go, lined up as it was a beach start run with your board, got to the water, jumped on and paddled as fast as I could. The trick is to stay on or you get wet!
So the start! I started running, got to the water and missed all of it and that cost me the lead that day.
Got myself together and sprinted to hold 5th place. A bit of a bummer but now I know I need more time on beach start and things will change! Still happy I made the trip because every race is new experience to me!
On our way back down island we stopped at Qualicum Beach for more fun. Some sponsors of mine from The Edge Food Energy Company filmed me on my paddle board doing some shore to surf transitions. See that footage HERE… I would like to thank The Edge, and my other sponsors at Ocean River Sports and Starboard Paddle Boards for their help and encouragement.
By Brian Henry | Published: August 9, 2012
Outdoor Retailer buying show with Ocean River
The first day of Ocean River Sports buying trip to the Outdoor Retailer Outdoor Summer Market in Salt Lake City Utah.
Justin Dunlop, Ocean River’s head buyer and I are here in search for the best outdoor products possible for Ocean River.
It was about 100 degrees today as we attended the Open Air Demo at Jordanelle State Park. This idealic location was perfect on the lake for all of the kayak, canoe and SUP manufacturers as well as many other outdoor gear vendors, to show us their goods.
We paddled all the neat new boats and boards and did our best to start the selection process for what we will carry in the store next summer.
It is not all work as I got to race in the King Kong Canoe vs SUPZilla race and I was stroke in the big canoe, and even got to jump out and claim the flag for the Wenonah/Current Designs team- yea King Kong Canoers.
Justin got his bit of fun as he entered the SUP Jousting and he won his joust but due to time commitments (we were really working), he did not go on to conquer, although there is little doubt he would have won (only in his mind).
It continues to be tons of fun and Justin and I are on track to a great buy for next year.
We start tomorrow with the Industry Breakfast and opening ceremony/speeches and then we will be working for another 4 days at the Salt Palace to find and select the best stuff in the world to carry in Ocean River Sports.
Now, at the end of the show, we consider it a tremendous success. We connected with some of our Canadian buying group members and shared ideas and thoughts on what products worked for each of us and what new stuff we found at this great show.
Overall, it was a very good show and Justin and myself are coming home, very energized about new things we will be bringing back to Ocean River – ever changing.
Brian Henry – the Big Kahuna
By admin | Published: August 3, 2012
[At Ocean River we are blessed to have wonderful people contribute their energy and passion for life and outdoor pursuits, we share this testimonial by Kerr MacKinnon, we hope you enjoy it.]
It’s a good feeling when you realise that what you are doing at a particular stage in life keeps you (almost) content. Being on the other side of the world from where I call home, working somewhere that never grows tiresome, learning about some fascinating products, seeing how to run a successful independent business and of course, how to improve my paddling skills collectively do that for me.
I moved to Canada in November 2011 from Perth, Scotland having just graduated from Stirling University. I moved to Victoria this past April having spent the winter at Sun Peaks Ski Resort. For over 3 years, whilst studying Environmental Geography I worked in an independent outdoor specialist shop called Mountain Man Supplies
( www.mountainleisureperth.com ). My course and that job each grew my appreciation of the outdoors, with the aim of getting out there as much as possible. So following a good snow-filled winter with daily snowboarding in the interior, I decided to move to the island looking for a similarly relaxed lifestyle and good outdoor opportunities.
It has been an interesting journey, made even more so by Ocean River Sports. I feel incredibly lucky to have landed a job here, becoming part of a long established, constantly evolving business, that is deeply integrated into Victoria and the wider outdoors community. I started on the 1st of May and quickly realised I was working alongside an interesting, positive group of individuals who are highly motivated to make Ocean River a welcoming and “must-visit” destination for anyone passing through the city. Honestly, I can’t stress how easily I have found fitting into this shop and how great the customers that pass through the shop are. ***
“Work” never really feels like “work”. I think I’m starting to appreciate the importance of this for future career decisions. My job is pretty simple – meet interesting people, find out what brings them to the shop, see what I can do to help them out and hopefully, if all goes well, they’ll leave with a boat on the top of their car. If not, I get as much satisfaction out of helping them find what they did come in for.
It still feels I am learning something new everyday. This could be about the detailed craftsmanship and technology that goes into the design of our boards, boats and equipment. Or it could be learning some good business ethics. One example of this is how important it is to work and stay in contact with everyone – even your direct competitors. This is something Brian Henry, the owner of Ocean River, pointed out on one of my first days and it’s clearly done him well. Or it could be learning of another facet of the relatively unique lifestyle that is life living in Victoria and on Vancouver Island.
I am counting down the days until I leave – not so much in the good way – as leaving is something I never planned to do so soon and I don’t really want to, but I guess I’ll head home and hopefully come back out with a shiny new IEC visa in 2013. It’s been such a good experience, one of the best. Hopefully one I’ll get to relive.
*** I guess I should probably say thanks to everyone for putting up with the broad range of rookie errors I come up with from time to time.
By Gary Doran | Published: August 1, 2012
A West Coast Look at Saving Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
“I like to play indoors better ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are,” reports a fourth-grader. Never before in history have children been so plugged in—and so out of touch with the natural world – Richard Louv
When I was young, my parents took me camping every summer. While this may have been an affordable vacation for my parents, it was a sensational time for me. There was nothing I would have rather done. I remember the excitement of getting up in the early morning to drive north from Southern Ontario to our favourite provincial park. As farmland replaced suburbs and forests replaced farms, my excitement grew until we finally arrived in the wilderness, flung open our car doors, and jumped out. I would run around too exited to be able to decide what I should do first: go swimming, try to catch frogs, or explore the beaches and rocky shores of Georgian Bay? My parents would set up the campsite and prepare lunch, while I went off playing by myself or with my brothers.
Then, when I was in early high school, my teachers took our class for a weeklong canoeing trip through Algonquin Park. I remember paddling across one of the lakes, while my teacher dipped his cup in the lake and drank it—I was amazed! None of us had waterproof watches at the time, and there were no clocks around, so we would frequently ask our teacher, Mr. Bolton, what time was it? In response, he would look up at the sky, squint, and respond, “Quarter after.” When we asked again less than an hour later, Mr. Bolton would do the same thing—look up at the sky, squint, and respond, “Quarter after.” After a few more cycles through this question and answer scenario, we finally started to laugh, understanding that he had been joking with us—he couldn’t really tell time accurately by looking at the sky. I guess, in his own way, he was letting us know that time didn’t really matter out in the wilderness. That is, we certainly didn’t need to know the exact time every 30 minutes: even though he was our teacher, we were no longer in school, so we didn’t need to stick to timetables, periods, and bells.
When I went to university, I had no doubt about what I would major in: environmental studies and biology. Likewise, when I continued on to teachers college after university, I earned a certificate as an outdoor education teacher. Like other environmentalists, it was the abundant experiences in nature in my early years that had inspired me throughout my adult years.
In his 2005 book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, American author Richard Louv speaks about nature-deficit disorder, a term he uses to describe the current relationship between children and nature. He states that children today no longer spend unstructured time alone, exploring nature. Although the term nature-deficit disorder does not yet appear in any medical book, Louv uses it to describe a set of symptoms linked to separation from nature, including an increase in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a rise in childhood obesity, a decrease in curiosity and creativity, a lack of respect for nature and the natural world, a lack of knowledge about local plants and animals, and a lowered sense of community.
His research led him to the conclusion that baby boomers, or those born shortly after, are probably the last generation to have run wild in the woods, freely exploring nature. Children born after 1980 have grown up in a different world, with little direct experience in nature and the natural world. Nowadays, electronic devices are everywhere. Television sets, video games, computers, and the Internet dominate children’s activities. But these types of entertainment are passive forms of physical and mental activity. As well, for children today, playtime is more structured, dominated by team sports that are played on level, groomed playing fields.
Fortunately, there is a cure for nature deficit disorder—and that is getting children back into the wild. Research shows when children have first-hand experiences with nature, they show reduced levels of ADHD, lower amounts of depression and anxiety, improved self-esteem, enhanced brain development, an increase in curiosity and creativity, and a heightened sense of community and connection to the environment.
While we cannot bring back the free-ranging childhood that baby boomers once experienced, safe zones can be created today for children to play and explore in nature. Louv’s childhood experiences refer to growing up in the American Midwest and exploring in the woods of the area. Here, on Canada’s West Coast, the term woods would be expanded to include the seashore and close-by islands and islets of our beautiful coastline. A kayak is a perfect way to explore these areas and play in this natural environment. I lead kayaking camps for 11 to 13-year-olds and 14 to 15-year olds, and I believe these camps, and others like them, are great ways for youth in our area to get out and experience nature, first-hand. In our kayaking camps, safe kayaking skills are learned alongside time for playing in nature and experiencing nature, key ingredients for battling nature-deficit disorder.
I recall one recent youth kayaking camp where we were about to ‘raft up’ in our sea kayaks to take a rest break during a lengthier paddle. Although we were quite a distance from shore, a young perching bird fluttered toward us and landed on the bow of Linden’s kayak. This was a joyful surprise for all of us, especially Linden, and we all hushed up and gazed. The chick rested for more than 30 seconds, unconcerned about us, catching its breath. Finally rested, and ready to finish the last leg of its flight, the chick hovered up and away, while we continued our journey to an adjacent shore, chatting enthusiastically about this amazing, first-hand experience with nature.
People who care about children and the future of the environment need to be concerned about nature-deficit disorder. If the disconnection between children and nature continues, who will be the environmental stewards of the future, and what kind of world will be left for today’s children to grow up in?
Ocean River Adventures offers kayaking camps for youth to get out and explore nature. Our weeklong Junior Kayaking Camp (ages 14-15 yrs) includes a three-day overnight kayaking trip to Sidney Island, while our weeklong Youth Kayaking Camp (ages 11-13 yrs) visits local lakes in our area and provides a tour to Brentwood Bay and Todd Inlet. Our 1-Day Youth Kayaking Camp (ages 11-13 yrs) and our 1-Day Junior Kayaking Camp (ages 14-15 yrs) take place at our local lakes.
And don’t worry, if you’re not a kid anymore, we offer lots of adult programs that will get you out kayaking in nature. For more information on all our programs, please visit www.oceanriveradventures.com
Head Instructor/Guide and Programmer, Ocean River Adventures
Paddle Canada Instructor Trainer
SKGABC Guide Trainer
Head Instructor/Guide and Programmer, Ocean River Adventures
Paddle Canada Instructor Trainer
SKGABC Guide Trainer
By Brian Henry | Published: July 9, 2012
A kayak and cultural tour of Scotland’s Hebrides. A fantastic and inspiring time while on our kayak tour in the beautiful Hebrides. Our group gathered on the west coast of Scotland in Oban, the city and hub of the ferry system serving the Hebrides. A van and trailer was arranged to move us around the accommodate our needs. We picked up our boats at Sea Kayak Oban and made sure they fit and suitable for our needs. All nice glass boats – North Shore and Tide Race boats. We started our tour with two days of very good kayaking right around the Oban area in order to make sure our boats and gear all worked well. On the very first day we paddled through the Falls of Laura (which was not really running at the time) and we also visited an ancient 11th century priory, a castle and a church. It was a very good introduction as to what we would see on Scotland’s west coast islands. The rest of the tour took us to the Isle of Colonsay, a magical little island that with very diverse coastline, and fun paddling in and out of the many channels. The bird life abundant and towering cliffs were inspiring. The island still have a Laird of Colonsay, who still owns most of the island and most people work for him on the island. We were invited to a garden party at the Laird’s home and it was fascinating. As it turns out, the Laird’s great great grandfather was Lord Strathcona, who came to Canada to work for the Hudson’s Bay Company and after he became financially successful he got involved in the Canadian National Railroad and was the man who pushed through the first railroad across Canada. I had a very good conversation with the Laird and his wife Lady Jane about Canada. It was a delightful party that all of our group enjoyed. Off to Isle of Islay, the Island of Whiskey with 8 distilleries on the island. The peat on the island gives these single malt whiskeys a district taste and some of the finest whiskeys in the world are produced here. Our whole group had a tour through Ardbeg Distillery and those of us who had the deluxe tour, tasted more drams than expected. We considered this part of the tour a duty to learn about the whiskey culture on the Isle of Islay. The paddling on Islay was also excellent with an exciting last day as we paddled off the south exposed end of the Island and we challenged the big seas with good results. Thank you to everyone on the tour. Rob, John A, Julia, John B, Mike, and John W. I also like to extend a special thanks to our driver, Gilpin and helpers, Jane and Jill. Everyone made the tour so very enjoyable that we will be back. Mike Sunderland, my old friend and paddling partner from many years back, was a great tour guide with lots of stories and information about these islands he knows so very well.
Next year, we are considering a different tour in the Hebrides and we will keep you all posted about the exact details as we put them together. Check the dates and mark them down to join us – in very late May and into early June – statistically a very good weather week in the Hebrides. Feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions about joining us in 2013. Just a few images of our tour and more will be added in the near future.
Cheers, Brian Henry
See the Slideshow Below: