Why PNW Kayaks?

about us -

Why PNW Kayaks?

I’ve been paddling since the early to mid-90s.  I started while getting my undergraduate degree on the shores of Lake Superior in the state of Michigan.  I continued paddling when moving to Seattle for my graduate degrees.  I have a PhD in oceanography, and a deep passion for wild places.

I’ve paddled the Great Lakes, Puget Sound, the Washington and British Columbia coastlines, and many inland lakes and reservoirs.  My family and I have done extended family trips along the coast of Alaska and also along the coast of British Columbia. 

My personal joy in paddling is long days that start at sunrise and end just before sunset.  I love long miles and paddling through the changing conditions that you experience when paddling all day long.  My main skills are decision making, navigation, and grit (persistence to go all day, day after day).  My main training paddles these days are 40-60 mile paddles on the Columbia River (there is a lot of wind on the nose and trailing, but no swell and short fetch).

I completed the Race to Alaska in 2017 with a Seaward Quest, in 2018 in a TRAK folding kayak.  I currently hold the fastest time by a kayak record in the Race to Alaska (I’m also the only kayaker to ever finish without using a sail), and also hold the record for the smallest vessel (16') to complete the Race to Alaska.   

I joined the 20/20 product development team of TRAK Kayaks for a spring 2017 surf kayaking camp on Vancouver Island.  We tested prototypes of their proposed design changes for their new TRAK 2.0 kayak, which is currently being delivered to customers.  I am currently a TRAK “pilot”, which means that I provide local customers in Washington state with information on TRAK kayaks and provide test paddles when requested.  I also provide feedback on potential improvements to TRAK regarding outfitting and design.

I've just recently started paddling a Rockpool Taran 18, and after having the opportunity to get to know Mike Webb (Rockpool) and David McPherson (Sea Kayak Conneticut), it became clear to me that it would be good for paddlers in the Pacific Northwest if we had a more direct access to their kayaks.  So we formed Pacific Northwest Kayaks with the goal of bringing some Rockpool boats over and allowing local paddlers to take them out on some test paddles.  The Taran series boats are really spectacular for the local environment.  They are fast, responsive, capable, and did I mention fun.

We did not form Pacific Northwest Kayaks to make money.  We formed Pacific Northwest Kayaks to serve and help grow the local paddling community.