Sea Kayaking Articles from P&H Staff, Team Paddlers, and Friends

Author: chrislockyer

Christopher grew up on the North Atlantic in Newfoundland has been paddling since 1994. He has been fortunate enough to paddle with many of the worlds best sea kayak coaches. He owes a great deal to the mentor-ship mentality of the sea kayaking community. Chris is currently the owner and driving force behind Committed to the Core Sea Kayak Coaching He holds certifications with the British Canoe Union and Paddle Canada, Outward Bound Instructor, KANAWA magazine’s “Ask a Pro” Columnist and Co-chair of the Atlantic Paddle Symposium. When not working as a GIE Tech you can find him covered in mud on the Shubie tidal bore as featured in Eastern Horizons.

The Gales on Lake Superior

The Gales on Lake Superior

Naturally Superior Adventures located at the mouth of the was the host for the 2012 Gale.
The event brought participants from all around the Canadian and United States shores of Lake Superior and the inland sea did not disappoint.
The three day events allowed participants to explore the rocky shores of the lake in calm conditions and also in some interesting conditions. The forecast for all three days were winds greater then 20 knots.
I was joined by several guest coaches Shawna and Leon from Body Boat Blade as well as Nick Cunliffe level 5 BCU coach from Wales as well as a number of local Lake Superior coaches.
It was a pleasure to paddle with all the enthusiastic paddles. Day one brought flurries for my group and I to start out session, I can honestly say that I have never been blinded by snow flurries why teaching a rock hopping session. Day two stated off at -5 and ice coated sea kayaks and gear. We had a great paddle brown Indian Beach back to the base.  The 25 know winds from the west created a very exciting sea state for the participant, we did a great down wind run, surfed at sandy cove and then played in the tide race at the river opening. It was an action packed day. It is the first time someone has told me that it was there best day paddling ever. Not just one but three of the participant came up to Nick and I and told us that directly. It put a smile on my face. Day three brought the largest conditions of the event. Most participant had a go in the surf  the retreated to the river as the condition out in front of the lodge reached 12 feet. Nick and Ryan had a go in the surf. The pictures speak for themselves.
 Looking forward to the 2013 event in the apostle islands.

For all the pictures from the event please visit this Facebook Gales picture

Atlantic Paddle Symposium 2012

Photo of Christopher Lockyer Taken by: Clif Pratt

Liscombe Lodge is  hidden gem located outside a small village about two and a half hours away from Halifax.  It is one of only three resorts owned and operated by the Province of Nova Scotia.

On May 11 of this year 75 paddlers traveled from as far away as England and Seattle to gather for the 5th Annual Atlantic Paddle Symposium. .  Light winds, warm dry weather, and easy swell made for three extremely pleasant days on the water.

The Atlantic Paddle Symposium is our region’s premier paddling event.  The Atlantic Canada paddling community meets for a 4-day event focusing on skill development, outdoor, leadership, education and paddling safety.  The Symposium facilitates relationship building, both within our regional paddling community and allows us to forge relationships with some of the best known paddlers and instructors in the world.

The schedule, as it has been in previous years, was packed with a variety of skills sessions for all levels, covering each of the four paddling styles supported by  Paddle Canada paddling programs. Stand Up Paddling sessions were added (and enthusiastically received) to our roster of sessions for canoe, sea kayak and white water kayak.

The venue offered us great locations and a variery of conditions. Sean Morley, Christopher Lockyer and Mat Nelson ran rock hopping, sea kayak surfing, and Incident management sessions.

Highlights from this year’s event were:

  • Zac Crouse’s opened the event with a presentation on the Paddle to the Ocean project  mixing skillful muscianship with his story telling to keep the group engaged.  Big thanks to Zac and Ian for the great music.!
  • Andrew Westwood is a true ambassador of the sport of canoeing. His presentation on keeping instruction relevant, current, engaging and fun was inspiring, timely, and well received.
  • Sean Morley’s presentation about paddling around Great Britain, Vancouver Island as well as some of the coast of California.
  • We were blessed with sun shine, light winds and a bit of swell for the event.
Photo by: Ryan Brake

Photo by: Ryan Brake

Without the support from our sponsor this year we would not have been able to make the event so accessible and also would not have been able to have such a talented group of coaches.

Special Thanks to Sean Morley and Matt Nelson for making the trip to Nova Scotia. Hope to see you both back next year.

Picture gallery can be found at: 

Sponsor a Coach:

Lendal Paddle (Christopher Lockyer), P&H sea kayaks (Matt Nelson)

Submitted by Christopher Lockyer


Atlantic Paddle Symposium 2012

Well we are about 5 weeks out from the start

of the 2012 Atlantic Paddle Symposium. This will be the official kick start to the 2012 season on the North East Coast.

The Atlantic Paddle Symposium is the premier paddling event in Atlantic Canada.  It brings together the Atlantic Canada paddling community for a 4-day event focused on skill development, outdoor, leadership, education and paddling safety.  The Symposium facilitates relationship building within the Atlantic Canada paddling community as well as among top paddling leaders within the sport.

For all the details on the event please visit the website Symposium Webpage

P&H Team members that will be at this years event:

Sean Morley

Originating from the UK and now a resident of Marin Co, CA, Sean began kayaking at the age of ten with the Boy Scouts and often paddled alone, exploring the relatively sheltered waters on the south coast of Cornwall, England. He took part in his first kayak race in 1978 and has competed in many disciplines of paddle sport since then including white water slalom and downriver racing, maratho

n, sprint, wave ski, surf life saving and surf kayaking with success at national and international level. He began expedition sea kayaking in 1996 and in 1998 set a record for the fastest crossing of the Irish Sea. In 2004 he achieved his childhood dream by completing the first solo circumnavigation of the UK and Ireland by sea kayak; the first ever to include all of the inhabited islands. The 4500 mile expedition to

ok 183 days and is the longest kayak journey ever undertaken in British waters. His achievement was featured in the DVD ‘This is the Sea 2’ by Justine Curgenven (Cackle TV). Sean is an ACA Level 5 Coastal Kayak Instructor and Level 3 Surf Kayak Instructor.

Matthew Nelson

Matt met Shawna and Leon at Body Boat Blade in 2004 and within a year began coaching for Body Boat Blade, progressing as a coach and paddler, fuelled by the passion for blending knowledge of the marine environment with the enthusiasm for a very physical, and engaging way to interact with the water.  Since then, he has delved into whitewater, surf kayaking, rock gardening and expeditions.  In 2008, he and his wife Djuna circumnavigated the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, while raising funds for an environmental no

n-profit.  Matt appeared in Bryan Smith’s “Pacific Horizons”, and has been involved with other kayaking films focusing on technique. Matt is a coach level 3 and holds the five-star award for sea kayak.  Matt is also a P&H team paddler, and teaches at symposiums in North America. Matt is featured in Pacific Horizons and in This is the Sea film series.

Christopher Lockyer

Christopher has been paddling since 1994 in locations as far away as the UK, New Zealand, Iceland, Norway as well as countless places in North America. A graduate of Acadia University with a degree in Recreation Management, Chris is currently the owner and driving force behind Committed to the Core Sea Kayak Coaching.  He holds certifications with the British Canoe Union and Paddle Canada, is a former Outward Bound Instructor, and is KANAWA /Rapid Media  magazine’s “Ask a Pro” Columnist

I hope to see you there


Christopher Lockyer – Executive director 2012 Atlantic Paddle Symposium



The Level 5 BCU process has begun

Committed2thecore’s 2012 sea kayaking schedule will have lots of great new ideas, many of them inspired by my BCU Level 5 training.

I recently spent an incredible week in Ireland with 11 other eager paddlers and two of the world’s best sea kayaking instructors, Oisin Hallisay and Mike McClure, as part of the intensive British Canoe Union Level 5 training program.

In most programs I have taken or delivered, the first meeting is all about who you are, what you want to get out of the program, and getting to know your fellow paddlers.  Well the instructors turned that idea on its ear.  They told us that there was a mini bus with a trailer loaded with boats, and we were to pack up our stuff because we were heading out to an island to spend the night.  That was just the start of some unexpected, and pleasant, surprises.

Our group was made up of 8 sea kayakers and 4 white water kayakers.  During the 7-day program we were exposed to many different classroom based sessions:  visualization exercise, learning styles, learning types, personality profiling, and how to work with all types of people in groups. Once the classroom-based sessions were done, we moved onto the water. Oisin brought in Howard Jeffs, Gordon Brown, Kevin Mansell, Andy Stamp and Nigel Robinson for two days of practical coaching.  I had the pleasure of two days of on water coaching with Nigel Robinson (a fellow P&H team member).

I am now planning the 2012 Committed2theCore sea kayaking programs.  Some of the innovations I plan to introduce as a result of the BCU training include:

  • Having a wide range of exercise for different types of learning in different conditions (flat water, current, waves and wind)
  • Taking the time to obverse the students at the start of a program to get a clear understanding of where they are, and what they need to work on.
  • After an on water session, have 2 or 3 tips and tricks to pass along to the student.

My BCU training will conclude in November 2012, when I return to the UK with 6 sea kayaking students.  I will develop a customized training plan for each of the six and work with them to attain their goals.  They will take part in an assessment, in which I will be observed by two other level 5 instructors to see if my training plan worked.  I will also be assessed on my ability to develop practical teaching situations.

I hope to see many of you on the water in 2012.  If you want to brush up on your skills, and learn some new ones, register now for the Atlantic Paddle Symposium, May 11 to 14, at Liscombe Lodge on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore.  (   If you are in Ireland and are looking for a great place to paddle and learn, check out the Tollymore Outdoor Centre (, the base for the BCU training.

Special thanks to Jim and all the crew at P&H kayaks for all the support.

Yours in Adventure,

Christopher Lockyer

Atlantic Paddle Symposium 2012

Fifth Annual Atlantic Paddle Symposium

 May 11-14, 2012

Registration for the 5th annual Atlantic Paddle Symposium is now open!   LINK  Register now to guarantee your place, as we only have room at beautiful Liscombe Lodge for the first 75.

By registering now, you will be entered for the Early Bird prize draw.  Prizes include

a white water canoe from Esquif, a dry suit from Kokatat, plus many other great prizes.  Check them all out at LINK

This event is open to all paddlers, of all levels, who have a keen interest in improving their skills. We are reprising past successful sessions, and introducing new lessons. Check them out at LINK

 The Atlantic Paddle Symposium is recognized as the premier paddling event in Atlantic Canada.  Always timed to start off the paddling season, it brings together a dedicated paddling community for a 4-day event focused on skill development, outdoor leadership, education, and paddling safety.  Now in its fifth successful year, the symposium facilitates relationship building within the Atlantic Canada paddling community, as well as introducing top international paddling instructors to the Atlantic Canada paddling community.

If you are wondering who is going to be coaching at this year’s event, check LINK

When you are relaxing in the evening, you can enjoy some of our top-notch presenters:

  • Sean Morley (P&H and Kokatat sponsored coach);
  • Andrew Westwood (Esquif sponsored coach);
  • Zac Crouse “Paddle to the ocean”;

A special thanks goes out to P&H kayaks for help to bring Matt Nelson in again this year. We hope to have a bunch of P&H demo kayaks to be used at the 2011 event

Liscombe Lodge, located on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore and just one and a half hours from Halifax International Airport, will provide us with a white water, canoe and sea kayak playground this year.  Liscombe Lodge will provide us with accommodations, meals, and use of all facilities.  For those of you who are looking for a single room we have that option. If you are coming alone not to worry and want the double occupancy rate that is an option as well. We will assign you a roommate.

Highlighted sessions for this years event include:

  • Intro to solo white water canoeing (Esquif sponsored sessions)
  • Learn to stand up paddle board
  • Canoe style
  • Sea kayak spring tune-up
    • for the ladies
    • and the guys
  • Incident management (P&H sponsored session)
  • Rock hopping (Lendal sponsored session)
  • Surfing
    • In sea kayaks
    • and on stand up paddle boards
  • Plus many more.  Details to follow.

We could not offer registration fees of for a symposium of this calibre without the support of our corporate sponsors.

Carbon-fibre sponsors for the 5th Annual Paddling Sympoisum:

Esquif Canoes     Mountain Equipment Co-op

To see a full list of our sponsors see LINK.  To become a sponsor, please contact me at LINK.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

Christopher Lockyer Executive Director  Atlantic Paddle Symposium


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