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Horizon Line Kayak Shop in Penrith, Australia is a friend to
Jackson Kayak

January 17, 2005

I am very excited to see the kind of support we are
getting for our
fledgling brand in its first quarter here in Australia from Horizon Line.
They could have easily just said, "No point in bringing in another
brand, let’s just wait and see how they do." Instead, they talked
with Jez, owner of Entropy Gear, and he organized for them to get the
boats in. From what they tell me they sold more Jackson Kayak boats than
any other brand. Now that is cool! Australia only sells so many whitewater
boats, but they sure do have a great upside potential with this park!

In the demo we did, I showed up, along with the rest
of the family, Devon Barker, Stephen Wright (they came together, seeing
that they are officially boyfriend/girlfriend, awesome), Also Ali Wade,
Team JK from Colorado, Petr, Team JK from Czech, and Jake, Team JK from
Australia. Sharkey, also came, representing Team JK, Canada. I would have
asked the Japanese JK paddlers if they wanted to come, but they were just
getting on the water and I didn’t want to stop them from doing another
workout. It is wonderful having a team of paddlers, who WANT to come to
such an event, where they can share their skills with people who may have
never paddled, or are just getting started. Their enthusiasm is contagious
and is as important to the future of kayaking as any other factor. You
can’t buy the kind of nurturing, friendly, committed paddlers, like the
Jackson Kayak team with money. This team seems to forming on its own,
with the common ground being the Jackson Kayak philosophy and approach
to the sport, as much as the boats they get to paddle. No marketing, advertising,
or PR firm in the world can outdo a talented, intelligent, and committed
group of kayakers on a crusade to make sure that everybody has an opportunity
to enjoy paddling to its fullest. It is awesome to see our team enjoying
themselves as much in a flatwater environment, with people who are just
learning, as when they are helping advanced boaters learn something new.

I had the opportunity to teach two people to roll,
each one ready to hit the whitewater with their roll after only 10 minutes
of instruction, and both will be trying the whitewater park soon. I put
them in the Super Fun, since both were bigger guys. Emily, and Stephen
worked with a couple of junior slalom racers who wanted to try playboating.
They got into a Star and an All-Star. There was a guy from Germany who
came also and was able to throw ends in an All-Star. He was showing off
to his Australian friend.

We had some celebrity appearances also. Richard Fox,
5 time world slalom champion (from England,my slalom hero) and his wife
Myriam Fox (World Champion slalom racer from France), and their two girls,
showed up. Their girls were eying the Fun 1 and Fun 1.5. Also, there was
a flatwater sprint race going on, I really wanted to race, especially
after seeing the 4th place finisher in the last Olympics getting ready
to go. Man, more than anything at that moment I wanted to line up against
him and see if I could give him a run for his money. I actually thought
I was going to get a chance, when Richard Fox said that he wanted to race
me. I went up to him and asked him if he was ready to go and he didn’t
know me or what I was talking about. Richard was messing with me. I also
didn’t know that he was actually getting ready to race so if I wanted
to race, I needed to get a boat, get entered in the lineup and then go.
Now I am quite intrigued, so I will pay a visit to the sprint racing headquarters
and see if I can find a boat and an eager to race, racer.

Emily paddled across the lake back to the whitewater
park, while we drove back, ending the demo successfully. Training time

🙂 EJ



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Teaching is fun too!

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Tyse about to do his first solo roll

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Tyse Gets his roll in 5 minutes!

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Stephen helping outfit a new playboater

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Emily hanging out