Aqua-Bound’s ProStaffer of the Month for July 2019 is one of the biggest names in kayaking, Ken Whiting. Let’s meet Ken…
AB: How did you get started kayaking? What do you love about it?
KEN: I got into kayaking by sheer luck when I was fourteen years old. A friend of mine had gone whitewater rafting, seen the kayakers, and decided he wanted to try it. He asked me to join, and fortunately for me, my parents agreed.
I was immediately hooked. I got a job at the rafting company the following year so I could kayak every day. Within two years I was an instructor for the same kayak school that got me started.
AB: What are your favorite ways of giving back to the kayaking community?
KEN: My favorite way to give back to the kayaking community has always been to help others learn, and to inspire people to get out there and try kayaking.
AB: Are you involved in your local kayaking scene? How?
KEN: I’m not currently involved with our local kayaking scene. I haven't been since my daughter entered the world. She's now eight years old. Although my wife and I have shared many paddling experiences with her, we've been careful to give her tastes of lots of different outdoor activities, rather than push her into paddling.
That being said, she'll be taking her first week-long kayak camp this summer, and so we'll see if she gets bitten by the same paddling bug that got me.
AB: How do you introduce new paddlers to kayaking?
KEN: Over the past 7 years, I've taken a different approach to introducing new paddlers to the sport. I've focused my energy on using media to teach and inspire paddlers through my production company, Heliconia.
In particular, we've produced and released countless instructional videos through our PaddleTV YouTube channel. But even more importantly, we launched the first and only paddlesports-specific TV series: Facing Waves (see the first episode here).
The idea of Facing Waves was to use TV to reach the huge number of outdoors-oriented people in North America and beyond, who may have, or may have not ever tried paddling, with the goal of inspiring those people to get out there and do it.
To do this, we focus on accessible paddlesport activities, and avoid 'extreme' paddling activities that might be fun to watch, but that don't do a good job of inspiring people to try it themselves.
To make our show fun to watch, we focus on worldwide travel instead, and showcase paddling adventures in the world's most breathtaking locations.
AB: Where can readers connect with you?
(embed Paddle Tales trailer video)
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