2019 AMBASSADOR TEAM
I am so stoked to announce our team of Women Who Paddle Ambassadors for the year! We have an incredible group of awesome, inspiring, and adventurous women from around the globe who are passionate about paddling in all forms. These ladies have volunteered to help out behind the scenes and spread the word about our community. I am so grateful to have them onboard.
Get to know them better by reading through the profiles below and be sure to follow the links to their social pages and websites!
Women of Aka:we Canoe Club
Six Nations Reserve, Ontario – we paddle on the mighty Grand River!
Aka:we Canoe Club is open and accessible to anyone who wants to join. We have a core group of women who enjoy paddling and we encourage each other on and off the water. We paddle SUP, Canoe, Kayak, and Outrigger. We paddle for fun, fitness and to challenge ourselves at races.
Find Aka:we on: Facebook
I have around 22 years of experience canoeing and have kayaked (sea, river, and lake- white water and flat) all over the world. I have a blog that talks about some of my trips. I used to teach white water kayak rolling clinics. Here are some of the locations: Saguenay, Quebec/ Bay of Fundy, NB/ Tofino, BC/ Kenai Peninsula, Alaska/ Norway/ Finland/ Sweden/ Denmark/ Korea/ Hawaii/ Puerto Rico/ Croatia/ Ireland/ all over California (San Fran/ Bay Area, Southern Cali)/ lots of river systems in Quebec/ Australia. I’ve also dragon boated and paddle boarded (and I used to be a surf instructor).
While my favorite type of paddling is sea kayak camping, I also love just getting out on the water whenever I can! I love taking my dog (my husky/lab mix Bubbles) canoe camping.
In addition to paddling, I have a PhD in History and am a professor of Feminist Studies.
Find Alex on her website
Adventure Momma and wife. Mother to two little adventurers age 10 & 6 and a new puppy! I love getting outside and exploring! My passions are trail running, yoga, and stand-up paddle boarding. Camping, hiking, and exploring with my family on and off the water are top on our list of things to do whenever we can.
I love being out on the water it is the best feeling and very therapeutic! There is just something about being on the water that feels awesome! There are no mountains or oceans where I live but there is plenty of the great outdoors to explore no matter where you live. I hope more women can get the opportunity to get outside and explore the great outdoors no matter where they live.
Find Liz on: Instagram
I truly am a lover of all things nature and consider myself a diverse individual. Whitewater kayaking is definitely my favorite hobby, but I also love rock and ice climbing, mountain biking, and recently, skiing! When I’m not spending time outside, I can be found teaching high school English.
My favorite thing about my hobbies (especially whitewater kayaking), is that I’m forced to give myself a break from stress, and focus on the task at hand. I’m very passionate about introducing others to the outdoors, and providing them the opportunity to experience what’s off the beaten path.
Things that make me happy (besides playing outside): ice cream, puppies, hot sauce, sunsets, type 2 fun, delicious coffee, good music, spending time with friends, staying busy.
Find Alison on: Instagram
I’m an ocean paddler and adventure racer, and my favourite place to be is catching waves on my surfski! I find it to be the most freeing and meditative experience, to put myself in context of the broader world.
George RR Martin said it best: “She loved the sea. She liked the sharp salty smell of the air, and the vastness of the horizons bounded only by a vault of azure sky above. It made her feel small, but free as well”.
Find Kat on: Instagram
Fort Collins, CO
I am a scientist, writer, and paddle enthusiast who has lived all over the country. For me, paddling is a way to relieve stress and improve my mental health. I got my PhD in Southern California, and SUP was a way for me to slip away, connect with nature, and decompress. Although most of my favorite paddle spots are in California, I am loving the mountain views and new landscapes to see in Colorado.
Fort Bragg, CA
Kayak instructor by day and mountain biker by night – I love sharing the outdoors with others. In 2008, I left my full time teaching job to guide kayak nature tours. Now, I am fully immersed in the kayak business – teaching and guiding sea, whitewater, and surf kayaking for Liquid Fusion Kayaking on the Mendocino Coast of California.
In addition to kayaking, I am an avid mountain biker, birder, and connoisseur of wild mushrooms.
Green Bay, Wisconsin
I only started kayaking about a year and a half ago, and I instantly fell in love with it. I kayak on calm inland lakes and it greatly helps with unplugging from the world and it also helps me in dealing with anxiety. I used kayaking as a form of outdoor therapy before I had inner ear surgery late this summer to get my mind off of health issues. But, I am fully recovered now and I’m thrilled to get back on the water this summer! (Or this coming spring hoping we don’t have another April snowstorm in Wisconsin this year!)
Additionally, I love being a steward of the land. I pick up trash both on foot and when I’m kayaking too!
I know what it’s like feeling like a fish out of water in the outdoor-world: after not find like-minded women to adventure with, I stepped aside from my outdoor passions for many years. So, after a long, long absence from being out on the water, I pulled up my (neoprene) socks and am thrilled to be a part of the Women Who Paddle community.
When not out in a kayak or canoe, I can be found scouring the internet and bookstores for resources on paddling to develop my skills and backcountry knowledge. I live with my tortoise, Tortellini, in Montreal and dreams of one day paddling the Yukon River.
I started paddling 25 years ago when I took a class in Sausalito, California and was instantly hooked. Since then I have paddled all over the world including Baja Mexico, Fiji and Canada and am always plotting my next kayaking adventure. In between longer trips I love paddling the incredible Sydney Harbour and its surrounds.
Kayaking is my meditation, my gym and the best way I know to connect with friends. My only problem is I always want to “see what’s around the corner” so my friends know to put firm turn around times in place!
Find Jackie on: Instagram
Central Alberta, Parkland Region, Middle Red Deer River, Canada
I live on the banks of the Red Deer River, in the prairies of Central Alberta. My river begins jubilantly in the Rocky Mountains to the West, but is pretty sedate by the time it passes through the surrounding farmland around me.
For me, kayaking is a vehicle in which to engage with the natural world. I love the vantage point I have from the cockpit of a kayak. There is no better seat in nature’s arena. Riparian areas are a magnet for wildlife, and all my best encounters have been on the water. Needless to say, I usually have my camera at ready, if not my fishing rod. I have been known to go through a rock garden or riffle rather ungracefully as I was too preoccupied with one or the other. That being said, I also love the physicality of packing like a backpacker and doing a long haul solo run for three days.
As much as I love my river, sea kayaking on the west coast of B.C. is my utmost favourite place to paddle. I love to travel, and wherever I go, I always try to incorporate a paddle -often with a local guide who is familiar with the area, tides, weather etc.
A recent highlight and adventure for me was canoeing in Canada’s north for ten days on the Yukon River. Every trip I do, opens the door to more possibilities and waters to explore.
I am so thankful for all the great memories I have made with friends and family on the water. It is these experiences that have brought us closer together.
My mother was the first in our family to kayak. She quickly fell in love with the sport and shared it with me. We spent hours paddling together on the west branch of the Penobscot River in northern Maine. From our kayaks we got to watch cow moose protecting their babies, bull moose munching on lily pads, deer splashing in shallow water, barred owls learning to fly, and had many other wildlife encounters.
I inherited my mom’s kayak after her death in 2009 and, for the first time, paddled on waterways other than ‘our river.’ Kayaking has become a way for me to feel close to my mother and also feel more connected to myself.
I began taking more and more photos as I paddled. My adventures became something I blogged about and before long people in/visiting southern Maine reached out to me, MaineKayakGirl, for advice. This led to the opportunity to co-author a guidebook, Paddling Southern Maine, published in 2017.
I get on the water as much as I can. I find that paddling is the one activity I do where I can be in the moment, appreciate all that is around me, and put my problems into perspective. Over the years I have introduced kayaking to many who now have their own kayaks. I organize trips for my friends and have begun organizing events for those who follow me on social media. Some of my favorite trips have been with small groups of women who believe in supporting and empowering each other while laughing and appreciating the beauty around us.
When not on the water I work as a high school assistant principal and am honored to be Maine’s 2019 Assistant Principal of the Year! This work is also something about which I am passionate and draw parallels with paddling whenever possible. I tell my students they are in command of their own vessel, to believe in their navigation skills, to take time to appreciate what is around them and what they are going through, and to know when to go with or against the current. I hope to begin taking students on paddling adventures and using paddling as a way to empower my students, especially my female students.
Redondo Beach, CA
I am a mother, teacher, paddler and athlete. I am a very passionate athlete, pretty self-disciplined, highly determined to the point of ‘slow it down lady!’, and quite focused.
As an ocean athlete, I have been training and competing since 1998 throughout California, Hawaii and internationally. I am also active in The Ocean of Hope, a team of paddlers who are dedicated to raising awareness and funds for sarcoma cancer patients.
I train and compete in many athletic disciplines, including marathon and ultramarathon running, triathlons and SUP races, but prone paddleboarding and outrigger canoe paddling are my true passions.
I am currently the top outrigger canoe steersman in California with Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club based in Redondo Beach, CA and I help coach the junior girls in our program.
I came into sports a bit later in life which gives me a unique perspective on women in sports. I am so excited to inspire young girls, and women of all walks of life, to find their passion, pursue the outdoors and get on the water.
Based in Toronto but currently traveling in Bali
I am 37 years old from Toronto, Canada. I am a certified Holistic Nutritionist, Yoga Teacher, SUP, and SUP Yoga instructor with a big love for the water!
I fell in love with SUP as soon as I planted my feet on that board and my hands on the paddle. My experience working with SUP inspired me to pursue living a holistic, healthy and active lifestyle as a career. I then gave up the corporate life to follow my dreams and passions of starting my own wellness and retreat business. I went back to school to become a holistic nutritionist and now host my own water-sports based yoga retreats around the world!
I’m passionate about promoting the feeling of healing that being around water brings and incorporating “Mindfulness on Water” in my SUP Instruction and SUP Yoga classes. I love to bring women out on the water, promoting mindfulness, dissolving fears and limiting beliefs, showing them their power and having fun!
Henry County, VA
My paddle passion is kayak angling! I have loved fishing since I was a young child. Going fishing with my family was a highlight of my childhood, and I am instilling that love for the outdoors in my children also. From the time I could hold a rod myself as a 4 year old, to fishing local tournaments in my 20’s, to now kayak angling in my 30’s…. paddling has given me a way to get out on the water and enjoy my fishing addiction without the cost of a motor boat!
Beyond kayak angling, I love to go explore the nooks and coves of lakes. Getting into areas that are not accessible by foot or motor boat, listening to the wildlife around me, hearing the sound of the water rippling along side of my kayak, and the feeling of seclusion gives me a sense of serenity I have yet to find anywhere else!
It’s my hope to encourage other women to enjoy the water and also give kayak angling a try! The fishing industry is almost completely male dominated, I would love to change that in some small way by introducing more females to angling and being out on the water! To show women who are passionate about the outdoors, that kayak angling should be apart of their outdoor experience!
Paddling since the age of 4, when my dad made me a paddle because I was too small for any other, helped build within me a strong passion, love, and respect for water. I find myself drawn to water, wanting to play in and on it as much as possible.
I have spent countless hours paddling and camping from home-built cedar strip or restored wood-canvas canoes across northern Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and northern Minnesota. Since finding stand-up paddling (SUP), I have not looked back–I have found freedom, adventure, fitness, and fun.
Freedom — to paddle where I want and when I want to. Adventure — taking me places that are not easy to get to on any other watercraft by exploring tiny streams, inlets, and lakes. Fitness — standing on my board engages every fiber in my body, from the tip of my toes to the top of my head. And finally, fun — spending hours paddling with family and friends, making memories that will last a lifetime.
I want to share these great water sports, building a culture of others who love the water, making connections between different groups of people — young and old, igniting creativity, and sharing it all with others.
Find Jody on: Instagram
Fort Collins/Evergreen Co and Ely MN
I have been working as a canoe guide for the Northern Lakes Girl Scout Canoe Base for two summers. Before that I was a GIT (guide in training) for the NLCB for two summers. I was originally introduced to the Base, the BWCAW in Minnesota and the Quetico in Canada when I was 15 when I went on my first canoe trip.
Even though I am from the Rocky Mountains, I have fallen in love with the north woods waters and canoeing! My favorite lake is Argo lake in the Quetico, my favorite campsite is on Ima Lake in the BWCAW, Grumman Lightweight canoes are the best canoes, and my favorite part of any trip is showing young girls (and adults too!) the wonder of the wilderness!
I live in a small town in the foothills of northern Colorado and, even though I grew up here, it’s only in the past several years that I’ve gotten the opportunity to invest myself in exploring the mountains. Although I work a normal office job, I spend as much time as I can hiking, camping, climbing, backpacking, road-tripping, snowshoeing, and most recently kayaking! as I can.
I’m excited to join the Women Who Paddle team as an ambassador so I can share a beginner’s perspective of paddling – including trip-planning strategy, embarrassing lessons, beginner resources, introductory gear choices, and more.
Canoeing is one of my all time favorite pastimes. I started paddling as a kid and have never looked back! It’s taken me all over the place – from the Northwest Territories to the Mississippi River Delta.
I once paddled too close to a tern’s nest and had to protect myself from the dive bombing birds by waving my paddle in the air frantically while simultaneously trying to steer the boat away. Needless to say, I’ve had many adventures from the seat of a canoe and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.
Photo credit: Claire Burgeson Photography
Buenos Aires, Argentina
I feel so lucky that I have paddled in such diverse places – from frozen lakes and rivers to the pristine waters of the Caribbean. I’m a huge fan of carrying my inflatable to every place I visit. I no longer carry too much for clothes, as I take everything necessary to paddle and hike. That’s what makes me happy.
Find Melina on: Instagram
I’m originally from Collingwood, Ontario but now call Calgary home. My favourite way to get out on the water is by SUP. What I love most about it is the diversity the sport can offer – from tranquil flatwater days, to backcountry adventures, to heart-pumping river runs… there’s a paddle adventure for whatever mood I’m in!
Find Robyn on: Instagram
Lummi Island, WA
I’m a water-loving, word-slinging, adventure-seeking gal; OK, I’m a writer with a paddling problem! Slithering my hips into a long, skinny sea kayak immediately transports me to my “happy place.” Paddling brings out the best in me and challenges me to be better. Sharing my passion of the wonderful world of water with other women makes my heart zing!
North Saanich, BC
I’m a stand up paddle boarder originally from Ontario but now living in British Columbia, on a continual quest to get closer to the ocean.
I grew up building rafts and canoeing the lakes of Northern Ontario, then as an adult, raced sprint canoe/kayak and outrigger before finally discovering Stand Up Paddle boarding. My love for the ocean compelled me to become a marine biologist and I have combined my loves of paddling and travel along with ocean education to create my business Blue Jellyfish SUP Adventures.
When I am not teaching on the water, I spend my time with my three children, travelling, and as an adventure travel photographer often documenting paddle boarding trips.
I love sharing my passion for the outdoors and find it very gratifying to help people discover the stoke that time on the water brings to their lives.
Snowdonia, North Wales
I’m a welsh lady! I love paddlesports, in particular, packrafting! I’ve been an open canoe paddler for many years, enjoying wilderness trips in Scotland with my family – hubby Jason and our two children (now teenagers) Tom & Lily. I’ve developed the confidence to travel further afield, along the way I’ve learnt to plan, pack, journey and most of all enjoy this time together in the outdoors.
Packrafting has opened up a whole new horizon in lightweight travel, allowing me the freedom to experience and journey through the landscape from a completely different perspective. Simply pack your lightweight boat in your bag and off you go! I love the challenge of linking up different terrain with a combination of walking and paddling.
As a family, we’ve travelled to Sweden enjoying a multi-day packrafting wilderness trip in the beautiful Glaskogen reserve. We never tire of returning to Scotland but most of all, packrafting has enabled us to create new journeys right here on our home doorstep in the stunning Snowdonia National Park.
As a result of wanting to focus on what’s important in our lives and the time we spend together, my husband Jason and I set up our own packrafting and wilderness skills business, Tirio, to share what we have learnt and show others what its all about. I’m really keen to demystify the whole process of getting outside and most of all enjoying it.
Along with my daughter Lily, I’m looking forward to introducing packrafting to mums and daughters in our local area this summer, if I can do it, really, anyone can!
After a near drowning experience in my first sea kayak lesson many years ago, I was on quest to overcome my terrifying experience and researched for a highly recommended mentor/instructor. This led me to an amazing woman named Cheri Perry from Maine (a Greenland enthusiast). She helped me learn many skills, and with her help and my tenacity I gained confidence and became a Greenland enthusiast myself. I started working on learning as many of the Greenland rolling list as I can and mentoring these skills to others.
2 years ago I built my own wooden kayak for paddling, camping out of and rolling. Learning to build and throw a traditional harpoon is next on my list. Rolling a kayak gives you a terrific safety skill and amazing confidence and can lead you down a paddling trail you never imagined possible.
I hope I can inspire even just one person that has had a tragic experience to push through the fear and come out with self love and pride and wanting more. Being on the water is my happy place, my zen, my passion
Currently New Zealand, but April- October on Vancouver Island
I got into paddling after two really severe head injuries. Paddling and being on the water have been my saving grace.
I love sea kayak instruction and anything SUP. For me the learning and the beauty comes from pushing our own limits and exploring our boundaries. Which is what’s led me to becoming a professional paddler, in a short period of time.
Find Amber on: Instagram
Check back! More ambassador profiles will be added soon!
North Ridgeville, OH
I was born and raised on the shores of Lake Erie, and for as far back as I can remember have always had a love of the water. I started paddle boarding about 6 years ago. At first just casually, then I discovered SUP racing and began competing in races all across the east coast, including Carolina Cup, OABI, and Chattajack.
While I love the excitement of racing, I also enjoy the stoke of SUP surfing, whitewater SUP, and just touring around exploring waterways on my board.
I just recently partnered with my local paddle shop, “Nalu Standup Paddle & Surf,” to run a new division of the company, “Nalu Fitness and Adventures,” where I will be introducing SUP fitness and yoga classes, tours, adventures, and SUP-centric travel, as well as coaching the race team and putting together a new series of races on Lake Erie called, “The Erie Series.”
When I am not on the water, I am usually somewhere near it – hiking, mountain biking, trail running, travelling, photographing or chasing waterfalls with my dog Bella, who also loves to paddle.