Continuing with our 20 questions blog posts, this week we have Aquabatics Ambassador Bryan. He is 3rd generation Calgary local and has been paddling for most of his life. He has been a huge Aquabatics supporter, since he first came into the shop and laid eyes on his new Katanna 10-4. These days hes passionate about all types of paddling and growing as a paddler, preferring to get out in his Dagger Stratos whenever he can both solo and with anyone willing. We're So happy to have him aboard the AQ team to spread his love and knowledge of the sport.
Enough of my ramblings, Aquabatics proudly presents 20 questions with Bryan Hume.
Who the heck are yeah?
I’m Bryan Hume, that’s Bryan with a “Y” for “Y” not kayak today? or “Y” it’s great to be on the water today!
Where yeah from?
I’m a third generation Calgarian, born and raised here. Calgary great city to live in with many paddling spots that are super close for whatever kind of paddling a person wants to do.
When did you start paddling?
I started paddling when I was just a little fella with my dad and we often paddled off to get to secret fishing spots. I’ve always loved being on the water. I spent time canoeing and kayaking with my sons also. When they grew up and left the nest, I decided to get into paddling in a more serious way. I hadn’t decided what kind of paddling I wanted to do so the best solution for me was to purchase a Dagger Katana 10.4 crossover kayak which has been a great boat to paddle both white water and flat water.
Why kayak when there’s so many other ways to get on the water?
Being on the water is fantastic! I’ve had some opportunity to sail, wind surf, canoe, water ski etc. When it comes right down to it, kayaking offers such great opportunity to get away from all the stresses of life. Whether it is an adrenaline fix you need on white water or the peace and solitude of a solo day long paddle on an awesome lake, kayaking can meet the need. Another huge bonus that comes with kayaking is the people you meet who share the passion. I have met some fabulous humans to paddle with and we share in great conversations on the water, offer support to each other and help me challenge myself as a paddler.
Do you remember what your first Kayak was? colour?
My dad and I made our first boat which was a Scout model two seat veneer kayak that we built it in our basement when I was growing up. It was constructed with wood strips, plywood ribs, covered in veneer with a layer of fiberglass to finish it off. This was a solid boat, heavy but reliable. It had a white bottom and blue top with a white coaming. We made our own paddles also. I still have awesome memories of kayaking in that first boat on lakes here in southern Alberta, and on vacations into B.C. We even had it in the ocean on the west coast.
The Bow River is a good time, you have to hit every ripple!!
If you could build the perfect Kayak what would it look like?
I have been doing more flat water paddles this past season and I’m moving in that direction. So for me the perfect kayak is one that still lets me do some trips on a river and has good rocker but on flat water is sleek, streamline, is fairly light, and playful also. On flat water it’s still nice to have the feel of a responsive boat that edges well and can turn quickly. This past season, I’ve talked to paddlers, AQOutdoors staff, and tried a number of boats and I’ve landed on the Dagger Stratos 14.5 L which at this point in my paddling hits the mark. I can hardly wait to pick my new boat and get out on the water this spring!
Straight or bent shaft paddle?
For the most part I’ve used a straight shaft paddle (Werner Powerhouse Demshitz) which has been quite good. I’ve tried out a few bent shaft paddles for day long flat water paddle trips and I find the ergonomic design of bent shaft paddles easier on the wrist. While the jury is still out, I think bent shaft is the way I’ll be going.
Where’s your favorite place to paddle, well one you’re comfortable sharing with the world anyway?
There are so many fabulous places to paddle in the Rockies. I have enjoyed paddling in a number of these lakes. I think a highlight of this past season was a solo paddle in Bow Lake which lies just south of the Bow Summit. From there, a paddler can see the Wapta Icefield, Bow Glacier, and Crowfoot Glacier. It is one of the lakes on the Icefield Parkway in Banff and Jasper National Parks and it’s the closest lake to the headwaters of the Bow River. Bow Lake has a fantastic turquoise color because it is a glacial melt-water lake. The day I was there, the lake was so calm and reflected the majestic mountain ranges that reach down to the water on the south and west sides.
What's the longest commute you’ve made for a weekend of paddling?
Bow Lake was the longest commute (3 hrs). With an early morning departure from home I was on the water by 8:30 for an awesome day of paddling. While I was in the area, I figured after Bow Lake I’d take a few laps around the small by picturesque Hebert Lake. Just didn’t want to leave the area!
Where’s your go to paddle for a quick evening jaunt?
As far as quick paddles, my usual go to for an early morning peaceful paddle is Glenmore Reservoir which I pass by on my way to work. It’s a great start to the day! For a quick weekend paddle, I usually head out to Ghost Lake. Both options are close by and offer easy access.
How are you pushing yourself on the water?
This past paddling season, I’ve gone on longer paddles with a fellow paddler. I’m trying to pay attention to the mechanics of paddling and have muscle memory kick in to focusing on quality paddle strokes. This next year I hope to go on some multi day events that push past the 30km distances paddled in 2019. Additionally, I want to learn how to complete deep water self rescues as well as practicing my roll in rougher and colder conditions. You know safety first!
Do you do any type of winter training?
Over the winter I just try to keep myself in shape by walking lots, swimming and heading in to the pool for some roll practice. It’s also a great way to stay in touch with fellow paddlers. Additionally, I spend time checking out paddling locations, videos, having a look back at where I went last year and do a bit of trip planning for the coming year.
What’s your dream run or trip?
I have a few places on my wish list! The more doable and closer locations to paddle would be a 2 day trip on the Milk River to Writing on Stone Provincial Park. I’d also love to do the 116 km Bowron Lakes circuit in B.C. I think my dream paddle though would be to have a guided ocean paddle off the north tip of Vancouver Island in the Haida Gwaii or to go overseas and paddle in the Loften Islands (Northern Norway).
What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen while paddling?
There has been plenty of wild life to see when out on the water. I’ve seen moose, deer, plenty of birds but I think the coolest thing I’ve seen is a Heron fishing in Glenmore Reservoir. It’s quite something to be sitting still in your kayak a few feet away from a trusting Heron and watch him nab one fish after another. So stealthy! Paddling offers so many ways to connect with nature.
What is the most heartbreaking thing you’ve lost in the water?
Well I’ve lost a few things in the water but the worst was losing a my glasses on a canoe trip down the Bow River run from Ghost Lake to Cochrane. It was an October paddle with a buddy who had not been on the water much. The water level was lower than I had ever seen it. I had my buddy at the front and after being on the river for about three minutes, he shouted “Rock!” which was only about two feet in front of us. It’s hard to turn a 16’ canoe that quickly so in we went. We got to the shore, sorted out our gear, dumped out the water and shook off the chill from the October swim. I then realized that things seemed a bit blurry. After that trip chums strap for my shades became a thing!
What’s the best advice you would give to someone brand new to kayak?
I would suggest that new paddlers first consider what kind of paddling that they want to do. If you don’t know for sure, it’s great to experience both white water and flat water to figure out what your paddling interest is. While I have moved more into flat water kayaking I still have an interest paddling class 2 white water. That being said, there is something magical to a long flat water paddle and really being at peace. For the new paddler, it’s good to keep your options open and try out lots of boats. Find the boat that meets your paddling needs and fits you well. Take lessons and develop some comfort before buying a boat. Paddlers grow into boats as their skill and confidence develops. Finally, join a club and you’ll find that the paddling community is an awesome one. People on the water are passionate and help new paddlers learn in a safe and supported way!
If you could go paddling with anyone in the world past or present who would it be?
Considering my dad got me started with this paddling passion I have, I think it would be awesome to be able to have a three generation paddle with my dad and my sons. Paddling is not in the cards for my dad anymore but he still enjoys seeing photos and hearing about my adventures.
Is there anything you would change about sport?
I think we are fortunate in Alberta to have some great locations to paddle in. Some paddling spots are difficult to get to because of water access points. From my perspective, accessing public river, lakes or reservoirs for water craft shouldn’t be an issue. Additionally, water levels for early season paddling and flood management is a fine balance that in ideal circumstances would meet both needs. All things considered, paddling here is great!
If you had to pick your favorite bird, what would it be and why?
I love the Whiskey Jack, these little fellas are very friendly and quite smart. They’ll eat out of your hand and love to be social with people. They are super hardy and represent Canada as they can be found in every province and territory.
Is there anything I missed you wanted to add?
AQOutdoors continues to be an awesome place to get information, take kayaking courses, try out boats, connect with clubs, sponsor film nights, host Bar-b-ques and help connect people who share a common interest. Thanks to Simon and his staff for all the inspiration and support in the paddling community
I don't have to much to add to that, Bryan nailed it on what AQoutdoors is. Cant wait to see what this coming season brings, with Bryan as an Ambassador for the shop.
Big Thanks to Bryan for answering my questions and providing some pictures. Don't hesitate to hit him up for a chat if you see him on the water
Questions by Andy W Answered by Bryan Hume
Check out Bryans Social Media
Facebook @Bryan Hume Insta @Brhume.yyc
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