Every year I go to an event called Paddlefest. It is sponsored by the Canadian outdoor outfitter called Mountain Equipment Co-Op, or MEC for short. Even though it is sponsored by MEC, all local dealers are invited to come down and show their wares.
For people like me, it's a great chance to paddle different boats, and different types of boats to see what I am going to spend my money on next....
In case you missed the write ups on previous Paddlefests, here are a few to peruse:Paddlefest 2012Paddlefest 2013Paddlefest 2014Paddlefest 2015
In the past I have only been to Paddlefest in Halifax, since, you know, that's where I lived...
This year, since we are now in Ottawa, we went to the Ottawa one, which was different enough to be interesting. Of course, as with anything in Ottawa, we had to pay for parking, which was different as it is at a park with free parking in Halifax.
In the past I have mostly stuck to kayaks, with the occasional cautious foray into trying a stand up paddleboard, but this year I have been more and more interested in a canoe for a variety of reasons. Nether Megan nor I have paddled a canoe in many, many years, so it was a bit awkward taking one out, but I think we both enjoyed it.
Megan also tried a boat that she had fallen in love with last year, the Venture Isla 14LV. This is the Low Volume version of the 14 foot Isla boat, designed with smaller paddlers in mind. Once again she was very happy with it and, although she tried other boats, that was the one she has her heart set on.
I was glad to see that this boat was still available. Some companies change up their lines fairly often and I am glad to see that it is a popular enough boat to still be around.
Unfortunately this year we weren't able to raid the equipment tent as in past years, nor were we able to really do anything at the swap meet, so I don't have any new goodies, but I did get a souvenir that will last for a few days at least... bright red flesh!
It was 35 degrees and sunny as anything!
So, even though I didn't score any cool gear this year (always one of my favorite parts of Paddlefest!) I still had a great time, and I am already making plans for how to make my gear obtaining comeback next year!