ECCKF Recap 2011

Every spring Sean and I go to James Island County Park, in South Carolina, to be a part of the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival (ECCKF).  We have enjoyed the lectures, on-water classes, demonstrations, and enjoyed finding bargains. Every year has been a little different due to the roll we have taken at the festival.

When we began going almost ten years ago we were employees of Osprey Bay Outdoors.  And we had one goal “to become one with all of the information to become better guides and instructors”.  We accomplished that mission.  Now when I go to ECCKF I am working as an instructor for H2Outfitters; whereas, Sean is offering technical support at ECCKF to Sweetwater Kayaks and networking with prospective sponsors.

The weather made things a little challenging this time at James Island County Park.  Some weather fronts blew through Saturday and the wind was a distraction to teaching on the pond.  The wind was so strong that I saw a stand-up-paddle-boarder appear to be levitating off the water.  They went splash and I helped them get back to their board.

Sean had a similar experience at the Sweetwater Kayaks tent.  The wind was so strong that it pulled one of the stakes anchoring the tent out of the ground and bent two of the poles.  The pole jumped about 12 inches & Sean jumped onto the upright to keep the tent from flying away.  The H2Outfitters tent did suffer some wind damage to the poles and they did move five inches.

Beyond the wind the weather also presented me with a chance to test my new sleeping bag.  I recently purchased a Mountain Hardwear down Flip 35/50 degree sleeping bag.  The 50 degree rating side kept me comfortable even when the temperature dropped to 45 degrees. What also helped to stay comfortable was that I found it easy to adjust the draw cord top to make it work like a mummy hood. This is a very smart design.  And I see this bag as a new best friend.

Sean tested some new kayaks and maybe he will write a post about some of the new boats.  Speaking of boats, NDK has produced some stunning gel coats for their fiberglass kayaks.  The pictures speak volumes.  I like the simplicity of the green and yellow Greenlander pro.  And then there is the unique NDK logo on the deck of a Kevlar kayak.


All in all ECCKF is a great way to start the spring. – Jeff

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