Category Archives: Lake Erie

North Shore Sup

There is an exciting event happening this summer here on the North shore of Lake Erie and it goes right through our back yard.

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The Lake Erie North Shore Stand Up Event (there is an overview of the event below) will take place July 20th 2013 and is a paddle from Nickel Beach in Port Colborne to Crystal Beach, a distance of 25k (18 or so miles for those of us not familiar with the metric system).

I recently met one of the organizers and was drawn in by her excitement. The event has been carefully planned and safety of the participants is the # 1 concern.

Below is an invite from Katherine, from North Shore Sup.

 “We would love to have the local community out on the water, to share our beautiful lake with the rest of the SUP community. Also, for those unsure about whether they can finish 25 km, we will have shuttle services if you need to tap out early. No problem.
The Fort Erie Underwater Recovery Unit, plus 5 Paddle Canada certified instructors will be on the water to ensure that everyone has a great experience.”

exploring sherkston wreck
exploring sherkston wreck

Gail and I are planning to join in or help out in some way. Lets get some Reef Warriors involved. Any Bretheren of the Reef up for the challenge?
If you can’t take part in the paddle but would like to help, there will be volunteer roles available. Contact Katherine at

Registration Cost

Registration is $80.  PayPal will be available soon.

With your registration, you get:

  • A RipZone event rashguard shirt
  • lunch and dinner
  • on-water support and shuttle service
  • a chance to win sweet prizes from MEC, SteamWhistle, local restaurants and more (prizes for the biggest charity pledges raised)

There is also a waiver and registration form to be filled out and a form to collect pledges if you so choose

Please contact Katherine Balpataky at   or 519 222 1178 for

more information or to express interest.

Please bring:

  • PFD, whistle, leash and your board and paddle
  • water/sports drinks
  • sunscreen
  • water booties

Beach party!

Paddlers and their friends will finish the day at the very popular Crystal Beach site. SUP demos and information booths will be out in full force. An after-event party will be held at Sneaker’s Beach Tavern. All are welcome.

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The Lake Erie North Shore StandUp is a challenging 25-km standup paddleboarding event along the north shore of Lake Erie from Nickel Beach, Port Colborne to Crystal Beach, Fort Erie on July 20, 2013. Proceeds will go towards the development of the Lake Erie Stewardship EcoTrail, a project spearheaded by the Carolinian Canada Coalition.

The Lake Erie North Shore StandUp will raise awareness of the Eco-Trail and tourism on Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario. It will be promoted as an event that supports healthy and active lifestyles and educates participants about the importance of conserving the natural and heritage features of the coast.

What is standup paddleboarding?

Standup paddleboarding (SUP) is the fastest growing paddle sport in North America, born of Hawaiian heritage. A paddler stands upright on a board that resembles a large surfboard and uses a long paddle to navigate flat, moving (rivers) or coastal surf.

The Cause

With many partners, CCC is developing a proposal for a Lake Erie Stewardship Eco-Trail. The vision is a trail that will link businesses, natural areas and other sites of interest along the entire 592-km coast of Lake Erie. It will provide community groups the chance to get outdoors and join in caring for our coast. The trail can also be a tool to highlight Lake Erie’s important agricultural and human heritage.

Carolinian Canada’s Lake Erie Coastal Zone Program provides a forum for public and private partners to work together to better manage the coastal zone for people and nature. Improving business, research and conservation opportunities is a key goal of the Coastal Zone Program.

One way to work towards this goal is through a Lake Erie Stewardship Eco-Trail.

Paddler’s donations will be used to develop signage for the trail, to support a volunteer program for trail maintenance and coastal restoration projects.

Event details

The Lake Erie North Shore Standup is modeled after a successful and growing Ottawa-based charity fund-raising event called the Stand Up For CHEO (SUFC). SUFC raises money for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Duncan Keith, co-founder of Stand Up For CHEO (SUFC) is on the Executive Committee of the North Shore Standup, contributing his knowledge and experiences with the Ottawa event.

The North Shore Standup will host 30 participants from Nickel Beach, Port Colborne to Pleasant Beach and then  on to Crystal Beach, Fort Erie (see map). The event is designed to be small in its first year to ensure that each rider has positive, safe and rewarding experience.

Safety considerations:

Designed in accordance Transport Canada guidelines for water events

Fully insured, in accordance with Paddle Canada advice

Paddlers will be accompanied by Paddle Canada certified standup paddleboarders, chase

boats and a jet ski

Road crew will be on hand to lend assistance

The Fort Erie Underwater Recovery Unit has volunteered assistance.

Paddleboarders will be greeted by local community groups (Crystal Beach BIA, Friends of Crystal Beach, city councilors, etc.), Carolinian Canada staff, volunteers, media and sponsors at a lunch rest stop and at the final destination for a BBQ celebration.

Bios of the organizers can be found here:


The Lake Erie North Shore StandUp offers sponsors the unique opportunity to be part of an event that features the popular and growing sport of standup paddleboarding, while promoting local tourism for economic development in the coastal communities of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario.

Gold sponsorship: $2,000 or more

Silver sponsorship: $1,000 or more

Bronze sponsors: $500 or more

Sponsorship dollars will be used for operating costs. A detailed budget will be provided. All proceeds will go to the Eco-Trail.

Gold sponsors (1-2 spots only, $2,000 or more)

Gold sponsors will be provided:

Industry sector exclusivity

The opportunity to involve staff volunteer roles

First rights to premier sponsorship in 2014

A personalized message to all event participants and volunteers.

Additional benefit ideas welcome for discussion.

Gold sponsors will be asked to greet paddlers at the beach party and will be mentioned in all interviews with press. Demo tent space on the beach will be provided to provide paddlers and guests with information about products or programs.

Gold sponsor logos will be featured prominently on all promotional materials including the website, flyers, press releases and on event shirts.

Silver sponsors ($1000 or more)

Silver sponsors will be listed in all press release materials and will be mentioned by the

organizers during speaking opportunities at the BBQ beach party. Silver sponsors will also be invited to set up a booth or equipment demos for paddlers, spectators and their families.

Sponsor logos will be featured on all promotional materials including the website, flyers, press releases and on event shirts.

Bronze sponsors ($500 or more)

Bronze sponsors will have their logos featured on the event website and all promotional

materials. Bronze sponsors will be listed in all press release materials and will be mentioned at the beach party.


The event will be promoted though:

The website:

Posters and flyers distributed to local business and at Ontario paddling events

Social media (Twitter, Facebook, blogs)

Local press (The Tribune)

Related websites (Surf Ontario,, Fresh Coast, etc.)

Please contact Katherine Balpataky at or 519 222 1178 for

more information or to express interest.

A route map is available on our website:

Gear review/ Smooth paddle boards

While Casey was shredding up the waves in the Outer Banks, we had a chance to try out a Smooth stand up paddle board .DCIM100GOPRO

Mrs. Jim Dandy just picked one up for herself and let Jim bring it over so we could try it out.

We were very pleasantly surprised at the performance of this board. Initially a little tippy, but you can quickly compensate. We had a true novice give the board a try, and she did fine. (Thanks for braving the cold water Andrea)

Smooth is a great name for this board, because it was smooth. A couple quick strokes and the board jumps up to a steady glide, the tippyness is gone and you are off on a smooth ride. This board tracks amazingly well, one of the best tracking I have tried.

Gidget did a few pivot turns and the board turned quickly with great stability. She also thinks it will be a fine yoga/ fitness board.

The 11 ft length and 30″ width  along with a volume of 171 litres made for a nice stable platform for a big guy like me.I found a sweet spot just behind the carry handle for a stable ride and optimum glide. We need to try it out in some waves, but I think it will be a good board to help the rider catch some small fun waves. ( We will update when we give it the wave test.)

This is one on the nicest boards we have paddled. Marketed as a low-cost ( under $1000) entry-level board, I don’t think the average paddler would be able to tell the difference between this and boards for twice the cost.

The cost also includes a very nice paddle, which is not the case with boards in the same price range.

If the whole Smooth line paddles as well as this board, you can’t go wrong, and you will not go wrong with this package, if you are looking for another board for the family to play on, or a board to get your significant other out on the water this would be one Smooth move.

Locally available at Doug Curtis’s shop

Tell  Doug the reef warriors sent you!



Package Includes: • Meli’a Paddle Board • Grey Deck Pad • Board Vent • Board Handle • Center and FCS Side Fins • Matching Carbon Composite Paddle

11 Foot Specs
-Length: 11′
-Width: 30”
-Thickness: 4-5/16”
-Weight: 26lbs
-Volume: 171L
-Rider Weight: up to 185 lbs.

Lake Ice Update

Casey is back with new gear from the Outer Banks,  I have a couple sup sessions on the local creeks,early march with Jim Dandy, and this weekend with Gidget. Lake Erie ice is flowing down the mighty Niagara river. Spring has sprung and it won’t be long before the warriors return to the reef.

Just a little shore ice left on Sherkston beach shores. Now we wait for an extended warm up and/or a strong off shore winds to clear out our bay.

Here is a quick look at the beach from sunday 4/7/13

shore ice sherkston beach 4/7/13 from reef warrior on Vimeo.