Details coming soon.


Hometown: Orcas Island, WA



Shawna is co-creator, co-owner, and coach educator at Body Boat Blade International, a highly successful two time award winning paddle sports school based on Orcas Island, WA. Shawna's accomplishments from winning kayak races, competing in rolling competitions, to successful expeditions is extensive. She is a team athlete for numerous top paddle sports manufacturers and has worked with some of these manufactures to create award winning products. Shawna has been featured many times in magazines, films, and as a featured guest coach at symposia around the world.


Shawna was the first woman in the USA to gain the BCU 5 Star Sea award, a coveted sea kayaking award testing personal skill, leadership, and judgment in some of the most demanding conditions you may find on the sea. Currently she holds BCU UKCC Coach Level 5 Aspirant, BCU Assessor Level 4, BCU 5 Star Sea, Foundation Safety & Rescue Provider, BCU 4 Star Provider, BCU 4 Star Surf, BCU 2 Star Canoe. She is also currently serving on the new Paddle Sports North America (PNA) Board.

Biggest Adventure:

Shawna was the first woman to circumnavigate Iceland by sea kayak with famed solo paddler Chris Duff and her partner Leon Somme in 2003. This was a 1600 nautical mile trip and took 81 days to complete. This was the biggest adventure in terms of length and logistics, it was also my first real expedition! It was a challenge of both mind and body and taught me a great deal about myself. Iceland was the beginning to a never ending life of exploration and self discovery! In 2007, Shawna circumnavigated Haida Gwaii, a 500 nautical mile, six week trip with her partner, Leon Somme and adventure filmmaker, Justine Curgenven. In 2012, Shawna and her partner Leon Somme circumnavigated Vancouver Island in 44 days.

Life these days:

She also owns FAT HAT ART Company, where she produces and sells her own drawings, prints and paintings. Shawna grew up in Minnesota, but she finds home is Orcas Island (Washington), centered in the paddling paradise of the Pacific Northwest. The first time she was ever in a kayak, she learned a paddle roll and a hand roll. On an expedition, she will never hesitate to slow things down long enough to stop and look at the tiniest wildflower, or sit and paint a sky because it has 100 shades of gray.

“I am passionate about exploring this beautiful planet we live on, and I want to share what I see and experience with others. I coach, I lead, and I do expeditions because it all makes me happy.”

Paula is strong, word class, international female coach, an ambassador for female coaches.


Nathalie, with an enthusiasm and extraordinary energy for exploring areas which are off the beaten track. 

- has been sailing in a sea kayak for almost 15 years.
- independent and enterprising on all kinds of terrain, whether in charge of a winch for a glider in the intense heat of a desert in Namibia, or driving a team of huskies in minus 43�, on a section of the -Yukon Quest Race in Western Canada.
- adept at underwater photography, she is the main organiser of the Monaco Competition for Underwater Photography.
- has been with Alain, generally just the two of them, on all his trips.

Nathalie and her husband Alain have embarked on a project lasting several years, travelling by sea kayak round the coast of Greenland, with the aim to meet, listen and report on the views of the Inuit people. 600 nautical miles were covered during their 2009 expedition. Photos and eye-witness reports are available on their website.


Hadas was born in January 1971, in Israel. She has widely traveled across South America, East Asia and Africa, cycled solo for 2 months in Laos and found her ideal way of travel in sea kayaking.
Several years ago Hadas started to work as a white water rafting guide on the Jordan River, a river that on occasion is classed at grade 6. She subsequently turned to the sea and ever since has been involved in the sea kayaking industry. Currently working as a kayak instructor in her home base of Israel at Optimist Kayak center and Gil kayaking center as well as leading kayak expeditions abroad.
Hadas is keenly sought after for her photographic skills and has been invited to deliver inspiration/motivational lectures world wide.
Her previous expeditions include:

2002 - 300 kilometers solo expedition along the cost of Turkey. Also led kayak trips around the Dodecanese islands in Greece.
2003 - 600 kilometers journey along the Kamchatka coastline with Justine Curgenven.
2004 - Together with Jeff Allen on a 6 month journey, paddled 6500 Kilometers, circumnavigating the four main islands of Japan.
2005- she paddled 800 kilometers in Alaska. From Whittier to homer.
2005 - Paddled 650 kilometers circumnavigating the sub Antarctic Island of South Georgia together with Peter Bray, Nigel Dennis, and Jeff Allen.
2007- Together with Tomer Sabag kayaked around the Island of New Found Land, a distance of 2200 Kilometers.

As a youngster in NY, Ginni Callahan grew up canoeing and camping. Shortly after moving to Oregon, she undertook a short-lived canoe ride in the Oregon surf one January. Swimming back to shore behind the old Coleman, wearing waterproof boots and a jogging outfit, she learned the value of immersion gear, and paddling something with a closed deck.

Ginni Callahan has since built a life around her passion for sea kayaking and coaching. She guides and teaches for part the year in Baja, Mexico, part of the year on the lower Columbia River and the Oregon Coast, and travels to coach around the world when she can. In 2000, she founded Columbia River Kayaking, which has evolved into a guide-owned cooperative. She and her Mexican business partner Ivette started Sea Kayak Baja Mexico, the only Nigel Dennis Expedition Center in Mexico, and the only full-service kayak center in Baja, with rentals, retail, courses, tours, and a club.

For four years she organized the on-water instruction at the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium in Port Townsend, then ran her own skills symposiums, the Lower Columbia Kayak Roundup (LoCo) from her 21-acre Puget Island farm “Slow Boat Farm" for 5 years. In 2012 she crossed the Pacific from Mexico to New Zealand with Henrick Lindström in his sailboat with 2 Romanys on board. She paddled a few of the shorter crossings between islands: Tahiti to Moorea, Tahaa to Bora Bora, a few in Tonga.

In all her spare time, she raises a market garden, writes, and hangs out on warm beaches.

BCU certs:

  • 5* Sea
  • 4* Surf
  • 3* Open Canoe
  • Assess level 4 Sea
  • Also ACA Advanced Open Water Instructor



Whether be it the warm waters of the Philippines where she was born and raised, or the sunny, coastal surf of southern California where she now lives, Gennifer Gatan finds herself completely at home on the water.

Sea kayaking since 2008, Gennifer hasn’t looked back since, enjoying all its facets – day touring, expedition-style trips, rock gardening, surfing. She has combined this passion with a love for world travel; the views from the seat of a kayak are some of the best, after all.

In the NDK Pilgrim, she feels her skills continue to grow into the kayak’s design and functionality, and finds that its performance shines in sporty, dynamic conditions.

Gennifer works in the local outdoor recreation industry as an instructor and guide, both on water and hiking trails. She’s a British Canoe ASKL aspirant, and holds an ACA-L3 certification.

“I can’t say enough good things about this tiny powerhouse! She reminds me a lot of Eila. She’s an amazing paddler with excellent technical and tactical understanding. She is an exceptional leader, coach and mentor who embodies BC’s model of empowerment.”
Jen Kleck

See Gennifer’s adventures – both local and beyond – on Instagram, @out.i.go.

Freya Hoffmeister, the Woman in Black, lives in Husum, North Germany, when she's not traveling for sea kayaking around the world. She's either picking her van, tent or a rental car to sleep in: independence is her lifestyle.

Accomplished in several styles of paddling, including marathon racing, Greenland style rolling, expedition paddling and rough water kayaking and who knows what else she's going to try next. Freya chooses boats, paddles and gear depending on the conditions, her moods, and by pure chance! A squeeze into a squirt boat, a sidestep to white water rivers, a sprint and balance act on a surf ski, its all about variety in life! No time for her to get bored and when you see her having fun playing around or experience her endurance on a race or trip, you might feel what a kayaker's life is all about.

She started kayaking 1997 with a folding kayak on quiet waters, where her newborn son grew up in the back hatch.
In 2003, her interest was raised for the 'rough' waters, exploring with her first sea kayak along Germany's and Denmark's coastline, inviting her to play. In 2004 she participated in her first international sea kayak symposium in Anglesey, which made her instantly hooked and an extensive kayaking travelling career had begun.

FreyaIn open water racing Freya won the Arctic Sea Kayak Marathon in Norway 2004, placed 2nd 2006 in the 300 km race around the Danish Island Fyn, and took 14:07 hrs for a 120 km one-day trip around the Isle of Man.

Having been a former gymnast, bodybuilder and skydiver, Freya has the balance and flexibility needed for rolling. Soon after she started Greenland style rolling, she was already teaching rolls at symposiums all over the world.

In 2005 Greenland style rolling has become her trademark. She had not only mastered most of the 35 Greenland rolls in a very short period of time, but had also made up some of her own, and added some creative balancing movements ON the kayak. Freya won the overall women's class on the 2006 Greenland national championships. Her total of 8 gold medals in rolling and races made her the most successful foreign competitor ever.

She's been a guest teacher in Japan, New Zealand, America, Sweden, Great Britain, Denmark, Holland, Scotland, Spain, Finland and Germany so far! Invitaions to Iceland, Israel, Italy and more are on the 2008's list. Combining this teaching with various kayaking trips in the area has been an exciting way of traveling for the last few years.

Freya started her 'longer' expeditions career with a three weeks trip in May 2006 on the remote South Coast of Newfoundland, where she joined Wendy Killoran. Her appetite was wettened now for longer trips on even more challenging coastlines! Together with her partner Greg Stamer, she circumnavigated Iceland in June 2007 in the record time of 33 days/ 25 paddling days only.

A solo trip around the challenging and unforgivable coast line of New Zealand's South Island made her the first woman to circumnavigate, and the 4th person overall, again in the record time of 70 days/ 47 paddling days only.

Freya is part of Justine Curgeven's 'This is the Sea III' video.

She is available for lectures about her trips and with her special rolling classes for symposiums all over the world.


I grew up by the sea, as a family we enjoyed many adventures sailing our boat around the south of England, France, Channel Islands and the Isles of Scilly. In 1994 I started work in outdoor education and discovered sea kayaking, I loved it and that year experienced my first sea kayak expedition to the Hebrides and I was hooked.

I have tried all areas of the sport, completing the devices to Westminster canoe race twice, a gold medal in my category in the British National marathon championships, raced at national level for Sprint races, wild water racing, surf kayaking, dragon boating and expedition canoeing. My main focus in my own time is on Sea paddling I enjoy spending time coaching as well as expeditions, whilst at work I coach canoe adventures for staff and students on the lakes and rivers of the Lake District.

On the personal paddling side I have done many expeditions both in the UK as well as various places around the world, these have included a circumnavigation of Great Britain and Ireland, paddling the South West Coast of Australia, circumnavigating the Hong Kong Territories, The Falkland Islands, Israel coast and areas of Sri Lanka and Vancouver Island.

I have lead groups and coached at Symposiums on the coasts of Northern and Southern Spain, Gibraltar straits, East and West coast of North America and Alaska. The challenge and enjoyment I get is endless, I am constantly full of thoughts of places I would like to paddle only time will tell if I am able to do them.

My main choice of boat has been an Explorer, it’s a great all round work boat, whilst maintaining speed it works well in surf, tidal races and on expeditions.

On my Great Britain and Ireland trip I paddled a Greenlander Race, this was a great boat with good waterline length for speed, it had great storage capacity and was incredibly stable and steady when loaded with expedition kit.

My preferred play boat is a Romany Surf, it is stable, manoeuvrable in waves and good fun.

Paddling resume includes

  • Level 5 sea A5
  • Aspirant Level 5 coach Open Canoe A3
  • Level 3 coach Inland A3
  • Level 3 coach Surf and 5 star trained
  • Level 2 coach Placid Water A1.

Based in Holyhead, Anglesey. Eila is a UKCC L3 coach & AWE & 4 star (sea) assessor. (Aspirant 5 star sea assessor).

Specialising in the tidal waters and races around the coast of Anglesey Eila runs her own business. Eila runs expeditions to St Kilda, Outer Hebrides & Ireland.

Eila is a Sea Kayaking UK and Celtic Paddles sponsored paddler having completed successful and fast circumnavigations of Ireland & the Outer Hebrides (using a Greenlander Pro). Enjoying the challenge of distance & speed paddling Eila also holds pretty fast non stop circumnavigations of Anglesey and the Isle of Man in Pilgrim Expeditions.

She is an advocate for women's paddling, coaching and sea safety, proving time after time that women can accomplish and excel on an equal level with the men. Specialising in leadership, technique, skills and efficiency of paddling in every sea environment imaginable and sharing her knowledge with others.

Eila's boats of choice are her light weight carbon Kevlar Pilgrim Expedition in custom glitter and red colours and her little 50/50 construction Pilgrim in black and gold sparkles. She raises the seat to give more connectivity and responsiveness in the kayak.

Favourite paddle? At home she usually has her 1 piece 204cm narrow straight shaft Celtic Paddles 650 blades on a 60 degree feather to hand. For flying and travel you will never find her without her 4 piece of the same make up.

You can contact Eila on

Ashley started kayaking when she moved to Norway in 2010. She stumbled across a job working in a camp school where kayaking and canoeing were lead activities so she soon became introduced to the water. Already having passion for the sea, Ashley quickly found her new passion for kayaking.


Ashley Brown is a fixture of Charleston Kayaking.

As one of only five women in the US to hold the prestigious Level 5 American Canoe Association Advanced Open Water Coastal Kayaking Certification, she welcomes guests from all over the world to paddle the wetlands and off shore waters of South Carolina.

As much as Ashley loves to paddle, she also loves to teach and to bring new people into this great sport. Her dedication to teaching brought her to the College of Charleston, where she has been instrumental in the ongoing development of university level curriculum in Kayaking and Expedition Kayaking.

Ashley now serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Health Education and Human Performance Dept.

Ashley was recently awarded a Technology Grant by the College to find unique ways to use technology, like 'Coaches Eye Sports Video Analysis App', to help build better paddlers. She also teaches at symposiums up and down the East Coast.

Ashley is an all around water-woman, who loves to play in the water with her family; she is also a Stand-Up Paddler and a surfer, but her office is really her NDK Pilgrim LV – and you can find her in it most days, dancing in the waters around Charleston.

Amber has been drawn to the water and outdoors from an early age. She loves discovering beautiful places and sharing that experience with others. Her passion and enthusiasm for kayaking is evident when meeting her.

A graduate from Laurentian University in Outdoor Leadership Amber now works as the operations director and lead Instructor for Blue Dog Kayaking the country’s number one provider of Paddle Canada Sea Kayaking program, SKUK distributor and expedition center for North West America .

She holds Paddle Canada Level 4 skills and is a Paddle Canada Level 3 skills Instructor.

Amber is a great inspiration for all female paddlers who want to progress in the world of Sea Kayaking Instruction.