Every now and then you come across a paddler that you see enormous potential in. I watch a lot of content streaming through social media and a certain paddler has been catching my eye for a while, a young Greenland paddler from British Columbia, James Manke. What’s even more surprising is how new to paddling James is, having only taken it up 18 months ago despite an overwhelming fear of the ocean.
Like many new kayakers, James quickly became addicted to paddling and in particular, the Greenland styles. Living by a lake on Vancouver Island certainly helps – he spends time on the water every day (and sometimes at night) practicing different Greenland-style rolls, a key reason for his rapid skills development. Living in BC has also brought him into contact with those crazed ocean white water lovers, The Hurricane Riders, with whom he draws inspiration from and has been lucky enough to paddle with.
Whilst originally a chef (favourite dish is a bacon cheese burger with poutine, hold the onions!) and more recently a web designer, James is aiming to apply his skills as a professional paddler, instructing Greenland skills such as boat and paddle building as well as Greenland-style rolling. He has just been announced as the Canadian ambassador for Northern Light Paddles which is positioning him well for his career switch from coder to professional paddler later this year.
But enough of the talk, the best way to see James’ skills is to watch some of the video content he is now producing of his paddles. His latest, a Greenland surfing session, is enough to get any surf lover jealous. Hope you enjoy it. Cheers, FP