Photo by Alex Matthews

Russell Henry. Photo by Alex Matthews

By Russell Henry

My expedition around Vancouver Island was all about going fast, so I chose a boat that would help me achieve my goal—while at the same time being able to carry two weeks' worth of gear. These days, there are a lot of boats that are similar in design to the Stellar S18R that I paddled. These "surf ski-inspired" sea kayaks are fast because of their narrow width and hull shape, which is distinguished by a long waterline and plumb, high-volume bow. What makes these boats so exceptional on long-distance journeys is the way they track on flatwater and in rolling swell. The S18R felt like a heat-seeking missile. I see huge potential for this style of boat for fitness paddlers, day-trippers and expedition paddlers.

–Last year, 22-year-old Russell Henry circumnavigated Vancouver Island's 750-mile perimeter in a record-setting 13 days. As told to Conor Mihell


Oceans of Whitewater

Climate change will continue to shrink snowpack, resulting in shorter and less predictable whitewater seasons. Whitewater paddlers will migrate to ocean surf and rock gardens.

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Your Paddling Future

How Technology, demographics and shifting climate will change the way you paddle


Sea Kayak Evolution

It's hard to predict the future of sea kayaking, but we can look to other sports for suggestions