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So many stories to tell….

worldssoloI apologize for not updating this site with all my adventures lately. I hope to get back to using this site regularly as my paddling is continually taking over more and more of my life and leading to bigger and better adventures.

2017 Highlights so far:
– Participating in Te Aito with 80+ women on the start line! Finishing 11th in Open Women’s
– World Outrigger Championships in Tahiti in June.
4th place open women’s V6
4th place open women’s V1 (and epically surfing a V1 for the first time ever!)
– After my car broke down and not thinking I’d get to race at all, placing an unexpected 2nd at Canadian Surfski Championships
– Hosting clinics at the Gorge and getting to work with so many inspired paddlers!
– Reclaiming my title at the Gorge Downwind Championships in Hood River in OC1
– Winning Canadian Outrigger Championships with my women’s team from Kelowna Paddle Centre and watching six crews from KPC compete! Oh and winning the Women’s OC1 as well 🙂
– Being named as a Puakea Team Rider. Partnering with Vaikobi and being able to wear their Ocean Gear line to keep me cool and out of the sun at the World Championships and all summer long!
– Coaching many paddlers from Kelowna and Harrison throughout the season has been a huge highlight. Watching these people grow in skill, strength and confidence makes me happier than any title I win.

Thank you to all the people that have supported me along the way! There’s more to come!

See you on the water!

My Pledge

Over the past couple years I’ve noticed a shift in myself. It started following my accident in 2012 that forced me to focus outside of myself in order to keep my injuries from consuming me. I learned how fulfilled I can feel by helping other people challenge themselves, succeed and exceed their goals.  Since then, I have been investing in developing my coaching skills and credentials  so that I can better serve the paddlers with whom I have the privilege of working. (Can you tell that my husband, Rick the English teacher, edited that last line so I didn’t end the sentence with a preposition?)

Earlier today I saw a post that really hit home even though it was based on triathlon. It made me think about why I paddle, and what kind of representative of the sport that I want to be. It made me think about why I paddle, why I train so hard and punish my body when I could be spending time with family, reading books (that don’t have to do with training or paddling) and furthering my career.  The answer is simple … because I love it. It keeps me grounded. It makes me happy.

The following has been adapted from PearlIzumi – The Pledge.

If there’s any kind of benevolent paddling god out there, we’ll keep this sport right where it was when we all fell in love with it: a sanctuary for anyone and everyone who yearns to be on the water, to sweat, sacrifice and suffer their way to happiness. Give the Pact a read. If it sounds like something you’re into, share it. Then live it.


I will endure.

I will enjoy.

I shall only partake in this crazy sport I love, because I love it.

And I will quit when I quit loving it.

womens crews


I am a representative of this sport.

As such, I will do my part to take the “ass” out of ambassador.

No matter how goofy somebody looks, I shall not mock.

But I will mock myself. Often.Happy Paddlers

I will show respect to everyone I see with a wave or smile or nod.

Maybe even all three.

If it’s not returned, I will not shake my head.Para Camp 2015

Because I do not know what’s going on in theirs.

I will be inclusive.

Even of the exclusive.

I will encourage the beginner,the professional, and Kauai 2014everyone in between.


I will place joy above performance, use my fingers for peace, not profanity, and I will focus on the scenery more than the scene.

I will believe in positive vibes as much KPC 2014as stroke rates and speed; good karma as much as good technique.


Whatever my jersey or shirt may say, I know we’re all on the same team.

Queen Lili win

And when I’m suffering the most, I will remember that this is not life or death.


Even if it is my life.


Endure & Enjoy


Dream. Prove. Conquer.


What Paddling Means to Me

leanne (2)I started to paddle in 1998 when a cute guy in my grade 11 Chemistry class approached me to come try marathon canoe racing. The first time I sat in the tippy funny shaped canoe and held the carbon fibre paddle, I was sold. I was in control of my speed, my direction, my effort and my outcome. It was a feeling like I had never known. Paddling became something that was all mine in a world where I felt like I didn’t really fit in. Paddling helped me find an identity. It helped me discover my inner strength that developed into a physical and emotional strength. Being on the water helps me work through many of the challenges that life throws my way.  My problems seem to work themselves out while I’m paddling and I come off refreshed and with a plan of attack. Paddling helped me learn how to navigate the turbulent river of life by teaching me that hard work pays off, how to go with the flow and most of all, that I can do anything I put my mind to. I wish nothing more than to share my passion for the water and introduce as many people, especially kids, to paddling in hopes that they too can find tranquility and empowerment just by putting their paddle in the water.

My paddling has evolved over the years. I started in marathon canoe racing, moved into dragon boat then outrigger canoe and most recently stand up paddle boarding and surfski. Though each discipline has unique challenges and technical aspects, there are countless similarities. It is these similarities upon which I build my personal technique.

new cal

See you on the water!

Bring on the Worlds!

So Rick and I have been here in Calgary for the past few days as I have been on the World Sprints race course with my Open Women’s 1 crew and out in V1 as well. Competition starts tomorrow with my V1 heat followed by my V12 heat.

This World Championships I’m seeing with a different perspective. I’m not just a no-name like I was in 2008. Or a medal hungry gal that gave up life in Ontario to pursue a dream in 2010. This year I was set on individual gold; that gold would be the ultimate determinant of success. Little did I know that watching six master women grow as a crew, as paddlers and as individuals would inspire me to think more about my Open 1 crew then about myself and to take pride in how the masters girls perform.

Watching the girls experience this event has given me a fresh perspective. It’s refreshing to watch them relish in the festivities and still focus on their jobs in the boat. They are helping me remember the fun social side of paddling which often gets overshadowed by the paddle-tics (politics). All year they have been inspiring me. From early mornings in the gym with lots of giggles to shopping with the group in mind and getting Cdn flags painted on our toes.

No matter what happens on the race course for me over the next five days, I know that when I get home to Kelowna I will be happy with the event. Win or lose I prepared the best I could. The accident on July 13th definitely made me re-evaluate what I wanted to accomplish here in Calgary. Going from ‘two a day’ workouts to ‘two a day’ treatments was a big adjustment. I have not been publicly honest regarding the extent of my condition, only those closest to me know what I’m going through. No matter what I’m going to “give my everything” and whatever happens happens. As long as I paddle the best that I can and do my best, that’s all I can ask for.

Check out my old BLOG for more info about the Kelowna Experience at the World Sprints as well as check out Kelowna Outrigger website for updates on our paddler’s results!

Usual stuff:

I’m loving my job here in Kelowna but still miss my Boylen kids even though it’s been a few years. Thanks to those that have caught up with me on facebook and twitter (@type1kanu).

Over the winter I was named coach of Kelowna Outrigger Club. We started the year with some members of the club doing Tues/Thurs Dryland training at Okanagan Peak Performance for three months and many that continued on in the gym as we hit the water with regular practices in April. Currently we run two programs: Novice/Learn to Paddle and Race Groups.

I have been using my KayakPro Mulitstroke since the start of the the new year as well to train new and experienced paddlers (as well as myself). This is a great training tool as I can manipulate a paddler’s body and paddle to give them the feel of where their body should be and what it should be doing at each phase of the stroke. Also it’s handy on those cold days when I just don’t feel like getting cold, soggy and wet!

I’ve had the pleasure of running paddling clinics in Penticton and Kamloops already this season as well as a training camp in Kelowna. If you or your team is looking for a guest coach or a clinic, I can definitely fit that in to my schedule!

Also, Levas paddles are available in the west! Marathon paddles (8″ blade width) and outrigger (9″ – 10″ blade widths available) blades in stock. The lightest, strongest full carbon blade you’ll find with palm grip and an unbelievable catch! You have to try it to believe. Contact me for a free demo!