James started surf kayaking at 18 off the coast of the Isle of Wight, England. After immigrating to Canada in 2003 he took his surf kayak skills and started sea kayaking. His love of guiding kayaking expeditions and teaching paddling skills has taken him all over Canada from the Great Lakes to both the East and West coasts and up to Hudson’s Bay in Puvirnituq, Nunavik. Paddling has also taken him to Antarctica, Iceland, Greenland, USA, England, Arctic Norway, and Mexico to name a few. James’ speciality is getting people to roll proficiently, cooking and baking in a wilderness environment and making sea kayaks dance in the surf.
- OSKC won “Best kayaking school in eastern Canada” Voted by readers of Sea Kayaker magazine.
- In 2014 James traveled to Greenland to compete in the Greenland national Qajaq championships and won gold for Canada.
- Filming during his Greenland experience he then wrote and directed “Greenland Bound – A Paddlers Pilgrimage” a documentary about the competition in Greenland. The documentary won “ Best Accomplished documentary” in the National Paddling Film Festival, “ Best Sea Kayaking Film” in the Reel Paddling Film Festival and “ Best Educational” in the Waterwalker Film Festival.
- James delivered the keynote speech for the Vancouver International Film Festival in Toronto.
- Attending Algonquin College he graduated with honours as an Adventure Naturalist.
Contributions to the Paddling industry
- James spent four years on the board of directors for Paddle Canada as the Ontario representative and on the Marketing Committee.
- As a regular contributor to Ocean Paddler, Adventure Kayak, and other paddling magazines he is keen to share what he learns as a professional in the paddling industry including photos from beautiful locations!
Lendal Paddles Ambassador
Paddle Canada Level 4 skills, Level 4 Instructor, Level 3 Instructor Trainer, Rolling instructor Trainer.
Adventure Naturalist Diploma with honours.
SKGABC certified sea kayak guide
AESKCO certified sea kayak guide
Wilderness First Responder (Wilderness Medical Associates)
VHF Marine operators license
STCW-10 (Standards for the training and certification of watch-keepers.)
SVOP (Small vessel operator proficiency)
Parks Canada Certified backcountry guide
Favourite places to paddle
Cornwall, UK on a warm summers day with Atlantic swell pumping in, West coast of Vancouver Island for lush big-tree rainforest exploring with bustling ocean life and surf beaches, Antarctica, because WOW, Great Slave Lake Northwest Territories for the most epic kayak fishing, Pukaskwa National Park Lake Superior for freshwater wilderness and solitude and of course Compton Bay-Isle of Wight-UK, my home wave!
Dream Paddling Trip
Circumnavigation of Vancouver Island or Newfoundland, Greenland expedition or back to anywhere I have already been.
Interests, hobbies, random skills
Photography/Videography, woodwork, playing guitar and yoga.
Contact James directly: [email protected]