Grass Roots Initiative Enjoys Flood of Boater Support

World Kayak surpasses first year projections on its way to goal of doubling whitewater participation by 2010.

In little more than one year since its launch, World Kayak has achieved impressive milestones as it reaches out to strengthen and grow the number of whitewater enthusiasts around the globe.

"Anyone in the industry should be excited about the ambitious leadership role that World Kayak has taken in growing the whitewater community," said Ken Whiting, World Champion and President of Heliconia Press, a leading publisher of kayak books and DVDs.

The multi-pronged World Kayak program harnesses the power of the Internet to engage kayakers in online and offline events designed to forge a stronger kayak community.World Kayak first-annivesary achievements include the following:

• 45 ambassadors representing many of the principal paddling regions on every major populated continent, all manufacturers and skill levels. More than 25 kid's camps participate in World Kayak's program and curriculum offerings.

• World Kayak launched the Hometown Throwdown series of recreational kayak events. Based on the successful Maryland Chuteout, the Hometown Throwdowns average 45 competitors per event and attract more than 100 spectators. Major events adopting the format include the Golden, CO event series, Missoula events and the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC. In total, 63 Hometown Throwdowns will have been held this summer.

"We honestly didn't expect the welcome we received in communities across the globe. Our event attendance was over the top, the industry truly kicked in and helped out and, most importantly, boaters are very clearly having a lot of fun with this and it shows,” said World Kayak Director and WordPress maestro James McBeath.

• now has news and event listings from more than 40 regions. An associated email newsletter delivers regional news on request to each region's paddlers.
In addition, McBeath said World Kayak's pro cuircuit onsite news coverage saw 5000 unique visitors per day at the first event in Alabama and ended at US National Championships at the FIBArk Whitewater Festival with 20,000 unique visitors per day. “Moral of the story,” McBeath said, “Who says rodeo is dead?! "

• now hosts 2100 members contributing 1900 blogs. It is the world's third largest WordPress mashup trailing only the official NASCAR blogspot and itself. Combined traffic at and averaged 113,400 unique visitors per month in May and June.

• Major corporate sponsors include Jackson Kayak, Smith Optics, Mountain Khakis, Mion Footwear/Timberland, Red Bull, Immersion Research, Mitchell paddles, Astral Buoyancy and Heliconia Press.

• Media sponsors include Kayak Session, Canoe and Kayak, Rapid, American Whitewater and Boatertalk.

For further information or to explore sponsorship opportunities, contact McBeath, at Boaters interested in becoming World Kayak Ambassadors can contact Colin Kemp at


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