Wednesday, March 24, 2010

3-24-10 Trip Report: High Water River Paddling

Dana Henry and fellow ACA instructor Jessica Conaway from Three Rivers Outdoors in Lacrosse Wisconsin got to experience some high water paddling conditions today on Pool 6 of the Mississippi River. The river is expected to crest just above "official" flood stage next Monday or Tuesday. As you can tell the river levels are already extremely high due to the melting of the above average snow fall we had this winter in Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. The flow of the main channel of the Mississippi is really cookin'! A lot of debris is being washed down stream in the current right now. We witnessed several 20'+ tall trees floating down the river as we crossed the channel into the backwaters.

When the river gets to these levels we have the opportunity to explore wooded areas and marshes that are normally dry ground. Paddling through the middle of flooded timber and grasslands is awesome. It's a unique paddling opportunity we get to experience most springs.

Check out the photos from today's trip. Dana and Jessica were paddling the Current Designs Willow and Suka.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Canoecopia 2010 Recap

The Wenonah Canoe & Current Designs Teams express our sincere gratitude to everyone who joined us at Canoecopia! We enjoyed reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones. The crowd was as big and enthusiastic as ever, especially on Saturday when the convention center was shoulder to shoulder with eager and aspiring paddlers.

Once again the invited speakers delivered inspirational, informative, and entertaining seminars. Rutabaga has a history of showcasing the best of the best. Wenonah Canoe’s Dana Henry thanks everyone who attended his co-authored presentation about canoeing on the North Forest Canoe Trail:

Overall it’s clear the people of the upper Midwest are ready for spring. Shortly the paddling season will be in full swing. All of us at Wenonah Canoe and Current Designs look forward to seeing you at one of our many demos, trade shows, and events in the coming months. Check for an event near you. It's that time of year, let's get on the water!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More Canoecopia 2010- Presenter Information

Come get in the paddling spirit at Canoecopia 2010! It starts Friday at 4pm-9. Saturday 9-6. Sunday 10-5.

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT): Theory and Practice.
Wenonah Canoe and Current Designs very own Dana Henry is co-presenting alongside Darren Bush (owner of Rutabaga) and Rob Center (co-founder of the NFCT) detailing the trail and a recent trip on the NFCT itself. Make it a point to go see this presentation, the photos are amazing! Showing Saturday at 9:30 and Sunday at 12:30.

For more information about this presentation visit

Wenonah Canoe and Current Designs sponsored paddler and Wilderness Classroom founder Dave Freeman is giving two presentations. The Trans-Amazon Expedition, a paddling adventure down the length of the worlds longest river is showing on Friday at 4:30. Dave will also presenting his plan for The North American Odyssey, a 3 year, 12,000 mile journey by canoe, kayak, and dogsled around the continent on Saturday at 9:30.

For more information about this presentation visit

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Come See Us at Canoecopia 2010

Nothing symbolizes the onset of spring at Current Designs more than preparing for the largest indoor paddlesport expo in the country. That’s right, Canoecopia 2010 is almost here!

After a winter of skiing and shoveling the Current Designs team looks forward to the impending ice out and returning to the water. Canoecopia is the event that reignites our passion for paddling. The enthusiasm level is always high at Canoecopia for consumers, presenters and venders alike. And rightfully so. Here in the upper Midwest, we’ve been cooped up since early December patiently waiting for spring to arrive.

Canoecopia also marks the first opportunity for most consumers to see our new products in 2010. So if you plan on making the trip to Madison, make sure to stop by the Current Designs booth and say "hello!" We’ll be happy to show you what’s new, what's improved and share our passion for paddling!

Canoecopia 2010, presented by Rutabaga Paddlesports, runs next Friday, March 12-Sunday, March 14. For more information visit

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar Visits Current Designs Kayak Factory

United States Senator Amy Klobuchar (D, Minnesota) visited the Current Designs kayak manufacturing facility on Tuesday, February 16, 2010. Senator Klobuchar's visit was part of a state wide mission to visit successful small businesses throughout her state.

Mike Cichanowski, owner of Current Designs and Wenonah Canoe talked with the Senator about the company's history and challenges going forward for a company of its size. Cichanowski lead Klobuchar, other dignitaries including the mayor of Winona and local media on a winding tour through the kayak factory. Throughout the tour, Senator Klobuchar talked personally with many employees. At one stop along the tour, Klobuchar gave assistance to the vacuum bag crew helping distribute resin throughout the composite laminate.

Klobuchar’s visits to growing companies give the Senator a chance to learn how these organizations have weathered the recession — and, more importantly, how she can help them lead Minnesota into better economic times.

“The success of Minnesota’s small businesses is vital to the success of Minnesota’s overall economy,” Senator Klobuchar said. “Small businesses are engines of job creation ... They have led our economy out of past recessions, and we need them to do it again. Wenonah Canoe (the parent company of the Current Designs brand) and companies like it, may be poised to do just that. They epitomize what we need to see throughout the state,” said the Senator. “We have to figure out the best way to let businesses create new jobs.”

To learn more about Senator Klobuchar's vision for the manufacturing businesses in Minnesota, see: Enterprise Minnesota, Jan/Feb 2010, pp18-23; also available online at

Monday, March 1, 2010

Welcome to the Current Designs Blog Launch!

Congratulations! You found the new Current Designs Blog!

Visit us often to see stories, photos, company info, product news, tech tips, event anouncements and reports from the field. Look here to learn, laugh and experience Current Designs' world renowned kayaks.

Don't forget to become a FAN of Current Designs Kayaks on Facebook. On Facebook you can share photos, stories and connect with other paddling enthusiasts from around the globe! Current Designs Facebook Fans will also have access to contests, give aways, and special promotions so check back often.

We'll see you on the water!