a new year.

This is a big year for rivers. We’ll be posting more often about what TSG is doing for their benefit, as well as what I’m doing to support or partner with others doing great work on their behalf. A big one in my little life is preparing for Rivers and Recreation in a Changing Climate, the biennial symposium for the River Management Society May 16-20, 2016.

More soon, but to see the awesome program assembled by River Management Society and Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals at Rivers and Recreation in a Changing Climate, click here.

Boats, Boater and Pizza Provide Context

On Thursday, October 29th the Kayak Design Team visited Gary McCormick and his fleet of kayaks. Gary is a long time paddler and seems like he has been a member of the Pittsburgh-based kayaking organizations since before the students were around. He hauled boats from his basement ranging from the first rotationally molded model, 3 meter River Chaser (1973-4), a Dancer (1981) and an AQ (1985) to a few of today’s popular models for river running (JK Rocker) creeking (Wave Sport Diesel) and playboating. Students asked excellent questions about the reason for many boat and paddle features, and are developing a sense for issues such as the effect of physiological differences on potential boat skills. They are beginning to hone in on design objectives: the next steps will be critical as they will be defining the ‘new’ product’ specs

Here are the students’ solutions …. now what?

Detent Seat System

This is a belated ‘thank you’ to those who invested in this project, now a project of the Paddlesports Industry Foundation and a summary of the fantastic work completed late last year. Product Design students at Carnegie Mellon University took on the challenge of addressing what they understood as an ergonomic challenge for women that impacts their ability to learn and, for experienced paddlers, to excel. The CMU students represented a cross section of undergraduate and graduate students majoring in mechanical engineering, industrial design and communications: Xin (Pam) Hu, Brian Manning, Junping (Tammy) Tang, Marcus Townsend, Carlijn Valk, and Joe Vickless. Proposed Challenge – There may well be factors that diminish women’s interest and motivation that are unrelated to their physique or the equipment they use. However, a person’s belief that success and skill is available to them is critical to their chance to achieve success. This is about improving access to perception of success, as well as making it easier to learn and excel. Read on for the rest of the story…