Where Paddling is Poetry – Summer of 2012
A boat is not a tool, or a toy. It is a personalized extension of your body. You can buy them untried from large outfitters and “box stores” if you wish. However, if you want the process of purchasing a boat to be as rewarding as paddling that perfect craft, Frontenac Outfitters is the place to go.
Truly knowledgeable and friendly staff who go above and beyond to accomodate your needs and wishes, and who will practically insist that you paddle before you buy. Larry went through great lengths with the manufacturer of H2O canoes to get me the 16’4″ Kevlar Prospector I wanted.
Don’t fret the drive; being out of the way is an asset when buying a boat, not a hindrance. Phone ahead and plan on spending a few hours with really nice people. Frontenac Outfitters… where paddling is poetry.
An Easter Weekend to Remember – April, 2011
My experience started off by sending emails to 3 different paddle shops within 200 miles of home east of Toronto. Of the 3 shops Larry was the only one that appeared to have read my questions on the email and offered some pointed advice as my wife has had a lower back injury and operation. We then made arrangements to make the trip to their on water store.
We spent the day here on Easter weekend, a cold damp morning starting our search for the right boat. We first spent some time looking at the types of boats available and then narrowed down the choices. We dry fitted them on land and we were able to narrow down our choices to 2 boats each and then in the afternoon we spent a couple of hours paddling the 2 boats before making a choice. No other paddle shops offered us the ability to go and test the boats when we had the time available, most were limited to “demo days”.
I highly recommend Frontenac outfitters as the right place to buy your boat to ensure you select the boat that fits you right and all with no sales pressure whatsoever. My wife and I spent 5 hours at the store , learned a bunch, bought 2 boats and PFD’s and signed up for a course. Larry,Christine and Stratton thanks for everything and we look forward to many happy years on the water because of the time you spent helping us make the right choices!!!
Rod & Sandi Dobson
The Perfect Time to Start Paddling – 8 May, 2011
Dear Frontenac outfitters,
May the 8th 2011, on my way home from Toronto, I took it upon myself to visit your store in search of the perfect Kayak for me. Some of my friends thought it would be a little silly to start kayaking at age 69, but I thought it would be the perfect time. I do row with the St. Lawrence Rowing Club in Iroquois, so rowing, paddling and anything to do with water was always in my blood.
I had no idea how to choose a kayak for my needs, but once I explained to Chrissy she guided me to a few types of kayaks that would be appropriate for me and set-up a try out on Pearkes Lake. My, My how nice that was, to be able to test paddle….. I ended up purchasing the Delta 12’10 in white and the rest was easy!
I have been paddling on the Gallop Canal in Iroquois ever since, which takes me all of 10 minutes to have my Kayak loaded and on the water. I can not think of a nicer way to pass a few hours a day. Once I am paddling I lose all track of time… It’s like being in another world.
I will be 70 on July 18th, and loving it!! Age has no boundaries, “No one is responsible for your happiness, except yourself”. and helpful people like Frontenac Outfitters. Thank You Frontenac Outfitters, for adding to my happiness and the joys of Life.
Happy Paddling, Ruth Wood
A Big Warm “Thank You” – 15 May, 2010
Hi Chrissy & Larry,
I’d like to send along a BIG warm “Thank You!” for helping me choose “the kayak of my dreams” last weekend! It may have been a cold and wet rainy day, test driving a variety of kayaks at your facility, but today… my Delta 16 makes every day a sunny day here on the Ottawa River. The three hour drive from Renfrew was totally worth our time, given the awesome ‘professional’ service you provided. I learned so much from both of you. You really know your stuff…Hats off to your super-friendly and dedicated volunteers as well. They added to the overall enjoyment of our day.
Mike and I were out on the Ottawa this week – first excursion in my new baby… wow, I love it! It’s like an extension of my body, it handles so smoothly, so easy to maneuver and wow is it fast! I am now able to keep up the pace with Mike, who is a far more experienced paddler than I. This feels good. With the Delta 16’s light weight, I am able to launch it myself and this gives me a greater sense of independence.
I’ve been telling all my paddler friends about your facility and I highly recommend they visit you – for their own awesome experience.
We’re paddling the Madawaska River this afternoon. I can hardly wait to get back into my baby…
Oh yes, and Shadoe, our Maltese, enjoys the roomy cockpit, she too is an experienced paddler.
P.S. In reading your website testimonials, I’m now considering taking one of Chrissy’s courses… the GPS, GPSr and Geocaching course sounds intriguing. No doubt we’ll be seeing you again soon. Happy paddlin’
Satisfied Shoppers – 2 May, 2010
Hello Christine, Larry and Leslie and Matt, We just wanted to write and say thanks for a wonderful day!! We enjoyed meeting you all and to witness the “paddlers for paddlers” enterprise that you run. Informative, gracious, welcoming, supportive and knowlegable. We appreciated all your time and effort in making our experience so meaningful and rewarding. We will be in touch soon, after we have digested all the info we have gathered. You make an exceptional team with a beautiful location and a very well organized ‘shop’ or store. We can see why you are sooooo successful.
Bravo! Regards Gary, Ginny and Bill
A 52 Yr. Old Kid In A Candy Store – 25 March, 2010
I love to demo boats. It’s the highlight of every symposium I attend. Any experienced kayaker knows until you paddle a boat you can’t honestly know whether you’ll like it. So when I discovered Frontenac Outfitters 10 years ago I thought I was in heaven. So many great boats, of every type and style ! I was a kid in a candy store. I had spent 8 hrs driving from Ohio to get there, and I was very glad I had. I’m a boat snob, and I was blown away by their selection. I paddled to my heart’s content all day. I bought a beautiful kayak that day. I got great advice and a great deal, and I began a lasting relationship that has resulted in more than a dozen of my friends from Ohio (many are ACA instructors) also making the pilgrimage to Frontenac Outfitters for kayaks. I have since ordered custom boats from them, and helped friends find boats of every type. Frontenac’s fan base in our region has grown exponentially. Larry and Chrissy Showler (the owners) and their staff are such great people I just can’t say enough. It’s obvious listening to them talk to other customers, that a lot of their business is return customers. They care about about putting you in “the right boat for you”. So people come back for their next boat, another boat, a better boat, a boat for their wife or kids. It’s one of those places, like your favorite pub, where everybody is happy and friendly. I could never guess how many times I’ve been to Frontenac Outfitters in the last decade. What matters is I’m ALWAYS happy I’m there !
Safe Paddling, Mark
Incredible Selection & Service! – 4 July, 2009
The best paddle shop I’ve ever been too! Frontenac-outfitters is far off the beaten trail, situated right beside Frontenac provincial park. What really sets this shop aside from others is that they allow you to test paddle any boat you’re interested in, whenever you want. When I was there I was looking for a sea kayak, and before choosing my Tempest 170 PRO (I love it) they let me paddle Delta 17 & 16, P&H Cetus and a Necky Chatham 17. Wouldn’t recommend shopping anywhere else!
Love New Kayaking Pastime – 2 July, 2009
Trudy & I want to take this opportunity to thank you & Christine for putting us into kayaks that have served us so well over the past 2 boating seasons. Impressively, you sized us up & matched us with a pair of kayaks that have enabled us to progress from day tripping to week-long, self-contained expeditions. We have gone from, “how do you get into these things” to a certain degree of on-water proficiency & comfort that even we did not think we’d be able to achieve. Some of our paddles to date include the Rideau Canal System from end to end twice, the Trent/Severn Canal from Port Severn to Trenton & the circumnavigation Prince Edward County.
We also have Christine to thank for getting us into another one of our favorite activities…geocaching. During a lunch break at one of Christine’s kayaking courses we attended, she talked about the GPS, GPSr’s & geocaching. Her knowledge piqued our interest so we did some research, bought a GPSr & we haven’t looked back since. We now do paperless caching with a PDA & have over 400 geocache finds to our credit. In fact we’ve been able to combine kayaking & geocaching to find those “elusive” island caches that are so much fun.
By inputting our vehicle’s coordinates into the GPSr before leaving shore we’ve also been able to explore island-studded lakes with confidence knowing that no matter how far we go off the beaten path, we can always find our way back. During our last Rideau trip we inputted over 160 waypoints into the GPSr & while they were’nt needed for navigation they did help us answer questions such as; how far to the next lock, how far to our lunch/rest/other break, are we there yet?
Thanks Larry & Christine….you’ve contributed much to our enjoyment of the outdoors.
Russ & Trudy Kitchen
Love the New H2O Canoe – 24 June, 2009
Hi Larry, Christine and Matt,
I just wanted to give you some feedback, and express my appreciation, on our first use of the H2O Composites Canadian canoe we bought a couple of weeks ago. I appreciate the initial help Matt provided in making the choice of this canoe and for Larry and Christine staying open late on Tuesday May 13th so we could pick it up! We didn’t rush it into the water due to weather and other priorities going on. But the two weeks since getting it allowed me to prepare the canoe for the first use. I applied the aerospace protectant to the outside of the canoe and put three coats of Scandinavian Tung oil on the wood package. I also added a stainless steel ring to the stern wood deck for mooring the canoe ( I will likely add one on the bow too). We thought the seats might be a little low and I am planning to make seat hangers that raise them up a bit.
The Canadian is excellent though! I am very happy with it. As we launched it yesterday (we just chose to spend 2-3 hours on the Moira River from a boat launch just beside the Highway 37 bridge over it south of Roslin where it is fairly wide), it was stable for putting gear in and stepping into it in shallow water at the shore. As we started off, and for the entire paddle, we didn’t experience very much roll at all. The canoe seems to sit relatively high in the water but the wide flat bottom seems to keep it stable. The shoe keel definitely protects the bottom during launch and landing (didn’t encounter any other rocks when paddling). It moves very well tracking through the water, whether upstream or downstream and with both head and tail winds. We didn’t go cross-wise to either wind or current much but didn’t have any stability problems when turning through those conditions.
I was paddling in the stern and I felt the canoe is very responsive, both to J and sweep strokes for turning. It seems easy to get a bit of momentum going too, which makes turning even easier. We did a couple of double backs (to look at a spot where something had been pulling clams out of the water and to follow some Blue Herons between marshes) near the shore at low speed and it turned well. Pausing our paddling to have a sandwich and drink some water was very pleasant and again the canoe seemed very stable despite more movement within the canoe on our part. We could relax and feel very confident rather than be on edge to a “tippy” canoe. This added to the pleasantness factor of our paddle.
Bev and I are very pleased with this choice of canoes and also with your help with this purchase. Thank you very much! We look forward to the next time we are in the neighbourhood and can drop in to say hi.
Regards, J S