Paddle & Portage Canoes Director
Paddle & Portage Canoes is proud to be Australia’s only importer of We•no•nah Canoes; and now also Current Designs Kayaks. The company is the realisation of a dream by its founder – Travis Frenay. He started paddling at a young age and began his professional career in Outdoor Education in 2001 in his native USA. Since migrating to Australia in 2003 he has worked continuously in the Outdoor Education and training industry. On a trip home one summer he was reminded just how beautiful a lightweight, open canoe can be when he paddled in We•no•nah Canoes with some close friends and family. This was when he realised just how much there is a place for canoes like these on Australian waterways. We have chosen to focus on this brand because we believe that We•no•nah Canoes are the best in the world. Now they are available in Australia, and so the journey begins...
The art of the canoe “portage” is not a new one. When the early French explorers ventured into what is now North America they adopted the practice of “portaging,” or carrying, their canoes and gear around obstacles and between waterways – a practice which they learned by observing the First Nation (Native American) paddlers. This is generally made possible by having a “yoke” as the centre thwart in a canoe which allows the craft to be worn upside-down on the carrier’s shoulders. The use of a pack, supported by a Tump line over the top of the head, was also employed to carry equipment and to help balance the load. Times have changed a bit, but many of these original portage routes are still used by paddlers today. Some portage trails are marked with signs, and the Paddle & Portage Logo is an example of one of the signs used to mark these routes. Although not many relish the act of carrying their canoe on their head for extended periods it is still quite an achievement to be able to do so! Whether it’s from the roof racks to the water’s edge or over the mountain between waterways, carry your canoe with pride and be happy it's light enough that you can!