KOKATAT Ambassador TEAM MEMBER | Whitewater / Stand Up Paddle

Jon Burak

Age: 46 years old website
HOMETOWN: Squamish, BC

“I love the versatility of paddle boarding. It allows access to secluded beaches, empty surf spots and wild stretches of river."

Jon, like so many before him, left eastern Canada at age 20 to follow his passion for adventure to the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. Currently living in Squamish with his two amazing sons and wife.

With a lifelong love of being in, on and around the water, Jon credits the thrill of solo boat missions as a young boy on the lakes of Ontario for helping develop a love for water and exploration that has led him around the world - ocean kayaking in Thailand, Vietnam and Canada, surfing in Europe, and whitewater rafting in North and South America.

Heading into one of the amazing canyons on the Mountain River NWT - photo Jim Martinello
Heading into one of the amazing canyons on the Mountain River NWT - photo Jim Martinello

During his 12 years working as a whitewater raft guide, Jon developed a respectful and strong pull to the rivers. When, seven years ago, a friend asked, “Hey, what do you think about taking these paddle boards on the river?” Jon responded with a “Safety first” glint in his eye and off they went. Since then, Jon has rarely gone anywhere without his paddleboard.

“I love the versatility of paddle boarding,” Jon says. “It allows access to secluded beaches, empty surf spots and wild stretches of river. I can paddle out alone for some solitude, get into big whitewater for an adrenaline rush, or load up with good food and beer and take off on a fantastic adventure with friends or the family. The choices are endless.”

 Jon Burak on the amazing Mountain River NWT - photo Jim Martinello
Jon Burak on the amazing Mountain River NWT - photo Jim Martinello

As co-founder of Mountain Life Media, Canada’s top outdoor adventure publisher, Jon says his own journey has been a mixture of hard work, a desire for creative expression, and knowing when it’s time to have fun. He credits his community of friends and colleagues for always being ready to head out into the wild and find a new connection with nature, each other and themselves.

“The people around me are the best inspiration,” he says. “My love of friends and family mixed with that magnetic pull of paddleboarding adventure and self- discovery give me a constant reminder to follow my heart and intuition…to listen to my inner voice as an adventurer, friend, partner and father”.

Jon making new friends in the Galapagos Islands
Jon making new friends in the Galapagos Islands

And in the winter, he skis.

Jon Burak'S FAVORITE GEAR