KOKATAT Ambassador TEAM MEMBER | Sea Kayaking

Leon Somme

Age: 61 years old website
HOMETOWN: Eastsound, WA

“On the plains of hesitation lie the bleached bones of countless millions who sat down to wait and while they waited they died.” Adlai E. Stevenson

Leon has always been drawn to the sea. At the age of 20 he became a ships diver on a fast attack submarine. After four years of being confined on a submarine, he vowed to never work indoors again. He went from the Navy to University, to study Wildlife Biology and there he discovered sea kayaks and river boats. He now spends more time sea kayaking than doing anything else. “The most significant and memorable days of my life have been spent with a paddle in the water.”

Leon is co-creator, co-owner, and coach educator at Body Boat Blade International – a highly successful two time award winning paddle sports school based on Orcas Island, WA. He has been paddling and teaching kayaking for over 20 years and has logged thousands of miles on Lakes, rivers and the sea. Although most recognized as a sea kayaker, Leon has a passion for paddling canoes, surf kayaks, white water boats, stand up boards, and race boats, essentially anything human powered that requires a paddle and is done outdoors.

Leon along with his partner Shawna Franklin have completed many successful sea kayak expeditions including a 2003 circumnavigation of Iceland with Chris Duff, and a 2007 circumnavigation of Haida Gwaii with adventure filmmaker Justine Curgenven. He has paddled around Vancouver Island two times to date - In 1998, he completed a solo journey in 28 days, and in 2012 with his partner Shawna Franklin in 44 days. Currently Leon holds BCU Coach Level 4 (Level 5 Aspirant), BCU Assessor Level 4, BCU 5 Star Sea, BCU 4 Star River, BCU 4 Star Surf, BCU 2 Star Canoe, UKCC Coach Level 1 and 2 Course Provider, Foundation Safety & Rescue Provider, and is serving on the new Paddle Sports North America (BCUNA) Interim Board.