KOKATAT Ambassador TEAM MEMBER | Sea Kayaking

Shawna Franklin

Age: 54 years old website
HOMETOWN: Eastsound, WA

"Live Simply so that others can Simply Live."

One of the top female sea kayakers in the world, Shawna lives by the philosophy do what you love and make every day count. On an expedition, she will never hesitate to slow things down long enough to stop and look at the tiniest wildflower, or sit and paint a sky because it has 100 shades of gray. Shawna 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, Washington - conveniently centered in the paddling paradise of the Pacific Northwest.

Shawna’s accomplishments are extensive from winning kayak races, to successful expeditions around the world. She’s a featured guest coach at the top sea kayak symposiums around the world, and was the first woman in the USA to gain the BCU 5 Star Sea award - a coveted sea kayaking award testing personal skill, leadership, and judgment in some of the most demanding conditions you may find on the sea. Currently she holds BCU UKCC Coach Level 5 Aspirant, BCU Assessor Level 4, BCU 5 Star Sea, Foundation Safety & Rescue Provider, BCU 4 Star Provider, BCU 4 Star Surf, BCU 2 Star Canoe, and is serving on the new Paddle Sports North America (PNA) Board.

An accomplished female expedition sea kayaker, Shawna has many firsts under her belt including first woman to circumnavigate Iceland by sea kayak in 2003 with her partner Leon Somme and famed solo paddler Chris Duff. This was a 1600 nautical mile trip and took 81 days to complete. “This was the biggest adventure in terms of length and logistics, it was also my first real expedition! It was a challenge of both mind and body and taught me a great deal about myself.” Iceland was the beginning to a never ending life of exploration and self discovery. In 2007, Shawna and Leon circumnavigated Haida Gwaii, a 500 nautical mile, six week trip with adventure filmmaker, Justine Curgenven. In 2012, Shawna and Leon circumnavigated Vancouver Island in 44 days.

Shawna Franklin'S FAVORITE GEAR