Ken Whiting

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Ken Whiting (born December 12, 1974 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), was the 1997/98 World Freestyle Kayaking Champion, the 1998 Japan Open Champion, and a five-time Canadian National Champion in freestyle aka whitewater kayaking.

Since 1998, Ken opened a kayak school, founded the Canadian Freestyle Kayaking Association, and coached the Junior Freestyle Kayaking Team. He produced both the US and Canadian Freestyle Team Trials events, and wrote and produced a best-selling and award-winning series of paddling instructional books and videos. In 2006 he was nominated for an Everest Outdoor Achievement Award. In 2009, Ken produced the first ever Kayak Fishing TV series, and in 2013, Ken launched Facing Waves, North America's only paddlesport television show.

Early days[edit]

Ken was 14 years old when he picked up a kayak paddle for the first time while taking a five-day kayaking course on the Ottawa River in 1989. At 18 he postponed his university plans to pursue whitewater kayaking.


In 1994, Ken began attending and winning freestyle competitions across the continent. In 1997, he won the World Freestyle Kayaking Championships.


In 1998, Ken wrote and published The Playboater's Handbook: ISBN 1-896980-06-6, a reference for freestyle kayaking technique, which led to the creation of The Heliconia Press, which Ken is now owner and president.

Following the great success of the 1st book, Ken teamed up with Chris Emerick, a talented American videographer, and began producing instructional videos. These publishing efforts evolved into a best-selling and award-winning instructional books and videos series about whitewater kayaking and other outdoor pursuits, including sea kayaking, canoeing, and camping.

In 2002, Ken retired from kayak competition and focused his energies on The Heliconia Press. Over the next seven years, Ken developed Heliconia's reputation as one of the leading book publishers and DVD production companies in the outdoor industry. Heliconia books and DVDs can now be found in thousands of specialty stores around the world.

In 2009, Ken produced his first TV series, The Kayak Fishing Show, for the World Fishing Network. In that same year, Ken released his first WebTV series, Kayak Fishing Tales.

In 2011, Ken sold Heliconia's book and DVD publishing and distribution arm of the business to Fox Chapel Publishing, in order to focus his energies on TV production, WebTV production and social media marketing.

Ken's company, Heliconia Productions, now produces six unique TV series (Kayak Fishing Show, Extreme Kayak Fishing Challenge, Epic Trails, Facing Waves, Kayak Bassin' and Knot Right Kayak Fishing) which air on such networks as FOX Sports, Sportsman Channel, Outside Television, and the World Fishing Network. Heliconia is also a leader in digital content with over 276,000 YouTube subscribers and 67 million views as of June, 2019.[1] Ken was nominated in 2018 for The World Paddle Awards' Media Professional of the Year[2] award for producing Facing Waves.

Ken, his wife Nicole, and their daughter live in the small, rural town of Beachburg, only minutes from the put-in for the Ottawa River. Beachburg is located in "Whitewater Region, Ontario" in the Ottawa Valley.

Promoting paddling[edit]

Ken is widely recognized as one of the most accomplished and renowned paddlers on the planet,[3] and was recognized by Paddler Magazine in 2000 as one of their "Paddlers of the Century".

In 2000, he co-founded Kayak Futaleufu, an adventure kayaking travel company with a base camp in Chile’s Patagonia region. In 2001, he co-founded Liquid Skills Kayak School in Canada, which led the new school movement of kayak instruction. Ken's various whitewater projects have taken him to over 200 different rivers in fifteen different countries, including Japan, Honduras, Guatemala, Chile, Peru, Argentina, New Zealand, and Australia, as well as throughout Europe and North America.

Through his production company, he has influenced over 100,000 paddling participants with his instructional books and DVDs, and his online instructional videos have over 10 million views. Ken also regularly appears in virtually every paddling magazine.

Shows Produced by Ken Whiting[edit]

Books by Ken Whiting[edit]

DVDs by Ken Whiting[edit]


External links[edit]