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 or 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. By the time he was 18, he was so committed to paddling that he postponed his university plans to pursue excellence in whitewater kayaking instead.


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


Ken Whiting is one of the most active paddlesport professionals in the world.

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, The Heliconia Press, now produces five unique TV series. Two of these series air on NBC Sports, two of the series air on the World Fishing Network, and the remaining series airs on Outside Television. Heliconia also has 9 unique WebTV series in action, which were watched a combined 8 million times in 2012.

Ken, his wife Nicole, and their young 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".

Promoting paddling[edit]

Ken is one of the most well known and respected paddling athletes in the world, 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 the world-renowned 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.

Books by Ken Whiting[edit]

  • Recreational Kayaking - Essential Skills and Safety
  • Recreational Kayaking - The Ultimate Guide
  • Rolling a Kayak
  • Touring and Sea Kayaking - An Essential Guide (co-authored with Alex Matthews)
  • The Ultimate Guide to Whitewater Kayaking
  • Playboater's Handbook II

DVDs by Ken Whiting[edit]

  • Whitewater Kayaking with Ken Whiting
  • Playboating with Ken Whiting
  • Rolling a Kayak - Whitewater
  • Sea Kayaking: The Ultimate Guide
  • Rolling a Kayak - Sea Kayaking
  • Recreational Kayaking - Essential Skills and Safety

External links[edit]