Alex Lalonde moved to Washington State in 2018. With a university degree in Expeditionary Studies, years of mentorship under top-level coaches, and working as an instructor in Europe, he came looking for his opportunity to share his passion and expertise. Joining him in the move to Washington State was his close friend Ted Tetrault. Their friendship was honed through several international expeditions and years of rigorous educational training to qualify as internationally recognized coaches. Every generation stands on the shoulders of those who came before and these two are outstanding examples of next-generation coaches who have learned from the best and who are taking paddlesport instruction to the next level.
Running a small business is never easy. In order to maintain a learner-centered approach, Alex has teamed up with Megan and Erik Schorr, owners of a kayak tour company and a kayak rental outfit located on Fidalgo Island and longtime residents of the San Juan Islands. This co-ownership will allow Alex and his team of coaches to focus completely on the development of the courses and their students’ needs while Megan and Erik focus on the administration and logistics.
The new home of Body Boat Blade is in Anacortes Washington. This convenient location on beautiful Fidalgo Island allows class participants to access us easily from Seattle and the surrounding area. Fidalgo Island may be one of the best places in the Pacific Northwest to develop your paddling skills. In addition to protected lakes and bays we have the dynamic waters of Deception Pass right in our backyard. Several small offshore islands present opportunities for learning how to navigate complex tidal streams and more exposed conditions. Fidalgo Island is also the Home Port to the San Juan Islands and our expeditionary classes will explore throughout the islands. The nearby rugged Washington and British Columbia coasts offer excellent opportunities for our surf, white-water and expedition courses.
Body Boat Blade specializes in high-quality instruction for paddlers at any skill level. Our certified instructors are committed to upholding the highest standards of coaching, leadership, and judgment in every program that we offer. To round out your learning experience, we offer year-round courses taught by world-renowned guest coaches.
We believe that kayaking is all about having fun. By increasing your skills you greatly increase the fun, excitement, and opportunities you have as a paddler. Our year-round courses range in length from three hours to five-day kayak camps. Our progressive curriculum includes fundamental skills training, surfing, rough water and tidal race paddling, leadership and guide training, British Canoeing (BC) training and assessments, video stroke analysis, navigation, expeditioning, white-water, and private instruction. All coaches at Body Boat Blade International are British Canoeing certified, and work within the remit of their awards.
We invite you to come join us for an unforgettable learning experience! The Company Logo: The symbol, Leon claims, is a hieroglyph found in a deep-sea cave in the Faroe Islands that signified simplicity, fun, and exploration by water. After seeing the symbol he began using it to mark his kayak gear to know it was his and not another paddler’s (back in the day everybody had a Dancer kayak, a blue Protec helmet, a turquoise Kokatat dry top and a blue shaft white bladed Werner paddle!). When Leon and Shawna started Body Boat Blade, Leon assumed Shawna, the artist, would create a logo, but instead she insisted on using the sacred image as the symbol of the business.
The Name: Body Boat Blade is a coaching philosophy and practice method used to analyze performance. By first looking at the body shape such as an upright posture, rotation, arms extended, wrist in line with elbow, you can start to understand the outcome of a given skill. Next looking at markers on the boat such as the tapeline or the end toggles you can determine edge, thrust, and spin. Lastly considering things associated with the blade such as its verticality, is it fully submerged?, is it out at the hips?, etc. All of these parameters are used by a coach to understand and help improve student’s performance. The order is always as written body-boat-blade, and therefore is considered a body-centered approach to paddlesports. As any fault of performance in the boat or blade ultimately goes back to the shape of the body. Just watch a canoe without a paddler on a calm lake, it will not capsize, go on edge, turn, or accelerate! It will sit still and only perform by adding a body!
This approach we find to be a powerful tool in analysis and discovered it to be equally powerful as an approach to teaching skills. We found that the name married nicely to the symbol and it became not so much a logo but more of a way of life on the water. A simple, fun exploration of water through a blending of the body, boat, and blade.
Body Boat Blade International was founded by two of the most qualified and dedicated kayak instructors in the Pacific Northwest. Over 18 years the name Body Boat Blade has become synonymous with high-quality sea kayak coaching. In 2019 Shawna and Leon decided that the time was right to focus on some of their other interests. They wanted to find someone who could carry on the Body Boat Blade tradition of excellence. The timing was perfect. Alex LaLonde and Ted Tetrault represent a new generation of coaches who benefit from the big advancements in coaching philosophy that has occurred in the last 15 years. We all stand on the shoulders of giants and they are ready to take on the mantle of the amazing school that Shawna and Leon created.