L'histoire officielle de JetBlade

Conscient que sa femme ne pouvait pagayer son canot à cause de ses problèmes de dos, et qu'il existait une demande pour une alternative aux moteurs hors-bord, Grant Brooks, président fondateur de Canect Outdoors, a construit son premier JetBLADE, un nouveau moteur humain pour canot. 

Ses roues à palettes multifonctionnelles et portables peuvent être rapidement fixées sur le canot. Ensuite, en utilisant les mains ou les pieds, les huit palettes peuvent littéralement vous propulser sur l'eau. 

Ce produit est devenu très populaire avec les débutants, les enthousiastes du plein air, les pêcheurs et les personnes souffrant d'un handicap.

JetBLADE contribue à réduire l'usage des hors-bord tout en permettant à ceux qui ne le pouvaient pas jusqu'ici de prendre avantage de la nature.
























(photo: Canect Outdoors)

Cruisin' with the 

Grant Brooks
President, Canect Outdoors
April 2002

rant Brooks is the founder and President of Canect Outdoors. Throughout his life there has always been extensive canoeing and camping. Before founding Canect Outdoors, he also ran a successful organic agricultural business and taught environmental studies. Six years ago, after observing the need to help his wife who could not paddle due to back problems, and the need for an alternative to the out-board motor, the "JetBLADE" idea was born...

(photo: Canect Outdoors)

For years, my wife and I would go canoe tripping every summer. Our trips became more difficult for my wife due to her chronic back pain. I would do my best to compensate by taking on the brunt of the paddling but our trips became strenuous and stressful. We wanted to get away from it all but to do that you have to paddle and portage quite a bit. We discussed alternative forms of water travel like pedal boats or using an outboard motor but they just didn't suit our needs or our lifestyle. Trying to be as low impact as possible while camping, we quickly eliminated the use of gas or electric motors and portaging a pedal boat just wasn't an option. There had to be a way to improve the canoe.

The solution became to be known as the JetBLADE, the new human powered motor for a canoe.  This multifunctional, portable, paddle wheel easily clamps on to any canoe in minutes. Using either your feet or hands, the JetBLADE’s combined eight paddle blades really make you fly across the water. The product has become very popular with beginners, outdoor enthusiasts, anglers and people with disabilities.

(photo: Canect Outdoors)

The first JetBLADE was created out of salvaged materials from metal scrap yards and "garbage".  The foot crank and drive shafts were made out of rusty steel plumbing pipe. The paddle blades were cut out from big black nursery pots, which were fastened to old aluminum ski poles. This monster contraption was clamped on to the canoe and voila! We had motion!

So, why not just use an outboard motor?
Of particular concern with gas or electric motors was their damage to the environment. The fuel and lubricants for both pollute the waters. The propellers not only mulch up fish and other aquatic critters but people rarely consider the delicate plant life, which is easily damaged. I've heard people say that electric motors are more environmentally friendly than gas. They seem to be, but I have a major concern about them. I recall seeing a sign at a hostel on a small island in Indonesia. It asked travelers to not bring or leave any type of batteries on the island. They informed us that one small "AA" battery could pollute the island's well and only source of drinking water. Every time I looked at the well on our farm, I remembered that warning. Now imagine my shock when I started hearing about people capsizing their canoes with an electric motor mounted on it and losing a 10lb to 40lb battery. Horrific!  (Note: the JetBLADE only weighs 7.5lbs.)

What about gas motors?
Motorized watercraft in lakes and rivers are facing huge restrictions because of excessive pollution from two-stroke engines that spew out up to 25% of all oil and chemicals in the water. In the U.S., many states and provinces have taken or will take steps to restrict waterways to watercraft or to restrict the use of motor craft to the newer four-stroke engines. To date, more than 30 states have limited or prohibited the use of two-stroke engines or personal watercraft (pwc's) on specific bodies of water. These actions were initiated by the EPA (Environment Protection Agency) in 1996 and will impact the boating industry significantly between 2002 and 2008 because of increasing standard deadlines. In Canada, emission standards have been addressed by a memorandum of understanding between Environment Canada and the Canadian Marine Manufacturers Association.

Anglers are one of the top purchasers of the JetBLADE. Anglers have a vested interest in keeping the waterways as clean as possible.

(photo: Canect Outdoors)

Why was the JetBLADE designed for people with disabilities?

When I was a teenager, I was a daycare counselor for kids 4-13 years old. We had children with disabilities integrated into our program. These kids were very inventive. In order to participate with the other kids they would quickly come up with the most effective means they could to jump into an activity. As a counselor, I was also expected to produce solutions to increase all of the kids' abilities to participate. I realized that there must be many people with a variety of disabilities who were excluded from canoeing. When I first approached the March Of Dimes, they were very excited and have been integral in the design of the JetBLADE.

JetBLADE is entering the market just at the right time to reduce the use of outboard motors and to provide accessibility to nature for those who could not enjoy it previously.
For my wife and I, our camping trips are more relaxing. Both of us take turns paddling (or JetBLADing) without complaint. Gone are the days of telling each other to paddle harder.

See you on the water!