Hometown: Orcas Island, WA
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, WA. Shawna's accomplishments from winning kayak races, competing in rolling competitions, to successful expeditions is extensive. She is a team athlete for numerous top paddle sports manufacturers and has worked with some of these manufactures to create award winning products. Shawna has been featured many times in magazines, films, and as a featured guest coach at symposia around the world.
Shawna 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. She is also currently serving on the new Paddle Sports North America (PNA) Board.
Shawna was the first woman to circumnavigate Iceland by sea kayak with famed solo paddler Chris Duff and her partner Leon Somme in 2003. 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 circumnavigated Haida Gwaii, a 500 nautical mile, six week trip with her partner, Leon Somme and adventure filmmaker, Justine Curgenven. In 2012, Shawna and her partner Leon Somme circumnavigated Vancouver Island in 44 days.
Life these days:
She also owns FAT HAT ART Company, where she produces and sells her own drawings, prints and paintings. Shawna grew up in Minnesota, but she finds home is Orcas Island (Washington), centered in the paddling paradise of the Pacific Northwest. The first time she was ever in a kayak, she learned a paddle roll and a hand roll. 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.
“I am passionate about exploring this beautiful planet we live on, and I want to share what I see and experience with others. I coach, I lead, and I do expeditions because it all makes me happy.”