When you’re looking to get an expedition off the ground there can be a number of constraints – time, funding, work commitments.  Jordan Searle’s advice is simple: keep the stoke high, and surround yourself with others who are as stoked as you.

This tactic has been working for Jordan Searle so far, as he paddles through white waters of Brazil and United States this year eventually to return to New Zealand for an expedition funded by The North Face Adventure Grant presented by AG Outdoor.

Jordy Searle_Upper Hoki_Daan Jimmink small

Jordy Searle running the Upper Hoki. Photo: Daan Jimmink

“Come up with a plan around the campfire or at the bar and then keep the faith. Things will change, but if you keep stoked something awesome will happen.”

So, what has Jordan Searle come up with around the campfire? A first descent in New Zealand that he will be tackling late this year – the location under wraps until the expedition date nears.

“Expedition kayaking is a minority sport and I love it for that reason, there is no glory or fanfare. It is hard work, and often defeating. For that reason, it doesn’t attract droves of people. That said, there is a small group of people out there with a huge amount of drive and dedication, all of whom love that feeling of being first.”

Growing up on the West Coast of New Zealand, Jordan Searle learned to kayak under the expertise of Bruce Barnes, one of New Zealand’s greatest expedition kayakers. Searle has been paddling for nine years, primarily on the West Coast but has also had kayaking expeditions in the USA, British Columbia, Papua New Guinea and Brazil. When he’s not out bagging first descents, Jordan lends a hand instructing and mentoring at the University of Canterbury Canoe Club and is an active member of the West Coast White-Water Search and Rescue.

Jordan goes about planning his expeditions with an open mind and a flexible schedule.

Jordy at Red Granite Creek. Photo: Kev England

Jordy at Red Granite Creek. Photo: Kev England

“Sometimes it can be over a year ahead of time, sometimes it can be a matter of weeks. It depends how you live and what you’re looking for. For me I live in a state where I have very few ties and if I get invited on a trip I can usually make it happen. It’s all about being there with the people you want to be there with – and taking the time to make it all work out.”

Next time you’re sitting around the campfire, think about where you want to be and who you want to get there with. And of course – keep the stoke high.

To learn more about The North Face Adventure Grant: www.thenorthfacegrant.com.au


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About The Author


Some 80 years ago, a young bushwalker's dissatisfaction with the limited and heavy bushwalking equipment available prompted him to design and make his own. Before long, word spread, and Paddy Pallin's lightweight, functional designs were soon in demand among fellow bushwalkers. From its early days the company has concentrated on supplying bushwalkers, travellers and adventurers with the highest quality and most advanced products and knowledge. Since 1930 the company has grown to become Australia's leading supplier of specialist outdoor and travel gear. The company, still owned by the Pallin family, now has thirteen stores throughout Australia as well as online, mail order and corporate sales divisions. We are using our vast wealth of knowledge, and experience, to build an online community where we can share our stories, reviews and tech tips to help you research and plan your next adventure.

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