Alberta farmer invents new ‘frozen water’ sport

It’s not an official Winter Olympics sport — and never will be

Man in a kayak paddling over the snow.
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When John Kolk tweeted this picture on New Year’s Day, he captioned it: “Ice kayaking —traditional New Year’s Day activity in remote areas of southern Alberta.”

The dryland and irrigation farmer from the Picture Butte area was out for a walk with wife Laura when he was seized by an impulse to invent the most unlikely of winter sports.

“It was the start of the new year, so why not have a little fun?” said Kolk, who has logged long hours on the Straw Man Beef Industry Strategy project over the past 14 months. And no, this is not something Kolk does every New Year’s Day. His caption was a dead giveaway, he said.

“You know this is a spoof as there are no remote areas in southern Alberta,” he quipped.

Both the length and speed of Kolk’s ice kayak run are believed to be world records.

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About the author


Glenn Cheater

Glenn Cheater is a veteran journalist who has covered agriculture for more than two decades. His mission is to showcase the ideas, passions, and stories of Alberta farmers and ranchers.



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