Jeff Allen

Age: 56

Home:  Falmouth, Cornwall, United Kingdom

Childhood home:  Barnet, London

Profession:  Sea Kayak Guide/coach

Height:  6′ 3.5″

Weight:  200lbs

Philosophy of Life:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but do it first

MY STORY

I joined the army in 1978 at the age of 16, a boy soldier in the Grenadier Guards, serving nine years and leaving in 1987 where I then moved to Cornwall to be near to the Ocean. During my time in the military I saw service in West Germany with NATO, U.N. peacekeeping forces in Cyprus, Royal duties in London, Counter Terrorism in Northern Ireland and Counter Insurgency in Belize, I finished my service with a love for the outdoors and living a simple life. In 1989 I moved to Cornwall to study traditional boat building and continued to work on or near the waterfront ever since until in 2003; having been made redundant from work with Falmouth Harbour Commissioners I invested my redundancy package into buying a small fleet of kayaks and establishing Sea Kayaking Cornwall. Wanting to deliver knowledge based on direct experience rather than just qualification in 2004 I headed to Japan and along with Hadas Feldman made the first and we believe only unsupported expedition to circumnavigate the four main islands of this unique group of islands. That year was the worst year on record for typhoon activity and we encountered six typhoons during our journey as well as many other natural phenomenon such as monsoons and earthquakes. Since then I have made many other expeditions which I am passionate about, these include circumnavigations of South Georgia, Ireland, most of Scandinavia and commercial trips to Alaska, the Med, Scandinavia, Iceland, Chile and the U.S.

I am passionate about positive engagement with nature, I love introducing people to the art and practice of sea kayaking and to remote wilderness environments. I am also passionate about improving sea safety for the community I am a small part of and to opening up the industry to more paddlers world wide.

"Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense"

-Jeff A.

Jeff Allen's Favorite Gear

ABOUT ME

Started paddling:

I first started paddling as a young lad in the Cub Scouts; I must have been around 6 or 7 years old. This continued throughout my life, sea cadets, army adventure training, youth training activity centers and marine education centers.

Personal biggest event/expedition:

Japan Circumnavigation 5000 miles 139 days

Hobbies:

Sailing & swimming

Jobs other than Kayaker:

Security, delivery crew, Fisherman, Karate Instructor, boat builder, shop fitter

Kayak strengths:

expedition paddling, incident management, rescue training, sea survival

Claimed weaknesses:

I am not a businessman, I don’t really like business. I’m a dreamer and a romantic (to me a strength but often perceived as a weakness), I don’t like I.T., coping with whingers & whiners. Weakness is an opportunity to improve.

Favorite Food:

Yakisoba

 

Team:

No I in the word team but there is an M and an E and it is me that that I look to for advice first of all, trusting in my instincts, I depend upon my business partner Shaun, who is solid as a rock and my wife Lizzie who is my guiding light.

Favorite trip:

I love paddling the Cornish Coast, Porthgwara to Sennen, Via Lands End, the Troms coast in Norway, especially the outer coast of Senja and Kvaloya

Worst trip:

I don’t enjoy river paddling, Canals etc so much

Favorite person to paddle with:

My wife and son

Craziest kayak moment:

Almost getting swallowed and flattened by a breaching Humpback

Scariest kayak moment:

Trying to find a safe landing at night through a six meter swell, driven by a typhoon located south of us, on a remote, unknown coastline having been afloat for almost 14 hours of paddling, both of us were hypothermic and pretty scared, we eventually found a small fishing village nestled behind a group of islands but to access this village we had to negotiate a reef, which we obviously managed to do, but this was very intimidating.

Biggest Influencers:

Within the industry I have been inspired by Paul Caffyn, Chris Duff, and Akiro Shinya.  Outside of the industry my wife has been my biggest inspiration and guiding light and my son inspires me every time I speak with him.

Your Dream Trip:

An extended lifestyle journey by sail and paddle around the world, exploring remote coastlines and archipelagos