RETROSPEC COMMUNITY SERIES: KEVIN BISKABORN
Kevin Biskaborn is an avid outdoorsman and wildlife and outdoor photographer/videographer from Ontario, Canada. His work captures the beauty of untouched nature throughout Southern Ontario and around the world. Learn more about his passion for the outdoors, tips for getting out on the water during colder months, and paddleboarding with his wife alongside dolphins in Florida.
R: Describe yourself, who you are, and what you do
KB: I'm Kevin and I live in Barrie, Ontario, Canada with my wife, Nikki. We both enjoy exploring outdoors and being on the water with either our inflatable stand up paddle boards (iSUPs) or, when it's windy our Laser dinghy sailboats. My wife has recently completed her extensive training as a family doctor. I am a freelance digital media producer (web, gfx, photo & video: www.kevinbiskaborn.com) with particular interests in wildlife photography and videography; interests that have certainly been amplified by the opportunities paddling on our SUPs have provided! We are fortunate to have a pair of Weekender iSUPs from Ten Toes that we travel with as often as we can.
R: Your photographs capture incredibly vivid moments in nature. What first led you into the world of wildlife photography? Do you have a favorite place you’ve photographed in?
KB: I've always had a passion for being outdoors and enjoyed being able to watch animals in their natural habitats. Being able to share those moments through photography and videography has been equally enjoyable and rewarding. As for the original inspiration for photography, I would have to credit my experiences at provincial parks in Ontario, especially Killbear Provincial Park. I was fortunate to visit this park from a young age and appreciate being outdoors and in nature. My favorite place to photograph wildlife is the Ojibway Prairie Complex in Windsor, Ontario. For a relatively small natural area surrounded by urban development, it offers unrivaled immersion into a wilderness that is just minutes from the city. The complex is home to an incredible wealth of plants and animals, including some that are rare and endangered.
R: What first prompted you to get into paddleboarding? Do you consider yourself more of a leisurely paddleboarder or do you go out in search of a workout?
KB: After some trips to Florida and other vacation spots where my wife and I had to stand on shore watching (particular in Florida where dolphins would swim with other paddlers), we wanted a way to get out on the water ourselves. Renting a boat can be expensive and you're always limited by operational hours and limits set out by the rental companies. Having our own inflatable stand up paddleboards (iSUPS) from Ten Toes has been awesome and the perfect solution. They travel well (rolled up in a duffle-sized bag) and are extremely durable and stable, even in large waves. The best and most important feature of these boards is that they get you out on the water when and where you want. I would say my wife and I are in between leisure and workout mode when paddling - we like to explore and see as much as possible, but at an enjoyable pace.
R: We’d argue that the best memories are made while adventuring outside. Is there a certain outdoor experience that stands out as the greatest memory to you?
KB: We've paddled in some incredible places with breathtaking scenery, but it's hard to beat paddling our SUPs in Florida with wild dolphins and manatees swimming beside and below. On one occasion, my wife and I were paddling with dolphins in the area and they came right up behind our boards with their heads out of the water to check us out. They even followed my paddle as I moved it back and forth through the water. That was an awesome experience and one we'll never forget.
R: We spend a lot of time trying to reduce waste, decrease our carbon footprint, and improve our relationship with the environment at Ten Toes [Retrospec]. As someone who spends so much time outdoors, have you seen the impacts of climate change in real time? How would you like to see companies and individuals respond to these issues?
KB: We've definitely seen changes in weather patterns outside of the norms, hot when it should be cold, and vice versa. It's certainly a polarizing topic as to what's causing the changes, but regardless of the cause, all companies need to be using responsible approach to conserving the environment and the planet, today. It's not enough to think others will handle it - everyone needs to contribute. It can start small - every time you paddle, if you see plastic or garbage floating and it's safe to do so, pick it up. The water will look that much better the next time you paddle there.
R: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
KB: We love living in Ontario and Canada. There's so much to see and do here. There are incredible places to paddle and explore, and when that's not possible in the winter, we'll break out the cross-country skis!
R: Describe your perfect weekend.
KB: Pumping up our iSUPs at sunrise, ready to explore a new place (hopefully with some nice water and scenery!). If there's a beach or sandbar nearby, you can bet we'll pull up onto it to relax. If not, we might anchor and just float. That's the beauty of these boards - they open up possibilities. I don't have specific perfect weekend plans, but any day that includes an adventure and paddling with my wife sounds perfect to me.
R: How do you take your coffee?
KB: I actually don't drink coffee. Chocolate milk, absolutely. My wife is the coffee drinker - one milk, one sugar; or more often, iced.
R: Favorite pizza where you live?
KB: There's a cool wood-fired pizza place in Barrie called PIE. The pizzas are tasty and if you go to the location near the water, you can enjoy the downtown beach or a waterfront walk along Lake Simcoe afterward.
R: What are 5 things you can't live without right now?
KB: My wife, my family, my friends, nature, and... our paddle boards!
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