Leon has always been drawn to the sea.

Leon left home and school early becoming a runaway and drop-out. After a few lost years he became a ships diver on a fast attack submarine at the age of 20. Four years of being confined to the interior of a submarine, he vowed “to never work indoors again.” He went from the Navy to University, to study Biology. During his time as a Wildlife Biologist he discovered sea kayaks, and he now spends more time on the sea in the cockpit of a kayak than doing anything else.

Leon has been paddling and teaching kayaking for over 17 years. He has logged thousands of coastal miles on Lake Superior, the Sea of Cortez, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and the Irish Sea. Among Leon’s accomplishments are the successful circumnavigation of Iceland in 2003, with Chris Duff and Shawna Franklin, a trip of over 1600 nautical miles in 81 days; and the successful circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in 1998, a trip of over 700 nautical miles in 28 days. In 2007, Leon paddled 500 miles around the Queen Charlotte islands with his partner Shawna Franklin, and Justine Curgenven. Leon is co-owner and creator of the kayak school, Body Boat Blade International.

Few things make him stand in awe like the sight of a stormy sea.


BCU 5 Star Sea, 4 Star Surf, 4 Star Inland,
BCU Coach Level 4 Sea / BCU Assessor Grade 4 Sea
BCU Regional Coaching Officer – West Coast North America

Leon & his partner in business and life Shawna are featured in ‘This is the Sea’. The Queen Charlotte islands expedition is featured in “This is the Sea 4”.

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