OREC student Seth Putnam Rae shares his enthusiasm for the oudoors and sports

What do basketball and kayaking have in common? This guy.


At the beginning of his time at Capilano University, Seth Putnam-Rea struggled to find passion in his Liberal Studies program. Eventually, the outdoor enthusiast transferred into the Outdoor Recreation Management Diploma (OREC) program and never looked back. OREC offers students an education coupled with exploration and can turn a passion for the outdoors into a career. This just happened to be perfect for Putnam-Rea.

He grew up in North Vancouver, an ideal place for any adventurer. With his father co-owning Deep Cove Kayak, he gained an early appreciation for the sport and it quickly grew on him.

“I started working there when I was about 15, and I was on the beach crew,” he said, “I’d just be giving rental groups the 15-minute boat talk and they’d be on their way. Now I’m going into my second year of guiding, so I’m actually going out on the water.”

Putnam-Rea guides kayak tours that range from large school groups to smaller families, guiding them through the areas around Deep Cove and the southern parts of Indian Arm. “I do it for my job,” he said, “but it’s also something I just love to do, even in the winter.” Kayaking is generally a serene activity but conducting kayaking tours can come with surprising problems. “Some people can’t handle drinking and kayaking. You’re not allowed to be drinking, but some people think they are,” Putnam-Rea explained. While some may be disappointed no alcohol is allowed, the tour does include a donut from Honey’s, and kayakers can always grab a beer after their adventure.

Aside from kayaking, Putnam-Rea is also focused on basketball. Although he started later than average in his student-athlete career, he is currently working towards gaining a spot on the Capilano Blues men’s basketball team.

He first mulled on the idea, but after some encouragement from some friends and an older brother, he decided to put his dream to work and grabbed a place on the University’s development team. The development team prepares athletes for the demands of Blues basketball.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do since high school, and I hope to stick with it,” he said. Putnam-Rea has a strong support system of friends and family, but not everyone is encouraging of his dream. “Somebody said to me the other day ’you’re a hell of a lot more likely to go professional in kayaking than you are in basketball’.”

But Putnam-Rea isn’t discouraged. With his enthusiasm for the outdoors and the unknown, he is ready to face any challenge head on. “I’m really just trying to get out and experience the world, even if that’s just locally.”

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