Zach Kruzins: Such a nice day

June 2019

There is something refreshing about Zack Kruzins. He’s larger than life and his energy knows no bounds in everything he does: the animated style in which he retells stories of his worldwide travels, the yearning for adventures in places not seen, and his zest for sharing this desire - this hunger - with others.

And it all began here on Lake Superior.

It was a spring morning, back in 2005, when Kruzins and a friend headed out for his first real sea kayaking experience. An avid paddler since he was a young boy, Kruzins didn’t think twice about breaking the ice on the MacIntyre River and setting off. But when he paddled onto Lake Superior, he admits he was overwhelmed. “I felt this connection, immediately,” Kruzin states. “To the openness, the closeness of the water. I was closer to the elements than I had ever felt before. It was amazing.”

And then a storm hit. “We weren’t prepared for it,” Kruzins admits. “Since when is there a thunderstorm in spring?”

They headed to the nearest island, pulled their kayaks up shore, and huddled under a piece of plastic while the rain pelted down.

“We were REALLY lucky. It could have been a lot worse. We had lots of lemons on this trip: No VHF radio, no immersion gear, no float plan.”

The storm lasted only a few minutes but it was enough to leave a long-lasting impression on Kruzins: always be prepared for the worst. Never assume nothing is going to happen. Because that’s when it will.

They got back into their kayaks, pushed off into the water and continued their trip. “The clouds rolled away, the sun came out, and this calm covered the water. It was such a nice day.” From that moment on, he was hooked.

He took an Outward Bound sea kayaking and alpine mountaineering course in British Columbia, came back to Thunder Bay, and began working as a kayak guide in Rossport for Superior Outfitters. “I wanted to take people out to Lake Superior and give them the chance to experience it like I did. I wanted them to feel the vastness, breathe in the air, and enjoy what so many people in Thunder Bay take for granted.”

Shortly after, Kruzins developed an interest in mapping but because there was little information about paddling Lake Superior, he decided to research it himself. In 2012 he and his friend, Darrell Makin, released A Paddlers Guide to Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area so that visitors to Lake Superior could discover more of the lake than what is found close to its shoreline.

Feeling confident in his ability to kayak the world’s largest fresh water lake, Kruzins set out to experience kayaking around the world. His travels took him from British Columbia to the Bay of Fundy and beyond: Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina, Patagonia, French Polynesia, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and most recently, Antarctica and the Falkland Islands.

But wherever Kruzins travels he always wants to come home to Thunder Bay. “I get job offers from all over the world but I want to be here on Lake Superior. Of all of the places I’ve been, nothing provides the same amazing experience like our Great Lake.”

Now Kruzins has set off on another adventure, so to speak. He’s turned his passion into a business and now offers Thunder Bayers and its visitors the chance to experience Lake Superior via kayak and paddle.

“I want to share all that our lake has to offer to others. I want to show them an unspoiled and untouched area, the beauty that is Lake Superior. I want them to pull their kayak up onto shore after a paddle, look around the lake and say, ‘That was such a nice day.’”

Kruzins summed it up nicely when he quoted Bruce Littlejohn and Wayland Drew — contemporaries of Canadian canoeing icon Bill Mason —from his novel, Superior, the Haunted Shore:

“With the speed of motorboats and the ease of access, something vital and intangible has been lost. Perhaps it is the zest for life felt when real danger lurks near, a zest, which sharpens all perceptions and experiences. Although the Island and their surroundings have not changed appreciably in the last few centuries, our view of them—our appreciation—has. Ease has diminished them; when less is risked, less is

Keeping in step, or perhaps “in paddle” with his philosophy, Kruzins has aptly called his new business, “Such a Nice Day”. He offers everything from skills courses to excursions for beginners and experienced kayakers, including everything from a 2-hour shore trip to 8-day adventures from Silver Islet to Rossport. He also has a 34-foot Voyageur canoe that seats up to 14 people for those who want the full voyageur experience.

And it’s all here in our backyard on Lake Superior, inviting us for an adventure … or two…or three or...

For more information about Such A Nice Day: Adventures & Expeditions, go to: on Facebook and Instagram go to: such a nice day adventures

Donna White is an accomplished author and Jubilee Medal winner for her volunteer work with World Vision. Visit her website at

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