Valkyrie Craft is a small family business based on the north coast of Northern Ireland. The business was founded in 2005 by John Wilkinson. John has been building boats since 1997 and has worked with wood since the mid ’80’s.
Our focus is on producing high quality hand-made wooden canoes and paddles designed to maximise efficiency and effectiveness of paddling, while also being made with attention to detail and appearance.
We build boats to order. We talk directly with our customers to establish their requirements and then supply directly to them without salesmen or middlemen.
Valkyrie Craft has built boats for a range of customers including individuals, secondary schools and outdoor activity organisations. Our customers have also included the National Trust, The Department of the Environment (Portrush Coastal Zone Centre) and HBO’s serial production of ‘A Game of Thrones’. You can see our Game of Thrones canoe in action in this YouTube video.
John has many years experience as a canoeist, both recreationally and as a coach and leader. He holds the BCU Advanced Water Leader in open boat and the Moderate Water Leader in sea kayak. He is an aspirant level 3 coach and currently pursuing accreditation as a Canoe Guide. He is an active member of the Causeway Coast Kayak Association and is involved in a range of open boat events and trips, kayak trips, open boat white water trips and coaching open canoe and kayak skills within the BCU structure of performance awards. He also coaches professionally for local groups and educational institutions.
In addition John holds a number of other outdoor based qualifications including
archery, hill walking and adventure based group work and challenge activities. Since 1998 he has been an active leader and assessor for the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, assessing expedition groups in hill walking and in canoeing.
Click links on below
- Workshop Video – Hand Crafted Video by Chris McIntyre (Jam Jar Films).
- An interview with Nick Hand – Slow Coast. John was interviewed by Nick Hand during his Slow Coast trip in 2010 around the UK and Ireland – Click here for the interview.
- Interview article for Freckle Magazine.
- Business overview Article – AI: Business Excellence Awards – Best Handmade Canoe Company – UK