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Justin Pahnturat is a sea kayaker. And a guide, certified sea kayak instructor and naturalist, entreprenuer, videographer, public speaker, an accomplished chef, musician and actor (IMDB) currently living and working in Door County. After two decades of professionally cooking in vibrant culinary scenes of Seattle, Chicago, and Twin Cities, Justin gave up the pressure of high profile kitchens in exchange for spending his days on the open water horizons and waves of the upper Great Lakes.


Justin’s connection with water runs deep. Born in Bangkok, Thailand, he moved to Wisconsin at a young age and grew up around the Great Lakes. Justin made his first island crossing in a kayak nearly two decades ago and fell in love with the sport of sea kayaking at first paddle! Paddling the icy, unpredictable waters of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior all 12 months of the year, Justin pushes the limits of what is possible in a sea kayak through sun, wind, rain, ice and snow. He shares his intimate knowledge of the upper Great Lakes on the kayak tours he has lead the past three years.


Justin is currently certified as an ACA Level 3 Coastal Sea Kayak Instructor by the American Canoe Association (ACA), nationally and internationally recognized as the 'gold standard for paddlesports' instruction and safety training. He is also trained and currently certified in Wilderness First Aid & CPR/AED. As a local resident of Door County, Justin's passion for Door County runs deep and is also a certified Wisconsin Master Naturalist.

When he's not on the water you can find Justin spending time outdoors with his longtime girlfriend and partner Peri Laux or playing guitar or cooking Thai food. Justin has played bands in Seattle and Door County but has also appeared on the big screen in the full length motion picture June Falling Down. As a member of The Clearing Forge Club in Ellison Bay, Justin is a knifemaker and also enjoys writing and kayak photography for fun. 

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