James grew up on the North Shore. He spent eight years in the Eastern Mediterranean running sailing holidays and maintaining fleets of yachts. Then another eight years in the South of England yacht rigging and bringing up his new family.
He returned to New Zealand with his wife and two children and bought into Canoe & Kayak’s Manukau Centre. He now holds an NZKI 2 Star Sea Kayaking Instructors Award and an NZKI 2 Star White Water Award, owns a boat moored close to home on the Weiti River, with 2 sit-on-tops mounted, and enjoys paddling the many bays of the Hauraki Gulf.
He handed the Manukau Centre over to Canoe & Kayak to escape daily travel across Auckland and work for the company and Kayak Magazine from home.