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Posts of category  "Kayak Daily Updates"

Kayaking around Bayfield, Wisconsin, can feel like soaring, as Lake Superior’s water clarity reaches 100 feet in some places. With the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore just off Bayfield’s shores, you can paddle in the lee of 22 islands and see sandstone cliffs pocked with sea caves, shipwrecks, and six, cheery lighthouses. You’ll also be paddling where the Ojibwe and French Voyagers once paddled. Beaches abound. Lazing on the soft sand, while the Evian-clear water laps the shore, you might, after a cat nap, awaken sweetly groggy and wonder how you reached the Virgin Islands.

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You might think that the western states have cornered the market on big, but that’s not the case. New York’s Adirondack Park is larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks combined, encompassing more than 9,000 square miles. However, the Adirondacks aren’t just about size. The beauty of these ancient mountains, with their pristine ponds, glittering lakes, riffling streams, and roaring rivers played a key role in protecting America’s wild places.

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By Jeff Herman

The San Marcos River wanders in graceful twists and turns through the Texas Hill Country and the hearts of local paddlers. Rising from the Edwards Aquifer it strolls past Texas State University before joining forces with the Guadalupe and heading seaward. Kayaks, canoes, rafts and inner-tubes are thick on the San Marcos River in the summer, and with good reason. The cool water is Tanqueray clear and offers easy recreation for all skill levels through lush scenery.

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Unlike most states, which make do with one nickname, Louisiana goes by many. To name a few: the Bayou State, the Creole State, the Sugar State, and the Pelican State. One nickname just can’t capture the state’s diversity, which manifests in its cuisine, from Creole to Cajun, from bananas foster and beignets to batter-fried crawfish tails, as well as its paddling. Looking at the state as five distinct regions, each divvies up its own flavor of paddling. Whether paddlers want urban trails, big rivers, twisty streams, bayous, wilderness, lazy lake paddling, or freshwater and saltwater kayak fishing, Louisiana offers a bona fide panoply of paddling adventures.

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Jackson Kayak Tip of the Week

By Jake Ament

Solid beta is an absolutely priceless commodity. Bad beta, however, is unforgivable. There is one very common mistake that I hear all the time when people are explaining how to safely navigate a rapid. The good news is that one simple fix can keep you safe and prevent a life or death situation. The trick?…use fundamental human psychology when speaking to your fellow paddlers about the safe lines.

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Tons of people I have had the pleasure of boating with talk about hitting a “plateau” or “hump” in their playboating. Doing the same moves for years can make us less excited to jump back into our local feature. As someone who spends a majority of her time playboating, I too have felt this plateau, but after getting pregnant with my son Tucker and encountering a different challenge while playboating, I was able to get out of my comfort zone and try different tricks with new techniques. This change sparked so much enthusiasm for me that I have been able to keep my playboating from getting stuck in a rut ever since.

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It happens to all of us at some point, that moment when all the fun, excitement, and exhilaration of paddling whitewater comes to a screeching halt. Reality sets in and you realize, that was NOT a soft hit. It can be a piton off a drop, a wrong angle through a slot, or even just a hole with a hidden rock in it. Hopefully the hit comes without injury and we can laugh off the pain or poke fun at the carnage. Sometimes, however, the dent in your boat will linger, hurting its value or even its performance. Sometimes it has to be welded and sometimes it’ll just correct itself, popping out on its own. Regardless, it’s nice to have a pretty big bag of tricks for fixing dents on the fly or even at the campground before the next day. This is one technique that works great for bow or stern dents and pitons, especially if there aren’t any stretched creases in the plastic.

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Becoming a well-rounded paddler requires learning a mix of hard skills (such as bracing, throw rope practice, strokes) and soft skills (such as reading water). All too often, however, the soft skills get left behind in today’s world of instant gratification. The stability and maneuverability of modern boats may have helped kayakers build hard skills, but the evolution of gear does not let you cheat the progression of the soft skills, which take time and practice.

Learning to read water is just like learning to speak a new language. Not only do you need to be able to say the words, but also you need to understand what the other person is saying to have a good conversation. If you make time to develop the three ‘Ps’ of reading water, you will continue to build your vocabulary and be a better boater for it.

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Flatwater paddling allows us to focus on the small things, which in turn improves our freestyle kayaking. I think this is especially true for women who have a harder time covering up improper technique with strength. And all paddlers can benefit from learning symmetry and proper angles.

Below I give you some tips which I use during my flatwater training sessions. I hope they will help you learn new moves faster, both on the river and at the pool.

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Do you have a rope? Do you know how to use it? I find myself asking these questions often, especially before putting on the river with a new group of kayakers. It is common knowledge among whitewater paddlers that a throw rope is one of the most important pieces of safety gear you should carry, and getting hands-on instruction for proper throwbag use by taking a swiftwater rescue class is highly recommended. One thing that is sometimes overlooked in these courses, however, is how to pack a throwbag after using it and how to carry it in your boat.

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