Kayaking

Ta-Hoe Nalu 2017

Ta-Hoe Nalu 2017

Ta-Hoe Nalu August 12-13, Kings Beach Ta-Hoe Nalu brings the feel of a traditional Hawaiian paddle festival to the spectacular Kings Beach on the north shore of Lake Tahoe August 12-13, 2017. Hundreds of competitors and thousands of spectators help create a party atmosphere in the High Sierra. Racing begins on Saturday morning and continues through to Sunday, with competitions in prone and stand-up paddling, as well as outrigger racing. Distances vary from the ten-mile long course event to two-mile beginner races. Throughout the weekend, attendees can check out the expo area and enjoy food and beverages. New for the 2017 event: First Stroke: a non-competitive fun guided paddle tour – no experience needed. Beginners and non-competitive paddlers welcome. Boards and paddles will be supplied for those needing them. Free entry in the 2-mile race on Sunday. Ta-Hoe Nalu Sprint Elimination Challenge. Free Starboard’s SUP Polo (inflatable SUP Polo...
Armchair Adventure: Issue 95

Armchair Adventure: Issue 95

Armchair Adventure New School Guide to Northern California Whitewater by Dan Menten Menten’s new guide book has been in the works for over eight years. It includes 135 run descriptions, GIS-generated precision maps, fun stories, and photos. Menten has run all but three of the reaches in the book so you can be sure that he has personally fact-checked every detail. This is the first guidebook to come out of this region in over 20 years and is by far the most thorough. It captures the heart and soul of NorCal river culture and is a must-have for anyone interested in kayaking, rafting, or whitewater in general. Buy directly from Menten and he’ll even sign the book if you ask. newschoolpublications.com —Haven Livingston...
California Whitewater

California Whitewater

 By Haven Livingston Dan Menten on Yager Creek (Phil Boyer). California is flowing with water – whitewater paddlers rejoice! Now the big question is: what should you paddle this spring and summer? We caught up with three experts to help answer this all-important question. CAUTION: Winter storms have changed many runs, and spring and summer flows will be bigger and colder than in years past. Use extreme caution when choosing a run, dress for immersion, and go with someone who knows the run at current flows. Above all, know your limits. Northern California with Dan Menten Dan Menten started whitewater kayaking 25 years ago on Idaho’s Payette River. After getting his start in slalom racing he moved west and has spent the past 17 years exploring NorCal’s secret wonderland of whitewater. Never underestimate Menten. He’s an underdog who shows up at downriver races having never seen the run and...
A River Runs Through It

A River Runs Through It

Balancing access and conservation in an urban environment By Leonie Sherman Permitted paddlers access the San Lorenzo River for the first time at an event hosted by the City of Santa Cruz and Coastal Watershed Council (Laurie Egan/CWC). It can take years to get a stop sign installed in Santa Cruz. So nobody is surprised that the process of opening the San Lorenzo River to recreational boat use is a slow one. The section of river under debate is just over a mile long and can be paddled in about half an hour, but residents are resigned to a lengthy political slog before anyone can put in their kayak beneath the Soquel Avenue bridge. The trendy boutiques and microbreweries of downtown Pacific Avenue were once an alluvial floodplain. After a huge flood in 1955, the Army Corps of Engineers constructed levees along the banks of the San Lorenzo River,...
Mountain Monday: Trinity River Adventure

Mountain Monday: Trinity River Adventure

A weekend on the river moves time only as fast as its current By Meggan Wenbourne Yours truly, descending Hell Hole (Serendipity Snapshots). A couple weeks back, my partner and I found ourselves driving through the night from Santa Cruz to Big Flat in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. With an alpine arrival (ha, I just made that up) of 0230, it was all we could do to actually find our sleeping bags, let alone crawl into them along the banks of the Trinity River. Four hours later we were up and looking forward to a day on the river. This particular section of river is a Class III river with five or six rapids of that class and a handful of other awesome rapids within a six mile distance. Several companies guide on this section of river and coexist with one another quite nicely each season. With one hard shell...
The Dying Game: High Fives Foundation

The Dying Game: High Fives Foundation

Extreme is not worth it By Tim Hauserman High Fives athlete Steve Wallace adaptive surfing at High Fives annual surf camp. Photo: Trevor Clark. In the April issue of Adventure Sports Journal, I wrote “The Dying Game,” a look at an effort underway in the Lake Tahoe region to reduce the number of people dying and getting severely injured while doing adventure sports. It was a look at the cultural pressure that athletes feel to jump further and fly higher, and the lack of understanding of the increased risks they are taking. One response has been the Go Bigger Coalition, described in the article, which is focused on getting adventurers, especially the younger ones, to make good decisions so they are able to become the true heroes: those who are still alive to climb that mountain in their 70s. The response to the article was electric. It touched a...
The Rivers K

The Rivers K

Steeped in history, the Kings, Kaweah and Kern Rivers offer burly whitewater for serious kayakers By Haven Livingston Phil Boyer braces for the punch on V-Slide rapid, Middle Kaweah (Seth Dow). As a healthy snowpack begins to pour from the mountains, southern Sierra rivers that have been largely forgotten over the past four years of drought are shining once again – a glorious sight in the eyes of California’s growing population of whitewater paddlers. The Kings, Kaweah and Kern Rivers (from north to south) represent the three largest drainages in Southern California’s Tulare Basin and all originate in or near Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. The sister rivers each present unique personalities to kayakers that reveal themselves through their whitewater opportunities. By fact of latitude, days on these rivers are warmer than their northern cousins. South facing slopes are increasingly adorned with agave as opposed to evergreens as you travel...
Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap

Stepping up to Giant Gap, a classic whitewater gem By Haven Livingston Hoping to come out alive from Five Alive rapid (Lyle Fritchey). Three years ago a friend introduced me to Giant Gap, a well known class IV+ whitewater run on the North Fork American river that is accessed from Highway 80. We were on our way back from a week-long river trip and decided to pull over for lunch. “This is Giant Gap you know,” he said as I picked through leftover cheese and crackers. In hushed tones he described the miles of glorious whitewater that churned far below, out of sight from our lookout. I sat back on the tailgate and listened. In his mind Giant Gap was the perfect transition between the gnar-hard class V Generation Gap upstream and the easier intermediate class IV Chamberlain run downstream.  As a rookie kayaker I wondered if I would...
Technique Clinic: Winter Whitewater

Technique Clinic: Winter Whitewater

Tips for cold weather paddling By Haven Livingston Bluebird winter day on the South Yuba Summit (Daniel Brasuell). When Buck Crocket and Brian Banks arrived to kayak the first spring run of Gore Canyon on the upper Colorado River and found that the banks were still iced over and so was one of the rapids, Crocket did what any resourceful multi-sport adventurer would do. He reached into his truck and pulled out his ice axe. Getting into the river would be a slide, but getting out would require mounting a few feet of overhanging ice and snow. Paddling under these conditions may seem like a masochistic task, but consider the benefits: Instead of sitting in traffic en route to the slopes to ski groomers, you sneak off the beaten path to a lower elevation river and have the entire flowing wonderland to yourself. Rivers on the northwest edge of...
Paddle Smart, Paddle Safe

Paddle Smart, Paddle Safe

Preventing paddlesport fatalities By Haven Livingston Fully equipped for adventure. Cali Collective guide Victoria Anweiller heads down the South Fork American River. Photo: Melissa DeMarie In most cases, fatal paddlesport accidents are preventable. Period. This was reported by the National Safe Boating Council for the American Canoe Association report in 2002, and holds true today, for all types of paddlesports. This past August, during a training paddle for the Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge, Andres Pombo, 29, of Miami, drowned in the Columbia River after being blown off his standup paddle board by a gust of wind without a leash or life jacket. Heather Bonser-Bishop, 39, was standup paddling on the Chetco River in Oregon when her surf leash attached at the ankle caught on a submerged snag causing her to fall and be held under water. Jacob Austin, 52, and Mandi Walkley, 39, died after their sea kayaks overturned...
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