Category: Water Sports

OARS 50th Anniversary Boathouse Tour

October 12, 2019 • Angel’s Camp

Join OARS for a night of award-winning short films, food, brews, and live music in celebration of 50 years of guiding, friendship, conservation, and community. 100% of ticket sales for this event will be donated to the Pam and George Wendt Foundation, an organization with the vision to connect young people to one of the world’s greatest resources — our wild places.

Get the chance to win awesome gear prizes courtesy of YETINRSSmith OpticsChaco, and Chums. Beer has been generously provided by Sierra Nevada; wine thanks to Boyle MacDonald WinesHatcher Winery, and Ten By Ten Wines. Additionally, Northwestern Mutual and SkySon Financial have offered support. The event features music from Leilani & the Distractions.

All are welcome to this family-friendly evening. Kids 15 and under get in free …

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Mountainfilm on Tour Santa Cruz 2019

November 9, 2019 • Santa Cruz

Mountainfilm on Tour brings a selection of culturally rich, adventure-packed and incredibly inspiring documentary films curated from the Mountainfilm festival held every Memorial Day weekend in Telluride, Colorado. The tour will visit Santa Cruz at the Rio Theatre on November 9 with films that explore themes connected to Mountainfilm’s mission of using the power of film, art and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world.

The show kicks off at 7 pm. A Mountainfilm presenter will guide the audience through the program providing insight on the films, filmmakers and subjects.

About Mountainfilm

Held every Memorial Day weekend, Mountainfilm is a documentary film festival that showcases nonfiction stories about environmental, cultural, climbing, political and social justice issues that matter. Along with exceptional documentaries, the festival goes beyond the film medium by bringing together world-class athletes, change makers and visionary artists for a …

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Lake Tahoe by Paddle

72 miles of blue water bliss 

By Trevor Husted

Robin McElroy paddles around the rocks on Tahoe’s North Shore (Tahoe Adventure Company).

Navigating the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe by paddleboard or kayak is as much of a good time as it can be an endurance test. The nation’s second deepest alpine lake provides paddlers with delightful mountain views, aquatic beauty, and plenty of challenges. Paddling the entire 72 miles around the lake by SUP or kayak is an extreme endeavor and is only appropriate for highly experienced and fit individuals. That said, you can work your way up to a complete circumnavigation by getting familiar with the numerous day trips described below. 

A word on safety

Do not underestimate the serious nature of exploring Lake Tahoe by paddle. It’s a large alpine lake that can have big water conditions. There have already  been a few rescues this year. …

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Ta-Hoe Nalu 2019

August 10-11, 2019 • Kings Beach

Ta-Hoe Nalu is celebrating its 13th year on the north shore of Lake Tahoe at Kings Beach State Recreation Area. Join the reunion to celebrate with all those who created the great sport of stand up paddleboard (SUP) racing.

Ta-Hoe Nalu offers several high level competitive races for SUP, Prone, and Outrigger, with categories for age/gender and skill levels. There will also be two 2-hour guided paddle tours just for the fun of it. These include a picnic lunch and a historical and geological talk about Lake Tahoe.

The Ta-Hoe Nalu festival has become a family vacation destination, offering events for all ages including a sandcastle building contest. Enjoy the food and beverage court along with live music from 2 to 5pm each day. Free demos, raffles, and prizes will add to the fun.

Come and enjoy the party at the oldest and …

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Jay Race Update

Jay Moriarity memorial event goes back to its roots as a paddle out

The Jay Race is going back to its roots. On June 15, 2019 at 8am, a group of Jay’s friends will be paddling the old Jay Race course.

Following is a statement from Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race organizers:

“While The Jay Race has grown into a multi-faceted world class paddleboard event, we wanted to change it up this year and refocus on why we started The Jay Race in the first place. So, we are taking this year to bring The Jay Race full circle. On June 15th at 8am a group of Jay’s friends will be paddling the old Jay Race course, starting at New Brighton Beach and heading out to the Coast Guard buoy by the Santa Cruz wharf, then out to the mile buoy and back to New Brighton. Anyone who wants to …

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Outdoor Afro

Expanding access to adventure

By Leonie Sherman

Harriet Tubman was born into slavery, escaped to Philadelphia, and then promptly turned around to rescue her family. She made 13 missions that delivered 70 enslaved people to freedom, traveling by night and using a network of houses known as the Underground Railroad. At Combahee Ferry she became the first woman to lead an armed raid in the Civil War and helped liberate more than 700 enslaved people. She’s remembered as an icon of courage and freedom, but rarely as a wilderness leader. The Oakland-based organization Outdoor Afro aims to fix that by changing the way we view black history and inspiring a new generation of black outdoor leaders.

Ten years ago, Outdoor Afro founder and CEO Rue Mapp noticed there weren’t a lot of people in the outdoors who looked like her. To find out if others shared her passion and …

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Stand Up or Sit Down

A Paddler’s Guide to California Classics

By Roger Schumann

Whether you prefer to paddle securely seated in a kayak or favor the enhanced view and balance challenges while standing tall atop an SUP, or both, California offers an outstanding variety of world-class waterways to explore. 

From renowned seashores to picturesque Sierra lakes, many of the state’s classic paddling destinations conveniently have rental and tour operations nearby. They are suitable for giving first timers and dabblers a nice taste of the wild and scenic nature that makes each unique. More experienced paddlers with their own boards or boats—along with the skills, gear, and savvy to do so safely, can venture further afield to experience the full flavor of the watery best. 

Assessing Skill Levels

Like whitewater rafting, skiing or rock climbing, paddling has its own rating systems, such as the five-level system used by the American Canoe Association, the nation’s largest …

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Gigi McBee

Crusading for whitewater safety

By Deanna Kerr • Photos by Jason Bates

Based in Lotus near the American River, kayak and swift water rescue instructor Gigi McBee has been on a campaign to keep herself and other paddlers safe on the river for over 20 years. Through commitment and hard work she has become a role model and an inspiration, making many in the kayak community safer in whitewater.  

McBee has been passionate about rivers for as long as she can remember, but her fascination with whitewater kayaking began when she was 13 years old.  She was living in Santiago, Chile with her ex-patriate family when she noticed a group of campers learning to roll in the Maipo River. She knew at once it was a sport she had to do. Kayaking would become the way she would always stay connected to the magic of rivers.  

McBee spent the …

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Event Profiles: Issue 109

Featured upcoming events

Mammoth Bar Enduro

June 15, Auburn

The Mammoth Bar Enduro offers a fun and challenging course that includes trails in the Auburn State Recreation Area (SRA) and Mammoth Bar OHV.

In Auburn SRA, racers will take on two stages: one on Confluence Trail which runs along the Middle Fork American River and features a gradual descent featuring rock gardens and narrow sections; the other on flowy Culvert Trail which features banks, berms, jumps, drop offs and a tunnel under Foresthill Road. The other two stages of the day will take place at Mammoth Bar OHV: Eastside Trail which has been brushed and graded for a fast black diamond technical thrill run; and Stonewall/Rocky … a stage that starts out steep on Stonewall then leads into the double black diamond Rocky Trail with a crowd favorite finish at the venue.

A post-race party with a full BBQ lunch, …

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Ear to the Ground: Issue 109

News & notes from the outdoor industry

SuperTopo Forum is Pulling the Plug

The online climbers’ community known as the SuperTopo Forum is pulling the plug. For climbers, it’s the end of an era.

“It is with a sad heart that I announce that normal operation of the SuperTopo Climbers’ Forum will cease June 1. The Forum has been an amazing digital campfire, with more than two million posts over the last 18 years. It has reconnected many climbers with old friends and helped many climbers make new friends. And, there have been many amazing and compelling posts on the site, especially those on climbing-related topics that have been enjoyed by millions of people,” wrote SuperTopo cofounder Chris McNamara in his final post to the site.

“For climbers, the SuperTopo Forum has been the virtual Camp 4. Located in the heart of Yosemite Valley, Camp 4 was the birthplace of …

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Conscious Construction

Surfboard Manufacturers Driving Change

By Aloe Driscoll

A surfer’s board represents the ultimate tool for communing with nature, and conjures images of azure blue waves curling across rainbows of reef. However, this emblem of environmentalism is tainted by a dirty secret. 

For more than half a century, the majority of surfboards produced worldwide have consisted of polyurethane foam laminated with fiberglass and polyester resin. These materials are toxic to the shapers that work with them, and to the environment: traditional methods for shaping “poly” boards generate almost twice as much waste as they do end product. In addition, volatile solvents are used throughout the manufacturing process.

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) blanks covered with fiberglass and epoxy resin present a less toxic alternative. Sustainable Surf offers different levels of  “ecoboard” certification for epoxy boards that contain at least 19% biological components. To qualify for the higher “Gold Level” certification, the outer shell …

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