Category: Kayaking

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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Best of the Fests 2019

Here comes festival season!

There’s something for everyone, from gatherings for beer lovers to music fests to celebrations of the myriad of human-powered summer sports. If you know of a festival not on this list, let us know and we’ll add it! ASJ partners are FULLY in bold — we appreciate their support of adventure enthusiasts throughout California, western Nevada and beyond.


>> Coachella – April 12-14 & 19-21 • Indio // Music and Arts Festival in the Coachella Valley. //

>> Lucidity Festival – April 12-14 • Santa Ynez  // An open-source transformational arts and music festival. //

>> Desert Hearts – April 26-29 • Los Coyotes Indian Reservation // A tribute to House, Techno, & Love with intimate gatherings focused on art, music and community. //

>> Back to the Beach – April 27-28 • Huntington Beach // Enjoy two days in the sand …

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Gear We Love: Issue 107

Goodies for your active lifestyle

Gear We Love Issue 107

1. Fireside Outdoor Pop Up Fire Pit with Heat Shield

Imagine being able to set up a fire pit anywhere in less than a minute. That’s the cool thing about the Pop Up Fire Pit from Fireside Outdoor: it packs into a small bag and sets up quickly wherever you need a low-maintenance campfire. What makes this portable campfire so enjoyable is the stainless steel mesh that the logs sit on. Strong enough to withstand 125 pounds of wood, the mesh provides oxygen to the fire from below, creating a hotter burning fire that creates more warmth. We recommend you spend a little bit more and purchase the optional heat shield. The heat shield allows the Pop Up Pit to be set up on the grass or concrete without leaving any sort of brown marks, allowing for S’mores on the lawn and worry free backyard …

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Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour – Santa Cruz 2019

February 21 – 24, 2019 • Santa Cruz, CA

Ignite your passion for adventure, action, and travel! The Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour will exhilarate you with amazing big-screen stories when it comes to the Rio Theatre, February 21 – 24 at 7 pm (4 shows, 2 programs). Journey to exotic locations, paddle the wildest waters, and climb the highest peaks. Get your tickets today and be taken away to the most captivating places on earth.

The 2018/2019 Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour brings films from the 43rd annual Banff Mountain Film Festival to about 400 communities around the world. From an exploration of remote landscapes and mountain cultures to adrenaline-fueled action sports, films in this year’s World Tour are sure to captivate and amaze the explorer within you.

The  Program A is Thursday OR Saturday, Program B is Friday OR Sunday.

Benefits the UCSC 

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Gift Giving Guide 2018

Give the gift of adventure this holiday season

Check out the stellar gift ideas below that are sure to be big hits with the adventure enthusiasts on your list. PLUS enter win sweet stash from many of these companies! Learn more here:

Evergreen Lodge Rush Creek Lodge
Clif Family O'Neill Yacht Charters
Pacific Yurts Mount Hermon Adventures
Giro Morsel
Gregory Packs Advanced Elements Summer Shower
Dynaplug Ride Concepts
Zodiac Lights ENO
Hydrapak Leki
Bucci Sportiva
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That Kick-Ass Little Old Lady

Joanne Schwartz’s lifetime of adventure

By Leonie Sherman

Four foot ten with sparkling eyes and an effervescent smile, Joanne Schwartz was the first person to leave the campground every morning and the last person to return. While I was sitting on a deserted beach playing tin whistle, she was scaling the second highest mountain on the island, a 12-mile hike with fifteen hundred feet of elevation gain. The next day she took off for a 16-mile ramble in search of wildflowers. Over dinner she shared stories of kayaking the South Pacific and an expedition to Mexico’s Copper Canyon. I crawled off to my tent while she was still laughing with the boys. She’s 70 years old. 

“Who is this ‘Little Old Lady’ kicking all our asses and making it look fun?” we asked each other the next morning as she shouldered her pack and strolled off to the east.

Turns …

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Paddling My Own Canoe

A peek into the life of an extraordinary adventurer

By Haven Livingston

IN A TIME WHEN PEOPLE HAVE TRADED backpacks for glamping trailers, binoculars for cell phones and true grit for social media opportunities, we need Audrey Sutherland’s motto more than ever: “Go simple, go solo, go now.”

TPhe absorbing and joyful story told by Sutherland in her book, Paddling My Own Canoe, tells of her solo explorations of the Molokaʻi north coast. It is a reminder that adventures of the truest sense occur when we follow our heart, not our ego, through whatever fears we face in an effort to find the simple joy that resides deep inside us. That sometimes we have to bear down, and persevere until we are black and blue, dead tired and figure things out alone, before we can find the best and happiest version of ourselves.

“In five years the three trips …

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New Lake Tahoe Water Trail Website Keeps Tahoe Safe 

Sierra Business Council launches Tahoe paddle resource including mapping tool, real-time weather conditions

SIERRA BUSINESS COUNCIL RECENTLY LAUNCHED a new Lake Tahoe Water Trail website to help paddlers safely navigate Lake Tahoe and practice good stewardship. As the only paddle resource for Lake Tahoe, the site includes a lake access mobile mapping tool and real-time weather conditions. Paddlers can also play it safe by emailing paddle itineraries to friends and family with the “File A Float Plan” tool.

The Lake Tahoe Water Trail is a 72-mile water route along the shoreline that links public launch/landing sites, giving paddlers access to lakeside bistros, historic sites, paddle shops, campgrounds, and lodging.

Learn more at




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Pursuit Series 2018 Brings Much Needed Adventure To Pursuers

 The Outbound Collective leads successful outdoors weekend with breakthrough moments

Pursuit Series

ON AUGUST 10-12, 2018, THE OUTBOUND COLLECTIVE HELD its second and final Pursuit Series event of 2018, an incredibly immersive and educational outdoors adventure weekend, in Bear Valley, Northern California. The event was a sold out experience, with 500 Pursuers coming out to the ultimate adult summer camp; a long weekend designed to increase participation, confidence and education in the outdoors.

Over 40 leading outdoors and consumer brands partnered with The Outbound to provide the best gear, expert guides and activity education for the Pursuers, resulting in participation in 38 different pursuits, from The Unexpected Night Out – Survival Tips, Standup Paddleboard Yoga, Intro To Mountain Biking, Trail Running Clinic, Ultimate Trail Hike, Campfire Cocktails Mixology, Nature Photography Hikes, Essential Oils For Your Outdoor Adventures, Backpacking Skills, and much more.

Pursuers at Bear Valley came from over 30 States, with

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