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LORDS OF DOGTOWN

05.04.2012

Last Friday, C&K contributing photographer Darin McQuoid captured this image of Will Pruett on Dogtown Creek. More easily drawn to high-water runs on the South Yuba, McQuoid, Pruett and Justin Patt committed to an exploratory mission on the low-water creek tributary of the Upper Middle Cosumnes River outside of Placerville, Calif., after seeing a picture of a waterfall online.

‘Making Progress’ Extra

03.28.2012

Last summer, C&K Managing Editor Dave Shively and Staff Photographer Robert Zaleski headed up to Baffin Island to paddle the famed Soper River south to the Hudson Strait. Or so they thought.Read the full story in our May “North Issue” available on newsstands now, and see the photo essay flipbook video extra here

Shredding it in Santa Cruz

03.19.2012

Steamer Lane is a jaw-dropping gorgeous point break in Santa Cruz, California. And like every such epic surf spot in Cali, it’s usually dominated by the local prone (lay-down) surfers. But for one weekend every year, for the past 26 years, a small miracle has happened here: it’s been taken over by kayak surfers-and this year, for the first time ever, SUPers too.

Single Bladers’ Spring Break

03.16.2012

Only in open-boating can weekend warriors in over-sized Old Towns rub shoulders with world champion freestyle paddlers, sponsored video boaters and cutting-edge designers in nine days of revelry to kick off the paddling season. See a photo gallery and results from Sunday’s Upper Tellico Race, plus Tennessee open-boater Dooley Tombras gives his top six reasons to love ALF.

New Year’s Challenge

01.13.2012

Glassy water and uncharacteristically dry, chilly temps greeted 103 committed Pacific Northwest paddlers who competed on Jan. 7 for Seattle’s third annual New Year’s Challenge paddling race. The six-mile course started on Lake Union in the heart of Seattle and ran through the Montlake Cut to Lake Washington. All types of craft competed, ranging from SUPs and sea kayaks to canoes, OC-1s, OC-2s, OC-6s, dragon boats, prone paddleboards, rowing shells, racing kayaks, and surfskis.

En Route: Romania!

12.19.2011

We paddle through the night, guessing our direction from Orion reclining on the artificial canyon walls. Beyond the last portage in early morning, the water was salt, mussels clung to the rocks and seagulls took to the air at our approach. Beyond the breakwater, the sea pulses with the minute swell of diminishing energies. At this time of the year, titanic storms batter the coastline with 20-foot waves and driving snow. As we turn our tiny canoe north, the Black Sea extends to the horizon in glassy calm before melding with the clear, cold December sky. Fortune smiles.

Deception Pass Dash

12.09.2011

The Deception Pass Dash is fast becoming a Northwest paddling tradition, and like holiday season gatherings everywhere, it attracts something of an odd crowd. Some 200 members of the extended paddling family showed up at the sixth-annual Dash near Anacortes, Wash. Dec. 4, bringing sea kayaks, surf skis, standup paddleboards, outrigger canoes, rowing shells and more.

Delaware River Source to Sea

12.05.2011

Located on Delaware River shoreline in the industrial outskirts of Camden, New Jersey, my improvised site was the worst I had ever bedded down in, wedged between an oil refinery and a parking lot, directly under a freight train bridge. Life was not good where I was, 300 miles from the source, 60 miles from the sea. But with a successful run, I would have two rivers down on my quest to paddle the five longest rivers in the Northeast.

Gatherings: Gales of November

11.22.2011

Long before the Lumpy Waters, Golden Gate and Rough Waters symposiums, sea kayakers gathered on Lake Superior’s Canadian shore for the Gales of November Rendezvous. The event was the brainchild of Detroit-based paddler Stan Chladek, which he named after Canadian folk singer Gordon Lightfoot’s famous ballad of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the 729-foot ore-carrier that sunk on Lake Superior in a 1975 storm.

Across Canada by Water

10.27.2011

It was snowing, the temperature well below freezing and the Arctic waterways turning to ice when six friends finished a cross-Canada canoe journey on October 14 in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, on the Mackenzie River.

Paddling for a Cause

10.27.2011

Tampa Bay area paddlers Sean Fitzgibbon and Jeff Fabiszewski, a.k.a. “Team Sweetwater,” departed on Oct. 19 for a 12-day, 190-mile paddle along the southwest coast of Florida, following the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail.

From Russia with Love

10.26.2011

Sarah Outen may have been new to sea kayaking in early October when she completed a 40-mile crossing from Russia to Japan but she was no stranger to piloting small boats across lots of open water. In 2009, Outen became the first woman to row solo across the Indian Ocean, from Australia to Mauritius in 124 days.

Through the Rain and the Night

10.24.2011

With water flowing fast and pushing flood levels all summer, Missouri American Water MR 340 organizer Scott Mansker was doubtful that this year’s 340-mile heartland odyssey from Kansas City to St. Louis could even happen.

A wave of recognition

10.19.2011

U.S. waveski paddlers Fletcher Burton (Pismo Beach, Calif.) and Tyler Lausten (Maui) went 1-2 in Friday and Saturday’s 2011 Paddle Surfing Championships, claiming the top overall spots in a stacked field open to any international challengers.

Running Brazil’s Rio Mambucaba

10.11.2011

I knew I had forgotten something when coming to Brazil. I realized what it was—to learn Portuguese—when I tried to ask how long the drive would be. Thanks to my book, Beginning Portuguese, which I’d glanced at on the plane, I could at least ask our driver where the laundromat was and count to 999 as his Land Rover bounced up the long, insanely bumpy driveway to his farm, Fazenda Bonito.

Pondering the Future at Surf Kayaking Worlds

10.05.2011

NAGS HEAD, N.C. — Urko Erasquin, a competitor from the Basque Country, has mostly praise for this year’s World Championships. The surf has been excellent, the organization smooth, and the competition first-rate. But the first thing he has to say about the event is this: “I was a little bit upset because there was not many people.” His concern is echoed by many others at the Worlds this year.

Surf Kayaking Worlds Fitting Right Into Nags Head

10.04.2011

Outside a grocery store in Nags Head, N.C., a man is talking on the phone with his wife. “They’re surfing in kayaks down here!” he says. “No, both men and women do it. The women are just as good as the men!” Indeed, the town of Nags Head, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, is stirring with interest in the ongoing World Championships of Surf Kayaking.

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