Day-trips are paddling gateways. They mark the transition from casual after-work paddles to the soul-altering journeys of discovery that make sea kayaking, canoeing, and whitewater lifelong pursuits. The skills you learn from day-tripping—gear selection, navigation, group dynamics and more complex paddle strokes to handle your craft in varying conditions—will serve you well in the future, and pave the way to longer overnight and multi-day trips.
Before you dive into this list of our favorite day-trip destinations, heed this warning: You are about to take the first step toward becoming hopelessly addicted to paddling.
Last summer, sea kayak stalwart Nigel Foster picked up a few kayaks at the Point 65 factory store in Stockholm, Sweden, took them out the back door to Lake Malaren and then paddled through the Stockholm archipelago to Finland. Which got us to thinking: Where else can you meet a major manufacturer, tour the facility, and then grab a boat and hit the water? The search led us to a variety of companies located right where they should be—on or near the waters their boats are designed for. And it reaffirmed our suspicion that paddling is still very much a community-based sport where boat-makers don’t need much of an excuse to drop what they’re doing and dip a blade with a fellow paddler.
April 20-21—Paddlers, runners and cyclists gathered in Kernville, Calif. for the 49th annual Kern Fest hosted by the Kern Valley River Council. California’s first whitewater festival of the year celebrates both the river and the small town that survives because of it.
While the May Day holiday means making baskets filled with flowers and treats and leaving them on a neighbor’s doorstep, for paddlers and others taking to waterways, the words have a different connotation. Stemming from the French phrase venez m’aider, meaning “come help me,” it’s a universal distress signal indicating a life-threatening emergency. To honor its maritime meaning, we’ve taken the liberty of compiling the following sampling of sea kayak, raft and other paddling trips throughout the ages where the May Day call has been put to action.
This story featured in the 2013 Buyer’s Guide issue. The Team: Brian Mohr, Emily Johnson and Justin Beckwith The Mission: Use canoes to access virgin New England ski runs By Eugene Buchanan There’s almost no end to the things you can do in a canoe. New Englanders Brian Mohr, Emily Johnson, and Justin Beckwith have […]
This story featured in the 2013 Buyer’s Guide issue. Uganda-based river explorer Pete Meredith was responsible for the team’s last line of defense. Whenever the paddlers were in the crux, Meredith was waiting in the door of the A350 B3 helicopter hovering nearby, ready to leap into the river to extract a swimmer. Meredith combined […]
This story featured in the 2012 Buyer’s Guide issue. Mission: Bag Norway’s best whitewater from the seat of a bike Team: Olaf Obsommer, Jens Klatt, and Philip Baues By Joe Jackson German paddlers Olaf Obsommer, Jens Klatt, and Philip Baues have racked up an impressive list of whitewater expeditions in exotic locations from Chile to […]
Last March, more than 300 canoeists from around the United States, Canada and Europe collected in a hole-in-the-wall Tennessee town to boat some of the Southeast’s finest rivers for the annual Ain’t Louie Fest. This year, ALF was dealt a blow few festivals have faced in the history of whitewater: a death on the river. […]
The Northwest Creeking Competition features a series of races on Southern Washington’s East Fork of the Lewis River and Canyon Creek. The two-day event draws rafters and kayakers alike from all over the Pacific Northwest, and as it came to a close last weekend, people are already looking to next year’s event. Here are some reasons why you should get yourself ready for next year’s Northwest Creeking Competition.
Results of the 2013 Northwest Creeking Competition
April 12-14, 2013—Paddlers from all along the east coast gathered in north Georgia to enjoy Tallulah Fest. Celebrating the release of the Tallulah Gorge, this young festival has grown from the hundred paddlers at its first event four years ago to several hundred boaters and enthusiasts, demonstrating the love of the river and celebration of its release during the spring.
Padilla has always straddled two worlds. His father was an American serviceman, his mother Greenland Inuit. He learned Greenlandic at age 3 when his parents split and his mother brought him back to Greenland from the States, re-learning English in high school. Two years ago he moved to Alaska and married Elizabeth Saagulik Hensley, an Alaskan Inuit attorney. With the day off from his construction job (“It’s 20 below, not too cold for me but the air compressors don’t work”), Padilla held their 6-month-old daughter as we spoke. — Jeff Moag