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The Olek Doba Kayak Mission Nears Completion

Under threatening twilight skies, sea kayaker Aleksander Doba arrived in Port Canaveral, Fla., yesterday at 7:20 p.m., after a 5,400-mile crossing of the Atlantic Ocean that began Oct. 5, 2013 in Lisbon, Portugal.

All Features

CLEAN SLATE

05.03.2013

This story featured in the July 2012 issue. Darin McQuoid captured Ben Coleman on a rare descent of California’s Slate Creek this April. “Ben was boat-scouting and just charging, catching eddies that are marginally even eddies,” McQuoid said of the lush six-mile, Class V run that feeds the North Fork Yuba. “I think it was […]

Mastering the Pour-over

05.03.2013

This story featured in the March 2012 issue. By Sean Morley An ocean pour-over is like a river rapid’s salty, schizophrenic cousin. In the course of a typical 15-second swell interval, seawater will gush in and out of these narrow passages between and over seaside boulders. The flow will smash together, and drain away completely. […]

Permit Season!

05.03.2013

This story featured in the March 2012 issue. By Eugene Buchanan River permits are a blessing and a curse. We just hate that government bureaucrats in green pants decide what rivers we can paddle, and when. On the other hand, the rarer the permit, the more desirable the river run—as if time spent on the […]

TWO-HEARTED RIVER

05.03.2013

This story featured in the March 2012 issue. A morning like so many on this river. Also, a morning freighted with somber purpose. Summer warmth rises like mist. Mosquitoes linger. The canoes wait in a backwater eddy where blue heron and whitetail prints stipple the mud bank. I hurry to load the boat, eager to […]

Rules of Engagement

05.03.2013

This story featured in the March 2012 issue. By Eugene Buchanan At this October’s World Rafting Championship, teams from 34 countries descended on Costa Rica’s upper Pacuare River for four days of racing, camping, bull-riding and reveling with like-minded kin from the world over. Their goal? A world title crowned after six-man sprint, head-to-head, slalom, […]

Klepper: the original Popemobile?

05.03.2013

This story featured in the March 2012 Issue. I heard Pope John Paul II was a kayaker. True? Does the Pope wear a funny hat? Depends on your view of fashion, but there’s no disputing the late pontiff was an avid paddler. As a young pastor in Krakow in the early 1950s, Karol Wojtyla, later […]

Hank McGregor

05.03.2013

This story featured in the Put-In section of the March 2012 issue. By Joe Glickman Five hundred meters into October’s ICF World Marathon Championships, a 21-mile showdown of the planet’s fastest kayakers in Singapore, Hank McGregor took up the pull. Savvy racers know better. But instead of riding in the wash to save strength for […]

The Legend Lives On

05.03.2013

A decade after whitewater canoeing visionary Frankie Hubbard passed away, Knoxville-based open boater Dooley Tombras cannot fathom what new ideas Hubbard would’ve come up with if he hadn’t succumbed to lung cancer in 2003, at the young age of 41. “Frankie completely modernized the sport,” says Tombras, an elite open boater who’s taken the sport to new heights with his role in The Canoe Movie series of OC-1 videos. “His designs made it possible to run steep creeks and evolved the whole rodeo thing.”

Ugg Boots

05.03.2013

As seen on Paris Hilton, Kate Moss and half the teen female population of SoCal—credit their good sense. If you think sheepskin boots have no place in a small boat camping program, think again. Where do we camp when we park these small boats of ours? Beaches.

Rivers Be Dammed: Somos del Rio By the Numbers

05.03.2013

The end of our time in Chile for most of us was a mere four days and 40 some odd hours of bus rides away. The mission was still on, as we were heading straight into the lion’s den, so we pressed onwards, back to Coyhaique, to confront HidroAysén.

Away for the Day

05.03.2013

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.

Gallery—Kodak Courage

05.02.2013

That’s what they called it back when Kodachrome was king. Photography has changed a great deal since then, but not human nature. Which explains why Paul Kuthe was so close to the rocks at Oregon’s Cascade Head when the North Pacific threw a heavy set straight at him. “Most of it was my fault, shouting ‘Get in there a big more!’” admits photographer Steve Rogers. Kuthe took four set wavevs on the head, but it was the first one, pictured here, that nearly ended his day. “He pretty much just clung on. It was like, ‘Holy shit, Paul, you really nearly overcooked that one.” – JM

Get it and Go

05.02.2013

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.

Kern Fest and Community

05.02.2013

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.

THE BIMINI CROSSING

05.01.2013

Bill Whiddon, 58, has been surfing since 1964, often with open-water kayak instructor Thaddeus Foote, 39. Soon after south Florida’s lack of consistent surf drove the Miami watermen to standup paddleboarding four years ago, they began seeking new challenges. They began competing in local races and paddling with a group of hard cases calling themselves the Cocoplum Navy. They looked toward the eastern horizon and thought of the Bahamas, the low-lying islands just beyond it. The closest, Bimini, is separated from Miami by 52 miles of blue water.

AMAZON ON THE CHEAP

05.01.2013

This story featured in the 2013 Buyer’s Guide issue. The Man: Christian Bodegren The Mission: Cross the Amazon Basin from North to South, alone and on a budget By Conor Mihell Swedish adventurer Christian Bodegren was drawn to kayaking because, as he puts it, “It’s an inexpensive way to travel.” Bodegren eschewed sponsorship and high-end […]

Kelly Gossett

05.01.2013

New Mexico is better known for its arid landscape than for canoeing and kayaking, but that hasn’t dented Kelly Gossett’s enthusiasm for the sport. For six years, Gossett has been the sole proprietor and teacher at Albuquerque’s lone paddling school, New Mexico Kayak Instruction.

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Buyer's Guide

Buyer's Guide