A look at one of the Midwest’s most popular kayaking events, this weekend’s 27-mile Short’s to Short’s Paddle, which has competitors race across a series of northern Michigan’s lakes and end at the Short’s Brewing Company production brewery in Elk Rapids, Mich., with a few pints to celebrate the arrival of summer.
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.
This summer ended with First Descents coming to Canada for the first time. The decade-old, ever-expanding nonprofit uses kayaking to clear the heads of people who escaped a deadly disease, and helps them navigate chutes and boulders to the next stage of their lives. By all accounts, it’s a powerful program for campers, volunteers and staff in this burgeoning phenomenon within the paddling community.
One hundred fifty years ago this month, our young nation was beginning its darkest hour—a four-year Civil War that would claim nearly 700,000 lives. Today, a century and a half later, that agony lingers deep in our collective consciousness. And one of the best and most peaceful ways to visit these battlefield sites is by paddling the bodies of water that have defined them through the years.
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.
Sam Sutton from Rotorua in New Zealand impressively demonstrated Saturday that he is still the fastest extreme paddler in the world. At the fifth edition of the adidas Sickline Extreme Kayak World Championship in Tirol’s Ötztal Valley, the 23-year-old Sutton defended his title with a new course record of 55.84 seconds…
Over 400 whitewater boaters crawled out of remote creeks, deep canyons, and office spaces to converge on an abandoned Forest Service campsite, Sept. 23-25, in the California’s High Sierra to celebrate—heartily—the American Whitewater-negotiated release of the North Fork of the Feather River. The Chico Paddleheads club organized the 21st annual Feather River Festival…
On the third day of a weeklong, early spring canoe trip in northern Ontario, my trip mates start calling me Shackleton. We’ve been icebound on sprawling Smoothwater Lake since the end of Day One, when we dragged, pushed and occasionally paddled across 10 miles of ice, slush and short-lived leads of open water. From this sweeping sand beach on Smoothwater’s east side, it’s disappointingly obvious that zeal outweighed logic in planning this early season trip across 75 miles of prime canoe country in search of the lake that carries my family name. Breakup is days away, and our expedition is fast becoming a failure.
On Monday afternoon, kayaker and filmmaker Rush Sturges was hanging out in Sea-Tac’s international terminal waiting to board a flight through to Munich, Germany. He’d already checked two kayaks—one creek boat, one play boat (“Not cheap,” he sighed)—and he was unclear exactly when he’d return.
Kayaker Jesse Coombs and photographer Lucas Gilman teamed up in March 2011 to run, and document, Cooombs’ drop of Oregon’s foreboding, 96-foot Aibiqua Falls. On Saturday, the duo appeared as guests on Good Morning America to discuss the, um, “daredevil drop.” It’s worth another look.
Discounting Alert (pop. 5) and Eureka (pop. 0), Ellesmere Island in the high Canadian Arctic has one settlement that might be called a community, and that’s Grise Fiord (pop. 141), according to 2006 census figures. Located on one of Ellesmere’s southerly tips, Grise Fiord is home to at least one nurse.