Week in Review: October 17, 2014

How not to launch your boat, blind kayakers finish Grand Canyon, scary kayak spelunking and more

All Features

Pacific Crossroads


Expedition paddler Wave Vidmar made some serious attention-grabbing waves this summer with his plans to retrace Ed Gillet’s historic 63-day crossing from California to Hawaii in 1987. After numerous setbacks and pushing his launch date well into the winter, Vidmar’s attempt fell far short of the 2,200-mile mark. Read the details about his boat and the end of the aborted mission here.

Waterfalls: Forbidden Fruit or Calculated Risk? 1979


Back in the 1970′s, the idea of running waterfalls appeared to many as a reckless and self-destructive stunt of the sensation-crazed. But to those who partake of the forbidden fruit (and to those who write about it), hucking waterfalls had become the ultimate in river running.

Pure Intentions


Adam Bradley, a low-emissions, fast-packing adventurer known in backpacking circles for his Pacific Crest Trail 65-day record, talks about his impressive multi-sport human-powered journey this summer from Reno, Nevada, and across Alaska, including a 1,892-mile paddle down the Yukon River to the Bering Sea.

Kicking off the New Year with a Frigid Tradition


Today is the last day of 2012, and people across the country will be counting down the final moments with ball drops and songs of farewell to the old, hello to the new. The next day will start the New Year, and boaters and locals of the small town of Franklin, NH will be kicking off 2013 with the 32nd New Year’s Paddle down the Winnepesaukee. The festival celebrates both the New Year and the historical efforts put forth by the boaters, fishermen and Franklin citizens to revive a river and restore the community into something they could enjoy year round every year.

The True Meaning of SantaCon


In New York City, Santa Claus has two big days a year: Christmas and SantaCon. Mindful of the impact of their growing event, this year the SantaCon organizers offered only a loose, suggested route while encouraging attendees to follow their own path around the city. Our group took this suggestion to heart and planned a 30-mile kayak circumnavigation of Manhattan Island to coincide with the event.

Solstice Special: How to boat all winter


Today is the first day of winter, and many paddlers in colder climates have already packed away their boats for the season. That’s too bad, because with a little gear and good planning, you can boat straight through the winter while having a great time and staying safe. We caught up with four paddlers in the blustery Northeast who have the right attitude, and these tips to keep you going strong through the winter.

2012′s Top 10 Stories


Once again, The Google has spoken. We crunched the analytics from the all-knowing search engine to find out which CanoeKayak.com stories were the most read. Here’s our top 10 original stories for 2012 plus our top video and photo gallery of the year as well as the top gear review, top skills piece, and top multimedia story from the magazine, as chosen by reader pageviews.

Going Huge


Outdoor educator Adam Wicks-Arshack of Washington state nonprofit Voyages of Rediscovery looks back on a year spent reintroducing birch-bark canoe-making to the Ojibwa communities of Ontario’s Lake Temagami region, and then working on a series of massive dugout canoes with tribes back in Washington.

‘Tis the Season for Some River Reading


One week to go before Christmas! For those still looking for paddling-related gift ideas, we’ve compiled a list of five books that will keep any boater entertained through the holiday season. From history and instruction to adventure and reflection, these books are great additions to any paddler’s reading collection.

Blast at the Pass


Six miles of paddling through tidal rapids in 40-degree December temps with horizontal angled rain and driving wind isn’t what most people would consider to be much fun. But for the past seven years, 100-plus paddlers of various human powered water craft plus volunteers, sponsors and spectators show up to race in the Deception Pass Dash in Washington State.

Into the Final Stretch of the Whitewater Grand Prix


Tomorrow, Saturday December 14, athletes will conclude the second Annual Whitewater Grand Prix with a “Big Water Enduro Race down the Rio Futaleufu in the Patagonia Region. Thirty of the world’s best extreme kayakers, including several Olympians and world record holders, gathered to test their skills against each other as well as the legendary rapids of Chile while bringing a spotlight on some of the most endangered rivers on the planet.

2012 Gift Guide


We’re inside the two-weeks-till Christmas mark. If you need a little last-minute gift-giving inspiration for that paddler on your list, look no further than a few of C&K’s favorite gear goodies in our annual Holiday Gift Guide.

Skook Classified


Episode 2 of CanoeKayak.com’s exclusive four-part series detailing the core sea kayakers developing an invitational competition at freestyle kayaking’s hallowed grounds: the tidal rapids at Skookumchuck Narrows, B.C.

Rescue for River Runners


In Episode Eight of the R3: Rescue for River Runners video lesson series debuting on CanoeKayak.com, Jim Coffey covers the basics of setting up rope systems.

Mr. Canoe Paddles On


Canoeing icon Ralph Frese died December 10 in a hospice overlooking the Chicago River’s East Branch. He was 86 years old. The proprietor of Chicagoland Canoe Base began paddling in a canvas-covered kayak on the Illinois River when he was a teenager. By the time he was 24, Frese was mass-producing canoes for his local Boy Scout troop, and in 1967 he paddled voyageur canoe replicas from Chicago to the World’s Fair in Montreal. In 1973 he retraced Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette’s 3,000-mile 1673 expedition.

Hobie Crowns a World Fishing King


Mood took on 41 other competitors assembled from Hobie’s far-flung pro staff network to become winner of the second annual Hobie Fishing World Championship, the first held on U.S. shores. They came for a not-so-traditional Texas fishing throw down centered on an American angling obsession, the largemouth bass.

Inside the Box


Check out the latest mass-paddling concept from sit-on-top kayak design pioneer Tim Niemier.

Buyer's Guide

Buyer's Guide