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Race Preview: Adidas Sickline 2014

When the world’s top kayakers began arriving in Austria’s Oetztal this week, they were greeted with sunny days, low flows and the technical lines that make the annual Adidas Sickline Championships one of Europe’s most-anticipated whitewater events. Overnight rain brought water up significantly on Wednesday, however, and racers found themselves training on a much more […]

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26th annual Canoe & Kayak Industry Awards Announced

09.13.2011

The mood was electric and the music acoustic at the 2011 Paddlesports Industry Party in Salt Lake City on Aug. 5. Athletes, legends and industry employees flooded the venue for free food, beer, networking and the 26th annual Canoe & Kayak Industry Awards.

Bratislava Farewell

09.12.2011

Yesterday the Worlds ended. I’m talking about the 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships, of course, not the end of everything. (That’s in 2012.) Riding in cars or buses or airplanes back to their homelands today, slalom athletes and coaches are thinking about this year’s racing season, and planning the next.

Coming Soon: ‘Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown: Volume 2′

09.12.2011

Scottish sea kayaking outfitter and coach Gordon Brown’s first DVD filled one void in instructional paddling videos and created another.

Bratislava #8

09.11.2011

France’s Denis Gargaud-Chanut and Fabien Lefevre, the silver medalists in Saturday’s C-2 event, made slalom history Sunday by medaling again in their two different singles classes. Lefevre claimed the Bronze Medal in Men’s Kayak, and—in the biggest surprise of these World Championships—Gargaud-Chanut is the 2011 World Champion in C-1 Men.

Boundary Waters Burning, but OK for Paddlers

09.11.2011

With wildfires affecting some 2,700-acres of northeastern Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, paddlers are being forewarned of “rolling closures” in certain burn zones. Still, officials and locals are saying the Pagami Creek Fire—aflame since it was first detected, Aug. 18, after a lightning strike—has yet to seriously impact paddlers and paddling opportunities.

Bratislava #7

09.11.2011

“Why is this French C-2 team paddling on the same side?” I asked in the caption to my photo in Bratislava #3. Now I know that my guess was wrong: They weren’t “just hacking around.” In the C-2 final Saturday, that same French team—who I discovered is the legendary Fabian Lefevre and his partner Denis Gargaud-Chanut—was the last boat down the course…

Three Brothers (+1), Down the Mississippi

09.10.2011

Last night, the three Bragiel brothers—Peter, Paul and Dan, and their paddling friend, Tony Corella—pitched camp on a sandbar of the lower Mississippi River, about 20 or 30 miles upstream of New Orleans. It marked their 58th straight night out; they’d set out in two canoes from the Mississippi’s headwaters, Lake Itasca, Minn., on July 14.

Bratislava #6

09.09.2011

It was a disappointing morning for the U.S. paddlers, including for my sentimental favorite, the McEwan and Eichfeld team. The drama of qualifying heats lies not in the placings within the top ten, but “on the bubble”—those paddlers who are just inside or just outside the cutoff.

Hudson Bay Found

09.09.2011

The final day of Natalie Warren and Ann Raiho’s 85-day canoe trip from St. Paul, Minn. to Hudson Bay will be remembered in one way: “The overwhelming feeling was hunger,” says Warren, 22. “For some reason we didn’t eat… I don’t know why.”

Extreme Makeover, River Edition

09.09.2011

Washington’s Elwha River, currently diverted by two dammed reservoirs and twenty-four million cubic yards of sediment, is being restored to its original free-flowing form.

Bratislava #5

09.08.2011

t wasn’t exactly a quiet day at the course today, but the sound was not the roar of the crowd, rather the roar of the event-canceling wind. What’s a honed and hungry racer to do?

Bratislava #4

09.08.2011

Was I nervous this morning? Nah. It was just everyday forgetfulness that made me fail to put the battery back into my camera. And if I was completely exhausted after the the first C-2 heat, well, blame jet lag. It had nothing to do with watching my son race in his first World Championships.

Bratislava Chronicles #3

09.06.2011

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — The official Opening Ceremonies of the 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships did not begin until 7 p.m. Tuesday local time, so during the day there was training as usual on the course. With boat and gear inspection taking place off to one side, it was a good chance for me to meet new people as they stood in line.

Bratislava Chronicles #2

09.06.2011

I’m getting the feeling that the 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships has an inferiority complex. Today the home page for the World Championships features a photo of Michel Martikan with the caption, “Road to London Adds Extra Excitement to Canoe Slalom World Championships.”

Setting the Stage in Bratislava

09.05.2011

By Jamie McEwan Here I am—Bratislava, Slovakia! Site of the 2011 Canoe Slalom World Championships! Ouch, I’ve done it already: I can’t even write two sentences (one a fragment) about the Worlds without stumbling over Slalom’s Eurocentrism. Here they don’t say “Canoe and Kayak Slalom” because for Europeans, “canoe” is the generic word for canoes […]

Tunnel Vision

09.02.2011

Something bad happened to North American tent design shortly after the first freestanding dome tents became popular in the 1980s. With the exception of those who clung to tired yet trusty A-frames, the camping masses shunned non-freestanding tents as being old and dated.

Game Changer

09.02.2011

On this Sunday afternoon in early May, the Petite Bostonnais River is anything but small. As 600 cfs barrels down the narrow granite gauntlet, a cross-section of the world’s top paddlers stare into the crux of the racecourse: a weir-hole entrance to a chaotic and continuous 60-foot slide with serious face-shredding potential—all of it feeding into an enormous re-circulating hole. Avoiding that sucking man-trap meant threading a seemingly impossible line to the right after more than a minute of all-out paddling through a succession of multi-tiered Class V drops.

Buyer's Guide

Buyer's Guide